By Alan Huffman
“One of the main riveting struggle tales i've got ever read….Huffman’s gentle, intimate prose ushers you thru this nightmare as though you have been dwelling it yourself.”
—Sebastian Junger, writer of The ideal Storm
The dramatic precise tale of the worst maritime catastrophe in U.S. background, Alan Huffman’s Sultana brings to breathtaking lifestyles a sad, lengthy forgotten occasion in America’s Civil War—the sinking of the steamship Sultana and the lack of 1,700 lives, in most cases Union infantrymen returning domestic from accomplice felony camps. A gripping account that reads like a nonfiction Cold Mountain, Sultana is robust, relocating, wealthy in irony and interesting old detail—a tale no historical past aficionado or Civil battle buff should want to miss.
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Additional info for Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History
Every thing used to be verdant. The dogwoods, irises, jonquils, and wild roses have been in bloom. The creeks have been complete. They have been ultimately headed domestic. bankruptcy 11 offered UP THE RIVER THEY stuck THEIR BREATH AT CAMP FISK. IT was once the place they'd formally positioned the battle and criminal in the back of them. yet for the army command, Camp Fisk used to be additionally an unlimited, in all likelihood risky keeping pen, with specified, urgent calls for made not just via the prisoners, who wanted every thing, yet by way of the representatives of the steamboat businesses employed to move them domestic, for whom the camp was once a warehouse of profitable, perishable commodities. Camp Fisk used to be named for Colonel Archie Fisk, a Union military assistant adjutant basic at Vicksburg. Fisk had proposed the positioning, which had additionally been used to carry accomplice prisoners on their strategy to being paroled, for paroling the Union prisoners. Operated together by means of the Union and accomplice armies, it was once little greater than a wide sloping box, with out genuine infrastructure except the within sight Union military put up and the railroad into Vicksburg. contemplating what the boys had left at the back of, it used to be an development, even though. there has been nutrients. the yankee flag flew overhead. Fisk had get a hold of the parole plan in keeping with pleas from the accomplice army for provides for its Union prisoners. He felt that as the struggle was once finishing it made extra feel to easily ship the prisoners domestic. He selected the location and specific participants of the U. S. coloured Troops as guards (until they have been paroled the lads have been technically prisoners, even though in Union hands). through the conflict the bushes were cleared for numerous miles alongside the large Black for military camps, and the river, spanned by means of a pontoon bridge, represented the dividing line among the Union and accomplice domain names. every little thing east of the massive Black was once formally managed via the Confederacy, whereas every little thing to the west was once in Union fingers. The Union military publish, with its orderly strains of white tents, neglected the positioning. After crossing the river, the prisoners have been loaded onto flatcars for a laboriously sluggish, hour-long teach experience to the camp, which used to be 8 miles from the river and 4 miles from Vicksburg. The prisoners, such a lot of whom might stay at Camp Fisk for numerous weeks, instantly set approximately construction crude shelters of branches and cane, organizing themselves into groups, making a song by way of the campfire, and fighting—everything they'd performed within the military and in felony, although now in a relatively extra convivial surroundings. On April 14, Union significant basic Napoleon J. T. Dana, commander of the dept of Mississippi, stated the inhabitants of Camp Fisk at forty-seven hundred. of these, greater than a thousand—mostly males from Andersonville—were ailing. “The remainder of the prisoners are in first-class health,” Dana wrote, “the Cahaba prisoners rather. ” Their well-being, after all, used to be relative. The day Dana submitted his record, the steamboat Sultana used to be docked in Cairo, Illinois, the place a press release within the neighborhood newspaper learn, “The ordinary and unsurpassed passenger packet ‘Sultana,’ accountable for Capt.