NOAA, Navy Survey of Civil War Shipwrecks

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
NOAA and the U.S. Navy embarked today on a two-day research expedition to survey the condition of two sunken Civil War vessels that have rested on the seafloor of the James River in Hampton Roads, Va., for nearly 150 years.
Using state-of-the-art sonar technology to acquire data, researchers will create three-dimensional maps of the two shipwrecks, USS Cumberland and CSS Florida, to  analysis on their current conditions and better understand the technological innovations of the time.
“The remains of the USS Cumberland and CSS Florida, preserved in the waters of Hampton Roads, remind us of the sacrifices made during the Civil War and give us a unique and rare opportunity to explore a pivotal chapter in our nation’s history,” said David Alberg, superintendent of NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. “NOAA is pleased to be part of a project that increases understanding of America’s maritime heritage.”
USS Cumberland was lost on March 8, 1862, during the Battle of Hampton Roads, where she served in the U.S. Navy’s North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She sank after being rammed by the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) and went down with more than 121 men.
CSS Florida was a Confederate commerce raider which had been captured by the U.S. Navy in Brazil. Towed to United States as a prize despite Brazil's protests, it was lost on Nov. 19, 1864, following a collision with a U.S. Navy troop ferry.
Both vessels are protected by federal law under the Sunken Military Craft Act of 2005, the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987, and the Territorial Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives the U.S. government exclusive rights to its own property.
“We are extremely excited about this project,” said Alexis Catsambis, underwater archaeologist and cultural resource manager of the U.S. Navy’s Naval History & Heritage Command (NHHC). “The information collected during this project will really increase our understanding of the condition of these wrecks.”
The last survey of the USS Cumberland took place in 2007. The expedition will be the first time the CSSFlorida will be surveyed by the federal government.
In addition to archaeological and historic significance, this project will also develop education and outreach materials to expand public awareness of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, with sesquicentennial commemoration events throughout 2011.
“The more we learn about our cultural resources, the more we discover about our nation’s history and the people who shaped it,” said Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach, NHHC director. “The survey work on the USSCumberland and the CSS Florida will not only improve our understanding of the vessels themselves, but it will help us gather information on the Civil War and the technological innovations of the time and allow us to bring those stories to the public in a way we have not been able to in the past.”
The project will take place aboard a NOAA research vessel from the nearby USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, which was designated to protect the cultural heritage of its namesake, another shipwreck lost in the Civil War.
Artifacts from the USS Cumberland and CSS Florida, including gun and cannon parts, glassware, and a belt buckle are on permanent exhibit at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in Norfolk, Va. 
Maritime Reporter July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

Brazilian Police to Probe Nuclear Submarine Program

Brazilian federal police are investigating potential irregularities in a military program that aims to build a nuclear-powered submarine in partnership with France by 2023, newspaper Folha de S.

Philippines Mulls Massive Military Spend

Philippine generals on Wednesday asked Congress to almost triple annual defence spending over the next five years to upgrade equipment amid an escalating marine dispute with giant neighbour China.

Japan Seeks Australian Submarine Contract

Japan will send a high-level delegation to Adelaide for talks on building Australia's next-generation fleet of submarines.   A former commander of the Japanese

History

Keppel Makes a Clean Sweep at WSH Awards

Keppel Group has clinched 35 awards at this year's Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Awards, organised by the Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Singapore.

SENER Presents on History of Ship Design

The COMPIT annual edition took part this year from May 11-13 in Ulrichshusen, Germany, with the participation of SENER. This event is an International Conference

Important Milestones for BTP

Brazil’s newest and most modern container terminal hits a series of major efficiency milestones   Brasil Terminal Portuário (BTP), Brazil’s newest and most modern container terminal,

 
 
Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2471 sec (4 req/sec)