Savannah Harbor Deepening Project Dredges Up History, Savannah Morning News, (no author provided), July 4, 2017The harbor deepening project has dredged up another big piece of history. After welding a new frame to fit its 31- by 24-foot dimensions, crews Sunday raised a 67-ton section of armoring from the sunken CSS Georgia.
It was the west casement, or armoring, of the ironclad gunboat built for the Confederacy in 1862. Designed and constructed in Savannah, the vessel’s engines proved too weak to propel it through the river’s tidal waters. The Georgia instead was moored near Fort Jackson to protect the city of Savannah from a Union naval approach. Confederate troops scuttled the vessel in that area as Gen. William T. Sherman’s Union troops approached in 1864.
As a captured enemy vessel, it’s considered property of the Navy.
Deepening the Savannah River channel to 47 feet, a $973 million project, will adversely impact the wreck site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To mitigate these adverse impacts, archaeologists are excavating the site before that area is dredged. Begun in 2015, the excavation work is in its final stage with artifacts ranging from cannons to buckles already recovered.
Caption: The west casement, or armoring, of the CSS Georgia is raised from the Savannah River near Fort Jackson Sunday. As the city continues its dredging project, more artifacts are being unveiled. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District)
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