It is amazing what you’ll have to do when you are trying to dredge a channel. Outside of Savannah, Georgia, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with the United States Navy, have brought to the surface a portion of a Civil War Ironclad. The CSS Georgia was moored near the old Fort Jackson and she had a substantial hand in guarding the Savannah River channel from the Union Navy. To her credit, no Union Naval forces got past her, and her crew eventually scuttled her and escaped when the Union Forces finally advanced and took Savannah in 1864. Now, with the need to make a deeper and wider channel, the effort is underway to remove the wreck of the CSS Georgia. (They have “bumped” into her before, in the 1960s, but now they have to deal with it, so they can expand the channel to handle the latest and larger ships coming into the Port of Savannah.) From personal experience I can say that I’ve seen portions of the wrecked ship out in the water, while visiting the old Fort Jackson, and her legacy is at least a part of the basis in the first book for the “defense” of the Savannah River area from the nightly advances of the Gomers. Sure, the weapons were simple then, but the concepts were there, and CSS Georgia played her part. As a result, this is an amazing piece of history about the construction and ideas that went into making the CSS Georgia. Naturally, this gets me excited, and I am looking forward to seeing more as they raise what is left to the surface. ~ Michael S. Pauley
Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.