Pee Dee’s popguns
Built at the Mars Bluff Shipyard, along the Pee Dee River in South Carolina, it should be no surprise the 170-foot Macon-class shallow draft schooner-rigged steam gunboat constructed there in 1864 would be dubbed the CSS Pee Dee. The lightly armed Confederate warship was designed to carry two Brooke rifled cannons but also had her armament bolstered by a captured Union Dahlgren cannon.
Hitting the water in April 1864, by the next March, she was scuttled in shallow water some 100 miles north of Georgetown S.C. to prevent her capture by the Union Navy.
Discovered in the silt in 2010, archaeologists from the University of South Carolina five years later raised all three of her cannons.
They have since been restored and earlier this month installed at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs building in Florence. The guns include a VII-inch Brooke double-banded rifle, 6.4-inch Brooke, and IX-inch Dahlgren smoothbore
Photos and captions from The Maritime Research Division of the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina:
According to MRD, “A public event to introduce the cannons is planned for later this summer. Many thanks to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, Long Bay Salvage, Florence County and Museum, CSS Pee Dee Research and Recovery Team, and Veterans Affairs for making the delivery process go smoothly and safely.”