The Burning of the Sultana 1865

Painting Details
Size: 16 X 20
Medium: Watercolor
Edition: 600 (S / N)

Signed Price: $225.00
Signed and Numbered by the Artist

Information / History
This painting is the cover art for the book, “The Sultana Tragedy” By Author Jerry O. Potter.  It was also featured on the “History Channel” in its Sultana Segment.
The Burning of the Sultana, 1865 is being used in a PBS special titled "Civil War: Rivers and Rails due to be released in Tennessee May 30, 2013.
On April 27, 1865, the stillness of the Arkansas Delta night was shattered when boilers on the overloaded steamship Sultana exploded in the Mississippi River near Chicken Island, just east of Marion, Arkansas. The fiery blast could be seen seven miles downstream by boat captains who had stopped for the night in Memphis.

More than 1,800 people died in the blast. Many were Union soldiers returning home after release from Confederate prison camps in Georgia and Alabama. It was the worst U.S. maritime disaster and surpassed the April 14, 1912 sinking of the Titanic by at least 300 deaths.

Union soldiers at Cahaba, Al. and Andersonville, Ga. were released. More than 5,000 captives were headed to Camp Fisk a few miles east of Vicksburg, Ms., where they waited transport home, now that the Civil War was over.

According to prison records, 2,146 or more prisoners boarded the Sultana at Vicksburg along with 398 civilians, 97 cases of wine, more than 75 horses, 100 hogs and a 10 ft. alligator kept as a pet in a wooden crate. The ship’s legal limit of passengers was 376.

The Sultana docked in Memphis at 6 p.m. April 26 and left Memphis at 11 p.m., crossed the river to a port in Hopefield, Ar. to pick up 1,000 bushels of coal, then headed upstream at 1:00 a.m. at 9 miles per hour. One hour later about seven miles north of Memphis, three of the four boilers suddenly exploded.

The Sultana disaster still stands as the worst marine tragedy in American history. Approximately1800 died on the Sultana compared to the Titanic where loss of life totaled 1522. Hundreds jumped into the river and grabbed for anything to stay afloat. Many Union soldiers weak from their confinement in prison camps, drowned. Twenty-two of those who died were women. About 850 people were rescued, but 200 more died in Memphis hospitals.

This painting is being shown in Tennessee in a documentary made by the Renaissance Center for Nashville Public Television. The title is RIver and Rails: Daggers of the Civil War
Two of Marion Sue's Sultana paintings are in the video below.
All prints, present and future are Authorized by the Estate of Marion Sue Thompson by Michael or Bridget Bradford. All prints are numbered and will include a “Certificate of Authenticity” which will be signed, numbered, and authorized by the estate. The sizes listed are Image Size. Add another 3 inches for total size of Giclee Paper Prints. The canvas prints are total dimensions. The estate holds the copyright to all paintings that go into print and all originals by Marion Sue Bradford and Marion Sue Thompson. More paintings and prints will be coming in the future. Our wish is for you to enjoy the work of Marion Sue Bradford Thompson for generations to come.