Unlike the Titanic, the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history has never had a movie made about it. Yet some would argue the explosion of the steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River in 1865, claimed more lives. At least 35 of the casualties were Civil War P.O.W.s from Summit County on their way home. Paul Huff, Vice-President of the Cuyahoga Valley Civil War Round Table, will speak on a tragedy overshadowed by Lincoln’s assassination at the time and largely forgotten in the 20th century.
Huff holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Kentucky Wesleyan College. While there, he did a research paper on steamboat trade in Owensboro, Kentucky which was later published in the Daviess County Historical Quarterly. While covering the re-dedication of Cuyahoga Falls’ Civil War monument in the late 1980’s for the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press, he was shocked to see ten of the 29 casualties listed were Sultana victims. No one researches steamboats without learning about the Sultana.
Over three decades later, he still researches and talks about the Summit County connection.