CSS Peedee

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History
Confederate States of America
Name: Peedee
Namesake: Pee Dee River
Builder: Peedee Naval Shipyard, South Carolina
Commissioned: 20 April 1864
Fate: Destroyed to prevent her capture, 18 February 1865
General characteristics
Class and type: Macon-class gunboat
Length: 170 ft (51.8 m)
Beam: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Draught: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine and sails
Speed: 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 91
Armament:
Armor: None

The CSS Peedee, also known as the CSS Pee Dee was a Confederate gunboat launched in January 1865 and scuttled the following month during the American Civil War.

The Pee Dee was a Macon-class gunboat that was armed with two Brooke rifled cannons and a captured Union Dahlgren cannon. She was built at the Mars Bluff Navy Yard on the Great Pee Dee River in Marion County, South Carolina.[1]

On December 21, 2010, South Carolina’s state archaeologist announced that a team of researchers believed had discovered the remains of the Peedee.[2]

It is believed that in mid-February 1865, after an inconclusive upriver skirmish with a larger Union warship, the Pee Dee's crew scuttled their ship to prevent her being captured by the enemy.

“They started dismantling the vessel and burning it,” The Associated Press quoted South Carolina state archaeologist Jonathan Leader as saying. “It’s a debris field.”[3]

The discovery comes a year and a half after Leader and fellow researcher Chris Amer discovered two of the cannon that belonged to the Pee Dee.[4] The CSS Pee Dee's guns were located by the CSS Peedee Research and Recovery Team, directed by Bob Butler of Florence, S.C., and Ted L. Gragg of Conway, S.C. The entire record of their search, as well as more of the ship's history and that of the Mars Bluff Shipyard can be found in Guns of the PEEDEE, The Search for The Warship CSS Pee Dee's Cannons, written by Ted L. Gragg and published by Flat River Rock Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9794572-3-4.

On September 29, 2015, a team of underwater archaeologists from the University of South Carolina raised all three cannons, which had been thrown overboard before the Peedee was scuttled. These are two Confederate-made Brooke rifled cannon and a larger captured Dahlgren cannon. The historic guns were taken to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, South Carolina. Once they are restored, they will be on permanent outdoor display at the new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs building in Florence.[5]

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