Thursday, September 17, 2009

Submerged steamers

The remains of a Civil War steamship like the one pictured (top) have just been found in Florida's Jonesboro River (bottom). This is the 2nd so far:
Scottish Chief - This wreck was found 3 weeks ago with sonar in 15' of murky water by a Florida Aquarium research team on Tuesday. It was lodged near an I-275 overpass in Tampa. After its engine had been salvaged, the 124' wooden vessel had been burned and sunk by Union troops in 1863 after repeatedly smuggling cotton and cow hides to Cuba in exchange for medicine, food, ammunition, and other supplies - including liquor and cigars. "This is a fairly major find," said chief researcher John William Morris. "It's buried up to the gunwales and the preservation factor is pretty high." He believes the hull may be fully intact.
Kate Dale - This blockade runner, known for its speed, was found near Lowry Park in the same river last year. It had been docked to have its hull scraped of barnacles when it was attacked, burned to the water-line, and sunk in 1863.
The remains of the Scottish Chief will not be raised, but its location will be shared with the public so divers can take a look. Another vessel, The AB Nays, was docked near the Kate Dale, but was burned by the Confederates to prevent its capture and is believed to lie 150 yards north of the Scottish Chief, where it can sometimes be seen at low tide.

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