Jul
09
2009

Deadlier than Titanic: Sinking of the Sultana cost more lives

No iceberg needed: This drawing from Harpers Weekly in May 1865 showed the wreckage in the aftermath of the explosion aboard the Sultana while it was cruising the Mississippi River near Memphis. It's believed more people died in that accident than aboard the Titanic, which sank in the north Atlantic in 1912.
No iceberg needed: This drawing from Harpers Weekly in May 1865 showed the wreckage in the aftermath of the explosion aboard the Sultana while it was cruising the Mississippi River near Memphis. It's believed more people died in that accident than aboard the Titanic, which sank in the north Atlantic in 1912.Courtesy Thatcher131
Hanging around in the museum lobby yesterday, I came across a cute little exhibit put together by the Mississippi River Visitor Center. And the information is provided just blew me away.

Have you ever heard of the Mississippi riverboat the Sultana? I hadn't either, but it's story is a tale of even more tragedy than the sinking of the Titanic. Heading up river on April 27, 1865, with a overflow load of passengers, one of the Sultana's boilers suddenly exploded near Memphis, Tennessee. The ship was carrying mostly Union Army soldiers who had just be released from Confederate prisoner of war camps. It's estimated that up to 1,800 passengers died when the Sultana quickly sank. Slightly more than 1,500 passengers died with the sinking of the Titanic.

About 300 to 500 passengers were survivors. Due to the changing course of the river, remains of the Sultana were found in a bean field in Arkansas in 1982 about two miles away from the current path of the Mississippi River.

Intrigued? Want to learn more? Read a narrative account of the Sultana here.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

johnandrewely's picture
johnandrewely says:

it was a good tour through the titanic museum it was realy cool

posted on Thu, 12/31/2009 - 8:29pm
livi r y's picture
livi r y says:

i wonder if they have books bout dat if they do i want it cuz i like dat story!

posted on Thu, 02/25/2010 - 7:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Hello, I thought this site and info was very useful and i learned a lot aabout the titanic and its passengers, I hope, I hope I can always site you guys to learn more aabout the titanics story and all of the discoverys
Thanks
Anonyymous

posted on Thu, 03/04/2010 - 1:18pm
Somebody's picture
Somebody says:

Your serious? I didnt know there was anthing worse than the Titanic, I came to the Titanic exhibit when it was here. It was pretty cool!!!

posted on Sun, 03/07/2010 - 8:06pm
Michelle's picture
Michelle says:

I had a great great uncle that was just let out of the Union Army and going home and he was one of them who died. So sad.

posted on Thu, 09/09/2010 - 12:43am

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