Seth Hardin… was on board the Sultana with his bride of a few months [Hanna Sophia Osborn Hardin], returning from their honeymoon trip in the South….
Seth Hardin, with his bride, leaped into the river, thinking they could swim to the shore. In the confusion and darkness of the night Hardin lost his wife, never seeing her after they leaped overboard together.
After his fruitless search for his bride in the icy waters of the river, Hardin struck out for the shore. By some means, unknown to him, he managed to reach land, though he became unconscious while in the water.[i]
A Sad Case
Among the lost is a Mrs. S. W. Hardin, Jr. She had been recently married, and with her husband who is a member of the firm of Cushman, Hardin & Co. of Chicago, was returning home from a wedding tour. They remained on the wreck until compelled by the flames to jump overboard, the cabins fell in with a crash, and simultaneously several hundred persons sprang into the river, causing a confusion by which husband and wife became separated. Mr. Hardin made every effort to find his wife but was unsuccessful. He was subsequently found in an exhausted condition, and is almost distracted. He was formerly adjutant of the 53rd Illinois Infantry. He lost everything.
Mr. Hardin states that upon being brought ashore, he called at a hotel on Adams street, and asked for accommodations, but was refused because he had neither baggage nor money.[ii]
It is said that among the sufferers by the accident yesterday was a Chicago banker [sic], who lost his trunk, several thousand dollars, and most of his wearing apparel. He burrowed some scanty raiment and applied for board to a third-rate hotel, but was told that they couldn’t board a person who had no baggage and looked as he did. He is now at the Worsham House.[iii]
[i] “Wreck of Sultana Cost More Lives Than the Titanic,” Denver [CO] Post, April 23, 1912, p. 3.
[ii] “A Sad Case,” Memphis [TN] Daily Bulletin, April 28, 1865, p. 2.
[iii] Memphis [TN] Daily Bulletin, April 28, 1865, p. 2.
Hannah & Seth William Hardin, Jr.