Civil War Sabotage?
When the SS Sultana exploded on April 27, 1865, more than 1,800 died —outnumbering the death toll from the Titanic disaster. Why, then, do so few people know about one of the worst maritime disasters in U.S. history? And what caused the explosion that took so many lives?
The Civil War was finally over, and most of the passengers aboard that night were Union soldiers returning to their families from Confederate prison camps. But the number of people on board far exceeded the ship’s capacity—they barely had room to stand.
At 2:00 a.m. a mysterious explosion below deck set the Sultana ablaze and catapulted passengers into the frigid Mississippi.
Can the History Detectives solve the mysterious explosion of the SS Sultana? Was it an act of Confederate sabotage? Faulty machinery? Dangerous conditions?
Meeting with descendants of rebel boat burners and Sultana survivors, uncovering government records, and hunting for the wreck site, the team reveals a tale of incompetence, bribery, politics and nepotism that leads all the way to President Lincoln and the White House.
- Related Investigation Dueling Pistols Were these pistols used in the last great duel on U.S. soil?
- Related Investigation Civil War Cannon How did the contents of this glass tube impact the first hours of the Civil War?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 John Brown Pike How did this metal blade spark violent tension between the North and the South?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Lincoln Letter Does this cryptic letter reveal Abraham Lincoln's secret strategy for winning political power?
- Also with Wes Cowan Long Expedition Is this the site of the one of the most significant expeditions in the United States?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Anti-Slavery Flag Did this old sheet found in a family trunk contribute to the end of slavery in America?
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