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 excellent Storm
The dramatic actual tale of the worst maritime catastrophe in U.S. heritage, 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, normally Union squaddies returning domestic from accomplice criminal camps. A gripping account that reads like a nonfiction Cold Mountain, Sultana is strong, relocating, wealthy in irony and engaging old detail—a tale no background aficionado or Civil warfare buff may want to miss.
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Additional info for Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History
A. M. Henderson, a Methodist minister, who maintained typically reliable kin with the prisoners. As iciness set in Henderson prepared for a steamboat load of garments, blankets, medications, and different provides from the USA govt to go back and forth to the felony less than a flag of truce. Its shipment incorporated thousand coats, hats, and pairs of pants, sneakers, and socks; fifteen hundred blankets; drugs; envelopes and writing paper; and 100 cooking tins. regrettably, lots of the garments used to be quickly traded off to the guards for foodstuff, leaving the boys nearly as bereft as ahead of. a much much less compassionate guy, Lieutenant Colonel Sam Jones, headed the army submit at Cahaba and used to be moment accountable for the legal. through past due 1864 Jones used to be accountable as a rule, because the relatively benevolent Henderson was once often away, buying wanted provides or attempting to impact a prisoner alternate. based on Jesse Hawes, who ended up at Cahaba after his 3rd and ultimate catch, “It was once frequently within the strength of Henderson to increase kindnesses and courtesies to prisoners, and we're completely satisfied to notice that the chance was once now not occasionally embraced. ” Henderson even received a couple of trainers for a barefoot younger prisoner whom he escorted to Memphis to be exchanged, and he brazenly wept over the dying of one other younger Union soldier. Jones was once one other tale. A sour guy who scoffed on the prisoners’ pain, he have been assigned to Cahaba after being court-martialed for falsifying army files, and he used to be later suspected of the homicide of a prisoner speculated to were at the back of a failed rebellion. Jones will be remembered darkly via the prisoners. At Cahaba, as at different prisoner-of-war camps in either the North and the South, a guy may well die of just about something. Hawes wrote in his magazine of the loss of life of “a tall younger boy” from Illinois of power diarrhea, the results of “miserable, polluted floor water, the coarse meal, poorly cooked, the publicity to the chilly rains. ” He watched the boy make widespread journeys to “the sinks,” because the latrines have been known as, and famous a number of days later that “his trips have been absolutely as common, yet his steps have been slower, his face extra hole, his eyes extra uninteresting. He growled before everything, then complained in a hole voice; the strains of soreness and long-suffering deepened upon his face; his steps grew slower, weaker, occasionally wonderful; he missed to lock his garments; faeces ran from the bowels as he slowly dragged himself to the ‘sink. ’ an afternoon later he sat all day resting his chest upon his knees, his head falling ahead. tomorrow he lay upon his aspect at the floor; a few one gave him all he had a few boughs of pine for a mattress. He used to be too vulnerable to visit the ‘sink’ now. The drawn, haggard, ache face confirmed much less of the soreness he manifested a couple of days prior to, and extra of weak point, dullness. The eyes grew extra sunken, the discharges from the bowels have been just a little bloody mucus. He may well solution questions if one requested him whatever; he requested sometimes for a sip of water, by no means for meals.