Monday, January 11, 2016


11 January 2016: a number of months back we wrote a piece on the discovery, during dredging of the Savanah River, of the remains of an ironclad warship. Because it was of too deep a draft to make it over the bar at the mouth of the river, it was used as a floating battery which would help defend Savanah in the event of a Northern attack. (It never fired a shot in 1864 when General Sherman marched into the city and took it handily - see below)

So, the decision was made to raise as much of it as possible for posterity and preserve what they could for future generations.

Leather boots, the hilts of swords and other lifestyle artifacts were among the nearly 30,000 artifacts recovered a few months back from the wreckage of the sunken ironclad Confederate gunship CSS Georgia.

More than half of what was brought up during the $14 million government project, however, was of a much more ordinary nature: nuts, bolts, washers, bent iron rails and other material that did  shed no light on the lives of sailors serving aboard the vessel. So rather than clutter up a display, the decision was made to pitch the stuff - back into the river.

Altogether, 16,697 artifacts weighing a total of 135 tons were returned to a watery grave at the bottom of the Savannah River, said Jim Jobling, project manager for the Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University, which is tasked with cataloging, cleaning and preserving artifacts from the Civil War shipwreck.

Whatever the project manager deemed unique was retained, but the rest of the stuff recovered in the salvage effort was packed into containers, sealed, and buried deep into the muck of the Savanah River - out of the shipping channel (the deepening of which was the original reason for the dredging and hence, the discovery of the wreck)

The ship, CSS Georgia was scuttled in the face of Sherman's arrival to keep it from falling into Yankee hands.

Thanks to AP and Washington Post for the info in this post.

Until next time,
                           Fair Winds,
                              Old Salt

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