‘Raise The Wreck’ Festival Draws Hundreds Out to Old Fort Jackson

CSS Georgia Exploration Site on Saturday, July 25, 2015.

On Saturday, some took advantage of the cooler temps by heading out to Old Fort Jackson to learn a little more about our state’s history.

It was everything CSS Georgia at the ‘Raise the Wreck’ Festival down at the Fort.

Not only was it exciting for visitors to get an up-close look at newly uncovered history, but divers and archaeologists also enjoyed the chance to interact with the public–sharing more about the complexity of the exploration.

In 1864, Confederate soldiers deliberately destroyed their own warship–The CSS Georgia.

And now, more than 100 years later–I bet they never imagined the U.S. Navy and archaeologists would still be celebrating a decision they made only to prevent being captured by Union troops–or working to put the pieces back together!

“Yesterday we had a very successful diving day. We picked up the propeller and picked up the shaft and today we’re starting to work on the engine room components, some of the steam cylinders. So we’re hoping to probably get a cylinder or two out today,” said Captain Gregg Baumann, The Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving.

Regardless of what the search brought their way today, those who came out to ‘Raise the Wreck’ today were just excited to see them hard at work.

“Navy divers are inherently very energetic and enthusiastic people-but to have people watching them totally motivates them…and they are just wanting to get into the water and dive as much as they can and continue to bring up artifacts and show the general public about real time history,” Captain Baumann said.

So just how much history has already been collected?– According to project manager  Jim Jobling, quite a lot!

“So far, we’ve recovered approximately 1700 artifacts, different things ranging from cannon, to shells to personal items like this little brass bannet,” said Jobling.

Jobling is a conservator and archaeologist at the Conservation Research Lab at Texas A&M University.

He says after they recover the artifacts, they clean them and send them back to the U.S. Navy.

But ultimately, Jobling says he hopes they find their way back to Georgia, for good!

“…The artifacts belong here, they belong to the CSS Georgia. It was an important part of Savannah history, it’s topical here. If go somewhere else and they display, yes, it’s a very interesting civil war display, but it’s a part of Savannah’s history that needs to be displayed here and hopefully a museum will step up so everyone can enjoy them where they mean the most.”


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