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. Funding in the amount of $115,000 for her construction was provided by the Ladies' Gunboat Association.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. Several cannon were found near the wreck as well, along with assorted ordnance.
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.
- Watts, Gordon P; James Jr, Stephen R. (2007-02). "In Situ Archaeological Evaluation of the CSS Georgia Savannah Harbor, Georgia". http://sav-harbor.com/Cultural%20Resources/CSS_Georgia_Site_Investigation_Report.pdf. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- 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.". American Academy of Underwater Sciences. http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9029. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Russ Bynum (5 May 2012). "Civil War shipwreck in the way of Ga. port project". http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2012/05/05/civil_war_shipwreck_in_the_way_of_ga_port_project/. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
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Coordinates: This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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