Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History

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9780061470547: Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History

“One of the most riveting war stories I have ever read....Huffman’s smooth, intimate prose ushers you through this nightmare as if you were living it yourself.”
—Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm

 

The dramatic true story of the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history, Alan Huffman’s Sultana brings to breathtaking life a tragic, long forgotten event in America’s Civil War—the sinking of the steamship Sultana and the loss of 1,700 lives, mostly Union soldiers returning home from Confederate prison camps. A gripping account that reads like a nonfiction Cold Mountain, Sultana is powerful, moving, rich in irony and fascinating historical detail—a story no history aficionado or Civil War buff will want to miss.

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From the Back Cover:

A powerful account of a surprisingly forgotten tragedy of the Civil War

A stunning wartime account of human endurance and adventure, and an exploration of just how much the human body and mind can take, Sultana follows several young Union soldiers through the Civil War and what was, for them, its unimaginably disastrous aftermath. We see them enlist and then almost immediately be plunged into a cascading series of wartime horrors: Battle, trauma, prison camp, and, finally, the sinking of the Sultana, the steamboat that was taking them back home.

On an April night in 1865, the Sultana slowly moved up the dark Mississippi, its overtaxed engines straining under the weight of a human cargo that included an estimated twenty-four hundred passengers—more than six times the number it was designed to carry. Most were weak, emaciated Union soldiers, recently paroled from Confederate prison camps, on their way home after enduring the violence of war. At two a.m., three of Sultana's four boilers exploded. Within twenty minutes, it went down in fire and water, taking an estimated seventeen hundred lives.

The sinking of the Sultana remains the worst maritime disaster in American history, yet due to a confluence of contemporary events (Lincoln had recently been assassinated and the war had ended), it soon faded into relative obscurity. Now Alan Huffman presents this harrowing story against the backdrop of the endless suffering already endured by its survivors. Using contemporary research as well as digging deep into archives and family keepsakes, Huffman paints a gripping portrait of the young men who made it home alive.

About the Author:

A partner in the political research firm Huffman & Rejebian, Alan Huffman has been a farmer; newspaper reporter; and aide to a Mississippi attorney general and a Mississippi governor. A contributor to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times, Smithsonian magazine and other publications, he is the author of Ten Point, Mississippi in Africa and Sultana.

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Alan Huffman
Editorial: Smithsonian (2009)
ISBN 10: 0061470546 ISBN 13: 9780061470547
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Ergodebooks
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Descripción Smithsonian, 2009. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0061470546

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Alan Huffman
Editorial: Smithsonian (2009)
ISBN 10: 0061470546 ISBN 13: 9780061470547
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Huffman, Alan
Editorial: Smithsonian
ISBN 10: 0061470546 ISBN 13: 9780061470547
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Descripción Smithsonian. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0061470546 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0016711

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