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Running from New Orleans to St. Louis in the summer of 1870, the race between the Robert E. Lee and the Natchez remains the world's most famous steamboat race. This book tells the story of the dramatic contest, which was won by the stripped-down, cargoless Robert E. Lee after three days, 18 hours, and 14 minutes of steaming through day, night and fog. The Natchez finished the race only hours later, having been delayed by carrying her normal load and tying up overnight because of the intense fog. Providing details on not only the race narrative but also on the boats themselves, the book gives an intimate look at the majestic vessels that conquered the country's greatest waterway and defined the bravado of 19th-century America.