Carte-de-visite of the Steamboat Sultana

Carte-de-visite of the Steamboat Sultana

Artist: Thomas W. Bankes, photographer
Type: Albumen paper
Year:
Size/Dimensions: H: 2.8125", W: 4.375"
Origin: Gala Fund Purchase Honoring Peg Newton Smith
Accession Number:

The Sultana was a stern wheeled packet with a wooden hull that was built in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1863. The steamboat mostly ran a course from St. Louis to New Orleans, and this photograph was taken on the banks of the Mississippi river in Helena, Arkansas on April 26, 1865, by local photographer Thomas Bankes. In the early morning of April 27, 1865, just north of Memphis, three of Sultana's boilers exploded, sinking the ship killing 1,547 people (1,100 of which were U.S. soldiers being returned to their northern homes). The Sultana had been severely overcrowded; the boat was only legally allowed 376 persons aboard. This image of the steamboat was the last photograph taken before she was lost. The regiment of Union soldiers is clearly visible on her deck.

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Carte-de-visite of the Steamboat Sultana