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Archaeologists search for Civil War cannons

South Carolina’s state archaeologist and a team of students are mapping a Civil War naval yard in hopes of finding some cannons from the CSS Pee Dee.

The cannons were on board the CSS Pee Dee, which was the centerpiece of a last ditch effort to save the Confederacy in March 1865. But the Union forces couldn’t be stopped, and commanders ordered the cannons dumped overboard into the Pee Dee River near Florence and had the 170-foot gunboat scuttled.

Starting Thursday, State Archaeologist Jon Leader and eight University of South Carolina students will use metal detectors and radar to map the site of the Mars Bluff Naval Yard and pinpoint the cannons.

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