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.
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Ventriloquist Dummy How did an African-American ventriloquist act become so successful in a time of racial unrest?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Jackie Robinson Scorecard What does this scorecard reveal about the desegregation of our national pastime?
- Related Investigation Snowshoe's Mailbag Was this the satchel Snowshoe Thompson used to deliver his mail?
- Also with Wes Cowan Flint Lock Rifle Was this the gun of one of the most infamous bandits operating to undermine the birth of our nation?
- Related Investigation Boarding House Flag Did this flag once save a boarding house from being burned down at the height of the Civil War?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Dutch Colonial Home What role did these menacing forts play in the settling of this part of the West?
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