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.
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- Also with Wes Cowan Ernie Pyle's Typewriter Did America’s most beloved battlefront correspondent bang out his dispatches on this Corona 3?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Lindbergh Engine Could a 24-year-old have single-handedly built the engine for Lindbergh's plane?
- Related Investigation Marshall House Flag Did this piece of fabric come from a flag that cost a Union colonel his life?
- Related Investigation Slave Banjo Is this the only surviving banjo carried by former slaves following Emancipation?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Chandler Tintype How did this Civil War era tintype help re-ignite a fiery debate about African Americans bearing arms for the confederacy?
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