Friday, March 18, 2011

CSS Peedee Found-- Part 5

Continued from Jan. 5, 2011. From the Dec. 28, 2010 Columbia (SC) Free Times.

The warship did not have an illustrious career, but is very indicative of Confederate attempts to offset Union Naval superiority during the war.

The ship was launched at one of the Confederacy's inland naval yards (so as to be out of reach of the Union Navy), Mars Bluff, in Jan. 1865. The 150 foot long CSS Peedee was in just one skirmish, about 40 miles upstream near Cheraw, SC, when it provided cover for General Hardee's troops, retreating in front of Sherman's army.

It returned to Mars Bluff and was torched and sunk by its crew to prevent it falling into enemy hands. It is possible that there was an explosion as well.

Over the course of the last 146 years, the level of Peedee River has risen and fallen many times. During low water, the wreck of the Peedee reappeared several times.

A US Navy ensign spotted the wreck shortly after the Civil War.

On 1906, the US Army Corps of Engineers pushed the wreckage onto a sandbar while dredging the river.

In the 1920s, the Sons of Confederate Veterans managed to recover the propellers and place them in the county museum.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

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