Archaeologists recover cannon from sunken Confederate ship

September 22, 2015

Marine archaeologists have recovered the fifth cannon from a Confederate warship that's been at the bottom of the Savannah River since the American Civil War, officials said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the 9,000-pound Dahlgren rifled cannon—the second of its type recovered from the CSS Georgia in recent months—was raised from the water last week.

Military officials said archaeologists are raising other relics from the ironclad as well, such as leather shoes, wrenches, ceramic bottles and an anvil.

The CSS Georgia is being recovered as part of a $703 million deepening of the Savannah harbor so larger cargo ships can reach the Port of Savannah. Before the harbor can be deepened, the CSS Georgia has to be raised.

After years of planning, archaeologists have tagged and recorded the locations of thousands of pieces from the shipwreck. While divers have brought smaller artifacts to the surface, the Navy is being called in to raise the 120-foot-long ship's larger sections and weapons.

The 1,200-ton ironclad vessel never saw a fight. A Ladies Gunboat Association in Savannah raised $115,000 to build the ship to protect the city. But the CSS Georgia's engines proved too weak to propel its heavy frame against river currents.

It was scuttled by its own crew to prevent its capture by U.S. Gen. William T. Sherman when his Union army took Savannah in December 1864. Today, it's considered a captured enemy vessel and is property of the U.S. Navy.

Explore further: Archaeologists Locate Confederate Cannons, Naval Yard

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