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Saturday, June 4, 2005

Sunken CSS Georgia may be brought back to land

But it sounds like there's not much left of it. It's been sitting in the Savannah harbor since it was scuttled there in 1864 to avoid Sherman taking it. It was an ironclad.

Seems like there's a big push in the past few years to bring up old ships on the sea bottom. Made me wonder about what happened to some others:
+ They resurrected the Confederate submarine the CSS Hunley a few years ago off the South Carolina coast and buried the remains of its crew.
+ The most famous of the Civil War ironclads, of course, were the Union Monitor and the Confederate Merrimac, also called the Virginia. It sounds like The Monitor is being brought to the surface one piece at a time over the course of several years -- the Mariners' Museum is planning to open the U.S. Monitor Center in Newport News, Virginia, where the Monitor sank, in 2007. You can buy your own "Property of the U.S.S. Monitor" t-shirt through their online gift shop. As for the Merrimac, it didn't last too much longer after its famous battle with the Monitor; its crew blew it up to keep the Union from getting at it. It was salvaged not long after the Civil War ended. Some parts of it are at the Mariners' Museum, some at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, and other pieces are elsewhere. The Museum of the Confederacy Web site is here.
+ The Titanic was found in 1985 off the coast of Nova Scotia. Wikipedia says more than 6,000 artifacts have been removed from it. A team from NOAA visited the wreckage in 2003. For an interesting piece about someone upset that people would make money off the removal of Titanic artifacts, check this out.
+ The Edmund Fitzgerald, made famous in song by Gordon Lightfoot, is still on the bottom of the big lake they call Gitcheegumee, er, Lake Superior, where it sank in 1975. In 1995, a consortium of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, the families of the Fitz's crew and others had the ship's bell removed and brought back to the surface, where it was rung in honor of the dead at a memorial service. Divers put a new bell back on the shipwreck with the names inscribed of those who lost their lives on the ship. (This was done with the permission of the Canadian government and the ship's owners.) Who was Edmund Fitzgerald, anyhow? He was the head of an insurance company. That and other interesting facts here.

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