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 1856 Mormon Tale Is this tattered book a true account of female slavery in the old West?
- Also with Wes Cowan McKinley Casket Flag Did this flag once drape the casket of President William McKinley?
- Related Investigation Lookout Mountain Painting What can this painting tell us about a turning point in the Civil War?
- Also with Wes Cowan Bonnie & Clyde's Bullets Are these the bullets that ended one of the most infamous crime-sprees in American history?
- Related Investigation Home of Lincoln Assassination Plot Did the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln begin in this New York City building?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Slave Banjo Is this the only surviving banjo carried by former slaves following Emancipation?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.