Civil War Sabotage?

Project Details

When the steamship Sultana exploded on April 27, 1865, more than 1,700 passengers died — most of them Union soldiers returning home from Confederate prison camps at the end of the Civil War.   Some believe the explosion was a final act of Confederate sabotage; others blame a hasty repair on a cracked boiler.  But one thing is certain: the ship was perilously overcrowded.   

Meeting with descendants of rebel boat burners and Sultana survivors, uncovering government records, and hunting for the wreck site, the History Detectives team reveals a tale of incompetence, bribery, and nepotism that leads all the way to the White House, implicating President Lincoln in the disaster.

Back to top