C.S.S. Peedee

USC archaeologists find Civil War boat

By Hunter Hardinge and Derek Legette - The Daily Gamecock

C.S.S PeeDee rediscovered during search for lost shipyard

Almost 150 years after the C.S.S. Peedee was blown to smithereens, USC professors and students recently uncovered the Confederate boat near Charleston.

Found in its namesake river, the C.S.S. Peedee was blown to pieces by Confederate troops in 1865 to keep Union troops from capturing the boat.

“We knew the ship was there when we found a tree growing in the middle of the river. There had to be a structure underneath the tree in order for it to grow,” state underwater archaeologist Christopher Amer said.

The project originally started in 2009 in hopes of discovering the Mars Bluff Navy Yard, the missing shipyard where the Peedee was constructed. Two cannons and the iron propellers — as well as remains of bricks and iron — have been found, along with other artifacts.

The shipyard remains undiscovered.

“We are still searching,” Amer said. “We have found parts to a dock, and this should help us find the location of the shipyard.”

Also, the third cannon, the largest and heaviest at 15,000 pounds, remains lost.

Jon Leader, a archaeologist and head of the State Archaeologist Office, said it is unlikely to be far from where the team is searching.

The contents of the surroundings are key in finding the missing parts.