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 Drug Smuggling Doll What does this doll reveal about disease, death and daring during the Civil War?
- Also with Wes Cowan Long Expedition Is this the site of the one of the most significant expeditions in the United States?
- Also with Wes Cowan WWII Patch What is the story behind these patches?
- Also with Wes Cowan Goering Gun Did this shotgun belong to Hitler's right hand man?
- Related Investigation Old Fire Station Did President Ulysses S. Grant stop by a New Jersey firehouse on the centennial of America?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Dueling Pistols Were these pistols used in the last great duel on U.S. soil?
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.