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 Woolworth Sign Were these signs part of the scene in an early victory for Civil Rights?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Harley Davidson Motorcycle Did this motorcycle see action in World War I?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Pop Lloyd Baseball Field Why was this baseball field named after an African-American ballplayer in a time of racial tension?
- Related Investigation Chisholm Trail Did the Chisholm Trail really run through this small town in Texas?
- Related Investigation Civil War Letters What can these letters reveal about a racially-charged massacre on a Civil War battlefield?
- 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?
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.