Civil War Roundtable to host author Gene Salecker April 1st

Sultana near Helena, Arkansas, c.April 26, 1865. (photo courtesy of

Sultana near Helena, Arkansas, c.April 26, 1865. (photo courtesy of

Join us on Tuesday April 1st at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear Gene Salecker present two speeches on the disaster of the SS Sultana. Author of “Disaster on the Mississippi”, Salecker is the foremost authority of the April 27, 1865 explosion of the side-wheel steamboat. An estimated 1,800 passengers died in this “greatest maritime disaster in Untied States history.” The Wayne County Public Library is partnering with the Wayne County Civil War Roundtable and the Holmes County Civil War Roundtable to bring Chicago author Gene Salecker to Wooster. This program, located at 220 West Liberty Street, Wooster, is open to the public and will start at 3:00pm and 6:30pm.


From Wikipedia:
“SS Sultana was a Mississippi River side-wheel steamboat that exploded on April 27, 1865 in the greatest maritime disaster in United States history. An estimated 1,800 of its 2,427 passengers died when three of the ship’s four boilers exploded and it sank near Memphis.[1] This disaster was overshadowed in the press by other recent events. John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln’s assassin, was killed the day before. The wooden steamship was constructed in 1863 by the John Litherbury Shipyard in Cincinnati, and intended for the lower Mississippi cotton trade. Registering 1,719 tons,[2] the steamer normally carried a crew of 85. For two years, it ran a regular route between St. Louis and New Orleans, frequently commissioned to carry troops.”


About Author Gene Slacker:Born and raised in Chicago, Gene has served as a police officer at Northeastern University for over 20 years. He has authored many books regarding United Stated Military history, but his first book was Disaster on the Mississippi: The Sultana Explosion, April 27, 1875. Gene believes that the story of the SS Sultana deserves a better fate than to be lost forever and is passionate about its story living on in the future.



  1. I am extremely disappointed to have to miss Mr. Slacker’s presentation. My great-great uncle Philip Horn, a Wooster native, was one of the final Wooster area Sultana survivors. I have read most printed items on this great American disaster that has unfortunately been overlooked in our country’s history. I hope someday a major film is produced to honor and pay tribute to this epic maritime story.

Speak Your Mind