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They had survived the American Civil War, the deadliest war in US history. They had survived the brutal conditions of the POW camps at Andersonville and Cahaba. Many were wounded or ill.

But finally, they were going home.

Over 2000 Union soldiers, passengers and crew were crammed aboard the steamboat Sultana, licensed to carry 376. Graft, greed, overcrowding, a poorly maintained boat, and the Mississippi River was swollen with spring snowmelt conspired together to create a disaster.

On April 27, 1865, the boat’s boilers exploded, causing the worst maritime disaster in US history.

Narrated and executive produced by actor Sean Astin, this documentary features interviews with preeminent Sultana historians Jerry O. Potter and Gene Salecker, as well as descendants of the survivors.

Don't let their voices be lost. It’s time to Remember the Sultana.


Our goal is to tell the story of this ill-fated voyage, how and why the disaster happened. This documentary is just the start. The Sultana should be in our history books, taught in our schools, and remembered by all who have a duty to those who fight to protect our freedoms and our nation. Please help us to remember the Sultana, and to raise this story from the depths of the Mississippi and into the hearts of people everywhere.