Only Living Survivor of Boat Wreck Here 75 Years Ago
Nannie Tidd Eagerly Follows Plans for the Flag Celebration
only living survivor of one of Shreveport’s most tragic
accidents, the wreck in June, 1865, of a river boat carrying
the families of Confederate soldiers who surrendered here,
Mrs. Nannie Tidd of Hutchinson, Kansas, cousin of R.V.
Wynne, 515 ½ Travis street, is eagerly following plans for
the Confederate celebration here next month.
Tidd, now 75 years old, was a baby of four months when the S.S.
Kentucky struck a rock in the Red river and sank,
carrying her father, a Confederate captain, and about 500
other passengers to their deaths.
interested in Confederate history which played such an
important part in her early life, Mrs. Tidd, whose address
is 104 W. 21st street in Hutchinson, hopes that
she will be able to come to Shreveport to take part in the
celebration of the 75th anniversary of the last
lowering of the Confederate flag on land, at Shreveport May
Born at Army Camp
Mrs. Tidd’s father, Capt. Anthony Walton, was with Colonel
Stone’s regiment of “Price’s army”, made up largely
of Missourians. The captain’s family came to Texas in 1864
to stay with him there.
The regiments decided to camp during that winter on a piece
of property near Plano, Texas, owned by Captain Walton. This
property, chosen because it provided plenty of fresh water,
is now known as Big Spring farm.
was at this encampment that Mrs. Tidd was born a few months
before the last lowering of the Confederate flag at
Shreveport. When the Confederate army began surrendering,
the army in Texas decided to return to their Missouri homes
and headed for Shreveport where a boat, the S.S. Kentucky,
was to carry them home.
Struck Rock Ledge
About 200 of these regiments, Mrs Tidd says, surrendered in
Shreveport. Traveling by horseback, it took the party two
days to come from Plano to Shreveport.
At sunset on June 9 the company boarded the ship which was
to take them to St. Louis, Mrs. Tidd says retelling the
story which her mother told her many times. In the group
where Mrs. Tidd’s five older brother and sisters.
At 9 p.m. the boat struck a rock promontory along the shore
near Shreveport. A false fire alarm was sounded, and the
women and children, joined by soldiers, rushed to the end of
the vessel nearest the shore. This rapidly sank the ship.
Mrs. Tidd’s oldest sister, Clemet (Clementine) Walton,
grabbed the tiny baby, who weighed only five pounds and held
her over their heads as they struggled in the water. Mrs.
Walton called out what Mrs. Tidd describes as the “Masonic
distress call” and soon a lifeboat picked up the mother
and her children.
Kept Watch on Shore
For two days the mother stayed on the banks, hoping her
husband’s body would be found. She kept the children on
top of a trunk at the riverside while rescuers hunted for
Mrs. Walton never saw her husband’s body and finally took
her children back to her Missouri home to rear them there.
“A man wrote my mother 25 years later and said he knew my
father well. He said that he stayed and helped bury the
dead, and that my father and 18 others were buried on a high
dry place. Maybe some day I’ll come down and see a
monument to your unknown dead,” Mrs. Tidd wrote her
cousin, Mr. Wynne.
Burying Place Lost
There is still no information as to the location of these
graves. If any old residents of Shreveport know anything of
them, The Shreveport Times would be glad to receive any
information and investigate this mass burial of Confederate
soldiers who were victims of the wreck.
Mrs. Tidd has traveled extensively and has been all over
Europe. She had an audience with Pope Pius XI shortly before
Recently Mrs. Tidd went back to Plano, Texas, to visit the
scene of the army’s encampment and her birth.
Source: Files of Neil Block, Commander, William T. Anderson
Camp #1743 SCV, Huntsville, Mo; transcribed by Lisa Perry
and corrected by Glenda Sharbono, LSU Shreveport Noel
Memorial Library Archives and Special Collections. Source of
original newspaper article is The Shreveport Times,
pg. 8, dated April 28, 1940; the article includes a photo of