U.S. Navy divers successfully recovered a 64-square foot section of the Savannah-built Civil War ironclad warship CSS Georgia from the bottom of the Savannah River Tuesday evening.
The removal and preservation of the historic ship is part of the mitigation involved in the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, which will deepen the Savannah River channel from its current 42 feet to 47 feet.
Tuesday’s recovery is part of an ongoing operation by the Navy, the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and underwater archeological teams. Read more.
SAVANNAH, Ga. — In just three years of field work, researchers have turned up more than 600 artifacts - from suspender buckles to railroad spikes - at the site of a Civil War prison camp in southeast Georgia that remained virtually undisturbed since it was abandoned in 1864.
And that’s only scratching the surface.
Students and faculty from Georgia Southern University have plans this summer to dig deeper at Camp Lawton, a sprawling prison where the Confederate army once held more than 10,000 captured Union troops. But first they’re using cellphone chargers and a veterinarian’s X-ray machine to help with the painstaking work of cleaning and preserving items already uncovered. Read more.
Thanks to astronomy, the 19th century mystery surrounding the death of Confederate general “Stonewall” Jackson during the Civil War may finally be solved.
Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was a major figure in the Civil War, second in command to Confederate general Robert E. Lee, when he was shot by friendly fire during the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. Shortly after that battle in northeastern Virginia, Jackson died of his wounds, leaving the Confederate army without one of its boldest military strategists just two months before the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg.
But exactly how Jackson’s own troops could have mistaken him for the enemy has been unexplained until now. Read more.
STATESBORO, GA – Georgia Southern University archaeologists will begin a major conservation project to identify and conserve 150-year-old metal artifacts found at Camp Lawton, a Confederate Prisoner of War (POW) camp located at what is now Magnolia Springs State Park in Millen, Ga. The project is the next step in preparation for the opening of a planned History Center at the park.
As part of the project, Georgia Southern archaeologists will X-ray recovered artifacts to determine if solid metal remains inside visible corrosion. In a unique partnership, the team will be working with Gary Edwards, DVM and the staff at Gateway Animal Hospital of Statesboro who are graciously donating their time and equipment to X-ray the artifacts before conservation is attempted. Read more.
For 140 years the two Yankee sailors lay entombed in the turret of the USS Monitor, doomed shipmates aboard the sunken Civil War vessel 40 fathoms down and 16 miles off Cape Hatteras.
Their remains were recovered when the turret was brought to the surface in an amazing feat of marine archaeology and engineering in 2002. Next month, after a decade of trying to learn their identities, the Navy plans to bury the comrades as unidentified in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
The funeral, scheduled for March 8, will mark 40 years of research into the Monitor by the Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va., and many other organizations.
And it will lay to rest perhaps the last of over 600,000 soldiers, sailors and Marines who perished in the long ago war for the Union. Read more.
For nearly 150 years, the story of the Hunley’s attack on the USS Housatonic has been Civil War legend.
And it has been wrong.
Scientists have discovered a piece of the Confederate submarine’s torpedo still attached to its spar, debunking eyewitness accounts that the Hunley was nearly 100 feet away from the explosion that sent a Union blockade ship to the bottom of the sea off Charleston in 1864.
Instead, the Hunley and its eight-man crew were less than 20 feet from the blast. And that changes everything about the story — and possibly even provides a clue as to why it sank.
“I would say this is the single-most important piece of evidence we have found from the attack,” said Maria Jacobsen, senior archaeologist on the Hunley project. Read more.
FREDERICKSBURG, VA. - The first bullet surfaced just after lunch.
As Jon Tucker sifted soil through a screen in September, a corroded lead slug jiggled into view amid the sand and ash excavated from a pit just a few feet from a fenced-off sidewalk and rushing traffic. Tucker waved to his supervisor, archaeologist Taft Kiser, and held up the bullet for him to see.
Hundreds of artifacts followed, along with the contours of a buried cellar holding a rich trove of Civil War history sealed since a ferocious 1862 battle in this Virginia city, which today lies just beyond the suburbs of Washington.
The discovery amid construction of a courthouse was unexpected. But the site has astonished historians and archaeologists for another reason: It represents a “time capsule,” in the words of Kiser, undisturbed through more than a century of urban construction around it. Read more.
PRINCE GEORGE, Va. (WTVR) - One man’s decision to clean house caused a bit of a scare for some neighbors in Prince George Friday morning.
Bob Cleveland, a former area Civil War relic hunter, called in the Bomb Squad as a precaution to help remove several items from his property.
Cleveland said he he started collecting the items decades ago and said that as time passed, he forgot about some of the items.
When Cleveland decided it was time to part with a Civil War-era cannonball and a mortar shell, he figured the safest and most effective way was to call police.
“The one’s they’re taking away came from around Petersburg,” said Cleveland. ”If you haven’t done anything to it, it’s dry powder – and it’s highly explosive. I’d rather have somebody handle it that knows what they’re doing.” Read more.