BELLVILLE — On Friday, July 27, at 1 o,n,, Mary Jamba of Fairview Park will give a lecture on “The Sultana Disaster” of Civil War fame.
The program will be held at the Samuel Isaly Library of the Ohio Genealogical Society, 611 State Route 97 W. Bellville, and is free and open to the public. Attendees may register by calling the library at 419-886-1903 and leaving their name for the particular class of interest.
According to the website www.sultanadisastermuseum.org, The Sultana was a Mississippi River paddlewheel steamboat whose destruction in an explosion on April 27, 1865, the greatest maritime disaster in United States history.
More than 1,800 of the Sultana’s 2,300 passengers were killed when three of the boat’s boilers exploded and the Sultana sank just north of Marion, Arkansas.
Most of the passengers were paroled Union soldiers just released from Andersonville and Cahaba Confederate prison camps. The US government had contracted with Sultana to transport these former prisoners of war back to their homes in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and other states.
Most of the passengers had been weakened by their incarnation and associated illnesses. With a legal capacity of only 376, Sultana was severely and dangerously overloaded.
It is thought that about 100 men from Richland County, including Bellville, perished during and after the explosion.
Also coming soon to the Ohio Genealogical Society, on Aug. 4 at 1 p.m., will be a presentation by Margaret Cheney of Elyria, who is serving as the current president of the society. Cheney will teach a “Lineage Application Workshop” at the Samuel Isaly Library (OGS), in Bellville. This program is designed to aid those who plan to join First Families of Ohio, Daughters of the American Revolution, the Society of Mayflower Descendants, and similar groups.
Please call the library 419-886-1903 and leave your name for the class if you are planning to attend.