Soldiers on the Sultana
Daniel Myers, a young soldier from Streetsboro, Portage County, Ohio, enlisted in Company G of the 115th Ohio Infantry in 1862. His Civil War service records from the National Archives tell a tragic story of the ultimate sacrifice that he paid for his country.
Two years into his service, his regiment was stationed in Tennessee, where they occupied at least seven block houses along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroads. In December 1864, the Confederates attacked. The soldiers in Blockhouse 4, including Daniel Myers, were captured and held as prisoners until the end of the war.
Daniel Myers went to Andersonville, the most notorious of all of the prisons. Conditions there were inhumane. Over 45,000 prisoners were held in a facility built to hold four times less than that. Over 13,000 soldiers died in the prison, mostly from scurvy, diarrhea, starvation, and dysentery. Prisoners were described as walking skeletons.
Daniel Myers spent about four months confined at Andersonville. He survived the ordeal, and when the war ended in April 1865, he was released. He, and almost 2000 other released prisoners, began their journey home on the Sultana.
Tragically, on the night of April 27, 1865, the boilers on the Sultana exploded, tearing the ship apart. Many of the passengers were killed instantly, while others died from hypothermia or drowning in the cold water.
Daniel Myers, after spending four horrible months in Andersonville, was killed on the journey home at the age of 23. His service records note that it was assumed that he drowned.
The official death count in the Sultana explosion was over 1,100 passengers. The Sultana was, and still is, the worst maritime disaster in United States history.
Are you interested in learning more about your ancestor’s involvement in the Civil War? Contact me at www.RhinehartRoots.com. I made regular trips to the National Archives to get information on these soldiers. Let me help tell your ancestor's story!