The "Sultana" Disaster

The "Sultana" Disaster


NARA M1878. Records relating to the April 27, 1865, explosion of the steamer "Sultana," including lists of those aboard the ship.


    When the boiler exploded aboard the steamer Sultana on April 27, 1865, more than 1,700 people lost their lives. Most of those aboard were recently released Union prisoners from the Confederate prisons in Cahaba, Alabama, and Andersonville, Georgia. They were bound for Camp Chase, Ohio, but the explosion occurred only a few hours into the journey. In addition to the faulty boiler, the ship was also grossly overburdened with 2,200 passengers on a vessel built to carry 376.

    The descriptive pamphlet (DP) provided by NARA for this title is available here. Much of the information on this page is taken directly from the DP, and the contents of each of the three rolls of original microfilm are listed there as well.

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