Flatboats were the most prolific type of vessel on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers during the early 1800s. By the late 1800s, however, flatboats had completely dis appeared, and no intact examples were known to exist. Our knowledge of these historic vessels had been limited to illustra tions, memoirs, and traveler accounts. That changed in 2000 after local residents found a wreck on the Ohio River shoreline in Il linois. Archaeologist Mark J. Wagner and colleagues investigated extensively and established that the wreck was a pre-Civil War flatboat, which they named America, after a nearby town. In The Wreck of the America in Southern Illinois: A Flatboat on the Ohio River, Wagner provides a brief description and general history of flatboats and the various reasons they wrecked. He also de scribes the remains of the America, how it was constructed, the artifacts found nearby and inside, and the probable cause of its sinking. The book concludes with a history of the America since its discovery in 2000 and a plea that the boat be removed from the riverbank and preserved before the Ohio washes it away.