USA: Workers Recover Piece of Civil War Ironclad from Savannah River

Archeologists working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, aided by divers and salvage operations teams from the U.S. Navy, retrieved a 64-square foot section of a Civil War ironclad warship from the bottom of the Savannah River the evening of Nov. 12.

The divers worked in strong currents with near-zero visibility during the past week to assess the possibility of lifting a small piece of the Confederate ship’s casemate for archeological testing. A crane lifted it onto a barge anchored near historic Old Fort Jackson on the eastern edge of Savannah. Experts estimate the piece weighs 5,000 pounds.

The Confederate navy scuttled the CSS Georgia in 1864 as Union troops approached Savannah. The iron-covered ship remained on the river bottom until 1969 when a dredge removing sediment from the shipping channel struck a portion of the ship, according to Julie Morgan, staff archeologist for the Corps’ Savannah District. A brief recovery effort in the 1980s removed two cannon, a few cannon balls and other artifacts.

“Tuesday’s retrieval will play a major role in creating a research design to effectively remove the CSS Georgia before expanding the shipping channel along this stretch of the Savannah River,” said Morgan. “It took a dedicated team working in some very tough conditions to bring this piece to the surface.”

Over time the ship’s casemate, the iron-covered upper portion of the warship, came apart. The small portion removed Tuesday will give archeologists the ability to assess the condition of the remainder of the ship, according to Morgan and ensure we are following protocols from the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) includes removal and preservation of CSS Georgia, which sits immediately adjacent to the shipping channel. The SHEP will deepen Savannah’s harbor from its current 42-foot depth to 47 feet, greatly expanding its capability to handle larger cargo vessels.

Press Release, November 14, 2013

 

Share this article

Follow Dredging Today

Events>

<< Oct 2019 >>
MTWTFSS
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3

CEDA Dredging Days 2019

The conference is well-attended by professionals representing the entire cross-section of the dredging field…

read more >

2019 Western Dredging Association Gulf Coast Chapter Annual Meeting

The meeting will provide a forum for the exchange of information of interest to the dredging industry and its associates.

read more >

Jobs>

Looking to fill a job opening?

By advertising your job here, on the homepage of DredgingToday.com, you'll reach countless professionals in the sector. For more information, click below....

apply

Looking to fill a job opening?

By advertising your job here, on the homepage of DredgingToday.com, you'll reach countless professionals in the sector. For more information, click below...

apply

Dredging jobs in Abu Dhabi at NMDC

National Marine Dredging Company “NMDC” aims to be the largest dredging player in the Arab’s Gulf region...

apply