A Piece Of Civil War History Raised From The Savannah River - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

A Piece Of Civil War History Raised From The Savannah River

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Sketch of the CSS Georgia Sketch of the CSS Georgia
Site of CSS Georgia Site of CSS Georgia

Archeologists working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, aided by 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 Tuesday night.

The CSS Georgia is a Confederate ironclad warship that was built in Savannah during the Civil War. 

The warship sits in pieces under the water near the historic old Fort Jackson in Savannah. The plan is to remove the warship and preserve it so the area can be deepened for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

Archaeologist Stephen James said the CSS Georgia was built with money raised by the Ladies Gunboat Association in Savannah.

"She was underpowered so she basically sat out opposite Fort Jackson as a gun battery, between the fort and the iron clad ram, she protected the city from Union naval forces," said James.

The warship built in 1862 came to an end in December 1864.

"It never fired a shot. When Sherman's army took the city she was scuttled just before the city was taken and abandoned," said James.

The wreckage has been at the bottom of the river until now. U.S. Navy Master Diver Eric Eberle said it was an honor to pull up a section of the hull.

"You study history, you read history, and there's nothing better than stepping back into history, and saying you did something," said Eberle.

James said he can't wait to get more answers about this mysterious warship.

"We know very little about how she was constructed, there are no plans, she was built on the fly very quickly," said James.

The archeologist estimates it will take about two months to raise the warship.

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