On the early morning of April 27, 1865, the SS Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis. It became America’s greatest maritime disaster, killing nearly 1,800 of the nearly 2,400 passengers onboard. Many of those were former Union soldiers, on their way home following the end of the Civil War. The photo on the left is the last photo taken of the Sultana.
The boat sank near Marion, where a monument was built to commemorate those lost during the disaster. Through March 25, Marion is hosting Sultana: The Exhibit. The exhibit is displayed at Bella Vista Commons #3, located at 2895 HYW 77 in Marion.
This Sunday, March 11, the Marion Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Civil War History Fair at the Old Marion Gym, located at 100 Military Road. Jerry O. Potter, author of “The Sultana Tragedy: America’s Greatest Maritime Disaster,” is the featured speaker at the event, which begins at 1:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
The afternoon also includes a concert by the 52nd Regimental String Band, a variety of exhibits from attractions throughout the area, and re-enactors from the 51st Tennessee Regiment CSA.