Feb 2013
Pam Newhouse, Jerry Potter, Gene Salecker, and Norman Shaw talk about the Sultana on Radio Show.
Listen to the Sultana Radio Interview

Spring 2011

April 29-30 Reunion Details in Mansfield Finalized

If you haven’t done so already, make your reservations at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield, 116 Park Avenue West, Mansfield, OH 44902 by calling (419)525-6000 for Friday April 29th and Saturday April 30th. Mention that you are with the Sultana Association you may be able to still get the group discount of $83 per room /per night.

The Saturday night banquet on the 30th will be at 6:30 PM.  The menu includes Virginia Baked Ham, Herb Roasted Potatoes, California Medley Vegetables, Garden Tossed Salad, Assorted Cookies for dessert. Price is $19 per person, including meal, drink, tax and gratuity. The deadline for reservations for the banquet is Friday, April 22nd, but Richard is willing to make banquet reservations for those who can not get a check to him by this deadline. You can then repay him when you come to hotel conference room on Friday, the 29th. Send checks, ASAP, to:

Richard Troup, 235 Poplar Drive,
McConnelsville, Ohio 43756.
Any questions for Richard? Email him at:

The timetable is for Friday registration to begin at 5 PM in the conference room of our hotel (Holiday Inn) where our displays will then be set up. (For those who are new, by “displays” we mean anything that you have which is Sultana-related that you would like to share with the group.  For instance, Richard has a fabulous banner from one of the early  Sultana survivor reunions that he will be displaying. Others have brought family photos, scrapbooks, and letters. There will be tables set up in the conference room for these items. Please bring whatever you have!)  The Mansfield Chamber of  Commerce will have packets for us with maps of local attractions. And each one of you will receive a reunion ribbbon (just as the Sultana survivors did at their reunions) along with your name tag.  For some years  now Richard has had these made for us. This years is red, white, and blue, with gold lettering; spectacular! We will also get information and maps about the Civil War Show that is going on at the fairgrounds, and a schedule of our two day events. Dinner will be on your own on Friday, so you may want to eat early before coming to the conference room.
Richard is setting up a  “Stick it to General Forrest” dart game for our amusement.  This is very appropriate because this Confederate and his men were responsible for the capture and subsequent imprisonment of countless Union troops who ended up on the Sultana 🙁 .

At 7 PM we will continue our fellowship in the conference room where we will, among other things, hear Louis Entres tell us about his latest projects.    And descendant Pat Kuhloff will be with us again this year – all the way from New Mexico – with the story of her ancestor, Captain Norton Demming Lowrey.  It is always a joy to have Pat in our midst!

The next morning, Saturday, we will form car pools to go to South Park and the Fairgrounds, leaving promptly at 8:30 am from the parking lot behind the Holiday Inn. We will tour the park, and descendants of the 102nd Ohio Regiment will place a wreath on the Sultana Monument to honor the men from this regiment who lost their lives.

Then off to the fairgrounds and the Civil War Show! Not only is it one of the largest (380+dealers) and oldest shows of its kind in the country, it also includes outside activities, such as an artillery show, encampments and a Sutlers’ Village.

Cost is about $6 for a one day pass or $9 two days. Lunch is on your own (there are two cafeterias and many food stands throughout the park) At 3:30 PM we will meet at the flagpole in the center of the park and go by car to the GAR Hall (near the Holiday Inn). At 4 PM we will tour the Hall and return to the hotel by 5 PM.

The banquet will begin at 6:30 PM at the Holiday Inn. Saturday night’s program will include time for folks to share their experiences about the Civil War Show (appraisals of items they brought, and stories of those they sold?),  a quartet singing for our enjoyment, and our annual Sultana Memorial Service.

Richard says there is already a buzz about “Sultana descendants coming to Mansfield.”  This is what we want – to promote interest in the Sultana tragedy so the memory of those who were on board will live on!  See you there! And we certainly thank Richard for all his work on this reunion.

Yes, Norman and Gene will be there. Jerry Potter unfortunately has to work, but sends us his best regards.


A Tribute to Sultana Descendant Bob Baechtold by Pam Newhouse

My second cousin Bob Baechtold of Cincinnati, Ohio passed away on February 12, 2011.  He was born on January 11, 1915.  It is no surprise to me or anyone who knew him to learn that he graduated with honors from the University of Cincinnati (economics degree). He served in the Army Signal Corps during WWII, where he decoded messages in the Pacific theater.  He and his wife Grace, who preceded him in death, have three sons, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Bob had a successful career as a purchasing agent and salesmen for two large companies, retiring in his seventies.

I think of Bob often and miss him a lot. He was a wonderful friend and my partner in years of research regarding our common Sultana ancestor,  Adam Schneider (183rd Ohio Infantry). Adam was Bob’s great grandfather, and my great- great.  We knew that Adam had died on the Sultana, and that he left a wife and three young daughters (the youngest was Bob’s grandmother; my great grandmother)). In the 1970s we both became quite obsessed with this sad but interesting story and we began to piece things together.  Because Bob lived in Cincinnati (me, in Michigan) he was able to easily access records at local historical societies and city archives.  Among other things, he put together for each of us a photo album of all the houses (or site of the house) where Adam’s wife/our grandma lived after her husband died, until her death in 1912.  I got her widow’s pension files from the National Archives and from those we gleaned even more information.

We had many goals along the way, but the ultimate one was always to find any family still living in Germany.  It seemed like we always hit a brick wall here.  We knew the name of the town (Ingelheim-am-Rhein), but never could connect with any relative there.  The breakthrough came in 1998 when another cousin and Sultana descendant, Eric Bose (also in the Cincinnati area) went to Germany, stopped by the town hall in Ingelheim……and made the connection at last!  Eric became our hero.  Thanks to him we now know and have visited our German cousins, who, by the way, knew that Adam and family had emigrated to Cincinnati in 1854 after his attempted assassination of the Prince of Prussia. They also knew that Adam had died in our American Civil War but didn’t know the details.

Bob and I were finally satisfied, and our friendship, which began because of a disaster, continued until he died. Rest in peace, Bob.


In Memory of Juanita Murphy by Norman Shaw

Recently I discovered the sad news that one of our long time members and a Sultana descendant, Juanita Murphy, passed away on February 25, 2010, at the age of 91.  I’m indebted to Juanita and her sister, Dot Blazier, who always provided valuable assistance in helping me plan the first fourteen reunions that were held in Knoxville and the two after that in 2004 and 2009.

Juanita was the great granddaughter of William Pickens with the Union 3rd Tenn. Cavalry.  William was lying next to his brother, Samuel, when the Sultana exploded.  Samuel survived but William perished.  William was a family man leaving behind a wife and 7 children.

It was Juanita and Dot’s influence as long time members of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church on Maryville Pike that allowed us to have so many reunions there.  As many know, in the cemetery on the hill behind the church stands the Knoxville Sultana monument that was erected through the efforts of the Knoxville area Sultana survivors.  The dedication service was on July 4, 1916, with several Sultana survivors present.

I had a very pleasant phone conversation with Dot recently and discovered some details about Juanita’s life that I did not know – such as her being Valedictorian of the 1937 graduating class of the old Young High School and that she worked for 30+ years as a librarian at the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) here in Knoxville.

(I have some very fond memories of Juanita. She was such a friendly person….. who always made sure we had plenty to eat at our early reunions in Knoxville!  It was a joy to know her and she will be much missed by all of us.)
– Pam

The Upcoming Sultana Display at Arkansas State University

From Louis Intres:  “Arkansas State University is gearing up for the 150th anniversary of Arkansas’ participation in the Civil War.  Like most states east of the Mississippi, we are planning a large exposition in our state’s capital later this year.  I have been asked to place a display of Sultana memorabilia like letters, photos, etc. in our state’s capital as part of the overall exposition.  I would appreciate any and all items that could be loaned to the State of Arkansas for this purpose. I will provide a receipt  for the items and return them after the exposition.  It will be a great opportunity to expose the Sultana to the entire state.

I will also be collecting more copies of documents and stories at this years meeting.  I hope everyone will bring their information along to the annual meeting at Mansfield for inclusion in our archive.  Thanks to everyone who has so far provided information to me, we have nearly 6,000 Sultana-related documents in our Arkansas State University archive.  However, I am still needing photos and stories to go with them.  I you can bring copies of photos I would be thrilled to accept them on behalf of the University.”

So, please gather up all those Sultana related things that Louis hasn’t already documented and get them ready to take with you to Mansfield! Not coming to Mansfield? Email Louis at:

Notes from Norman

I want to let everyone know about an interesting Sultana related site worth visiting as you travel to or from Mansfield, Ohio.

Many will recall that the destination of the Union soldiers on the Sultana was Camp Chase, Ohio, to be mustered out of the army.  It was only a couple of months ago that I discovered that Camp Chase was located in Ohio’s capital at Columbus, through which many of us will be either driving through or flying into to reach Mansfield.

From what I found on the Internet, Camp Chase during the Civil War was a large military complex.  In addition to being a military camp, there existed a sizable prison for captured Confederate soldiers.  All is gone now except about 2,260 headstones of Rebel soldiers located in a two acre piece of ground, men who died in captivity while imprisoned at Camp Chase.

Try to find time to visit the site of Camp Chase which ties into the Sultana story.  Read more about the camp and prison at

If you haven’t done already, make your plans now to attend the 2011 reunion.  See you soon!


A Sultana Book Review

Joe Smith of Arkansas has recently published a very readable fiction book, Sultana! (Epic Disaster on the Mississippi, the Almost forgotten story of the Sultana Steamboat Explosion.  A Story too Incredible not to be True!)

I have read it and found it both informative –  Joe has carefully researched his facts –  and engrossing, as he wraps the account of the disaster inside the parrallel story of recollections of an old soldier (who happens to be Confederate).  the book is a really nice addition to the library of anyone interested in the Sultana.

Familiar Sultana stories (such as William Lugenbeal and the alligator) are woven into the book, as is the heartbreaking tale of Ann Annis, who watched her husband and small daughter drown in the aftermath of the explosion.  Also included is the “tall Tenesseean,” and his fiesty refusal of help when in the water.

Jerry Potter’s* review states:  “ Joe W. Smith was woven a fascinating historical thriller around the destruction of the Sultana, America’s worst marine disaster.  This is a must read for anyone who enjoys Civil War history.”

At this time this oversized softbound book is available from the author:
Joe W. Smith, P.O. Box 2, Gamaliel, AR 72537.
List price, $19.95.

* author of Disaster on the Mississippi


The Sultana Remembered is Going Online

This will be the last printed and mailed issue of this newsletter.  I began it in 1990 as a way to keep Sultana descendants and friends together in between annual reunions shortly after Norman Shaw convened the first one.  I am so grateful to him, and I know everyone else is also.  So many good things have happened because of his diligence in getting us all together annually; friendships have been made, and we all have learned things from each other things we never would have known about the disaster.  Many of us now feel a stronger bond with our ancestor(s).  Also, the local publicity that has always surrounded our meetings opened residents of our host city’s eyes to a tragic event of which most Americans are totally unaware.  And this has been and will continue to be our goal:  to have the “Sultana remembered.”

I’m not quitting – far from it. I am merely embracing computer technology to carry on our message.  It will be easier for me to communicate with you this way; I won’t have to worry about getting a newsletter out late (because I can post information continuously), or wonder if the U.S. Post Office’s sorting machines will continue to chew them up  🙁

Our daughter and Sultana descendant, Kari Newhouse, is a website designer based in Portland, Oregon and she has designed a great website for us:  Sultana Remembered. com If you forget that, just “google” Sultana Remembered and it will come up. There may be changes along the way as we fine-tune the site, but it is up now and you can access it. There will be a way to leave a comment, or other related information.

I realize that some of you don’t use computers and so  I am hoping that you can get a “computer friend” to access the website for you.

Even though I didn’t send any subscription renewal reminders – because the website is free to all – some of you have recently sent me checks anyway.  If you would like a refund, let me know; otherwise, I will use the payments for costs incurred to set up and maintain the website.  But I don’t need you to send me any more money!  (Over the years I have received some astounding unsolicited checks from subscribers – “just because” – that took my breath away and humbled me to think that the newsletter was so appreciated.)

So, the means of communication changes, but my commitment to the newsletter and our mission to spread the word does not.

See you online!

Pam Newhouse

My E-mail remains  cw1865@aol. com