Knowledge of the Naval War

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Waterloo50

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I have permission from Edwin Bearss to post a video of the actual raising of the USS Cairo in the very early 60's. If anyone has not seen it, they should. If one person requests it, I'll embed it here.
kvholland,
Could you post the link please. I have seen a couple of documentaries on the Cairo but most of them are only a few minutes long. The last USS Cairo video that I watched was called Ironclad The USS Cairo Story'. A few weeks ago I also watched a nice little video on the building of the CSS Neuse replica.
 

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Waterloo50

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This is an 1864 pattern Naval officer's double breasted frock coat, complete with a model 1852 sword belt. The shoulder board rank insignia is that of a Naval Constructor of less than 12 years of service. The coat has faded to almost a charcoal grey appearance, my best guess being that this coat was improperly displayed somewhere for many years in direct sunlight.
VERY RARE.View attachment 86256 View attachment 86257
Hi,
A link to a fantastic Civil War Navy site with some very useful resources. It also contains some very nice images of naval uniforms.
http://www.civilwarnavy.org/?page_id=159
 

kvholland

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kvholland,
Could you post the link please. I have seen a couple of documentaries on the Cairo but most of them are only a few minutes long. The last USS Cairo video that I watched was called Ironclad The USS Cairo Story'. A few weeks ago I also watched a nice little video on the building of the CSS Neuse replica.
 

kvholland

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Regarding the excavation of USS Cario: this film is deliberately being eliminated from public access. I have this one because I bought it in 1981 while considering how to handle my beloved Maple Leaf. Edwin Bearss and I spent some time together this year. He was interested in Maple Leaf's progress; I was interested in what he could teach me about USS Monitors annual multi-million dollar budget, and Federal Historic Preservation Dollars.

It is no secret that Operation Cairo is considered among underwater archaeologist, terrestrial archaeologist, the thousand plus citizens whom observed the fate of Cairo's hull being severed and (literally) thousands of well preserved CW cultural material, in a near state of perfect preservation, tumble willy-nilly back into the strong current of the Yazoo River ~ probably, never to be seen again.

I told him, he need never apologize for that unfortunate event. He was the first to ever attempt such a grand project; "Ed, I have learned a great deal regarding underwater archaeology from your efforts." I am no champion of either lifting Maple Leaf out of her current anaerobic environment, nor coffer ****ing and removing the same from around her pregnant hull.

They did get it out. They put what they got on a barge and moved it to Pascagulla, Miss. Where it sat for seventeen years ~ rotting ~ while we fought a war in Vietnam!!!! There was NO historic perservation dollars.

Hope you enjoy. It is in Vicksburg and a glorious tribute to the park. A must see.

Kindest Regards,
Keith
 

Waterloo50

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Th
Regarding the excavation of USS Cario: this film is deliberately being eliminated from public access. I have this one because I bought it in 1981 while considering how to handle my beloved Maple Leaf. Edwin Bearss and I spent some time together this year. He was interested in Maple Leaf's progress; I was interested in what he could teach me about USS Monitors annual multi-million dollar budget, and Federal Historic Preservation Dollars.

It is no secret that Operation Cairo is considered among underwater archaeologist, terrestrial archaeologist, the thousand plus citizens whom observed the fate of Cairo's hull being severed and (literally) thousands of well preserved CW cultural material, in a near state of perfect preservation, tumble willy-nilly back into the strong current of the Yazoo River ~ probably, never to be seen again.

I told him, he need never apologize for that unfortunate event. He was the first to ever attempt such a grand project; "Ed, I have learned a great deal regarding underwater archaeology from your efforts." I am no champion of either lifting Maple Leaf out of her current anaerobic environment, nor coffer ****ing and removing the same from around her pregnant hull.

They did get it out. They put what they got on a barge and moved it to Pascagulla, Miss. Where it sat for seventeen years ~ rotting ~ while we fought a war in Vietnam!!!! There was NO historic perservation dollars.

Hope you enjoy. It is in Vicksburg and a glorious tribute to the park. A must see.

Kindest Regards,
Keith
Thank you very much for the video, I found it very interesting and helpful. Sometime ago, I read an article written by yourself 'December 2002' which offered a very good overview and history on the Maple Leaf. I have also read the 'Army Report on the Loss of the Maple Leaf' National Archives Document. I also made a point of watching an interview that you gave where you raised the point that it would be difficult to raise 800,000lbs of cultural material and that this would have to be done in cycles. I came away from the video wondering how long it would be before the work on the Maple Leaf would be completed. Could you tell me please, has any other work been carried out or is it really going to be left to future generations?
 

kvholland

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Th

Thank you very much for the video, I found it very interesting and helpful. Sometime ago, I read an article written by yourself 'December 2002' which offered a very good overview and history on the Maple Leaf. I have also read the 'Army Report on the Loss of the Maple Leaf' National Archives Document. I also made a point of watching an interview that you gave where you raised the point that it would be difficult to raise 800,000lbs of cultural material and that this would have to be done in cycles. I came away from the video wondering how long it would be before the work on the Maple Leaf would be completed. Could you tell me please, has any other work been carried out or is it really going to be left to future generations?
.

When I started the Maple leaf project, I supposed that salvors had removed optimistically half of the cargo. That would leave 200 tons or 400,000 pounds. Yet, I found myself kneeling on the bilge ceiling of maple leaf and realizing NO cargo had ever been removed.

Now picture this, I am kneeling on the bilge ceiling if an 1851 steamer in total darkness with my hand down into the bilge; I look up into complete darkness knowing I am 10 feet down into the cargo hold.

Above the main deck (the cargo ceiling) and toward the surface is another 8 feet of tunnel into the bottom of the St. Johns River. Above the bottom is another 24 feet of dark water. I am 42 feet down into St. John's river bottom. And the thought occurs to me, " what have I done?"

With that realization, our team meticulously backed out, filled in, sealed up our entry hole and went away ~ 1996.

We recovered 1 ton of material, equivalent to 4500 pieces of cultural material and left. We only took a twopence. There remains today 798,000 pounds of the baggage and camp equipment of an entire brigade, several regiments, their military and personal belongings in a state of perfect preservation.

If we were to have removed one ton a year it would take 400 years to unload Mapleleaf. We recovered one ton and it has been 25 years since that date. We are grossly behind.

Maple leaf will never go away. It will take generation to fully understand her magnificent historical significance. My problem, or rather challenge is to place the over 30 linear feet of documents on the Internet, easily accessible, and totally unredacted. Mapping the way back in.
 
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Waterloo50

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.

When I started the Maple leaf project, I supposed that salvors had removed optimistically half of the cargo. That would leave 200 tons or 400,000 pounds. Yet, I found myself kneeling on the bilge ceiling of maple leaf and realizing NO cargo had ever been removed.

Now picture this, I am kneeling on the bilge ceiling if an 1851 steamer in total darkness with my hand down into the bilge; I look up into complete darkness knowing I am 10 feet down into the cargo hold.

Above the main deck (the cargo ceiling) and toward the surface is another 8 feet of tunnel into the bottom of the St. Johns River. Above the bottom is another 24 feet of dark water. I am 42 feet down into St. John's river bottom. And the thought occurs to me, " what have I done?"

With that realization, our team meticulously backed out, filled in, sealed up our entry hole and went away ~ 1996.

We recovered 1 ton of material, equivalent to 4500 pieces of cultural material and left. We only took a twopence. There remains today 798,000 pounds of the baggage and camp equipment of an entire brigade, several regiments, their military and personal belongings in a state of perfect preservation.

If we were to have removed one ton a year it would take 400 years to unload Mapleleaf. We recovered one ton and it has been 25 years since that date. We are grossly behind.

Maple leaf will never go away. It will take generation to fully understand her magnificent historical significance. My problem, or rather challenge is to place the over 30 linear feet of documents on the Internet, easily accessible, and totally on redacted. Mapping the way back in.
Many Thanks for your reply.
Having just read your last post I fully understand why future generations will have a role to play, I suppose that there really isn't a great rush to complete the work just yet. Having looked at some of the finds (on-line) I have been amazed at the quality of the artefacts, they are absolutely exquisite, It really is an amazing time capsule, You obviously experienced a Howard Carter moment.:frantic:
 

Michael W.

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I have permission from Edwin Bearss to post a video of the actual raising of the USS Cairo in the very early 60's. If anyone has not seen it, they should. If one person requests it, I'll embed it here.
I DID NOT KNOW A VIDEO EXISTS.......I want to see it please!!!!
 

Waterloo50

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I DID NOT KNOW A VIDEO EXISTS.......I want to see it please!!!!

Michael W. Scroll up on this thread and you will see the video.
Michael W....Here is the video from kvholland. Scroll up to kvhollands post for the full size version. Sorry, I didn't know how to link you directly to the video.
 

kvholland

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Many Thanks for your reply.
Having just read your last post I fully understand why future generations will have a role to play, I suppose that there really isn't a great rush to complete the work just yet. Having looked at some of the finds (on-line) I have been amazed at the quality of the artefacts, they are absolutely exquisite, It really is an amazing time capsule, You obviously experienced a Howard Carter moment.:frantic:
I think it important to emphasize the four thousand five hundred items that were recovered. I call this our "core sample".

Once Maple Leaf shipwreck was pin-pointed, we wanted to "proof" the site. This is commonly called "Ground Truthing" in archaeologist's terms. At first, State Archaeologists suggested we do a core sample by drilling a hole directly through the site ~ two inches. It would be relatively simple, and cost effective. The sample recovered would prove era, content, and conservation requirements. Now, as I prepared to set this up, I asked myself, "Aren't you sure, absolutely sure, this is Maple Leaf? Didn't you tell me you were absoloutely positive, I mean ~ POSITIVE, that the cargo would be preserved?" I did say say those things. "Then why would you want to destroy even one item by drilling a two inch hole through it, DA? What if it goes through a pigeon hole desk, DA?" I changed my mind.

We produced a ten foot diameter by ten foot deep core sample from with in the hull. It is a conservative estimate to say that sample is 0.1% of her total cargo. All has been treated and conserved and is currently stored in Tallahasee, Florida. It is an enormous collection. Imagine if I were to ask you to show me your collection of four thousand five hundred ACW items. Where would it be? How would you begin? Well, they can! You are invited to meet there and I'll show them to you. Seriously!

Kindest Regards
Keith
 

Waterloo50

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I think it important to emphasize the four thousand five hundred items that were recovered. I call this our "core sample".

Once Maple Leaf shipwreck was pin-pointed, we wanted to "proof" the site. This is commonly called "Ground Truthing" in archaeologist's terms. At first, State Archaeologists suggested we do a core sample by drilling a hole directly through the site ~ two inches. It would be relatively simple, and cost effective. The sample recovered would prove era, content, and conservation requirements. Now, as I prepared to set this up, I asked myself, "Aren't you sure, absolutely sure, this is Maple Leaf? Didn't you tell me you were absoloutely positive, I mean ~ POSITIVE, that the cargo would be preserved?" I did say say those things. "Then why would you want to destroy even one item by drilling a two inch hole through it, DA? What if it goes through a pigeon hole desk, DA?" I changed my mind.

We produced a ten foot diameter by ten foot deep core sample from with in the hull. It is a conservative estimate to say that sample is 0.1% of her total cargo. All has been treated and conserved and is currently stored in Tallahasee, Florida. It is an enormous collection. Imagine if I were to ask you to show me your collection of four thousand five hundred ACW items. Where would it be? How would you begin? Well, they can! You are invited to meet there and I'll show them to you. Seriously!

Kindest Regards
Keith
Hello Keith

I think that one of the fundamental differences between marine archaeology and terrestrial archaeology is that marine archaeologists are dealing with a single moment in time rather than a culmination or build up of archaeology. I think that the approach to uncover artefacts within wrecks has to be very different and precise. I was a little surprised that the approach would be to drill a hole, something terrestrial archaeologists would call a 'Sondage'. The benefit of a sondage pit on a terrestrial site can produce stratigraphy, very useful for dating. I'm obviously no expert but I studied archaeology for a few years and I understand that the purpose of the sample hole would have been to ascertain whether an excavation was worth doing, it obviously was. I am quite interested to know how the team went about choosing an area to take the core sample from and how it was carried out. I am planning a trip to the USA for later next year, if it is possible to do so, I would be very happy to meet and see those wonderful artefacts that I have read about. I would also add that I appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to respond to my questions.

Kindest Regards
Waterloo
 
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kvholland

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Hello Keith

I think that one of the fundamental differences between marine archaeology and terrestrial archaeology is that marine archaeologists are dealing with a single moment in time rather than a culmination or build up of archaeology. I think that the approach to uncover artefacts within wrecks has to be very different and precise. I was a little surprised that the approach would be to drill a hole, something terrestrial archaeologists would call a 'Sondage'. The benefit of a sondage pit on a terrestrial site can produce stratigraphy, very useful for dating. I'm obviously no expert but I studied archaeology for a few years and I understand that the purpose of the sample hole would have been to ascertain whether an excavation was worth doing, it obviously was. I am quite interested to know how the team went about choosing an area to take the core sample from and how it was carried out. I am planning a trip to the USA for later next year, if it is possible to do so, I would be very happy to meet and see those wonderful artefacts that I have read about. I would also add that I appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to respond to my questions.

Kindest Regards
Waterloo
Yes, the core sample was suggested because it was most cost effective. One must remember, since it was covered by seven to eight feet of river bottom there was no proof any cargo existed. Also, because it was a Canadian sidewheeler and a Quartermaster's leased army transport there was little information regarding the vessels hull design. I knew the ships length and the engine room length. The only portion above the river bottom was the shaft to the side paddle wheels and a portion of the crank rod that was attached to the walking beam. Knowing that the explosion occurred thirty feet from the bow, it was an easy decision to attempt entry into the aft portion of the hull. We connected a line to the axle and pulled aft one half the length of the engine room plus another thirty feet. On sounding with a metal rod we measured the flat cargo depth at 7.5 feet, very consistent depth from port to starboard. During the sounding we noticed what appeared as a breach in the deck. Turns out this was where the hog frame on the aft port side passed through the deck. It was removed in an 1884 Demolition by a marine salvor. It offered a place to begin cutting into the deck, as we needed to "start" the hand saw. That is the simple answer to where we decided to enter.

Remarkably, once into recovery we learned we had chosen an area where officers baggage was loaded. The cargo hold is ten feet deep, has a center isle approx. four feet wide and to port and starboard are numerous dunnage stalls. The artifact samples represent approx. two thirds of one stall.

image.jpeg


I will gladly take you to see the material.

Kindest,
Keith
 

Waterloo50

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Yes, the core sample was suggested because it was most cost effective. One must remember, since it was covered by seven to eight feet of river bottom there was no proof any cargo existed. Also, because it was a Canadian sidewheeler and a Quartermaster's leased army transport there was little information regarding the vessels hull design. I knew the ships length and the engine room length. The only portion above the river bottom was the shaft to the side paddle wheels and a portion of the crank rod that was attached to the walking beam. Knowing that the explosion occurred thirty feet from the bow, it was an easy decision to attempt entry into the aft portion of the hull. We connected a line to the axle and pulled aft one half the length of the engine room plus another thirty feet. On sounding with a metal rod we measured the flat cargo depth at 7.5 feet, very consistent depth from port to starboard. During the sounding we noticed what appeared as a breach in the deck. Turns out this was where the hog frame on the aft port side passed through the deck. It was removed in an 1884 Demolition by a marine salvor. It offered a place to begin cutting into the deck, as we needed to "start" the hand saw. That is the simple answer to where we decided to enter.

Remarkably, once into recovery we learned we had chosen an area where officers baggage was loaded. The cargo hold is ten feet deep, has a center isle approx. four feet wide and to port and starboard are numerous dunnage stalls. The artifact samples represent approx. two thirds of one stall.

View attachment 86652

I will gladly take you to see the material.


Kindest,
Keith
Thank you very much. I will give you plenty of notice prior to my visit.

Kind Regards
Waterloo50
 

kvholland

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Fascinating stuff, Mr. Holland!
Mark,

I consider it a high honor to have you say so. I have met many people who love studying the ACW; very few turn a life time of study into time well spent teaching what they have learned, sharing what they know ~ what they love. To what end do we labor if it is not to accurately record tangible truths, for future generations, regarding a way of life now gone? We are all surrounded by a way of life that will, also, one day be lost.

You, and the moderators of Civilwartalk.com, have contributed far more to this end than I have done, or could ever do, if it were possible for me to live several lifetimes. God forbid the written words within this forum ever be lost from sight. There is a very remarkable wealth of knowledge contained within this most admirable library. I applaud all of you!!!

Kindest, and Most Genuinely Sincere,
Your Obiedient Servant,
Keith
 
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Mark F. Jenkins

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I believe i can hold my own in each of the poll choices... But perhaps not on par with our 'local forum naval experts' - so i declined to vote.

Too bad there was not a 'Confederate/Federal Naval Operations in the Gulf of Mexico' choice or the like.

Cool thread, OP!
Thanks. I originally wanted to include more choices, but the forum software limited me. :thumbsdown:
 


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