FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The LAMAR Institute, Inc.
P. O. Box 2992 Savannah, Georgia 31402
Contact: Rita Elliott, Public Outreach
Helps to Raise the CSS Georgia Wreck
Savannah, July 30. The LAMAR Institute helped to raise the wreck of the Confederate ironclad CSS Georgia at the Raise the Wreck Festival held at Fort Jackson Historic Site in Savannah, Georgia. The festival was held on July 25 and was attended by nearly 1,400 people. LAMAR Institute archaeologists Dawn Ashlock and Betsy Shirk demonstrated the use of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) equipment and answered questions from visitors about archaeology. They also presented information on the LAMAR Institute's Battle of Monteith Swamp battlefield study and a few lucky teachers were handed DVDs of Michael Jordan's short documentary film about that Civil War battlefield project. The battle at Monteith Swamp was the first domino to fall in the capture of Savannah in 1864. Major General W. T.Sherman's 20th Corps, more than 10,000 strong, faced about 300 Confederates at a fortified causeway at the Chatham-Effingham County line. While a Union victory, the Confederate defenders managed to slow the progress of Sherman's Army on December 9, 1864, which allowed Savannah to prepare for the pending siege. The LAMAR Institute's battlefield survey in 2010 and 2011, which was funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program resulted in the location of the battlefield, presented the findings and intepretations and identified important areas of the battle ground for potential historic preservation. As the battle of Monteith Swamp was a prelude to the Siege of Savannah, the intentional scuttling of the CSS Georgia marked its end. The "Raise the Wreck Festival" was sponsored by the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as one public outreach opportunity to share the exploration of this shipwreck.
Archaeologists Dawn Ashlock (left) and Betsy Shirk (right) Demonstrate GPR Survey Equipment and Discuss LAMAR Institute's Civil War Battlefield Research in the Savannah Area at the July 25th Raise the Wreck Festival.