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

Alan Huffman

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

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

  • Title: Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History
  • Author: Alan Huffman
  • ISBN: 9780061470547
  • Page: 327
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 Civ 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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      327 Alan Huffman
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      Posted by:Alan Huffman
      Published :2018-06-27T19:32:04+00:00

    One thought on “Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History

    1. Elderberrywine on said:

      Tolbert and Maddox left Indiana as young Union soldiers. Although injured and only minimally treated, they managed to survive the bloody Civil War battlefields and brutal years of imprisonment in infamous Andersonville. But it was on the long-anticipated road home that they suffered the worst trial.The paddlewheeler Sultana left Memphis late at night on April 27th, severely overcrowded, with 2400 passengers on a ship meant for 400. One of the four boilers had been patched, and the others were pr [...]

    2. Lady♥Belleza★✰ on said:

      Don't let the only 3 stars fool you, this is a good book. I only give 4 stars to books that absolutely thrill me and 5 stars is for books that I can't live without. The weird thing is, I started this book about 5 times and kept putting it aside after the second chapter, but I couldn't really say why, it wasn't boring, I just wasn't getting into it. After I promised someone I would read it, I sat down determined I would read 50 pages a day until I finished it. I read half the book the book that n [...]

    3. Cindy on said:

      I enjoy reading accounts of war - modern and historical - and this is definitely about war. The title seems a bit misleading as the Sultana disaster is but a small part of the book. This is more a study of survival, seen through the eyes of a few men from the same small area of Indiana, who lived through incredible trials and, if not unscathed, did at least survive. These men were at Chickamauga and other pivotal battles in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. They were taken prisoner and endured th [...]

    4. Jack on said:

      I saw the word "Sultana" and thought - "Good, a book about the steam ship disaster in April 1865 that my great-grand Uncle Samuel Jenkins survived."What I didn't read - in small print on the book jacket - was "surviving the Civil War, prison ande worst maritime disaster in American History".So there I am, plowing through page after page of prison accounts from Cahaba and Andersonville - fully 1/2 of the book - wondering why the author is spending so much time 'setting the stage' for the main sto [...]

    5. Barry Brickey on said:

      I love this book! I can't say enough positive things about it. If you love reading about history, particularly the Civil War period, you will LOVE this book. A compelling book that covers several pivotal moments towards the end of the Civil War, woven into stories shared through accounts and journals of soldiers, bystanders and historians. You follow the journey of a group of enlisted men, from their enthusiastic entrance into battle, to their awakening of the horrors of war, enduring one of the [...]

    6. David on said:

      I felt like the book didn't have much of a focus and jumped from story to story, person to person, situation to situation in an unorganized and confused way. Also, very little of the book was actually devoted to the very boat whose name was given to the book. I feel like the title of the book was highly misleading.

    7. Jan C on said:

      Really 3 1/2 stars.The trials and tribulations of a few soldiers in the Civil War from the Midwest. Huffman follows particularly three men from Indiana. He probably follows a couple of others, too, not sure who they were but he seems to trust more people from the Midwest. Or maybe he just follows a unit from Indiana. These were people who fought at Chickamauga, were captured and sent to Andersonville prison camp. As if this weren't enough, those who survived Andersonville and were being sent bac [...]

    8. Tony on said:

      Huffman, Alan. SULTANA: The Worst Maritime Disaster in American History. (2009). ***. The subtitle gives it away. This is the story of the sinking of “Sultana,” a paddle-wheeler on the Mississippi, in 1865. In all, a total of over 1,700 lives were lost when the Sultana’s boilers exploded and she burst into flames and sank. The boat was carrying about twenty-four hundred passengers – about six times the number it was authorized to carry – many of them Union soldiers who had just been re [...]

    9. Jerry on said:

      I would like to recommend this book, but I cannot. For whatever reason, the author chose not to footnote the book and so, many of the facts cannot be verified nor sources consulted. Because of this, many times the narrative wanders. In spite of the title, printed in bold letters on the book cover, and the slightly smaller sub-title, the book is really more about the first part of the sub-title "Surviving the Civil War, Prison" The men whose wartime experiences are the primary focus of the book, [...]

    10. Rick Spilman on said:

      In his book, Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History, Alan Huffman follows a handful of Union soldiers from their enlistment in the Army during the American Civil War, through the confusion and terror of battle, and then on to the often far greater horror of Confederate prison camps. When those who survived are finally released to be carried home to their loved ones, they face the final horror. The Sultana, a Mississippi River paddlewheel ste [...]

    11. Tom Darrow on said:

      The subtitle of this book "Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History" kind of says it all. I was expecting a book primarily about the sinking of the ship and investigation afterwards. What I got was a book that initially follows three soldiers from the mid-west fairly closely. It then branches off into an explanation of how brain chemistry in soldiers works in survival situations, which is a bit out of place in a history book. The story then covers capt [...]

    12. Monty on said:

      The Explosion of the steamboat Sultana was the worst maritime disaster in American history. There were allegedly more casualties from this calamity than there were from the titanic. The event occurred at the end of the American civil war, Spring of 1865. Many of the passengers were Union army soldiers who had survived the rigors of several civil war battles, imprisonment in hellish prisoner of war camps (like Andersonville)only to face their greatest trial on their means of returning home. In fa [...]

    13. Krista on said:

      The explosion and wreck of the Mississippi riverboat Sultana in 1865, which killed 1,700 passengers, mostly Union soldiers recently released from Confederate POW camps, is finale of this engrossing survey of the many varieties of suffering in the Civil War. Journalist Huffman doesn't even get aboard the Sultana until the last third of the saga. Before that, he fills in the backstories of four Yankee survivors as they fight in the battle of Chickamauga, go raiding with Sherman's cavalry and final [...]

    14. David on said:

      I will give this book a 2.5 if just for the fact it sheds light on the worst maritime in American history. My main problem is that the book wanders all over. Sultana is in the title, but you really don't get to that part of the story until about halfway through the book. The author begins the book by focusing on a few soldiers and following their path through battle, POW camps, and eventually the Sultana. The problem is that when the soldiers get to the POW camp, he adds a large number of new in [...]

    15. Peggy on said:

      A very good book about the worst maritime disaster in American History. 2400 returning soldiers from Confederate Prison Camps were being brought back north. Many were in terrible shape, but the steamboat was holding 3 times its normal passenger load, and blew up when the strain on the engines became too much, plunging the passengers into the Mississippi River or buring them to death. Interesting research included stories about soldiers from Southern Indiana and cities the local paper at the time [...]

    16. Eric Mccutcheon on said:

      The subject matter of the story was very intriguing to me. It was a more personal recounting of soldiers in the Civil War framed by the title tragedy. I enjoyed the stories and the backgrounds of the many soldiers. Unfortunately, I often became confused about the author's aims. It bounced from so many different narratives and different locations that I did not remember one from another. That bouncing lost much of the emotional pull the author was trying to build when they get on the fated steamb [...]

    17. Paul Andrews on said:

      Excellent retelling of both the Deep South battles preceding the Sultana disaster, the deplorable conditions of the Confederate prisoner of war camps at Cahaba and Andersonville, as well as the explosion and sinking of the riverboat. I wish there had been more on the disaster itself. In one chapter it is over. Also the retelling of both the camps and sinking, though often told in survivor snippets, lacked narrative emotion. Nevertheless, still a fascinating read abut a little known disaster that [...]

    18. Fredrick Danysh on said:

      The grossly overloaded by a cargo of more than two thousand passengers the steamboat was traveling on the Mississippi River in April 1865 when three of her boilers setting the ship on fire and causing her to sink. Many of the 1,700 people who perished were returning Union soldiers who were returning home after release from a Confederate prison camp. This work follows the paths of several survivors to tell the story of one of America's worse maratine tragedies.

    19. Tyler on said:

      This book does not just focus on the Sultana wreck but all the horrors soldiers fought in the Civil War such as terrible living conditions and POW experiences. When the book does focus on the Sultana wreck, it really grips you. All the mayhem is written clearly so you can follow along. Many authors are bad at describing action like this.

    20. Sam Pauley on said:

      Overall, not a bad book. Took me last beer than normal to read it. I'm not sure how I ended up with this book, but glad I did and read it.

    21. Elh52 on said:

      I remember about 20 years ago when they found the remains of this boat in a cotton field in Arkansas, just across the river from Memphis. I've been wanting to read a book about the Sultana ever since, and now I have. You should too.

    22. Mike Knox on said:

      A remarkable mesh of stories of survival. Traces the hardships of several men through the Civil War, culminating in the disastrous sinking of the Sultana steam boat. Huffman introduced me to the horror of 19th century war, prison camps, and post-war life, including the trip home…

    23. Mark Greene on said:

      Takes a bit to get into it, but worth it. For the Civil War history enthusiast. The characters had the worst luck imaginable

    24. Virginia Allain on said:

      I read 3 chapters of this for free on my Kindle. Found it quite interesting and need to get the full book.

    25. Greg on said:

      Interesting account of the Sultana Disaster told from the perspective of individual soldiers. Finished strong.

    26. Bethany on said:

      An interesting study in the depth of human endurance. But I felt like there was too much "before and after" and not enough focus on the shipwreck itself.

    27. Edward Sullivan on said:

      Interesting but too many digressions and detours from should be the focus of the narrative, the ship and its destruction.

    28. Ann on said:

      I was not able to finish it before it had to be returned to the Library. It was very hard to get into. May try the one about first hand narratives written shortly after the event.

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