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The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise… Mark Twain

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Wicked river : the Mississippi when it last ran wild  Lee Sandlin.  New York : Pantheon Books, c 2010  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xxviii, 270 p. : map ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG 

A riveting narrative look at one of the most colorful, dangerous, and peculiar places in America’s historical landscape: the strange, wonderful, and mysterious Mississippi River of the 19th century.

Print shows Union soldiers in trench and behind wooden walls and gabions as an assault is made on Fort Hill during the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Print shows Union soldiers in trench and behind wooden walls and gabions as an assault is made on Fort Hill during the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Beginning in the early 1800s and climaxing with the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, Wicked River brings to life a place where river pirates brushed elbows with future presidents and religious visionaries shared passage with thieves. Here is a minute-by-minute account of Natchez being flattened by a tornado; the St. Louis harbor being crushed by a massive ice floe; hidden, nefarious celebrations of Mardi Gras; and the sinking of the Sultana, the worst naval disaster in American history. Here, too, is the Mississippi itself: gorgeous, perilous, and unpredictable. Masterfully told, Wicked River is an exuberant work of Americana that portrays a forgotten society on the edge of revolutionary change.

Photograph shows the overloaded steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River the day before her boilers exploded and she sank on April 27th. The passengers included ca. 1,880 Union soldiers heading home at the end of the Civil War; more than 1,100 of these men died in the disaster.

Photograph shows the overloaded steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River the day before her boilers exploded and she sank on April 27th. The passengers included ca. 1,880 Union soldiers heading home at the end of the Civil War; more than 1,100 of these men died in the disaster.

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