Sultana Disaster

Steamship Sultana
The Sultana was a sidepaddle steamboat built in 1863.  In April, 1865, she was carrying soldiers, Union POWs, on the Mississippi River from the Andersonville and Cahaba prisons, to Columbus, Ohio to be paroled. Although the ship was rated for 376 passengers, over 2,100 persons (including civilians and crew) were aboard. 
About 2:00am on April 27, 1865, one of the boilers exploded and the Sultana sank.  Nearly 1,200 people were lost in this tragedy, a result of greed and miscommunication, including almost fifty women and children. 
The ship sank a few miles north of Memphis, Tennessee.  Many of the 963 survivors owed their lives to the quick and generous actions of Southern sympathizers, including Confederate soldiers.
Want to know more?
Sultana Documentary: