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CSS Georgia (battery)
CSS Georgia ironclad
Career Naval ensign of the Confederate States of America (1863–1865).svg
Name: CSS 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]

ReferencesEdit

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.

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