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On This Day



On This Day… The Confederate Navy’s Most Powerful Ship!

Written by: George Chittenden : 09 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 19th March, back in 1863 when the Confederate Navy’s most powerful ship was scuttled and burned to avoid her falling into enemy hands. The Georgiana was a brig-rigged, iron hulled, propeller steamer, that was never actually used in battle.

Edward Lee Spence

Edward Lee Spence

She was built in Scotland and was on her maiden voyage when she came across Union Navy ships in a blockade off Charleston, South Carolina. Unfortunately, she hadn’t even had her guns fitted, so she didn’t stand a chance, despite her speed. She was carrying 140 men and had an armament of guns and gun carriages in her hold. She was headed to Charleston to be fitted out as a cruiser.

Artifacts recovered from the wreck of the SS Georgiana

Artifacts recovered from the wreck of the SS Georgiana

The Georgiana was heavily damaged, with solid shot passing completely through her hull, so her Captain made the hard decision of scuttling her. Interestingly she was discovered around one-hundred years later, in 1965, by Edward Lee Spence, a pioneer in underwater archaeology and a man who discovered many shipwrecks and lost treasure.

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