SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — After 150 years at the bottom of the Savannah River, the armored skeleton of the Confederate warship CSS Georgia is being raised to the surface one 5-ton chunk at a time.
Navy divers who began working in late June to recover cannons, unexploded shells and other artifacts from the riverbed finally started midweek on their last major task — retrieving an estimated 250,000 pounds of the Civil War ironclad’s armored siding.
CSS Georgia was scuttled by its own crew to prevent Gen. William T. Sherman from capturing the massive gunship when his Union troops took Savannah in December 1864. Still classified as a captured enemy vessel by the Navy, the remains of the Confederate ironclad are being salvaged as part of a $703 million deepening of the Savannah harbor for cargo ships.
All artifacts from CSS Georgia are being sent to the Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, for cataloging and preservation. The Navy hasn’t said where those artifacts will ultimately reside.