During the night of October 12 the steamer Pioneer stranded near Ocracoke. By the time keeper Howard learned of the wreck on the 14th, all of the crew and passengers were safely ashore and much of the cargo was saved by the citizens of the island.
He continued his report by stating that the next day the sea had broken the steamer to pieces. The 27-year-old steamer was enroute to Wilmington from New York City with a crew of 18, three passengers and a cargo consisting of everything from tooth picks to grand pianos. Captain W. C. Gaston was commanding when she stranded about 500 yards off shore near Ocracoke Beach and about 15 miles S.W. of the lifesaving station. Howard and his crew rendered no assistance because, "... when I herd it, it was all saved that cold be saved."
October 19, 1889
A telegram received at midnight last night announces that the tug which went down to the point near Ocracoke light was the steamship Pioneer was stranded on Tuesday night, had returned to Norfolk and reported that the vessel and cargo are total wrecks. Previous to the reception of this news by wire the latest statement sent out was that the Merritt Wrecking Company of Norfolk, had on Thursday evening sent down the tug John D. Jones and the barge Haggerty to the Pioneer's assistance.
October 23, 1889
The tug C.W. Morse returned yesterday afternoon from Ocracoke Inlet, where she has been to the assistance to the Clyde Line steamer Pioneer. The Morse put out of the Capes Tuesday evening in the teeth of a fifty mile an hour blow, and when she returned yesterday had her pilot house badly stove in, and was damaged in other ways. Capt. Anderson says that the Pioneer has gone to pieces, and her cargo is scattered over the ocean.
Mr. G.W. Linder of this city who was a passenger on the ill-starred vessel, and who was rescued along with others of the crew and passengers, arrived in New Berne yesterday on his way home. There is no further particulars. The wire to Hatteras is still down.