Sultana Steamboat Disaster - Apr 1865

Submitted by Sue Pearson Carpenter 2009

New Albany Daily Ledger Saturday 29 Apr 1865 p2 c1:
Awful Steamboat Disaster

The explosion of the steamer Sultana, just above Memphis, is the most terrible that ever occurred on the Western waters. By it many hundred human beings lost their lives. Further particulars of the disaster will be looked for with great interest.


New Albany Daily Ledger Monday 1 May 1865 p1 c5 & c6:

Shocking Steamboat Disaster
Explosion of the Steamer Sultana
Over a Thousand Lives Lost
Appalling Details
Special dispatch to the Cincinnati Gazette.
Cairo, April 29.

The following is the Memphis Bulletinís account of the disaster:

The steamer Sultana, Captain Mason, arrived from New Orleans, last night, the 26th, with about 2,200 people on board, 1,964 of whom were exchanged Federal prisoners from Vicksburg, the balance being refugees and regular passengers from various points along the river, proceeding toward St. Louis. She left the coal pile about 1 o'clock this morning, and had made some eight or ten miles, when an explosion of one of her boilers occurred. The boat, with its living mass of freight, took fire near the engines, and in short time was burned to the water, and now lies on a sand bar near Foglemanís Landing. Nothing is now visible but her charred remains and jackstaff standing erect.

The scene following the explosion was terrible and heartrending in the extreme. Hundreds of people were blown up into the air, and descending into the water, some dead, some with broken limbs, some scalded, were borne under by the restless current of the river never to rise again. The survivors represent the screams as agonizing beyond precedent. Some clung to frail pieces of the wreck, as drowning men cling to straws? and sustained themselves a few moments, but finally becoming exhausted and sunk. Only the best of swimmers, aided by fragments of the wreck, were enabled to reach the woods and there take refuge till rescued by boats sent from the landing here to their assistance.

There were about fifteen women and children aboard, and, as near as can be learned, not more that two or three had been found at the hour when this account was written.

At this time it is impossible to give a correct statement of the cause of the accident and number of names of the lost, and saved. Everything is in the greatest confusion. Mr. Rawberry, the first mate, was on the watch, and standing in the pilothouse with Captain George Cayton, who was at the wheel at the time of the explosion. He only remembers the shock, that he was blown into the air, and was afterwards taken from the water. He saw the lower deck in flames, and knows no more. He can give no idea of the cause of the accident, and says the boat was going at ordinary speed and all seemed well to the moment the explosion occurred; that the second engineer, a sober, reliable man named Clemens, was at the engines, and nothing more than common was in progress. Capt. Cayton was also hurled into the wreck among the broken boilers and rubbish, sustaining slight injuries. He immediately jumped overboard with a door, by which was enabled to reach the Arkansas shore, three miles below, where, striking a sapling, he seized and clung to it until saved. Clemens, the engineer, was badly burned and scalded, and can hardly recover. Mr. John Fogleman, residing on the Arkansas side, on being aroused by the noise, and seeing the burning steamer, hastily constructed a rude raft, and in this way was the means of saving about one hundred lives. In the woods, among the drift of the wreck, the officers of the Rose Hambleton found a family Bible, containing the records of a family named Spike, of Assumption parish, La. The names recorded are Samuel D. Spike and Elethia Spike, married October 31st, 1837. The record shows there were twelve in the family. It was subsequently learned that the father, mother, three daughters, two brothers, and a niece were lost.

Several of the bodies were recovered. This family had $17,000 in gold, all of which was lost.

The steamer Bostona No. 2, Capt. Watson, was coming down stream from Cincinnati when the explosion occurred, and rendered very valuable assistance, saving many lives. The Pocahontas, Silver Spray, Marble City, the gunboats Essex, Rose Hambleton, and others also rendered much service.

At the time of the explosion Capt. Mason had retired from watch, and was in bed. He was afterwards seen throwing shutters and doors to the assistance of the people in the water, and here all traces of him vanished. Clerks Gamble and Stratton are also missing.

Some of the wretched people were borne by the current as far down as the levee of this city, and this was the first intimation the officers in port received of the terrible disaster. A yawl was immediately sent out from the Marble City and in a few minutes several persons were picked out of the water and brought ashore. Two were afterwards found clinging to the wheel, and they were also saved. Upon being brought to a realization of the calamity, the officers of the boats in port, under notification of Captain Senior, of the River Guard, steamed up and in a short time were at the burning steamer, where hundreds of people were picked up and brought to this landing, arriving about daylight. They were met by a number of citizens and ladies, who supplied them with abundance of dry clothing from the Quartermasterís Department and from various stores.

The Sultana was officered as follows:

  • Master J. C. Mason, 1st Clerk
  • W. J. Gamble, 2d Clerk
  • Wm. Stratton, Pilots
  • George Clayton and Henry Ingram, Engineers
  • Nathan Wintenger and West Clemons, Mate
  • William Rawberry, Steward

  • Henry Cross, George Clayton and Wm. Rawberry were the only officers known to be saved, except Clemons, who is almost dead. The body of Wm. Cruddes?, co. I, 1st Virginia cavalry, from Wheeling, Va., was found dead. He had taken the precaution to label himself. Among the soldiers on board were 30 commissioned officers. The troops were of various regiments, and nearly all exchanged prisoners.

    At the hour of writing only 500 or 600 persons had been saved. Not less than one thousand lives were hurled into eternity by the most by the most wonderful of all river disasters. Hon. W. D. Snow, member of Congress from Arkansas, was on board and escaped uninjured.


    The following named persons drifted down and were saved at Fort Pickering:

    Lieut. J. N. Seffer, 175th Ohio
    J. M. Dougherty
    Serg. Lew Mills, 10th Ind. cav.
    J. Milsape
    Serg. Wm. M. Duke, 42d Ohio
    S. Weese
    L. Brooke, 2d Mich, cav.
    J. Kaulsee
    Commissary Serg. Zacharias, 7th Mich.
    J. Decker
    Corp. Peacock, 9th Ind. cav.
    J. Pryor
    C. M. Eldridge
    E. Wood
    J. Baker
    J. B. Lacker
    J. Pierce
    M. Ramsey, 3d Tenn. cav.
    B. Hamilton
    W. H. Chance, 9th Ind. cav.
    N. R. Russell
    E. Spencer, 8th Mich. cav.
    M. Jordan
    R. Talkinton, Ind. cav.
    Levi Hecknerv
    M. Daly, 17th infantry
    ?l Thomas
    J. Parker, 95th infantry
    J. R. Delender, 3d Ind. cav.
    P. M. Brown, 6th Ky. cav.
    H. Van Fleet, 14th Ohio
    M. Reynolds, 99th Ind.
    H. P. Hunt, 36th Ind.
    M. J. Gray, 6th Tenn. cav.
    O. L. Shelton, 6th Tenn. cav.
    J. Benson, 40th Ind.
    J. Kating, 2d Mich.
    A. Eipure [?], 4th Ohio
    E. Matthiss, 64th Ohio
    J. Thatcher, 46th Ohio
    J. Haley, 102d Ohio
    B. Folshoman, 9th Ind. cav.
    E. Hites, 102d Ohio
    J. W. Jackson, 5th Ky. cav.
    H. W. Wallace, 124th Ohio
    G. H. Hodger, 9th Ohio cav.
    G. Deerisher, 13th Michigan
    L. Cook, 28th Ohio
    R. Carr, 7th Ohio cav.
    John Bevis, 9th Indiana
    S. E. Whiter, 55th Ohio
    W. McMurry, 4th Tenn. cav.
    J. Wetcott McClothiers, Ohio cav.
    R. T. Hall, 2d Ky. cav.
    J. W. Dunsmore, 1st Michigan Engineers
    J. Moore, 175th Ohio
    C. Post, 175th Ohio
    J. Noland, 4th Ohio cav.
    J. Welch, deck hand
    G. M. Sheppard, 10th Ind. and his father
    The Indiana Sanitary Agent
    Capt. J. Walker Elliott, 34th colored
    Lieut. J. F. Elliot, Co. C. 125th Ind.
    Lieut. Suvain, 9th Ind. cav.
    Lieut. W. G. Davis, Co. A, 10th Ind. cav.
    Lieut. Burnett, 12th Ky.
    Lieut. Dickinson, 2d Mich. cav.
    Lieut. McCard, 97th Ohio
    Lieut. Larkin
    Lieut. Squire, 101st Ohio
    Capt. Taggart, 101st Ohio
    Lieut. Earle, 1st Mich.
    Lieut. Davis, 71st Ohio
    Major Carlin, 71st Ohio
    Capt. Fooser, 58th Ohio
    Capt. Hake, 215th Ohio

    Cairo, April 28

    The steamer Marble City has just arrived from Memphis. Although the news is of the greatest importance and general interest, her officers failed entirely to favor a single correspondent in Cairo with the papers containing it. Consequently the reporters and editors of Cairo are not indebted to this steamer for the following particulars of the most appalling steamboat disaster that perhaps ever occurred.

    After considerable delay your correspondent has obtained a detailed account of the blowing up of the steamer Sultana and a shocking loss of life.

    The Memphis Bulletin publishes a statement by W. D. Snow, U. S. Senator from Arkansas, which is as follows:
    On the morning of the 27th, about 3 o'clock I was awakened by a sensible tremor or sudden passing over the boat, but heard no explosion. Not anticipating such a terrible consequence, I arose and deliberately dressed. Just before finishing dressing I became aware of a large volume of steam being driven through the cabin by the wind. I opened the door of my state-room and in an instant realized the horror of the fact that the boiler had exploded, killing and scalding many; that the pilot-house and at least one third of the cabin-roof had fallen in; that the boiler deck and boat were on fire, with a fresh breeze carrying the flames, with lightning-like rapidity, through the balance of the cabin, toward the ladies saloon. I stepped back to avoid the heat, and denned myself of my dress, except my pants and vest, and rushed to the rear of the boat, which in the channel and much nearer the Tennessee than the Arkansas side. I looked toward the Tennessee side with a view of leaping, but found it a sea of heads, so close that it was impossible to jump without killing one or more. I determined to try the Arkansas shore, which was about three-quarters of a mile distant. I passed over several bodies of dead men killed and trampled in the mad rush which must have occurred some moments prior to my advent on that part of the boat. I found the same sea of heads on this side, but discovered that the flames had driven them from the vicinity of the wheelhouse, and by getting as close as possible to an open space I jumped in. Prior to leaping I saw several husbands fastening life preservers to their wives and children and throw them overboard into the struggling mass below. I struck out for the Arkansas shore, and reached a log lodged in fifteen feet of water, among the overflowed cottonwood land. At ten minutes to four by my watch, which had not ceased to run, after four hours of exposure, I was rescued by the steamer Silver Spray.

    The Sultana contained 2,175 souls. The density with which they were packed had awakened my curiosity and I looked over with the clerks his certificates and books before retiring. This number included 85 hands employed on the boat. There were some females, besides a few children. The bulk of passengers were returned prisoners from Andersonville, which place they left on the 17th of last February. Among them were the remnant at that point of the prisoners captured at Chickamauga and Gettysburg. They numbered altogether 1,986 men and 66 officers. A large number of horses were on the boat, which providentially became unresisting victims to the flames. Had they broken loose the fate of the swimmers would have been determined within two hundred yards of the boat. As far as can be estimated without other data than observation, between 200 and 300 reached the bank, while about an equal number floated down the stream on doors and furniture. A dense mass, estimated at about five hundred, took refuge on the bow of the boat while the flames were driven aft by the wind. A few moments after the wheelhouse, loosened by the concussion and the flames, fell off, and the boat turned stern up stream, reverting the flames. The largest part of this number must then have perished, as they had no material at hand to throw overboard to sustain themselves except a few bales of hay, which were immediately seized on the turning of the boat. The gangplanks were thrown over, but sank at once under their living freight, and rose too far out of reach for most. The yawl was launched bottom up, from the hurricane deck upon the heads of below, and afforded a support for a few in that condition. The whole time before the boat was an entire sheet of flame could not have exceeded twenty minutes. I was not more than one third of the distance to shore when I observed the fact. The prisoners represented almost every State in the Union, even Texas, and the calamity will be as widely felt as a battle of no inconsiderable proportions.

    New Albany Daily Ledger Tuesday 2 May 1865 p2 c2
    The Sultana Disaster

    The Names of the Rescued from Indiana and Kentucky

    Special dispatch to the St. Louis Republican.

    It is now ascertained there were 2,300 people on board the ill-fated Sultana, and 786 have been found alive. A soldier of the 128th Indiana brought a woman and child ashore, although he had one leg badly scalded, and was otherwise injured by the accident. There were too many people on the boat, but her officers were careful and competent men, and the engines had but recently passed inspection.

    Several persons were taken out of the water as much as twenty miles below Memphis, late on the day of the accident. Gen. Washburne has appointed a commission to fully investigate the entire affair; they are now taking testimony.

    About two-thirds of the entire number of soldiers were from Ohio and Indiana.


    S. Applegate , Sergt. 5th cav.
    O. G. Bears,31st.
    Marion Bearder, 2d Corp 8th
    David Brown, 124th.
    E. T. Cleary, Sergt. 8th cav.
    W. Cougers, 3d. cav.
    John Cooper, 10th. cav.
    Joseph Crabs, 49th
    Joseph Dillander, 3rd cav.
    Levi Dounhour,124thv Joseph Erty, 124th
    N. D. Everyman, 46th
    Geo. Evans, 47th
    B. Franklin, 40th
    Jaques Grenat, 93rd
    Wilson Girard, 47th
    Irvan Hurchu, 23rd
    Pat Harrington, 124th
    James Hickerson, Corp 154th
    J. G. Hains, 40th
    D. W. Haskell, 3d cav.
    R. Imlot Sergt. J. H. Kimbertonv, 124th
    Wm. Kane, 3d cav.
    J. H. King, 2d cav.
    Bean Lockin, 17th
    T. S. Lehman, 27th
    Corp. R. Marlott, 5th cav.
    Wm. Marvin, 47th
    J. A. Martin, 12th
    Henry Miller, 124th
    Sergt. O. W. Mill, 10th cav.
    Dennis Meagher, 12th
    James Payne, 124th
    A. Piuion?, 9th cav.
    W. H. H. Pymon, 12th
    J. N. Ross, 40th
    W. B. Smith, 10th
    Richard Sampson, 17th
    Philip Shoemaker, 23d
    E. Paul, 1st cav.
    A. Hermon, 52d
    John Thompson, 124th
    T. J. Thorne, 40th
    J. Thompson, 40th
    James Thabere, 124th
    D. A. Taylor, 17th
    C. W. Veatch, 38th
    Corp A. C. Weaver, 8th cav.
    Gabriel Wade, 7th cav.
    S. E. Wright, 124th


    27th April J. M. McCowan, Capt. K, 6th Ky. cav, hands scalded, severly
    W. F. Dixon, 2d Lieut, A, 10th Ind. cav., injury of breast, slight
    J. F. W. Barnett, 2d Lieut, A, 12th Ky. cav., bruised, slight


    Thos. Dougherty, 9th Ky. cav., H, scalded slightly
    B. Folderman, Serg. 9th Ind. cav, B, fractured skull
    James Elkin, 2d Ky., cav., A. scalded
    John W. Jackson, 5th Ky. cav., B, scalded feet
    Ben F. Seamen, Corp. 57th Ind., G, scalded, severe
    N. W. Johnson, 2d Ky. cav., H, scalded legs and arms
    N. H. Hale, 20th Ky., G, scalded foot
    W. C. Warner, 9th Ind. cav. B, contusion, slight
    James Elkin, 2d Ky. cav., A, scalded
    Samuel McGinnis, 9th Ind cav., M, uninjured
    James M. Phenecie, Corp. 29th Ind., A, uninjured
    M. P. Davis, 15th Ky., P, uninjured
    John M. Stites, Corp. 8th Ind. cav., F, uninjured
    Hiram Lawson, 5th Ind. cav., G, contusion, slight
    Wm. Block, 9th Ind. cav., K, contusion, slight
    Lindsey Stockdale, 93rd Ind., E, uninjured
    Isaac Pannuis, 1st Serg.57th Ind., D, scalded, slight
    W. A. Couk, 40th Ind., H, uninjured
    W. J. Collins, Corp. 6th Ind. cav., L, uninjured
    Moses Patrick, 22d Ind., H, scalded hand
    Joseph Smith, 7th Ind. cav., K, uninjured
    G. W. Tucker, 6th Ky. cav., P?, uninjured
    N. G. Gas, 1st Sergt.93d Ind., H, uninjured
    E. Grunn, Sergt. 6th Ky. cav., A, uninjured
    R. T. Hall, 2d Ky. cav., C, scalded hand
    Joe W. Jackson, 5th Ky. cav., B, scalded hand
    S. L. Winkle, 70th Ind., R, uninjured
    J. Rollick, 86th Ind., G, contusion of breast
    F. M. Bradley, 10th Ind. cav., K, uninjured
    J. W. Gardner, 66th Ind., K, uninjured
    Alex Frey, 8th Ind. cav., F, uninjured
    O. O. Baker, 9th Ind. cav., K, uninjured
    S. McCollough, Sergt. 5th Ind. cav., H, contusion of ankle
    J. McKnight, 7th Ky. cav., L, scalded arm
    Wm. Hughes, Corp. 24th Ind. bat., uninjured
    Wm. H. Windsor, 9th Ind., L, scalded, slight
    Alex Frey, 8th, Ind. cav., F, uninjured [listed above].
    Daniel Stahl, Surgeon U. S. V.


    Ed. OíDonnel, B, 85th Ind., chilled, 3 hours in water
    S. J. Green, K, 9th Ind. cav., scalded, head and neck
    Sergt. Martin Frazee, C, 2d Ind. cav., scalded, seriously on back, head, legs and arms
    Corp. Hiram Allison, G, 9th Ind. cav., contusion of scalp
    Stephen Kiar, F, 14th Ind., scalded, slightly
    W. A. McFarland, A, 42nd Ind., chilled
    W. T. Williams, K, 4th Ky., chilled
    Thomas Lynch, B, 35th Ind., contusion
    J. K. Dickey, K, 60th Ind., contusion
    L. A. Hobbs, G, 6th Ky. cav., contusion
    Corp. Henry C. Lindley, I, 99th Ind., chilled
    Corp. P. W. Foley, B, 28th Ky., scalded slightly
    Sergt. David Garkill, M, 8th Ind. cav., contusion
    L. W. Sloan, I, 4th Ind., contusion
    Charles I. Lahue, D, 13th Ind., contusion
    Sergt. Henry Johnson, I, 6th Ky. cav., scalded severe
    W. Davidson, M, 3d Ky. cav., contusion
    Andrew Smith, C, 57th Ind., contusion, slight
    Sergt. Arthur Tremble, F, 4th Ind. cav., contusion, slight
    G. W. Dawson, G, 30th Ind., scalded, severely
    David Coleman, C, 6th Ky. cav., severely on hands, arms, back and face
    Arthur F. Wallace, E, 3d Ky. infantry, scalded in face
    O. F. Spacy, M, 9th Ind. cav., chilled
    Jacob Christie, G, 40th Ind., contusion, slight
    H. Bonhead, C, 6th Ky. cav., scalded on hand and leg
    T. E. Carter, A, 17th Ky., uninjured
    D. Hetrer, Ordínce Serg. C, 93d Ind., scalded, slightly
    Chas. T. Higdon, C, 4th Ky. mounted inítry, scalded hands and feet
    W. Convers, B, 3d Ind., scalded on back
    E. D. Clary, Serg., L, 6th Ind. cav., contusion
    M. B. Simmernon, C, 66th Ind., contusion left foot
    J. W. Gard, K, 7th Ind. cav., chilled
    Joseph Watson, M, 9th Ind. cav., chilled
    J. P. WRIGHT,Assít. Surgeon U. S. A., in charge.


    Sergt. Charles Clay, E, 6th Ky. cav., scalded severe
    Lewis Bean, A, 6th Ky. cav., scalded severe
    Stephen M. Gustor, K, 9th Ind. cav., incised wound of thigh
    Sergt. Wm. H. Monday, G, 6th Ky. cav., scalded severely
    Robert McKinney, A, 6th Ky. cav., scalded slight
    Marcellus Reynolds C, 86th Ind., dislocation of wrist
    Sergt. Joseph J. Dean, C?, 5th Ind. cav., scalded, severely
    Thos. Van Housier, C, 3d Ky. cav., scalded severely, died
    Sergt. Wm. Buchanan, D, 93d Ind., chilled
    Jesse M. Gass, H, 93d Ind., chilled
    Edwin L. Harper, G, 4th Ky. mounted infantry, chilled
    Geo. V. Seymour, B, 4th Ky. mounted infantry, chilled
    Jas. K. Ashley, 20th Ind. bat., contusion face, severe
    George P. Wilson, B, 9th Ind. cav., chilled
    James L. Johnson, L, 9th Ind. cav., chilled
    Elias Miller, L, 9th Ind. cav., scalded, slight
    George Frederick, D, 7th Ind. cav., chilled
    Arthur H. Paul, A, 9th Ind. cav., scalded, slight
    John F. Mohin, C, 6th Ky. cav., scalded slight
    John Farral, D, 7th Ind. cav., chilled
    Matthew Patterson, A, 93d Ind., incised wound right hand
    Romeo Prindle, H, 10th Ind. cav., chilled
    Geo. W. Bechler, C, 57th Ind., scalded, severe
    Louis Schlmeyer, A, 32d Ind., scald, slight
    Corp. John Hamlorf, F, 7th Ky. cav., contusion, back
    Romulus Tolbert, H, 8th Ind. cav., chilled
    Geo. Cheatham, F, 6th Ky. cav., diarrhea
    Anderson Penion, F, 9th Ind. cavalry, chilled
    Henry H. Gambill, B, 14th Ky., chilled
    James D. Brown, H, 9th Ind., contusion right shoulder
    Wm. R. Riley, A, 9th Ind. cav., contusion of right arm and leg
    Jesse Mullen, L, 5th Ind. cav., contusion of back
    Wm. Phelps, C, 2d Ind. cav., scalded, slight
    Corp. Daniel McMurtry, A, 6th Ky. cav., scalded and three hours in water
    Corp. S. J. Watts, C, 6th Ky. cav., scalded severely
    Columbus W. H. Veatch, H, 38th Ind., chilled
    Stephen Jones, 6th Ky. cav., slight scald
    H. A. ohnson, 17th Ind. cav., M, exhaustion
    Thomas Rogers, 99th Ind., G, exhaustion
    G. B. Hinkle, 9th Ind. cav., A, exhaustion
    J. S. Applegate, 6th Ind. cav., C, exhaustion
    Sanford P. Ames, 7th Ind. cav., B, exhaustion
    Robert Rule, 3d Ind. cav., A, exhaustion
    E. R.Kennedy, 4th Ky., K, scalded slightly


    D. H. Douglas, G, 47th Ind, seriously scalded
    J. W. Banks, Sergt., A, 3d Ky., seriously scalded
    P. M. Brown, G, 66th Ky. cal., severely scalded
    D. Wright, Sergt., F, 7th Ky. cav., very seriously scalded; also several cuts on head
    Wm. Montgomery, F, 6th Ky. cav., very seriously scalded; femur fracture at middle third
    Wm. H. Chance, M, 9th Ind. cav., severely scalded
    T. J. Gimm, F. 57th Ind., slightly scalded
    P. S. Summerville, [illegible] Ind., slight scald
    Corp. Felix Benson, K, 40th Ind., bruised slightly
    Robert B. Armstrong, I, 7th Ind. cav., exhaustion
    Geo. M. Safford, A, 10th Ind. cav., exhaustion
    Charles Farens, A, 9th Ind. cav., exhaustion
    Thomas Demoss, I, 8th Ind. cav., exhaustion
    Jas. Gaw?, G, 93d Ind., exhaustion
    Jacob Medesker, A, 79th Ind., exhaustion
    J. W. Milligan, Sergt., G, __ Ind., exhaustion
    H. Kline, G, 9th Ind., exhaustion
    J. B. Lewis, K, 9th Ind. slight scald
    P. A.Kesler, K, 9th Ind. cav., exhaustion
    Lewis Johnson, G, 9th Ind. cav., exhaustion
    J. B. Thompson, H, 6th Ky. cav., exhaustion
    Jas. Parker, I, 6th Ky. cav., exhaustion
    J. T. Elliott, 2d Lieut, C, 124th Ind., exhaustion
    E. H. Swain, 1st Lieut, G, 9th Inc. cav., exhaustion
    Mrs. Anna Annis-citizen, exhaustion
    Thomas Hunt, deck hand on steamer, very seriously scalded, also hand badly cut.
    JOSEPH E. LYNCH,Acting Staff Surgeon, U. S. A.

    New Albany Daily Ledger Tuesday 2 May 1865 p3 c5

    From the St. Louis Republican we copy the following additional particulars of the terrible disaster on board the Sultana.

    One soldier made a noble attempt to save two save two little children. He got them on a plank and floated down opposite Memphis, where a rope was thrown from a boat, and attempted to grab the rope, his exhausted arms let his precious charge fall into the river. He plunged from the plank at the peril of his life and attempted to rescue them, but failed, and the brave young man was picked up when nearly drowned.

    Mrs. Hardin, whose husband is a member of the firm of Cushman, Hardin and Co., of Chicago, who was returning from a wedding tour, was lost. Mr. Hardin was saved. He was formerly Adjutant of the 53d Illinois.

    A woman was rescued opposite Memphis, clinging to a plank, with a child in her arms, but the child was dead when taken out.

    An officer of a gunboat and his wife, his two children and sister were aboard; his wife only was saved. The officers of the gunboat Essex made up a purse of a thousand dollars for her.

    There was no baggage saved.

    The greater portion of those rescued were more or less wounded or scalded; some had the cuticle taken entirely from their bodies by the hot steam.

    The steamer Bostona merits great praise for her exertions to save the drowning.

    As soon as Capt. Watson of the Bostona discovered the burning wreck he put on all steam, he and his crew did all that men could do by lowering boats and rescuing all that they could reach in time, and by throwing overboard bales of hay, planks, staging or anything that the sufferers could float on. In some cases three or four would cling to a single bale and be rescued. In many cases the unfortunate were found dead on planks. Three dead men were taken from tres to which they has swam and climbed up. Those found dead and floating are supposed to have been so long weakened by imprisonment that they chilled to death.

    The Bostona saved about 200 lives.

    The body of a cabin passenger was picked up at Memphis. He wore two fine shirts, on which were the marks - J. D. Fontaine, Dallas City, Ill.

    A little girl was seen by three men, who were in a skiff, struggling in the water. She had on a life preserver, but it was so low down it forced her head under the water. The men in the skiff tried to save her, but the swift current carried her by.

    Mr. Bowberry chief mate of the Sultana, testified before the Commission:
    At the time of the accident, I had charge of the boat, and was in the pilot house with Mr. Clayton. We were about seven miles up the river when the boiler exploded, and found myself in the river with five others; we got hold of a plank, and were picked up by the Bostona. The boiler was tubed in St. Louis on he last trip, and pronounced good, and the boat had her usual certificates. Mr. Schaffer, at St. Louis, was the inspector. There was a little patch put on the boiler at Vicksburg. I believe that the patch was put on the larboard side of the starboard boiler. The patch was made necessary by the leakage of the boiler. There was not to my knowledge any fears expressed by either the crew or the passengers as to the safety of the boat. I have been on the Sultana about five months, and have been on the river with Capt. Mason, the Master of the Sultana, for about five years. He was a perfect gentleman. There was no carousing on the boat among the crew or passengers. Capt. Mason was I his stateroom; also the First Engineer was in his and the Second Engineer was on watch. The boat was running as usual about nine to ten miles per hour. She was not running against time and no boat left with us. The boiler leaked some twelve hours before we reached Vicksburg and the engineer said he would go no further until it was repaired. We laid at Vicksburg about thirty-three hours. Most of the time was taken up in repairing the boiler, and the engineer said it was a good job. It was done by regular machinists at Vicksburg. We had no trouble with the boiler after leaving Vicksburg.


    George Clayton, Pilot of the Sultan, being duly sworn, testifies as follows: We left New Orleans on Friday last. The officers and crew and eighty passengers landed at Vicksburg on Sunday evening and remained there about thirty-three hours; left Vicksburg on Tuesday, about 1 o'clock a.m.; took on board 1,966, as I heard from the clerk. Donít know if this includes officers or not. We arrived here yesterday evening about 7 o'clock p.m., and left about 2 o'clock this morning. We then went to coal yard about 2 o'clock a.m., and took on board 1,000 bushels of coal and proceeded up the river about seven miles when her boilers exploded. I was at her wheel, and fell on top of her boilers, where I was wedged in by the wreck. The boat was full of passengers. I should say there were about 2,200 persons on board. She was a large boat but not of the largest class, and about three years old. I crawled out under the pilot house and endeavored to persuade the passengers from jumping into the river, telling them to hold on to the wreck as long as possible. The fire could then have been easily put out, but all the buckets, &c, were blown overboard. I got a plank and swam to an island called Hen and Chickens Island. The boat was fully supplied with life preservers. Her boilers were inspected before we left St. Louis on our last trip. At Vicksburg one of our flues was out of order and it was repaired. But the collapsing of a flue itself could not of itself produced the accident. The mate was with me in the pilot house and had charge of the boat. Capt. Mason was, I presume, in his room. The boat was running her usual rate, nine or ten miles an hour. I would have known it if the boat was running against time or crowded. We had no cargo on board except about sixty head of mules and horses.

    On the body of one of the ladies found was a purse of $200, a gold watch and letters bearing the address of Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Woolcock, Lexington, Ky.

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