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Loss of the Sultana

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By: (1844-1926)

In Loss of the Sultana, Chester D. Berry provides a comprehensive account of one of the deadliest maritime disasters in American history. The book meticulously details the tragic sinking of the steamboat Sultana in 1865, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,800 people, many of whom were Union soldiers returning home from the Civil War.

Berry's writing is thorough and engaging, drawing readers in with vivid descriptions of the events leading up to the disaster and the courage and resilience of the survivors. He skillfully interweaves personal stories with historical details, creating a rich and immersive narrative that sheds light on a lesser-known chapter of American history.

Overall, Loss of the Sultana is a compelling and thought-provoking read that brings attention to the human cost of war and the consequences of negligence and corruption. Berry's meticulous research and powerful storytelling make this book a must-read for anyone interested in Civil War history or maritime disasters.

Book Description:
April, 1865. The country was in turmoil. The U.S. Civil War had come to an end, thousands of Union prisoners of war had recently been released, and President Lincoln had just been assassinated. The steamship 'Sultana' left New Orleans on April 21st, traveled to Vicksburg, Mississippi where it took on 1,965 federal soldiers and 35 officers, all recently released prisoners of war, most of them held at the prison camps of Cahaba and Andersonville , and now finally headed for their homes. The 'Sultana' arrived in Memphis, Tennessee on April 26th and headed north toward Cairo, Illinois carrying over 2,100 passengers, but designed for a capacity of only 376. At approximately 2:00 a.m. of the 27th, mere hours after the assassination of John Wilkes Booth, the 'Sultana' mysteriously exploded while steaming about 7 miles north of Memphis, killing over 1,500 on board . The sole reason this incident received such scant attention at the time, and ever since, is the fact that the country was understandably absorbed in the recent assassinations. Subsequent inquiry into the 'Sultana' disaster would uncover some startling revelations into its cause, some believe leading directly to the topmost levels of the U.S. Government. The loss of the 'Sultana' was the greatest maritime disaster in U.S. history, up until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This book, composed by Chester Berry, one of the survivors, is unique in that it gives firsthand account from well over 100 of the survivors of the tragedy in their own words. Note - The online e-text includes 3 lists for reference that are not included in this audio release: 1 - An official list of prisoners of war on the Sultana, including company served with 2 - Persons known to have been on board the Sultana, but not reported 3 - Name, Company, Regiment, and present residence of living survivors

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