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The Sultana Tragedy: America's Greatest Maritime Disaster
"Lee Surrenders!" "President Murdered!" "Booth Killed!" screamed the headlines of American newspapers in April 1865, leaving little room for mention of a maritime disaster that to this day is America's worst. On April 27, 1865, the Sultana, a260-foot, wooden-hulled steamboat-smaller than the Titanic but carrying more passengers-exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphi ...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published February 29th 1992 by Pelican Publishing Company
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Nov 23, 2014 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars
I was stoked about this book for a long time before I purchased it. It really sounded like a great book and had high reviews on other sites. It was good. Only good. The print was bigger than the norm and the book was kind of short. The story about the events and things associated with the boat were well covered but the actual event of the boat exploding was fast paced. It told some details. I would have enjoyed a little more time on the events surrounding the actual sinking... not all the politi ...more
Oct 03, 2011 Krista the Krazy Kataloguer rated it 3 of 5 stars
This was very dryly written, but the facts of the incident were so interesting that I was compelled to read anyway. This tragedy could easily have been avoided, had certain people not been so greedy. To think of all that these poor soldiers survived in the Confederate prisons, only to be subjected to a further nightmare. So many never made it home. So sad.
The Sultana Tragedy: America's Greatest Maritime Disaster by Jerry O. Potter is a thoroughly researched book that details the terrible tragedy of the explosion and sinking of the Sultana (a 260 ft wooden-hulled steamer) on April 27, 1865 outside of Memphis on the Mississippi River. Just days before, 2300 Union Soldiers on their way home from POW Camps in the south were boarded onto the Sultana in Vicksburg, although the steamer only had a legal carrying capacity for 376. It seems that this tragi ...more
My great-great grandparents, Harvey and Ann Annis and their youngest daughter, Belle, were on the Sultana when it exploded. Harvey and Belle were lost. Ann was the only woman to survive the greatest maritime disaster in American history.
An excellent book about a forgotten aspect of war, what to do with repatriated soldiers. The level of incompetence on boths prior to the tragedy is astounding but typical of people in a situation they do no or will not understand. The heroism of the survivors and actions of rescuers is a testament to the will will to live and the overarching desire to help others.