CSS Georgia (battery)

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CSS Georgia
Name: Georgia
Laid down: 1862
Launched: 1863
Commissioned: 1863
Decommissioned: December 21, 1864
Fate: Destroyed to prevent capture
General characteristics
Length: 250 ft (76 m)
Beam: 60 ft (18 m)
Complement: 200 officers and men
Armament: 4 to 9 guns

CSS Georgia, also known as State of Georgia and Ladies' Ram, was built in Savannah, Georgia in 1862 and was originally designed to be an ironclad gunboat.[1] Funding in the amount of $115,000 for her construction was provided by the Ladies' Gunboat Association.[2]

Placed under command of Lieutenant Washington Gwathmey, CSN, she was employed in defending the river channels below Savannah, training her batteries against the Union advance.[2] It is believed she lacked effective locomotive power for offensive engagement and was subsequently anchored in the Savannah River, protecting both Savannah and Fort Jackson as a floating battery rather than her intended design as a gunboat.[1] The CSS Georgia had only been in operation for 20 months when Sherman's March to the Sea ended in Savannah on December 21, 1864; it was on that day the Confederates chose to destroy her rather than abandon the ship for Union use; in her 20-month life she never fired one shot.[1]

After settling to the bottom of Savannah River, the wreck lay unnoticed for over 100 years; it was during a dredging operation in 1968 that the wreck site was found.[1] As dredging continued over the years, the site was avoided; however possible accidental impacts from dredging equipment and anchors intended to mark site location may have damaged the ship.[1] Today all that remains are a portion of the forward and aft casemate, along with remnants of the ship's engines including boilers, shafts, propellers, and condensers.[2] Several cannon were found near the wreck as well, along with assorted ordnance.[2]

As of May 2012, the Army Corp of Engineers at a budgeted cost of $14 million is planning to raise the ship to accommodate further dredging of the river.[3]

Archeologists working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, aided by teams from the U.S. Navy, retrieved a 64-square foot section of the Civil War ironclad warship from the bottom of the Savannah River on November 12, 2013.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Watts, Gordon P; James Jr, Stephen R. (February 2007). "In Situ Archaeological Evaluation of the CSS Georgia Savannah Harbor, Georgia". Final Grant Report to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Anuskiewicz, Richard J; Garrison, Ervan G. (1992). "Underwater archaeology by braille: Survey methodology and site characterization modeling in a blackwater environment - A study of a scuttled confederate ironclad, CSS Georgia.". In: Cahoon, LB. (ed.) Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences Twelfth Annual Scientific Diving Symposium "Diving for Science 1992". Held September 24–27, 1992 at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, NC. (American Academy of Underwater Sciences). Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ Russ Bynum (May 5, 2012). "Civil War shipwreck in the way of Ga. port project". Associated Press. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ Rodriguez, Raquel (November 13, 2013). "A Piece Of Civil War History Raised From The Savannah River". WSAV-TV. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 

Coordinates: 32°5′5″N 81°2′9″W / 32.08472°N 81.03583°W / 32.08472; -81.03583 This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.