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

By Alan Huffman

“One of the main riveting battle tales i've got ever read….Huffman’s soft, intimate prose ushers you thru this nightmare as though you have been residing it yourself.”
—Sebastian Junger, writer of The ideal Storm


The dramatic real tale of the worst maritime catastrophe in U.S. heritage, Alan Huffman’s Sultana brings to breathtaking existence a sad, lengthy forgotten occasion in America’s Civil War—the sinking of the steamship Sultana and the lack of 1,700 lives, as a rule Union infantrymen 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 heritage aficionado or Civil warfare buff may want to miss.

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Yet Harrison may see that his troops, including Wilder’s horsemen on his correct, have been approximately to be bring to a halt from the most military back. In an issue of moments they ceased to join an geared up strength. utilizing the buglers, flag indications, and shouts carried throughout the noise, he directed his troops to start pulling again, and shortly a courier arrived with orders for a retreat towards the lengthy escarpment of Lookout Mountain, and from there again to Chattanooga. The battling started to fragment. The firing grew sporadic and scattered. The thirty ninth withdrew earlier the burning embers of the Widow Glenn’s apartment, battling backward, into the timber. through then the placement used to be equally dire close to the Snodgrass cabin. Rosecrans, whose popularity could by no means totally get better, reportedly became to his employees and acknowledged in a shockingly calm voice, “If you care to dwell to any extent further, escape from right here. ” Union common Charles Anderson Dana, a former journalist who could later be assistant secretary of warfare, stated he knew his line was once in difficulty while he observed Rosecrans crossing himself. because the Union troops retreated a accomplice basic famous the grandeur of the scene, with flags waving and weaponry flickering within the solar, yet Watkins, the insurgent soldier, came across the aftermath bleak. “Men have been mendacity the place they fell, shot in each possible a part of the body,” he later wrote. “Some with their entrails torn out and nonetheless putting to them and piled up at the floor beside them, and so they nonetheless alive. a few with their less than jaw torn off, and putting by way of a fraction of dermis to their cheeks, with their tongues lolling from their mouths, they usually attempting to talk…And then to work out all these useless, wounded and death horses, their heads and tails drooping, they usually looked to be so clever as though they comprehended every thing. ” on the finish of the two-day struggle, greater than 3 thousand Union and accomplice troops have been useless and greater than thirty thousand were wounded or captured, together with Mathew Tolbert, whose whereabouts was once now unknown. it might be acknowledged that the thirty ninth had stored the Rebels engaged lengthy adequate to allow the remainder of the Union military to shape a brand new defensive position and at last to make an orderly retreat. The accomplice military, in the meantime, neglected an opportunity to completely rout its chickening out enemy, which means its strategic victory was once nil. nonetheless, every body at the Union part knew the day were misplaced. The thirty ninth was once one of the final to go away the sphere. They have been on the finish of an extended taking flight column, alongside a highway crowded with stragglers, weary disoriented troops, and horses and mules pulling gun caissons, wagons, and ambulances. Perry Summerville’s second Indiana Cavalry, which used to be no longer a ways forward, were worn down prior to the battling at Chickamauga even all started, after reconnoitering via northern Alabama and Georgia for 2 weeks, destroying accomplice salt works, shooting stragglers and insurgent pickets, and using away or operating from enemy cavalry. The insurgent cavalry sporadically assailed the backing out column lots of the approach, yet via dusk the Union military arrived at its stronghold in Chattanooga.

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