Physical Processes at the CSS Chattahoochee Wreck Site

  • Richard Stephenson
Part of the The Springer Series in Underwater Archaeology book series (SSUA)


During the summer of 1984, the remains of the wooden gunboat CSS Chattahoochee were investigated. The research was funded by the Confederate Naval Museum in Columbus, Georgia; on-site operations were conducted by the East Carolina University Program in Maritime History and Underwater Research. The goals of the project were fourfold: (1) to locate the wreck, (2) to at least partially excavate the remains, (3) to map the wreck, and (4) to help develop a management strategy for the wreck site. To accomplish these goals it was necessary to ascertain the physical processes and the environmental conditions of the site. The purpose here is to describe the physical processes related to the wreck. First, a description of the historical aspects of the demise of the CSS Chattahoochee will be reviewed. Then, a description of the geographical setting of the area will be presented. These aspects of the wreck of the gunboat serve as the basis for the analysis of site formation processes which are presented in three parts: (1) the early fluvial processes, (2) the more recent anthropo-limnologic processes, and (3) the observed conditions during the on-site investigation. Finally, some management alternatives are suggested in view of the physical processes and the environmental setting involved.


Biochemical Oxygen Demand Fecal Coliform Pool Level Gulf Coastal Plain Maritime Archaeology 


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  1. Turner, M., 1975, Naval Operations on the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee Rivers, 1861–1865. Alabama Historical Quarterly, XXXVI.Google Scholar
  2. U.S. Geological Survey, 1968, Water Resources Data for Georgia, Part 1, Surface Water Records. U.S. Department of the Interior, Atlanta.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

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  • Richard Stephenson

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