Army Corps of Engineers conducts underwater investigations in area of other where artifacts discovery in the Savannah River

USACE, Savannah District
Published Oct. 22, 2021

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began additional submerged archaeological investigations and artifact recovery efforts in the Savannah River this week.

Contractors for the Savannah District completed submerged archaeological investigations in May 2021 in response to the discovery of three cannons dating to pre-Civil War times. Through remote sensing technologies and diver identifications, experts found additional artifacts related to the cannons on the river bottom. The exact number and types of artifacts remaining in the Savannah River will be determined through the current and upcoming investigations, and these materials will be recovered for further study.

The previous investigation revealed that the cannons were manufactured during the mid-1700s, but a definitive conclusion on their origins is still pending and may require future conservation efforts to study any identifying marks that may tie the artifacts to a specific vessel or wreck. Officials with the Savannah District continue to conduct future actions in accordance with applicable laws. The artifacts removed from the river bottom remain under the care of the Corps of Engineers while awaiting the next step in preservation.

Currently investigators have identified cribs of bricks and other rubble placed in the river by the Confederate defenders of Savannah to prevent federal vessels from approaching the city during the Civil War. For details the media and public may see preliminary discussion of the current effort on You Tube at

. These submerged crib obstructions are believed to be some of the last remaining examples of this type of obstruction placed in the Savannah River during the Civil War.


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Billy Birdwell, Senior Public Affairs Specialist
912-677-6039 (cell)

Release no. 21-023