||For famous one-armed war correspondent Paddy Quinn, this is to be his final Civil War assignment: the funeral of the assassinated President Lincoln. Quinn and his new bride Felice are aboard the steamboat Sultana going up the spring-flooded Mississippi River toward Illinois to meet the Funeral Train, when their honeymoon vessel stops at Vicksburg and takes on a pathetic human cargo of 2,000 sick and ragged survivors of the hellish Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp, kept alive only by their desire to get home. Quinn's lot is now thrown in with some of the unluckiest veterans of that awful war. While he is interviewing them about life in the notorious prison, the Sultana, carrying five times its lawful number of passengers, explodes after midnight. Quinn is blown overboard with the emaciated veteran Robb Macombie, and in the worst night of his life proves himself a better man than he had ever imagined he could be. In this narrative of America's worst maritime disaster, the deepest undercurrent is the spirit of the martyred President, whom Quinn and Macombie have vowed to honor by attending his funeral even if it kills them.