$653 Million plan, archeology, Civil War shipwreck, Confederate warship, CSS Georgia, environment, government, history, National Civil War Museum, sank 148 years ago, Savannah River, Science, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, unexpected treasures
Published May 05, 2012
May 4, 2012: This undated image provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows a rendering of the CSS Georgia, a Confederate warship that sank in the Savannah River nearly 148 years ago in Savannah, Ga.
Before government engineers can deepen one of the nation’s busiest seaports to accommodate future trade, they first need to remove a $14 million obstacle from the past — a Confederate warship rotting on the Savannah River bottom for nearly 150 years.
Confederate troops scuttled the ironclad CSS Georgia to prevent its capture by Gen. William T. Sherman when his Union troops took Savannah in December 1864. It’s been on the river bottom ever since.
Now, the Civil War shipwreck sits in the way of a government agency’s $653 million plan to deepen the waterway that links the nation’s fourth-busiest container port to the Atlantic Ocean. The ship’s remains are considered so historically significant that dredging the river is prohibited within 50 feet of the wreckage.
So the Army Corps of Engineers plans to raise and preserve what’s left of the CSS Georgia. The agency’s final report on the project last month estimated the cost to taxpayers at $14 million. The work could start next year on what’s sure to be a painstaking effort.