Civil War Soldier 6th Kentuck Calvery, Survivor of the SS Sultana Disater, was captured near Tuscaloosa Alabama 1 April 1865 Released 9 April 1865.

17 Jan 1844 1
Marion, Kentucky, United States 1
20 Jun 1933 1
Englewood, Arapahoe, Colorado, USA 1

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Full Name:
Simeon Dickens Chelf 1
17 Jan 1844 1
Marion, Kentucky, United States 1
Male 1
20 Jun 1933 1
Englewood, Arapahoe, Colorado, USA 1
Burial Place: Fairmount Cemetery Denver Denver County Colorado, USA 1
Mother: Delilah E Dickens 1
Father: Franklin Elias Chelf 1
Sciota Jones Roberts 1
31 Jan 1872 1
Casey, Kentucky, USA 1
Spouse Death Date: 1920 1
Eliza M Combest 1
24 Aug 1869 1
Casey, Kentucky, USA 1
Spouse Death Date: 1871 1

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Corp Simeon Dickens Chelf

Corp Simeon Dickens Chelf
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American Civil War Soldiers about Simon Chelf Name: Simon Chelf Enlistment Date: 23 Jul 1862 Enlistment Place: Louisville, Kentucky Side Served: Union State Served: Kentucky Service Record: Enlisted as a Corporal on 23 July 1862.
Enlisted in Company G, 6th Cavalry Regiment Kentucky on 15 Sep 1862.
Mustered Out Company G, 6th Cavalry Regiment Kentuckyon 9 Jun 1865 at Louisville, KY.

U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles about Simon D Chelf Name: Simon D Chelf
[Simeon Dickens Chelf] Residence: Louisville, Kentucky Enlistment Date: 23 Jul 1862 Rank at enlistment: Corporal Enlistment Place: Louisville, Kentucky State Served: Kentucky Survived the War?: Yes Service Record: Enlisted in Company G, Kentucky 6th Cavalry Regiment on 15 Sep 1862.Mustered out on 09 Jun 1865 at Louisville, KY.

U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 about Simeon D Chelf Name: Simeon D Chelf Birth Year: abt 1843 Keyed Birth Location: Kentucky Birth State: Kentucky Admitted Year: 1905 Age at Admission: 62 State: Kansas County: Leavenworth City: Leavenworth Branch: Western Branch


Survivor SS Sultana Disaster

SS Sultana From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   (Redirected from Sultana (steamboat)) Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see Sultana (disambiguation). The ill-fated Sultana photographed near Helena, Arkansas, on or about April 26, 1865. Sultana on fire, from Harpers Weekly.

SS Sultana was a Mississippi River steamboat paddlewheeler that exploded on April 27, 1865 in the greatest maritime disaster in United States history. An estimated 1,600 of Sultana's 2,400 passengers died when three of the ship's four boilers exploded and Sultana sank near Memphis, Tennessee.[1] This disaster was overshadowed in the press by other recent events. John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln's assassin, was killed the day before.

The wooden steamship was constructed in 1863 by the John Litherbury Shipyard in Cincinnati, and intended for the lower Mississippi cotton trade. Registering 1,719 tons,[2] the steamer normally carried a crew of 85. For two years, Sultana ran a regular route between St. Louis and New Orleans, frequently commissioned to carry troops.

Contents The tragedy SS Sultana Memorial at the Mount Olive Baptist Church Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2010.

Under the command of Captain J. C. Mason of St. Louis, Sultana left New Orleans on April 21, 1865, with 75 to 100 cabin passengers, deck passengers, and numerous head of livestock bound for market in St. Louis. At Vicksburg, Mississippi, the steamship stopped for a series of hasty repairs to the boilers and to take on more passengers. Rather than have a bad boiler replaced, a small patch repair was made to reinforce a leaking area. A section of bulged boiler plate was removed, and a patch of lesser thickness than the parent plate was riveted in its place.[3] This repair took about one day, whereas a complete replacement of the boiler would have taken about three days.[citation needed] During Sultana's time in port, men tried to muscle, bribe, and threaten their way on board, until the ship was bursting at the seams with soldiers. More than two thousand men crowded aboard.[citation needed]

Historic marker of the Sultana disaster in Marion, AR

Most of the new passengers were Union soldiers, chiefly from Ohio and just released from Confederate prison camps such as Cahawba and Andersonville.[citation needed] The US government had contracted with Sultana to transport these former prisoners of war back to their homes.[citation needed] With a legal capacity of only 376, Sultana was severely overcrowded.[citation needed] Many of the passengers had been weakened by their incarceration and associated illnesses.[citation needed] Passengers were packed into every available berth, and the overflow was so severe that the decks were completely packed.[citation needed]

The cause of the explosion was a leaky and poorly repaired steam boiler. There was reason to believe allowable working steam pressure was exceeded in an attempt to overcome the spring river current.[3] The boiler (or boilers) gave way when the steamer was 7 to 9 miles (11 to 14 km) north of Memphis at 2:00 am.[4] The enormous explosion flung some of the passengers on deck into the water, and destroyed a large section of the ship. Hot coals scattered by the explosion soon turned the remaining superstructure into an inferno, the glare of which was visible as far away as Memphis.[5]

The first boat on the scene was the southbound steamer Bostonia II[6] which arrived at about 3:00 am, an hour after the explosion, and overtook the burning wreck to rescue scores of survivors. The hulk drifted to the west bank of the river, and sank at around dawn near the tiny settlement of Mound City near present-day Marion, Arkansas. Other vessels joined the rescue, including the steamer Arkansas, Jenny Lind, Essex, and the Navy sidewheel gunboat USS Tyler, manned by volunteers. The ship's regular crew had been discharged days before.[5]

Passengers who survived the initial explosion had to risk their lives in the icy spring runoff of the Mississippi or burn with the ship.[3] Many died of drowning or hypothermia. Some survivors were plucked from trees along the Arkansas shore. Bodies of victims continued to be found downriver for months, some as far as Vicksburg. Many bodies were never recovered. Sultana's officers, including Captain Mason, were among those who perished.[5]

About 500 survivors, many with horrible burns, were transported to hospitals in Memphis. Up to 300 of them died later from burns or exposure. Newspaper accounts indicate that the people of Memphis had sympathy for the victims despite the fact that they had recently been enemies.[citation needed] The Chicago Opera Troupe staged a benefit, the crew of Essex raised $1,000, and the mayor took in three survivors.[5]

Monuments and historical markers to Sultana and its victims have been erected at Memphis, Tennessee; Muncie, Indiana; Marion, Arkansas; Vicksburg, Mississippi; Cincinnati, Ohio; Knoxville, Tennessee; Hillsdale, Michigan; and Mansfield, Ohio.[citation needed]


No exact death toll is known. Estimates range from 1,300 to 1,900. The official count by the United States Customs Service was 1,547. Final estimates of survivors were between 700 and 800. Many of the dead were interred at the Memphis National Cemetery.


The official cause of Sultana disaster was determined to be mismanagement of water levels in the boiler, exacerbated by the fact that Sultana was severely overcrowded and top heavy. As the steamship made its way north following the twists and turns of the river, Sultana listed severely to one side then the other. Sultana's four boilers were interconnected and mounted side-by-side, so that if the ship tipped sideways, water would tend to run out of the highest boiler. With the fires still going against the empty boiler, this created hot spots. When the ship tipped the other way, water rushing back into the empty boiler would hit the hot spots and flash instantly to steam, creating a sudden surge in pressure. This effect of careening could have been minimized by maintaining high water levels in the boilers. The official inquiry found that Sultana 's boilers exploded due to the combined effects of careening, low water level, and a faulty repair to a leaky boiler made a few days earlier.

In 1888, a St. Louis resident named William Streetor claimed that his former business partner, Robert Louden, made a deathbed confession of having sabotaged Sultana by a coal torpedo.[7] Louden, a former Confederate agent and saboteur who operated in and around St. Louis, had the opportunity and motive to attack Sultana and may have had access to the means. (Thomas Edgeworth Courtenay, the inventor of the coal torpedo, was a former resident of St. Louis and was involved in similar acts of sabotage against Union shipping interests.) Supporting Louden's claim are eyewitness reports that a piece of artillery shell was observed in the wreckage. Louden's claim is controversial, however, and most scholars support the official explanation.[8][9]


An East Tennessee Sultana survivors' group met annually on April 27 (the anniversary of the disaster) until 1928, when just four survivors remained. Then on March 4th, 1931 the last survivor,[clarification needed] Pleasant M. Keeble, died at the age of 85.[5] Samuel H. Raudebaugh (Company K, 65th Regiment Ohio Infantry) , also a survivor of the disaster, died on December 5, 1931 at the age of 89. Mr. Raudebaugh was a survivor of the battle of Franklin, TN where he was captured and imprisoned at Andersonville. He was onboard the Sultana when it blew up and survived that disaster. He later became President of the Sultana Survivors Association.[citation needed]

Remnants found

In 1982, a local archaeological expedition uncovered what was believed to be the wreckage of Sultana. Blackened wooden deck planks and timbers were found about 32 feet (10 m) under a soybean field on the Arkansas side, about 4 miles (6 km) from Memphis. The Mississippi River has changed course several times since the disaster. The main channel now flows about 2 miles (3 km) east of its 1865 position.[5]


Jay Farrar of the band Son Volt wrote a song called "Sultana", paying tribute to "the worst American disaster of the maritime". Farrar calls the ship "the Titanic of the Mississippi" in the song, which was released on the American Central Dust album.[10]


The J. Mack Gamble Fund of the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen and the Friends and Descendants of the Sultana sponsored a mural by Louisiana artist Robert Dafford and his crew entitled The Sultana Departs from Vicksburg as one of the Vicksburg Riverfront Murals. It was dedicated on April 9, 2005.[11][12]


6th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry

6th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search 6th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry Active July 1862 to September 6, 1865 Country United States Allegiance Union Branch Cavalry Engagements Kentucky Campaign
Battle of Richmond
Tullahoma Campaign
Battle of Chickamauga
Atlanta Campaign

The 6th Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry Regiment was a cavalry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Contents Service

Originally organized in Lexington, Kentucky from July to October 1862 as Munday's 1st Battalion Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry (Companies A, B, C, D, & E) and served independently under the command of Major Reuben Munday. The regiment was fully reorganized at Camp Irvine near Louisville, Kentucky and mustered in for a one year enlistment under the command of Colonel Dennis J. Halisy. (Munday remained with the regiment and was promoted to lieutenant colonel.)

The regiment was attached to District of Central Kentucky to October 1862. District of Louisville, Kentucky, Department of the Ohio, to November 1862. District Central Kentucky, Department of the Ohio, to January 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division Cavalry, Army of the Cumberland to July 1863. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to November 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Military Division Mississippi, to January 1865. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Middle Division Mississippi, and District of Middle Tennessee, Department of the Cumberland, to September 1865.

The 6th Kentucky Cavalry mustered out of service on September 6, 1865.

Detailed service

Skirmish Flat Lick August 17 (detachment). Skirmish at Slaughterville, Ky., September 3, 1862 (detachment). Munfordville September 20–21 (detachment). Pursuit of Bragg through Kentucky October 1–22. 1st Battalion to Litchfield and skirmish with Bragg. 2nd Battalion to Bardstown and skirmish with Wheeler. 3rd Battalion to Stanford. 1st Battalion ordered to Louisa, Ky., November 14, thence to Mt. Sterling, Ky., December 9. Regiment concentrated at Lebanon, Ky., December 1862. Operations against Morgan December 22, 1862 to January 2, 1863. Near Huntington December 27. Parker's Mills on Elk Fork December 28. Affair Springfield December 30 (detachment). Muldraugh's Hill near New Market December 31. Ordered to Nashville, Tenn., January 30, thence to Franklin, Tenn., and duty there until June. Expedition from Franklin to Columbia March 8–12. Thompson's Station March 9. Rutherford Creek March 10–11. Near Thompson's Station March 23. Little Harpeth River March 25. Near Franklin March 31. Franklin April 27. Thompson's Station May 2. Moved to Triune June 2–4. Franklin June 4. Triune June 9. Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7. University Depot July 4. Expedition to Huntsville July 13–22. Expedition to Athens, Ala., August 2–8. Passage of Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga Campaign August 16-September 22. Alpine, Ga., September 5. Summerville September 6–7 and 10. Battle of Chickamauga September 19–21. Buell's Ford September 28. Operations against Wheeler and Roddy September 30-October 17. At Caperton's Ferry until January 1864. Lafayette, Ga., December 12, 1863. Ringgold December 13. Scout to Lafayette December 21–23. Regiment veteranized January 1864, and veterans on furlough until March. Near Chattanooga, until May. Atlanta Campaign May to September. Guarding railroad in rear of the army at Wauhatchie, Lafayette, Calhoun, Dalton and Resaca. At Wauhatchie, Tenn., May 5 to June 18. At Lafayette, June 18 to August 4. Summerville July 7. Actions at Lafayette June 24 and 30. Scouting about Calhoun, Adairsville and Resaca until October 12. Pine Log Creek near Fairmount August 14. Rousseau's pursuit of Wheeler September 1–8. Resaca October 12–13. Near Summerville October 18. Little River, Ala., October 20. Leesburg October 21. Ladiga, Terrapin Creek, October 28. Moved to Louisville, Ky., November 3–9. McCook's pursuit of Lyon December 6–28. Hopkinsville, Ky., December 16. At Nashville, Tenn., until January 9. Moved to Gravelly Springs, Ala., and duty there until March. Wilson's Raid from Chickasaw, Ala., to Macon, Ga., March 22-April 24. Centerville April 1. Trion April 1. Selma April 2. Northport near Tuscaloosa April 4. Lapier's Mills, Sipsey Creek, April 6. King's Store April 6 (Company D). Occupation of Talladega April 22. Munford's Station April 23. At Macon until June. Moved to Nashville, and duty in District of Middle Tennessee until September. Non-veterans mustered out at Edgefield July 14, 1865.


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