January 2005 CANISTER Newsletter
Website Version of Our Monthly Newsletter
From The Chattanooga Civil War Round Table
|VOLUME XXII||JANUARY 18, 2005||NO. 1|
Visitors & Guests Welcome
|DATE:||TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2005||TIME: 7:00 PM|
"THE SULTANA TRAGEDY"
|SPEAKER:||NORMAN SHAW, KNOXVILLE CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE|
MILLIS-EVANS ROOM, CALDWELL HALL, ACADEMIC QUADRANGLE,
THE MCCALLIE SCHOOL, HISTORIC MISSIONARY RIDGE
(Directions to Caldwell Hall-Enter the McCallie School campus off of Dodds Avenue opposite the end of Bailey Avenue. Take the main drive into the campus and follow the signs for the Academic Quadrangle. There is a parking area there beside the Chapel and you will have passed Caldwell Hall on the right as you approach the parking area. Find a place and park. Caldwell Hall will be behind you as you park. Come in either the first or second floor doors and follow the signs to the Millis-Evans Room.)
It is the United State's worst maritime disaster. In the early morning hours of April 27, 1865, the boilers
of the Mississippi River sidewheel steamer Sultana exploded and precipitated its 2,400 or more
passengers into the cold, swift, muddy current of the "Father of the Waters." Death claimed men at a
greater rate than it had in battles early in the war. Over 1,500, it is generally accepted, died; that's
more than the number killed on both sides at First Bull Run and Wilson's Creek combined. Even more
tragic, the vast majority of those who died were Union soldiers who had been prisoners of the
Confederates in the last year of the war. Some had endured and survived Andersonville and Millen
and Florence and Cahaba. They lived through those experiences, had been liberated by Union forces moving
in to occupy the South, and were then on their way home. While the Sultana was one of the
larger Mississippi River steamers, she was not rated to carry 2,400 plus; fewer than a sixth of that number
was her normal passenger capacity. But, there were so many former Federal prisoners at Vicksburg
and Helena who desired to continue their trip back north that they had continued to pack themselves
on the Sultana in ever greater numbers. Soon, there were so many on board that when,
at one port, the released prisoners learned a photographer was setting up to take a picture of the
steamer and more men rushed to that side, the Sultana quickly began to list badly to that
side causing the crew to fear she would capsize. While she didn't capsize, the Sultana never
got the mostly Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee soldiers to Cairo. Just north of Memphis, her already
identified faulty boilers blew. The war's death toll climbed still higher even after most considered it over.
Our speaker this month, Norman Shaw, a longtime member and former officer of the Knoxville Civil War Round Table will speak on this greatest of steamboat tragedies whose 140th anniversary is this spring.
SPEAKER'S FUND SUPPORT OF THE MONTH
There are four items again this month for the Speaker's Fund. The first item is a copy of Annals of the Army of Tennessee & Early Western History by Dr. Edwin L. Drake, Lt. Colonel, CSA. It's a great collection of accounts written by participants a dozen years after the war. The second item is a copy of Sherman's March: The First Full-length Narrative of General William T. Sherman's Devastating March Through Georgia and the Carolinas by Burke Davis. The third item is all six of the issues of America's Civil War magazine from 2000 with articles on such topics as "Joe Johnston's Failure to Save Vicksburg," "Valiant Charge Up Missionary Ridge," and "Rebel and Indian Attack at Pea Ridge." The fourth item is a video cassette copy of the History Channel's Civil War Combat series, "The Wheatfield at Gettysburg." All these items this month were donated to the Round Table to support the Speaker's Fund. To those donors go our thanks. Proceeds from the Speaker's Fund go toward bringing speakers in from outside the area. Your support of the Speaker's Fund is appreciated.
OFFICERS FOR 2005
At our December meeting, the members present re-elected our standing slate of officers to serve for another year:
Vice President - Ansley Moses
Secretary - Neil Greenwood
Treasurer - David McGuff
It is time to pay dues for the Round Table's 2004-2005 dues year. Please do so at this month's meeting or send them in. To those who have paid for 2004-2005, thank you for taking care of this necessary chore in a timely fashion. Those who have not paid ... I'll start dropping them from the mailing list this month.
RELIC SHOW TIME
It's that time again! Time for the Great Chickamauga Southern National Civil War Show and Sale! It's the TENTH Annual. It's at the Northwest Georgia Trade & Convention Center, I-75 Exit 333, in Dalton. Hours on Saturday February 5 are 9 to 5; those on Sunday February 6 are 9-3. As always, it can be a real education to go and spend some time studying some of the artifacts on display. See you there?
HISTORY ON THE INTERNET
The Western Maryland Historical Library in Hagerstown, Maryland has put a couple of items of interest on their website. The first is a complete copy, both image and text, of one of Hagerstown's two war time newspapers, The Herald of Freedom and Torch Light. The issue started out to be the number intended for release on September 10, 1862, and is so denominated in the masthead. But, before it was completed, elements of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia marched into town. The newspaper staff fled, to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. On the 17th, the Battle of Sharpsburg unfolded not too far south of Hagerstown. When Lee's army retreated south of the Potomac after the battle, the staff returned and completed the issue, releasing it on the 24th. It contains some of the earliest accounts from the battlefield. It's quite interesting.
The second item on their website is also Antietam or Sharpsburg related. It's a copy of A Descriptive List of the Burial Places of the Remains of Confederate Soldiers who fell in the Battles of Antietam, South Mountain, Monocacy, and other points in Washington and Frederick Counties in the State of Maryland. Published in 1869 and commonly called the "Bowie List," it provides an interesting view of particularly the Sharpsburg Battlefield. Reading the list and remembering the photographs taken a few days after the battle gives you a real sense of just why Antietam is the "bloodiest one day battle" in American history.
Check these sources out at: www.whilbr.org.
FUTURE ROUND TABLE MEETINGS
February 15, 2005 - To be announced
March 15, 2005 - To be announced
April 19, 2005 - Celeste Dixon, Park Ringer, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, "Appomattox"
May 17, 2005 - Evan Jones, University of Virginia, "Going Home: Soldiers become Civilians"
June 21, 2005 - Bill Scaife, "Joe Brown's Pets: The Georgia Militia"
July 19, 2005 - To be announced
August 16, 2005 - To be announced
September 20, 2005 - To be announced
October 18, 2005 - Dr. Kit Rushing, "Civil War Memoirist Fanny Andrews' A Family Secret"
November 15, 2005 - Harvey Scarborough, "Thomas' Demonstration Takes Orchard Knob"
December 20, 2005 - To be announced
UP-COMING LOCAL CIVIL WAR EVENTS OF NOTE
February 5-6, 2005--Northwest Georgia Trade & Convention Center, I-75 Exit 333, Walnut Avenue, Dalton, Georgia, 9-5 Saturday, 9-3 Sunday; more details later
November 10-12, 2005--13th Annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression, sponsored by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Department of Communications; more details later
|Webmaster' Note: There was a two-page insert in this month's Canister that included the schedule for January 28-29, 2005 on the upcoming "First Annual Symposium on New Interpretations of the American Civil War." This insert can be viewed at: Symposium|
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