Monday, February 16, 2009
National Civil War Naval Museum - Columbus, Georgia
One of the most fascinating historical exhibits in the nation stands by the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia.
Originally established to preserve the wrecks of the Confederate warships C.S.S. Jackson and C.S.S. Chattahoochee, the National Civil War Naval Museum has grown into a magnificent facility that interprets the history of both the Confederate and Union navies with artifacts, displays and full-size reproductions of Civil War ships.
The most stunning artifact in the museum is the wreck of the C.S.S. Jackson, a massive ironclade built at Columbus for a planned effort to break the blockade at Apalachicola Bay, Florida. The huge ship was 225 feet long, 54 feet wide and weighed an estimated 2000 tons. Captured by the Union army as it was nearing completion, the ship was set afire and burned to the waterline before sinking into the soft mud on the bottom of the Chattahoochee River. Raised in 1961, it is now part of a remarkable exhibit.
In addition, the museum offers visitors a chance to explore a partial reconstruction of Admiral David Farragut's famed flagship, the U.S.S. Hartford, and to experience a Civil War battle aboard the noted Confederate ironclad C.S.S. Albemarle. A full-size reproduction of the U.S.S. Water Witch, captured near Savannah by Confederate forces in 1864, will open to visitors in April.
Other artifacts on display include the original flag from the C.S.S. Arkansas, uniforms, weapons and even a massive cannon from the Jackson that is fired on special occasions.
If you would like to learn more about the National Civil War Naval Museum, please visit our new page at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/navymuseum.