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Civil War gunship artifacts returned to Savannah River

More than 15,000 artifacts recovered from the wreckage of the confederate gunship CSS Georgia have been returned to the mud of the Savannah River.

Leather boots, the hilts of swords — even a stray earring — were among the nearly 30,000 artifacts recovered this fall from the wreckage of the sunken ironclad Confederate gunship CSS Georgia.

More than half of the haul retrieved during the $14 million government project, however, was of a much more mundane nature: nuts, bolts, washers, bent iron rails and other material that did not shed any new light on the lives of sailors serving aboard the vessel.

Altogether, 16,697 artifacts weighing a total of 135 tons were returned to a watery grave at the bottom of the Savannah River, said Jim Jobling, project manager for the Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University, which is tasked with cataloging, cleaning and preserving artifacts from the Civil War shipwreck.

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Story: Russ Bynum, AP | Photo: MC1 Blake Midnight/US Navy via AP, File

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