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Transcript of The Sultana
When did it sink and how?
The Sultana sank at 2 a.m., on April 27th,1865,her boiler exploded. One of her boilers had sprung a leak and needed repair, but instead of doing the job right--removing and replacing the bulge in the boiler that was the cause--the Sultana captain ordered a patch of metal put over the bulge. That could be done in one day, while a proper repair would take three or four days.
How many people died
The sultana was definitely crowded and overloaded. 1,700 people died . More passengers killed than the Titanic. 800 survivors out of 2500 passengers. Ann Annis was 2 of those women who lived. Some passengers were burned, while others froze in the cold waters of the Mississippi River.
It was the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history, more costly than even the April 15, 1912 sinking of the Titanic, when 1,517 people were lost. But because the Sultana went down when it did, the disaster was not well covered in the newspapers or magazines, and was soon forgotten. It is scarcely remembered today.
Where is it now?
The steamship, what was left of it, drifted downriver and sank opposite Memphis. She lies today, covered with mud, at the bottom of the Mississippi River.
How many people does she hold?
The Sultana was originally meant to hold 370 passengers. But instead she broke the law and held six times as many as she was supposed to. She held close to 2,500 passengers. 2,000 of them were POW's.
Who was on this steamboat?
Most of her passengers were Union POW's (Prisoners of war) eager to finally get home after war. Also Ann Annis,her husband, Harvey Annis,her 7 year old,Isabella (Bella)were also on this boat.
Harvey and Bella lay at the bottom of the Mississippi River today.
April of 1865, had already been a busy month,General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse (April 9), President Lincoln was assassinated (April 14), the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth ended (April 26), and Jefferson Davis and his cabinet were still at large. The Sultana was not that big of an event so it was not talked much about.