~ . 2-:
The INA Quarterly
3 Management, Archaeology, and Engineering:
Preserving the USS Monitor
10 Preserving the Monitor's Most Significant Components
13 Technical Diving on the Monitor
14 H. L Hunley: The World's First Successful Submarine Warship
17 An Interview with Dr. Robert Neyland
24 Bringing Texas Steamboats Alive for Texans
Michael Quennoz and Barto Arnold
25 The Denbigh Project 2001:
Excavation of a Civil War Blockade-Runner
Barto Arnold, Tom Oertling, and Andy Hall
33 The Denbigh Doll
34 2002 Institute of Nautical Archaeology Directors' Meeting
36 Marine Archaeology in India
S. R. Rao
Reviewed by Christine Powell
37 L'epave de Port Berteau II
eric Rieth, Catherine Carrierre-Desbois, and Virginie Sema
Reviewed by Filipe Castro
38 News and Notes
39 From the President
March 2002 by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. All rights reserved.
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On the cover The raised Confederate
submarine H. L. Hunley at Mt Pleasant,
South Carolina, after killing its builder
and captain of the same name on the bot-
tom of Charleston Harbor in October,
1863. A few months later, Hunleybecame
the first submarine to sink an enemy
warship in battle. Painting by Conrad
Wise Chapman, circa 1863. The recent ex-
cavation has shown that some details are
incorrect Courtesy of the Museum of the
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The INA Quarterly was formerly the INA Newsletter (vols. 1-18).
Volume 29 No. 1
Editor: Christine A. PoweU
Management, Archaeology, and Engineering:
Preserving the USS Monitor
Arms versus Armor: Dawning of the New Iron Age at Sea
It was on March 9, 1862, early in the American Civil War, when the
ironclad warships USS Monitor and CSS Virginia engaged in an epic battle
at Hampton Roads, Virginia (fig.l). When the confrontation ended, both
ships were essentially undamaged, even though they had bombarded each
other at point-blank range for nearly four hours. Although equally matched,
the two vessels were quite different in appearance. Nevertheless, they
shared several innovative traits: both were clad in wrought iron armor,
both employed partially-submerged hulls to limit their exposure to ene-
my fire, both were powered exclusively by low-profile steam engines driv-
ing screw propellers, and both were designed to fight effectively with
relatively few cannon. The "Battle of the Ironclads" at Hampton Roads
marked the first encounter between vessels of this new type. Although the
battle was brief, had no clear victor, and was fought in America, the im-
pact was felt by all the standing navies of the world. The result was the
rapid abandonment of conventional wooden, sail-powered ships-of-the-
line and an escalation of naval weaponry and armor.
Monitor was designed and built by the brilliant but controversial
Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson. The U. S. Navy awarded Erics-
son a contract primarily because he guaranteed the remarkably rapid de-
livery of an ironclad capable of countering the threat of the Southern
ironclad Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack), already under construction at the
Gosport Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia. Employing a radical design
and innovative construction methods, Ericsson delivered Monitor from
draft to functioning vessel in less than four months. Monitor was commis-
sioned at the Brooklyn (New York) Navy Yard on February 25,1862, bare-
ly a week after the commissioning of Virginia.
Monitor was strikingly different from any other vessel afloat (fig. 2).
A radical departure from conventional high-sided wooden warships, Mon-
itor's hull was almost completely submerged, presenting enemy ships a
target with only a thirty-three-centimeter freeboard. Monitor had no su-
perstructure except for her armored gun turret amidships and a small raised
pilothouse forward. Instead of a conventional battery of cannon lined along
a gun deck, Monitor's armament consisted only of two eleven-inch (twen-
ty-eight centimeter) Dahlgren smooth-bore cannon, mounted side-by-side
in the revolving turret (fig. 3).
Fig. 2. Profile view of Monitor as it might have appeared at the time of its sink-
ing. Images courtesy Monitor Collection, NOAA
INA Quarterly 29.1
Fig. 3. Part of USS Monitor's crew on July 9, 1862, near Har-
rison's Landing in the James River. Photo by James Gibson, cour-
tesy of The Mariners' Museum.
Monitor's keel was laid on October 25,1861, and the
completed vessel was launched on January 30,1862. After
very hurried and abbreviated sea trials, it arrived in Hamp-
ton Roads on the evening of March 8,1862. Incredibly, ear-
lier that very day CSS Virginia had also made its maiden
voyage into Hampton Roads. Virginia immediately attacked
and wreaked havoc on the Union fleet, sinking two warships
and running a third aground. The battle was halted-and
the remaining Union ships saved--by a receding tide that
confined the deep-draft Virginia to a narrow channel.
Arrival of Monitor brought new Union hope to a
battle that was certain to resume the next day. That hope,
however, was not universally shared. Skeptics-both from
North and South-doubted the prowess of this strange little
"cheesebox on a raft." Early on March 9, Virginia steamed
back into Hampton Roads, prepared to finish off the wood-
en warships. Monitor advanced to engage her iron counter-
part, thus commencing one of the most celebrated naval
battles in history. Monitor's design demonstrated several
advantages: Her low profile was an almost impossible tar-
get for Confederate fire. The revolving turret allowed Moni-
tor to fire from almost any angle without having to maneuver
the ship into position. Her armor was clearly a match for
Virginia's guns. The four-hour fight ended in a draw with
neither ship being able to significantly damage the other.
The repercussions of this battle were felt worldwide.
Although there were other ironclad warships in existence,
they were untried in battle against similar foes. The Battle of
Hampton Roads dramatically demonstrated the power and
significance of ironclad vessels, and this drama was played
up by the world press. Of course, the United States govern-
ment was pleased to promote this enthusiasm, as was the
Fig. 4. USS Rhode Island and USS Monitor on New Years
Eve 1862. Courtesy the United States Postal Service.
INA Quarterly 29.1
U.S. Navy. The "dash of armor" at Hampton Roads helped
bring about the rapid abandonment of conventional wood-
en broadside warships. In the United States, Monitor gave
her name to an entirely new classification of low-freeboard,
turreted vessels. By the end of the American Civil War, sixty
monitors of various classes had been completed or were
under construction. Even though these monitors had all the
characteristics of the first, each successive class incorporat-
ed design modifications. Therefore USS Monitor, the pro-
totype for those to follow, was wholly unique.
Although both ironclads seemed impervious to shot
and shell, neither survived the year. As Union troops over-
ran the Hampton Roads area, Virginia was soon stranded
without a friendly port in which to take refuge. As a re-
sult, it was scuttled and burned by its crew on May 11,
1862, at Craney Island, within sight of the arena that had
made it famous less than two months earlier. When the
fire reached the magazines, the vessel exploded with a roar
that was heard and felt for miles. After the war's end, CSS
Virginia's remains were salvaged for scrap, with virtually
nothing saved for posterity.
Monitor spent the spring of 1862 sitting idly at
Hampton Roads under orders from President Abraham
Lincoln to avoid a rematch with Virginia (Lincoln was
afraid that Monitor might be sunk, thus thwarting the
planned attack on the Southern capitol at Richmond). It
participated in a brief, abortive attack in the upper reaches
of the James River and was later sent to the Washington
Navy Yard for repairs. Finally, in December, Monitor re-
ceived orders to join the Union blockade of Charleston,
South Carolina. However, while being towed south on
New Year's Eve, Monitor sank in a severe storm off Cape
Hatteras, North Carolina (fig. 4 and 5).
Location, Protection, Research, and Management
USS Monitor lay relatively undisturbed, its exact lo-
cation unknown, until 1973 when it was discovered ap-
proximately sixteen nautical miles (25.8 km) SSE of Cape
Hatteras Lighthouse by a scientific team aboard Duke Uni-
versity's R/V Eastward (fig. I). The discovery created tre-
mendous excitement, since Monitor had long been hailed as
one of the most famous and significant warships in the his-
tory of the United States Navy-indeed, in terms of naval
technology, one of the most important ships in the world.
While Monitor's discovery generated widespread interest
and excitement, there was also serious concern.
The first problem faced by researchers and historic Fig. 5. The sinking of Monitor, originally published in Harp-
preservation managers was how to protect this important ers Weekly January 1863. Courtesy Monitor Collection,
historic vessel. Since its location was outside the territorial NOAA.
waters of the United States, and since the U.S. Navy had officially
abandoned Monitor in 1953, no simple means of protection was ap-
parent. However, it was soon recognized that recent federal legisla
tion-the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuary Act of
1862 1972--could be applied to a significant shipwreck such as this. There-
fore, on January 30,1975, the Secretary of Commerce designated Monitor
America's first National Marine Sanctuary. Since then, it has been pro-
tected and managed by the National Marine Sanctuary Program Na-
tional Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Se Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Com-
-1974 merce. Monitor is now listed on the National Register of Historic Plac-
es and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Monitor's inaccessibility is a major factor influencing both
2000 management and research. The remains lie on a flat, featureless, sandy
seabed at a depth of nearly seventy-three meters. The wreck reached
its current state of deterioration as a result of three factors: damage
that occurred at the time of sinking, deterioration caused by more
1990 than a century of exposure within a dynamic seawater environment,
and damage resulting from human activities (fig. 6). Monitor sank
near the confluence of two major ocean currents, the cold southerly-
flowing Labrador Current and the warm Gulf Stream, which fol-
lows the coast northward but begins to turn to the east when it reaches
the coastal projection known as Cape Hatteras. These currents com-
... pete for dominance in the vicinity of Monitor, creating confusing and
2000 often violent currents that place tremendous stresses on the wreck
and have carried away parts of the hull and its contents.
The water depth at the Monitor Sanctuary places the site
out of reach of most scuba divers, and deep divers have been very
cooperative in helping NOAA protect Monitor. However, trawlers
sometimes drag their nets through the site and at least one anchor-
Fig. 6. The progressive deterioration of USS Monitor. ing incident damaged the wreck. Also, some researchers have postu-
Courtesy of Monitor Collection, NOAA. lated that Monitor was inadvertently depth-charged during World
INA Quarterly 29.1
War IL resulting in further injury to the lower hull,
Since 1975, NOAA has gathered a considerable
amount of data at the Sanctuary. The unique characteris-
tics and location of the site have made it the object of stud-
ies by a wide range of specialists, including archaeologists,
geologists, oceanographers, biologists, corrosion and struc-
tural engineers, and marine salvors. From archaeological
and engineering studies, we know that Monitor rolled over
as it sank, causing the turret to pull free and sink to the
bottom, upside down. The hull then settled to the seabed,
still inverted, where it landed on the turret. The inverted
hull now rests partially buried in sediment with the stern
Fig. 7. Archaeological drawing
showing the appearance of the
wreck prior to engine removal.
Courtesy Monitor Collection, e.y
INA Quarterly 29.1
port quarter held above the bottom by the
displaced turret (fig. 7). The lower hull,
which is now the highest part of the wreck,
has collapsed forward of the midshipsbulk-
head, and the stern armor belt and its asso-
ciated structure has deteriorated severely.
In addition, the elevated port quarter cre-
Sates a list to starboard that produces severe
stresses within the hull.
p NOAA conducted the first diving ex-
pedition to Monitor in 1977, when commer-
cial divers from the Harbor Branch
Oceanographic Institution explored the site
from theJohnson-Sea-Link Isubmersible, recov-
ering a signal lantern and a sample of hull plate
for analysis. In 1979, NOAA conducted a
major archaeological expedition, headed by
Gordon Watts, North Carolina State Under-
water Archaeologist and co-discoverer of the
wreck (Dr. Watts is also anINA Adjunct Pro-
fessor). This month-long expedition permit-
ted three archaeologists to conduct mapping
and recovery activities at the site, watched
over by professional divers from Harbor Branch (fig. 8). Even
today, this remains one of the deepest excavations conduct-
ed in person by trained archaeologists. Additional expedi-
tions were conducted in 1983, 1985, and 1987, the latterbeing
the most extensive. NOAA contracted with J. Barto Arnold
(now with INA) for the 1987 expedition, which examined
corrosion rates and the state of preservation of the wreck. In
his report, Arnold warned that if no action was taken to
preserve Monitor, it could be rendered unrecognizable in as
little as five to ten years. With this information in hand,
NOAA realized that additional site data was needed in or-
der to make effective long-range management decisions.
Fig. 8. The Monitorwrecksifeas it existed in 1998, incorporating datafrom over twenty years ofsurveys. Courtesy Monitor Coflection, NOAA
Fig. 9. The midships bulkhead, looking aft. The turret support
truss can be seen at the right of the image. Courtesy Monitor
NOAA began revising the sanctuary management plan and
preparing for additional site investigations.
NOAA conducted brief site surveys in 1990, 1991, and
1992. In 1993, it conducted the Monitor Archaeological Re-
search and Structural Survey (MARSS) Expedition. The goals
of this major project were to map and videotape Monitor's
hull, deploy a permanent mooring, recover exposed, threat-
ened artifacts, and conduct test excavations and mapping of
Monitor's turret in order to assess the feasibility of recovery.
Despite adverse weather conditions, the permanent moor-
ing was installed and limited test excavations were carried
out both inside and outside the turret.
Two years later, NOAA developed the 1995 Moni-
tor Archaeological Research, Recovery, and Stabilization
Mission (MARRS'95). This time the primary goal was to help
stabilize Monitor's deteriorating hull by moving its displaced
skeg and recovering its propeller and shaft. For this major
undertaking, the agency enlisted the assistance of several
other organizations, including the U.S. Navy, The Mariners'
Museum, the National Undersea Research Center at the Uni-
versity of North Carolina at Wilmington (NURC/UNCW),
and Key West Diver, Inc. Although Hurricane Felix and two
lesser storms interrupted the expedition, both NOAA and
the Navy conducted successful dives on Monitor (fig. 9). The
civilian team conducted a series of self-contained, mixed-
gas dives-the first such dives ever approved by NOAA.
The NOAA and NURC divers were trained and supervised
by Key West Diver personnel, who were pioneers in deep,
mixed-gas "technical" diving (see page 13).
Navy dives were staged from USS Edenton (ATS-1)
in an effort to recover Monitor's propeller. Navy divers
employed their standard "hard hat" dive gear, the Mk 21
mixed-gas, surface-supplied system. Adverse weather con-
ditions prevented recovery of the propeller despite several
attempts, but the experience was very useful in planning
future expeditions. This project also resulted in intensive
discussions between NOAA and the other participants
concerning the need to develop a detailed, long-range
management plan for the site before conducting addition-
During 1996 and 1997, NOAA conducted two
mapping surveys utilizing laser line scanning devices. Al-
though adverse sea conditions hampered both surveys,
additional site "baseline" images were obtained. In 1997,
Oceaneering International offered to assist the agency by
conducting a no-cost "trade study" to determine the best
method for stabilizing and/or recovering portions of Mon-
itor's hull and contents. In order to support the study,
NOAA compiled the scientific, engineering and archaeo-
logical reports that had been generated over the years, and
made them available to Oceaneering. They prepared an
archaeological plan and The Mariners' Museum in New-
port News, Virginia, NOAA's principal museum for Mon-
itor, prepared a conservation plan.
In April 1998, the agency submitted to Congress the
resulting report, "Charting a New Course for Monitor: A
Long-Range, Comprehensive Plan for the Management, Sta-
bilization, Preservation, and Recovery of Artifacts and Ma-
terials from Monitor." The plan reviewed a matrix of
stabilization and recovery options and concluded that com-
plete recovery of the wreck was not feasible, due to the ad-
vanced state of deterioration of the hull. The plan therefore
recommended that the government pursue a plan of hull
stabilization along with selective recovery of the most sig-
nificant components, including the propeller, engine and, es-
pecially, the famous revolving gun turret and guns. The plan
included sections on archaeological recovery, major compo-
nent recovery, conservation, curation and exhibition.
By 1998, NOAA also had received substantial com-
mitments of support for implementing the plan. The U.S.
Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command approved a request to
allow Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU TWO),
stationed in Little Creek, Virginia, to recover the propeller
as part of their training program. The Mariners' Museum
offered to assume responsibility for conservation and even-
tual exhibit of all recovered material. NOAA also obtained
Navy permission to conduct its own diving operations from
Kelly Chouest, the Navy-leased vessel to be used by MDSU
TWO as their dive platform. The civilian team comprised
personnel from the National Marine Sanctuary Program,
NURC/UNCW, and a private, non-profit research organi-
zation, the Cambrian Foundation. The 1998 expedition was
very successful, resulting in the recovery of Monitor's cast
iron propeller and a segment of the driveshaft.
During 1999 and 2000, NOAA and the Navy con-
ducted additional dives on Monitor. In 2000 the Navy, oper-
ating from a large derrick barge, succeeded in placing a
ninety-ton engine recovery structure (ERS) across Monitor's
INA Quarterly 29.1
Fig. 10. The procedure used to lift Monitor's en-
gine during the 2001 excavation season. Courtesy
hull (fig. 10). This device was designed to serve as an over-
head support to which Monitor's engine could be rigged
for recovery. The ERS was similar in concept to the lifting
frame designed for raising the Civil War submarine H.L.
Hunley. In fact, both systems were designed and built by
Oceaneering International, the Navy's salvage contractor.
The year 2001 was a busy one for the recovery team,
with five separate expeditions conducted at the Monitor Sanc-
tuary. In late March 2001, NOAA conducted a preliminary
survey of the site, recording data requested by the engineer-
ing team. In April and May, divers aboard the Navy salvage
ship USS Grapple (ARS-53) installed hydraulic lifting equip-
ment on the ERS. Then, during a six-week expedition in June
and July, the Navy successfully raised Monitor's engine and
an attached segment of the lower hull (fig. 11.). The engine,
while secured in the ERS, was placed on a smaller barge and
transported to Newport News Shipbuilding, where it was
secured in a steel cradle before being transported up the
James River to The Mariners' Museum where it is undergo-
ing conservation treatment.
NOAA conducted a second diving expedition that over-
lapped the Navy's effort. The NOAA team arrived shortly after
the engine had been removed, so they were able to map the
removal area and recover artifacts that were exposed after
the lift. In October, NOAA conducted an additional video
survey utilizing the Johnson-Sea-Link I submersible.
During 2002, NOAA and the Navy plan to recover
Monitor's famous gun turret and guns, along with the oth-
er contents of the turret that are now obscured by silt. The
engine weighed approximately thirty-five tons, while the
turret is estimated to weigh at least 130 tons, empty. Since
the condition of the turret is unknown, the plan must be
flexible enough to permit the recovery team to make ad-
justments on site, if necessary.
Following recovery of Monitor's turret and guns, on-
site activity at the Sanctuary will be significantly reduced.
NOAA divers will conduct much of the work, but the Navy
may continue to assist if the proposed expeditions are seen
to offer sufficient training value. The Monitor Sanctuary once
again will be opened to private researchers and explorers,
who have been unable to access the site in recent years due
to the increased level of NOAA and Navy activity. Most of
NOAA's effort will be redirected to the ongoing conservation
and analysis being conducted at The Mariners' Museum. In ad-
dition, NOAA and the Museum are working together on a new
and exciting project the design and construction by the Muse-
um of a "USS Monitor Center" that will house and interpret the
objects raised from the site. NOAA hopes that the Monitor re-
covery project can serve as a model for future deepwater ar-
chaeology projects involving Navy vessels or aircraft
Acknowledgments: The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is managed and funded through the National Marine Sanctuaries
Program, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the United States
Department of Commerce. The Navy's partnership in the Monitor program was developed with the enthusiastic cooperation of
Captain Christopher Murray, Supervisor of Diving, Naval Sea Systems Command, U.S. Navy. The Navy's 2000 and 2001 expe-
ditions were made possible by grants from the Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program. The Mari-
ners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia, has become an essential partner, assuming responsibility for conservation, curation, and
exhibition of the material being recovered from Monitor. There are many other military units, government agencies, academic
programs, and private organizations and individuals who have contributed to the success of the Monitor recovery efforts. Al-
though space does not permit mentioning them all, they will be included in the final report on the Monitor recovery program. &
INA Quarterly 29.1
Fig, 11. Navy divers working with NOAA archaeologists, on the Manson Gulf Derrick Barge WOTAN, recovered the steam
engine of USS Monitorfrom the waters of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, sixteen miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras,
NC. The engine's recovery marks a major milestone for the Monitor 2001 Expeditions and NOAA's long-range plan to recover
and preserve the historic Civil War vessel. Official U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Petty Officer First Class David C. Lloyd,
CLF Det. Combat Camera Atlantic (Released) CDR Phil McGuinn, U.S. Navy Monitor Project Public Affairs.
Broadwater, John D.
1984 "Managing an Ironclad: Research at the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary." In Excavating Ships of War, Mensun
Bound, Ed. (International Maritime Archaeology Series, Volume II), 287-293. Oswestry, Shropshire, England:
Anthony Nelson Press.
Broadwater, John D., with Dina B. Hill, Jeffrey P. Johnston, and Karen Kozlowski
1999 "Charting a New Course for Monitor: Results from the 1998 Research Expedition to the Monitor National Ma-
rine Sanctuary," Underwater Archaeology, Society for Historical Archaeology, pp. 58-63.
Davis, William C.
1975 Duel Between the First Ironclads. New York: Doubleday & Co.
Miller, Edward M.
1978 U.S.S. Monitor: The Ship That Launched a Modern Navy. Annapolis, Maryland: Leeward Press. National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
1998 Charting a New Coursefor Monitor. Washington, DC: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, avail-
able at: http://Monitor.nos.noaa.gov.
Watts, Gordon ., Jr.
1975 "The Location and Identification of the Ironclad USS Monitor." International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and
Underwater Exploration 4.2:301-329.
INA Quarterly 29.1
Preserving Monitor's Most Significant Components
USS Monitor was a product of the inventive genius
of Swedish engineer John Ericsson. From the laying of the
keel to launching ninety-eight days later, nearly everything
concerning Monitor was unique. The ship was constructed
primarily of flat iron plate made to Ericsson's rigid speci-
fications. These plates (and other components of the ves-
sel) were fabricated at various facilities within a
hundred-mile radius of the Continental Iron Works at
Greenpoint, New York, where the ship was being con-
structed. As the various components arrived, they fit to-
gether with little or no alteration. During construction, the
inventor and his design suffered considerable ridicule from
skeptics and the Northern press. It was not until Monitor's
perceived victory at Hampton Roads that the true value of
the monitor design was finally accepted. The impact that
John Ericsson and USS Monitor had on the maritime world
is certainly worth attention and continuing study.
The hurried construction of John Ericsson's Monitor
left little time for complete documentation of components
and design. Approximately two hundred plan drawings
associated with the construction of USS Monitor survive.
NOAA research at the Monitor sanctuary has revealed
many differences between the plans and the wreck, and
encountered many interesting components for which there
are little or no detailed historical information (fig. 1). Such
discrepancies may be due to a combination of factors. As-
designed and as-built drawings do not always match, due
to last-minute changes or alterations that are not document-
ed. In addition, Ericsson's name can be found on plans that
depict components of later class monitors (or other ves-
sels), that have been inadvertently attributed to the origi-
nal Monitor. Few researchers are aware that over sixty
monitor-type vessels were designed and built by the engi-
neer and his partners. Another reason for the lack of infor-
mation is that many of the components used in Monitor's
construction (such as valves, gauges, linkages, and pip-
ing) were fairly common to nineteenth-century shipbuild-
ers and were readily available for use. They did not require
detailed discussion at the time. It is, therefore, fortunate
that we can document the as-built Monitor from its actual
In 1998, the Monitor's nine-foot (2.7 m) diameter cast
iron propeller was recovered from the wreck, along with
eleven feet (3.4 m) of wrought-iron shaft. The propeller itself
is a one-of-a-kind design. Later class monitors used a similar
screw, modified to meet changing hull designs. John Erics-
sonis often credited as father of the screw propeller. Although
he did not invent the concept, he was one of the leading con-
tributors to perfecting its effectiveness as a method of ship
propulsion. There are several still-existing examples of screws
built using the inventor's patents, but the propeller from USS
Monitor is possibly the only surviving example whose con-
struction was supervised by Ericsson himself.
Monitor's "semi-cylinder" engine was not one of the
unique features of the vessel (fig. 2). Ericsson had been con-
structing this style of steam machinery since the 1840s. It
was the perfect design for a warship of any kind and ex-
tremely vital to the success of Monitor.
Ericsson first introduced this style of machinery when
he constructed USS Princeton, the first United States warship
to have its machinery entirely below the water line. The de-
sign that became known as the "vibrating side lever engine"
used a horizontal cylinder containing two pistons connect-
ed to the propeller shaft by a series of connecting shafts, links,
and rods. The unique feature of this style of machinery was
that it permitted the entire steam engine to be placed deep
*=W In ~MI
Fi. 1. M 2001 pln C
Fig. 1. Monitor site plan. Courtesy Monitor Collection, NO~A
INA Quarterly 29.1
Fig. 2. Cutaway view showing Monitor's engine prior to being lifted out
of the wreck. Courtesy Monitor Collection, NOAA
Fig. 3. Monitor's steam engine just after the lift. Courtesy Tom Bailey, Phoe-
Fig. 4. Mosaic image compiled from digital video showing Monitor's revolv-
ing gun turret under the armor belt. Courtesy Monitor Collection, NOAA.
Cutaway view showing the Monlor's
engine prior to being lifted out of the
INA Quarterly 29.1
inside the vessel, thus freeing up valuable
space on deck for additional cannon or other
equipment.The machinery also provided es-
sential protection in battle, as it was located
below the water line.
On July 16, 2001, after three years of
planning and site preparation, Monitor's en-
gine was back on the surface for the first time
in 139 years. The utmost care was employed
to preserve all surviving aspects of Monitor's
steam machinery. Collateral damage was kept
to a minimum (fig. 3). The engine is currently
undergoing a lengthy conservation process at
The Mariners' Museum in NewportNews, Vir-
ginia. As encrustations are removed and the en-
gine's features become more discernable, every
detail of its construction will be documented.
Following the successful recovery of
Monitor's steam engine, attention shifted to re-
covery of the turret and cannons. These have
tremendous historic and archaeological signif-
icance. Ericsson's revolving gun turret was Mon-
itor's most original feature, one that can be seen
on virtually every modem warship. For the first
time, a warship could train its guns in virtually
any direction without having to alter the ship's
heading. Also, the gun crews were protected
against enemy shot and shell.
Monitor's gun turret was constructed en-
tirely of iron. It stood nine feet (2.7 m) high and
was almost twenty-two feet (6.7 m) in diame-
ter. Today, the turret sits upside down on the
bottom and is filled almost to the top with silt
and sediment (fig. 4). Test excavations in the
accessible areas verified that at least one can-
non is still inside, resting in the diagonal brac-
ings that comprised part of the turret's
framework. The weight estimates for the tur-
ret, based on engineering studies that include
the cannons, carriages, components, silt, and
sediment, comes to approximately 238 metric
tonnes. Although the preferred scenario would
be to recover the turret with the contents intact,
engineering studies indicate that this would
likely result in the destruction of some of the
key components of the turret and the loss of
valuable cultural material that it contains.
Monitor was armed with two eleven-
inch (27.9 cm) Dahlgren smooth-bore cannon.
Ericsson wanted to shorten these guns for in-
stallation in the turret. However, the Navy De-
partment was adamant that they remain
unaltered. This presented a problem for the inventor. He
had to design a carriage that could safely control the recoil
of a 13.5 foot (4.1 m) long cannon barrel inside the twenty-
foot (6.1 m) interior diameter of the turret. Ericsson suc-
cessfully did this by designing a "friction carriage" that
used a compression braking system to safely control the
recoil of the cannon. Fairly complete plan information ex-
ists for these gun carriages, since Ericsson applied for pat-
ents based on their design. The problem for safe recovery
is that they were made of a composite of iron, wood and
brass and the condition of the carriages is mostly unknown.
Although Ericsson continued to use this style of carriage
with later classes of monitors in the same and in modified
forms, in all likelihood Monitor holds the only surviving
The eleven-inch Dahlgrens taken from USS Dakota
were placed in Monitor at the Brooklyn Navy Yard shortly
after it arrived in February 1862. They are cast iron guns
weighing approximately 16,000 pounds (7273 kg) each.
Eight months after the fight with CSS Virginia, Monitor was
sent to the Washington Navy Yard for repairs. While there,
the cannon were engraved in tribute to the man who com-
manded the ship during the battle (Lt. Commander John
L. Worden) and to the man who invented the vessel. Since
the exact wording of the engravings is unknown, it is im-
portant to ensure that the guns are not damaged during
recovery. Examples of other Civil War cannon engraved
at the Washington Navy Yard show that the engravings
are not very deep.
A recent study of existing American siege guns and
large naval ordnance show that only twenty-four eleven-
inch Dahlgrens still exist. Half of these smooth-bores were
converted to rifled guns in the late 1860's and early 1870s
by inserting steel sleeves into the barrels. The Monitor's
Dahlgrens are not included in this inventory, so they would
make a significant addition to the list.
Another potential problem for turret recovery is the
unknown condition of the turret roof. Although there is
sufficient information from historic plans and documents
to provide an accurate idea of how it was assembled, its
current condition is unknown. The roof was never intend-
ed to be subject to cannon fire and therefore was lightly
armored. Ericsson designed the turret roof so that a work
party could remove it by without the vessel having to be
in a repair yard. This would allow the cast-iron guns to be
easily replaced in the event of excessive wear from firing
or damage associated with stress. His accounts indicate
that the turret roof was only lightly bolted in place.
Another unknown aspect of the turret is the hard-
ware attached to the upper rim. Surviving historic accounts
mention that the crew modified the top of the turret by
installing a rifle shield made from boiler plate (fig. 5). There
is enough information to confirm that the work was be-
gun, but no surviving plans or drawings verify that it was
present at the time of sinking. It is also known that the
crew fitted the top of the turret with a temporary helm for
the Monitor's ocean journey southward. These features,
combined with the iron stanchions that supported a can-
vas awning, may have been crushed when the turret im-
pacted with the bottom. The presence of these components
would be an important factor for recovery. However, test
excavations and a sub-bottom profiler survey failed to pro-
vide the desired information. Therefore, the recovery plan
will have to be designed with these unknowns in mind. ar
Fig. 5. Monitor's ward room officers pose for James Gibson's cam-
era on July 9, 1862. Courtesy Library of Congress.
INA Quarterly 29.1
Technical Diving on the Monitor
Scientists have been studying Monitor in a myriad
of ways since its discovery off Cape Hatteras in 1973. Ini-
tial research began with remote sensing and eventually
progressed to a more hands-on approach. In 1977, the first
scientific dives were conducted. On that expedition, com-
mercial divers from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic In-
stitution entered the water at the site from a lock chamber
on the submersible Johnson-Sea-Link I. In 1979, a team of
archaeologists conducted investigations at the site using
the same craft. This method of diving was the best tech-
nology at the time but it had its limitations. The divers were
restricted in their movement around the site because they
were connected to the submersible by an umbilical that
provided their gas supply and communications. They were
also forced to undergo a lengthy chamber decompression
for less than an hour's time underwater.
Today we use a method called "technical" scuba
diving, using a mixture of helium, oxygen, and nitrogen.
The team is made up of between six and twelve bottom
divers and three additional divers acting in a support role.
It includes professional archaeologists, scientific divers, and
volunteers. Under the supervision of the National Under-
sea Research Center at the University of North Carolina at
Wilmington, up to twelve researchers can be launched on
a single dive.
The team enters the water as a group and usually
descend a buoyed down-line anchored just off the site.
However, when a strong current is running, the divers
would find it almost impossible to descend the tradi-
tional down-line. The powerful Gulf Stream current so
prevalent off the North Carolina coast can make it ex-
tremely difficult to hold onto a fixed line, so another
system was developed to put less stress on the divers.
The boat captain and dive safety officer check the cur-
rent direction and velocity and agree on using the al-
ternative diver deployment method. The boat captain
motors directly upcurrent from Monitor, giving the com-
mand to dive when he is far enough up-current that the
divers will drop to the seabed very close to the wreck.
Since visibility at the Sanctuary is normally in excess of
ten meters, and because the boat captain has worked
with the Monitor dive team since 1995, this system is al-
most always successful.
The divers normally spend thirty minutes working
at 240 feet. Then they collect in a group and choose be-
tween two options for their seventy-minute decompres-
sion ascent, depending on conditions. The preferred
method is to use the anchored line when it is used for their
descent. This line is connected to another buoyed to the
surface and held by a quick-release clip. The lead diver
detaches the line by disconnecting the clip and the team
drifts with the current for the remainder of their decom-
pression. The second option is used in case of high cur-
rent. After moving away from the wreck and any overhead
obstructions on the surface, the lead diver attaches a lift
bag to a line reel and inflates the bag, sending it to the
surface. This bag indicates to the waiting Cape Fear that the
team has left the bottom. Under either ascent option, an-
other lift bag is attached to the line and inflated. The sec-
ond lift bag signals that the bottom team is together and
everyone is accounted for. Since the divers have no voice
communications with the surface vessel, the two lift bags
are crucial to indicate that everything is going according
Regardless of the method chosen, the bottom team
has a freely drifting ascent line. Not every diver can hold
onto the line because it would be impossible to keep ev-
eryone at the same depth. Therefore, the divers monitor
their own depth and decompression times, but also hover
around the lead diver, whom they can use as a reference
On the surface, a safety diver is ready in case of an
emergency. Once the two lift bags are seen on the surface,
however, the safety diver stands down and two support
divers are launched from the dive boat. The first acts as
deep support and will descend approximately one hun-
dred feet to the dive team undergoing decompression.
Through hand signals the leader communicates the bot-
tom team's decompression schedule to the deep support
diver, who then ascends to twenty feet to the waiting shal-
low support diver and passes on the information. The deep
support diver returns to the bottom team for the remain-
der of their decompression while the shallow support div-
er ascends to the surface to relay the decompression
information to the boat. Using this system the bottom team
can stay in constant communication with the surface with-
out endangering any of the divers. As an extra precaution,
the two support divers also carry extra nitrox (nitrogen/
oxygen mixed gas) and oxygen tanks in case one of the
bottom team has a decompression gas shortage or equip-
Monitor is the deepest site in North America to be
surveyed by professional archaeologists using scuba, and
one of the most intensely studied shipwrecks in history.
The method of diving described above has been used reli-
ably on Monitor for the past six years without a single inci-
dent, proving that deepwater archaeology and scuba
diving can be partnered successfully. ,
INA Quarterly 29.1
H. L. Hunley:
The World's First Successful Submarine Warship
Very early in the American Civil War, Confederate
strategists knew that they could not beat the North at its
own game. The overwhelming superiority of the Union in
population, capital resources, and industrial capacity
would inevitably win any contest based on quantity alone.
The South would have to rely on quality if it was to have
any chance of holding on until either a war-weary North
agreed to an armistice or a cotton-starved Europe inter-
vened. On land, better marksmen, better riders, and better
generals partially compensated for constant inferiority in
numbers and materiel. At sea, the last best hope of the
Confederacy was technology. The Union responded to the
challenge in a competition reminiscent of the "space race"
a century later.
The INA-excavated blockade runner Denbigh illus-
trates the contest between runners and blockaders, while
CSS Virginia (ex-Merrimack) and USS Monitor show how
the intense competition provoked a revolution in the de-
sign of major surface warships. Perhaps even more signif-
icant in the long run were the developments that led to the
Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley. There were several
"collateral branches" in Hunley's family tree. The Confed-
erate ram Manassas was an ironclad semi-submersible that
took part in the unsuccessful defense of New Orleans in
April 1862. David (as in Goliath's nemesis) was a cigar-
shaped steam torpedoboat, the first of eight or nine simi-
lar craft that contributed to the defense of Charleston. The
torpedo was an explosive charge carried on a spar at the
bow. Ballast tanks allowed lowering the boat in the water
until only the stack and pilot were visible. David seriously
damaged the most powerful warship in the U.S. Navy, New
Ironsides, in October of 1863.
A direct ancestor of Hunley was Pioneer, a subma-
rine with a crew of three that successfully destroyed a barge
in a test run in Lake Ponchartrain, before being scuttled to
avoid capture. Two members of the Pioneer design team,
Baxter Watson, Jr., and James McClintock, fled to Mobile,
Alabama, where they were joined by Captain Horace L.
Hunley, who provided financial backing. The three built a
new, larger, and more streamlined submarine, which was
lost while under tow to Fort Morgan to pick up its first
crew. The team took the opportunity to design a slightly
larger and improved craft. This third submarine, built in
1863 at the Parks & Lyons machine shops, eventually took
the name of its principal backer, H. L. Hunley (fig. 1).
The "fish boat" was built of riveted iron plates and
measured forty feet long and 42.8 inches in height and 3.5
feet wide. The hull form was decades ahead of its time.
Most submarines until after World War II were more ac-
curately called "submersibles." They were designed to be
operated on the surface most of the time, so they needed
to be good sea boats. Hunley was built to attack submerged,
Fig. 1 (left). H. L. Hunley, principal backer and commander of the submarine. He gave his fortune, name, and life to the world's
first successful wartime submersible. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Center.
Fig. 2 (right). The submarine was untied from its moorings and let out into the moonlit waters. As it sliced through the water on
February, 17, 1864, the haunting glow of phosphorus trailed behind. Computer generated graphic by Dan Dowdy.
INA Quarterly 29.1
and it barely emerged from the water even when it was
fully surfaced. Since it relied on human power for propul-
sion, there was no need for exhaust stacks or large air in-
takes. Consequently, Hunley could be designed with a
smooth shape to minimize drag when submerged. The re-
semblance to the lines of a modem nuclear submarine is
obvious. Legend claimed that Hunley was built from a con-
verted boiler, but the truth is much more interesting. Rather
than overlapping plates, the hull was formed from plates
butted against one another and fastened to a backing with
countersunk rivets. This provided a very smooth exterior.
Ballast tanks in the bow and stem could be filled
with water by opening seacocks and emptied with hand
pumps. In operation, the tanks were flooded until the sub-
marine was just beneath the surface at almost neutral buoy-
ancy (fig. 2). The depth was then
controlled with horizontal diving
planes. The commander had a mercu-
ry depth gauge and a compass at his
station beneath the forward hatch. He
could control the steering lever that
was linked to the rudder located at the
extreme stem behind the shrouded
propeller. The commander could see
through windows in the small conning
tower beneath the hatch. The rear hatch
had a similar tower, for use by the sec-
ond-in-command who operated the rear
valves and pump, as well as taking the
back seat at the drive crank. Six other
men sat on the portside rowing bench,
with nothing to do except wind the
crank and hope they could make it to
the hatches in time if disaster occurred.
The small conning tower windows,
five pairs of glass deadlights, and a sin-
gle candle, which often guttered out
due to lack of oxygen, provided the
only light. Fig. 3. One-time c
Originally, the submarine was John Cothran desc
designed to attack with a towed torpe- mander of the H.
do. Hunley would dive under an ene- was very handsome
my ship and pull the explosive beneath tall and of most a
the hull. There was considerable poten- never knew a better
tial for fouling the line, however, even er was a braver m
though the submarine's prop was pro- any army." Photo
tected by a shroud. On one occasion Bennett's great-g
when David was giving Hunley a tow, wishes to remain a
it got caught in the line and nearly blew
up both boats. As a consequence, the armament was
changed to a spar torpedo with a 135-pound charge.
Because the blockade squadron at Charleston was
anchored closer inshore than the force at Mobile, General
P. G. T. Beauregard had Hunley's submarine sent by flat-
car to South Carolina. Two weeks after it arrived, on Au-
gust 30, 1863, the boat killed its first crewmen. The wake
from a passing steamer swamped it, and five men drowned.
Understandably, the Confederate Navy decided to turn the
operation of the quickly-raised submarine back to its build-
ers. Hunley himself led a volunteer crew until October 15,
when the boat failed to return from a dive. Apparently the
captain had failed to close the forward seacock, so the sub-
marine's bow went down and stuck in the bottom mud.
Water pressure held the hatches shut, preventing escape.
Long before the vessel was raised a week later, the second
crew had suffocated. His submarine design was to make
H. L. Hunley immortal, but his dream had killed him.
There was no shortage of volunteers for the third
crew, even though the submarine was now widely known
as the "Paripatetic Coffin." The new
commander was Lieutenant George E.
Dixon, a mechanical engineer who
had helped build the boat (fig. 3). For
several months, the crew practiced in
the back inlet of Sullivan's Island,
north of the main entrance to Charles-
ton Harbor, several afternoons each
week. They then departed through
Breach Inlet after dark, trying to reach
a Union ship before exhaustion or ap-
proaching dawn drove them back. The
threat presented by the Confederate
torpedoboats and submarines had led
the U.S. Navy to take defensive mea-
sures; the night anchorages were gen-
erally about twelve miles out. H. L.
Hunley (as the submarine was now
known) could travel at no more than
four knots under ideal conditions, so
it rarely got close to a target. Rough
winter seas and low temperatures
took a great toll on the men at the
mpany commander cranks.
ibed the final cor- However, the defensive moves
. Hunley: "Dixon were not an unmixed gain for the
fair, nearly six feet Federal forces. Hunley's crew devel-
tractive presence. I oped considerable proficiency, dem-
nan; and there nev- onstrating this with dives of up to two
n in any service of hours and thirty-five minutes before
ourtesy of Queenie surfacing. In addition, the loosening
anddaughter, who of the blockade could allow more run-
onymous. ners to enter the port, which was crit-
ical for the survival of the
Confederacy. The Union forces needed to take the chance
of moving further in, particularly on the safer moonlit
The moon was shining on February 17, 1864, when
the U.S. Navy sloop-of-war Housatonic anchored only about
INA Quarterly 29.1
three-and-a-half miles from
the Charleston bar off the
Isle of Palms (fig. 4). Housa-
tonic had been one of the most
effective of the Union block-
aders, and there was a reward
for its destruction. Around
8:45 that night, a Federal look-
out spotted what at first ap-
peared to be a floating log
making for the starboard
quarter. Housatonic slipped its
anchor and backed its engines
in an attempt to run down the
unknown intruder. The
sloop's guns could not be de-
pressed sufficiently to fire on
the object, which continued
to approach the stern. An
explosion just behind the Fig. 4. The sloop-of-war USS
mizzenmast threw water a reward for its destruction.
and debris high in the air Historical Center.
and wrecked the after half of
the warship, which quickly settled to the bottom thirty feet
below the surface. Five sailors died, while the rest scram-
bled up the rigging.
Observers on shore and aloft in Housatonic claimed
to have seen a blue lantern after the attack, Hunley's agreed
signal. This was disputed by others, who claimed that there
were only the lights of Union boats looking for survivors.
In any case, there was no further sign of the submarine.
The Confederates at Battery Marshall on Sullivan's Island
Fig. 5. Hunley on the bottom near Charleston. Computer genera
by Dan Dowdy.
...... g : ....
:. -: -. -= ..
Housatonic was such an effective Union blockade that there was
Drawing by R. G. Skerrett, 1902. Photo provided by the Naval
south of Breach Inlet left their beacon lights on until word
came from Union prisoners of Hunley's successful attack
on Housatonic. It was then presumed that the vessels had
perished simultaneously, or nearly so.
After the war, government divers worked to clear
the wrecks from Charleston Harbor and its approaches.
One diver claimed to have found Hunley and looked in-
side to see the skeletons of the crew sitting at their posi-
tions, but this was never confirmed and widely dismissed.
The wreck of Housatonic was lowered to the
mudline as an obstruction to navigation in
1907. Many authorities thought it possible that
Hunley had collided with Housatonic or been
drawn inside by the rush of water, and had
been mistaken for a boiler by the salvagers.
Others thought the submarine could have
been washed to sea before settling to the
bottom. A few believed what now seems to
be the case, that Hunley sank while waiting
for favorable tides to return to Breach Islet
and was buried in the shifting sand (fig, 5).
After World War II highlighted the impor-
tance of submarine warfare, another search
was made using magnetometers, but noth-
ing was found. The consensus was ex-
pressed in 1987 by P. C. Coker III in
Charleston's Maritime Heritage 1670-1865,
"By now she is probably mere fragments of
rust beyond possibility of salvage." Fortunate-
ted graphic ly, this was not the case. The blue lantern has
INA Quarterly 29.1
An Interview with Dr. Robert Neyland
Dr. Robert Neyland (fig. 1) is a graduate of the N,
cal Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University (A
1990; Ph.D., 1994). For the past several years, he has bet
the national spotlight as he conducted the excavation, r
ery, preservation, and examination of the Confederate subn
ible H. L. Hunley. In 1864, Hunley became the world's
submarine to sink an enemy warship when it attacked
Housatonic, which was blockading Charleston (see pages
16). This feat was not equaled until World War I, a half-ce
ry later. The submarine signaled its success to the Confed,
observers with a blue lantern, but that was the last that
heard of boat or crew for over 130 years. Dr. Neyland took
from his busy schedule to bring the readers of the INA Q
terly up to date on this historic project.
Quarterly: How did you become interested in the Hunley
Neyland: I first became involved with Hunley in 1995 when
Wes Hall contacted me at the U. S. Navy's Naval Histori-
cal Center (NHC). He, Ralph Wilbanks, and Harry Pecorelli
had just discovered Hunley three-and-a-half to four miles
offshore near Charleston (fig. 2). They were doing this un-
der NUMA, working for Clive Cussler. Wes notified me
because I was the Navy's Underwater Archaeologist at
NHC and he assumed that the Navy would take the lead
role in managing the submarine. I continued to be involved
with negotiations over ownership between the federal gov-
ernment and the State of South Carolina.
An archaeological survey conducted in 1996 by the
National Park Service-Submerged Cultural Resources Unit,
South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropolo-
gy, and NHC-Underwater Archaeology Branch confirmed
that the wreck found by NUMA was indeed Hunley. The
Photo: B. Volgaris
Fig. 1. Dr. Robert Neyland.
submarine appeared to be intact and in good shape. INA
personnel involved in this survey included Rich Wills, who
was with NHC at that time, Chris Amer with SCIAA, and
Peter Hitchcock of the Nautical Program.
In the spring of 1998, while my wife and I were visit-
ing Charleston, Ihad a lunch meeting with several concerned
persons, including Admiral Bill Schachte USN (Ret) and Sen-
ator Glenn McConnell from the South Carolina Hunley Com-
mission, Chairman Warren Lasch of the Friends of the Hunley,
and representatives of the Charleston Museum. Admiral
Schachte and Mr. Lasch pulled me aside and asked if I would
be interested in running the project. I considered this offer
for some time and finally agreed, provided the Navy would
lend me to the State of South Carolina. I started work in the
fall of 1998, developing plans for recovery and searching for
a team of archaeologists and conservators.
Fig. 2. Hunley asfirst discovered in 1995, partially uncovered Fig. 3. Redrawn by Larry V. Nordbyfrom measured field sketch-
on the seafloor. Drawing by Wes Hall, property of Ralph Wil- es by Matthew Russell and David Conlin, National Park Ser-
banks. vice Submerged Cultural Resources Unit.
INA Quarterly 29.1
Quarterly: Why is Hunley significant?
Neyland: Well, of course it is the first successful submers-
ible to sink an enemy ship in combat. Nevertheless, the
design was surprisingly sophisticated (fig. 3). Its overall
shape is very sharp and graceful, a forerunner of the sil-
houette of submarines that only came some eighty to a
hundred years later. It used water ballast tanks and may
have had a means of shifting ballast from one end to the
Quarterly: What special challenges set Hunley apart from
other nautical archaeology projects?
Neyland: Well... it is has all been challenging, and then some.
Starting from scratch is always tough. When we began, I
was always asked, "How much will it cost?" But until
you have concrete plans for recovery and conservation
you cannot begin to estimate costs. Trying to plan for
recovery while at the same time planning and building
a state-of-the-art conservation lab was extremely diffi-
cult. Also, getting contractors committed to a deadline
for completion of the conservation lab ahead of recov-
ery was not easy. Neither recovery nor conservation had
a set formula. We came up with innovative solutions for
Quarterly: Why was the decision made to raise Hunley,
rather than conducting an in situ excavation?
Neyland: We needed to excavate Hunley promptly because it
could not be protected from looting once its position was known.
It would have been tremendously expensive to conduct a full
excavation offshore under the difficult local conditions (fig. 4).
Also, because the submarine was truly a time capsule, it provid-
ed an ideal opportunity to recover it intact and bring it into the
lab to do a controlled excavation. In retrospect, it would have
been impossible to do a quality investigation and maintain proper
scientific control without doing the work in the lab.
Quarterly: What were the conditions at the site, and how
did you handle them?
Neyland: There was zero visibility and strong current at
times. We were often working at night, and had overhead
obstructions. There were two teams: one of archaeologists
and another of professional commercial divers. All were
helmeted and on surface supply because of safety and the
overhead obstructions (fig. 5). Our platform was thirty feet
above the water, so we had to use a stage to lower divers
in and out of the water. The site was unprotected from
storm or hurricane, so time was of the essence to reduce
the exposure of the wreck and workers.
Fig. 4. The diving conditions were difficult. It would have been tremendous-
ly expensive to conduct afull excavation at the site and impossible to conduct
a quality investigation and maintain proper scientific control. Courtesy of
Fig. 5. All divers were helmeted and on a surface supply system for safety
and because of the overhead obstructions.
INA Quarterly 29.1
Fig. 6. Underwater exploration of the Hunley site provided inform
was to prove invaluablefor preserving the vessel during the lath
operations. Courtesy of SCIAA.
Quarterly: What other technical challenges had to be over-
come to raise the submarine from the sediment?
Neyland: The recovery method prescribed a means of cap-
turing Hunley in the same position as it lay in the seabed
(with a forty-five degree list to starboard and the bow
down about sixteen inches lower than the stern). This
would require a continuous support system that pro-
vided a counter-pressure to the pressure of the sedi-
ment inside the boat, and a very controlled
lift. We wanted to be able to excavate the
submarine's interior in the same manner
that it had filled with sediment, for we knew
that the interior geology would be impor-
tant in telling what happened to the subma-
rine. The last thing we wanted was for the boat
to break apart or the hull to rupture on the
seabed or during the lift. We revisited the site
in the fall of 1999 and took ultrasonic measure-
ments of the hull and recovered a rivet (fig. 6).
This information was used in a Finite Element
Analysis (FEA) to determine if the sub's hull
would withstand the lift and where the weak-
est parts were. This study determined that the
greatest danger would be rivet failure along
the longitudinal strakes, with Hunley in ef-
fect unzipping. Hence we came up with a
system of slings with bags. These could be
injected with a hard-setting foam that
would take the shape of the hull and pro- Fig. 7. The
vide a counter-pressure to the sediment in- Conservati
side the submarine. rine's cont
We used Oceaneering Advanced
Technologies to develop a recovery system
that fit the archaeologists' needs. They had
to design a framework to support the
weight of Hunley and the sediment inside
(fig. 7). The recovery frame or truss had to
have a foundation. We ruled out driving
piles because of damage the vibration might
do to the submarine. Instead we built and
used large cans, eighteen feet wide by
twelve feet high, called suction piles. Divers
dug footings for these six feet deep. Hy-
draulic suction was then used to lower the
piles into the sea bottom. After recovery, the
massive forty-two-ton piles were removed
by reversing the flow of water and pump-
: C A ing them out. Thirty-three slings with bags
*o: C. Amer
for the foam were slung under the subma-
nation that rine. We started in the bow and excavated
er recovery sediment beneath Hunley for two slings at
a time until the boat was suspended by all
thirty-three slings. Each sling terminated in
a load cell that was wired to a computer on
the deck of the recovery platform. Engineers monitor-
ing the computer instructed divers on how much to
tighten each sling. A steady sea state was also essential
for lifting and safely setting the submarine down on the
deck of the recovery barge (fig. 8). Oceaneering also de-
signed the tank into which Hunley was placed, so there
would be no question that the vessel and recovery frame
would fit in the tank.
Photo: Friends of the Hunley
framework used to transport Hunleyfrom the bottom to the Lasch
ion Laboratory without disturbing the stratigraphy of the subma-
INA Quarterly 29.1
Fig. 8. The equipment assembled to lift Hunley onto the waiting barge pro-
vides only a hint about the scale of the entire recovery operation. Courtesy of
the Friends of the Hunley.
Fig. 9. Hunley's conservation tank at the Warren Lasch Conservation Cen-
ter is only the centerpiece of a state-of-the-art facility that has also worked
with material from CSS Alabama and other archaeological sites. Courtesy of
the Friends of the Hunley.
Quarterly: What steps were taken to ensure that the means
chosen for the Hunley recovery were safe and effective?
Neyland: The recovery plans were reviewed by a federal
oversight committee made up of representatives from the
Navy, Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers,
General Services Administration, National Park Service,
Smithsonian Institution, National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, and Advisory
Council on Historic Preservation. We also did
independent engineering checks to verify that
our plans were good. Just in case, the whole
project was also insured for several million
Quarterly: How is the submarine being pre-
served and protected during the excavation of
Neyland: Hunley is kept in water chilled below
50' F. to preserve the organic materials inside
(fig. 9). The water in the tank is filtered through
a series of large pool sand filters. A system of
impressed electric current was installed to help
keep the hull from degrading. The submarine and
the water in the tank are monitored for pH, con-
ductivity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen. To
excavate, the tank level is lowered and the hull is Fig. 10. I
sprayed with water. When excavation is not lost for ret
going on, the water level is again raised.
Quarterly: Have you found any dues to why Hunley sank?
Neyland: We have not found a "smoking gun" yet (fig.
10). 1 think that discovering the answer will be a true piece
of detective work. We will use the archaeological evidence,
Iunley pulled away from the sinking Housatonic and was soon
Isons still unknown. Computer generated graphic by Dan Dowdy.
INA Quarterly 29.1
70 n 50c
Fig. lla (left). Location ofa holefound in the very aft section of the sub's hull on the starboard side. Fig. lib (right). Size and shape
of the hole. Images by Warner McGee,from a drawing by National Parks Service Archaeologist Matt Russell.
the geology of the sub's interior, the forensics of the crew's
remains, and engineering studies of the metal and struc-
tural condition of the submarine.
There are some indications Hunley did not drown
its crew and filled slowly with sediment. There are stalac-
tites of mineralization on the overhead of the cabin, which
will be studied to determine if they formed in air or water.
There is a very fine sediment in the lower levels of the boat,
consistent with the hull remaining essentially intact for years
and only later opening up to an intrusive marine environ-
ment that deposited coarser sediments and marine shells.
These probably entered through holes both forward and
afton the starboard side, as well as through a broken glass
viewing port in the forward conning tower.
Quarterly: What about the hole in Hunley's stem?
Neyland: We think this occurred after it sank and was on
the bottom for awhile (figs. 11a and l1b). This is suggested
by the geological sediments inside this hole. The upper lev-
els of the hull are filled with a very course sediment in-
cluding shells, slag, and coal, which means that something
happened to change the deposition pattern and allow the
entry of larger debris. However this is preliminary analy-
sis. An anchor could have dragged into it. This was also in
an area of high scour activity.
Quarterly: How did you enter Hunley once it was recov-
Neyland: That was another major challenge for the project.
Both hatches were completely closed and even if opened
would be too small for us to enter. We wanted to do min-
imal damage to the submarine as well. It was finally de-
cided to remove three (later four) upper hull plates by
drilling out the rivets. At first, we did not know if this
would work. Even if we could free a plate, there might be
controls inside that would prevent full removal. Howev-
er, it turned out that this was the best solution. It allowed
maximum access into the submarine while doing minimal
damage. Even so, it has been tight work to excavate Hun-
ley's interior and recover artifacts and the remains of the
Quarterly: What is it like working in the cramped quar-
ters of the submarine?
Neyland: Well, at around three feet wide and four feethigh
it is exceedingly cramped. In addition, the hand crank runs
through the boat. Working is awkward and one gets used
to stiff legs and cramps. Getting sufficient light in the dark
interior is very difficult. I suppose most people would find
it claustrophobic. However, I have always found it very
peaceful to work inside the submarine, althoughit is tough
because of the tight quarters.
Quarterly: Besides the boat itself and the remains of its
crew, what has the excavation found?
Neyland: The significant artifacts recovered include: a gold
coin, a blue lantern, a compass, bellows, personal effects
such as knives and canteens, a medicine bottle, several to-
bacco pipes with tobacco still in them, two pencils and a
scrap of paper, a leather belt, buckles and buttons for gar-
ments, a wallet, binoculars, and a folding rule.
Quarterly: What do you think remains to be discovered
in the current round of excavation?
Neyland: The current round is almost over. We have un-
covered and defined more machinery in the stern-the af-
ter pump and the hand crank gear and propeller gear
connected by a chain drive. In the bow we have recovered
INA Quarterly 29.1
4 et 3 Inchee
the rest of Lt. Dixon's remains, near the ship's compass
and a shelf on which the compass sat. We have not as yet
found the depth gauge. Under the bench, we found five
canteens, textile material, buttons, and a file. There is also
a pipe under the bench that may carry water between the
ballast tanks, and the controls for the rudder.
Quarterly: What comes next?
Neyland: After this round of excavation, the ballast tanks
in both ends will have to be emptied of sediment. We will
record the interior of Hunley and try to understand its
machinery. A series of engineering studies will be done to
understand the complex system of ballasting the boat and
countering the weight of the spar and torpedo. We will
also excavate the block lifts of textiles, artifacts, and hu-
man remains. These block lifts were done to help recover
the textiles intact.
Quarterly: What will be needed to properly conserve
Hunley and its associated artifacts?
Neyland: Money, time, and patience. Doing the job prop-
erly and expeditiously may require some cutting-edge
techniques. With current methods, it will probably take
seven to ten years to complete the task.
Quarterly: How many people have been involved in the
Neyland: In the initial discovery, four to five people. The
1996 survey involved about twenty. Recovery required
over thirty. The ongoing exploration and conservation in-
volves about twenty people, including our core archaeol-
ogists and conservators as well as volunteers (fig. 12).
Many of these workers have had a connection with
INA or the A&M Nautical Program. These include: Chris
Amer with SCIAA, Claire Peachey with NHC, Mike Scaf-
uri with the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, and Mar-
ia Jacobsen, Senior Archaeologist at the Lasch Center. Rich
Wills and Peter Hitchcock were also involved. Donny
Hamilton did the initial conservation study and report for
us, and Wayne Smith and Jim Jobling have also provided
input on conservation. I hope I have not left anyone out!
Quarterly: Modem ship archaeology is sometimes con-
troversial, because we often have less expensive sources
Fig. 12. The Hunley team. lnoto: rnenas ot tne turuey
INA Quarterly 29.1
Fig. 13. Sketch by submarine pioneer Simon Lake from a description of the vessel by Charles Hasker,
one of the crew that survived the first sinking. Published in McLures Magazine in January 1899
and laudable at the National Archives.
of information about recent vessels. What is to be learned from exca-
vating Hunley that could not be discovered from historical research?
Neyland: Surprisingly, there is a great deal to be learned from excava-
tion. The historical record on Hunley is not particularly accurate (fig.
13). From recovery, we saw that the shape of Hunley was far more hy-
drodynamic and graceful than anyone had imagined or portrayed in
sketches and the one painting (see cover). We determined that the spar
for the torpedo was on the bottom of the bow, not on the top as had
been believed. From excavation we learned that seven men, not eight,
propelled the sub's crank. That meant that the crew was in fact only
eight men, not nine. The propeller shaft had a flywheel and brake mech-
anism. We discovered a system for circulating air inside with a large
bellows. The submarine is well built with ninety-four to ninety-seven
rivets holding a plate on, and a series of iron frames inside the hull.
The men all sat on the port side and the crank was somewhat off-cen-
ter to starboard. Ultimately we will answer the questions of who were
the men on Hunley and why the submarine never returned. None of
this was in the historic record or could be found from surviving docu-
ments or pictures.
In addition, we have confirmed two stories about Hunley's last
mission that some had dismissed as folklore. We found the blue signal
lantern mentioned as seen by both Confederate and Union sentries,
which further suggests that the submarine initially survived Housaton-
ic's sinking. We have also confirmed that Lt. George E. Dixon did in-
deed carry a good luck piece, a gold coin given him by his fiance (fig.
This was certainly one myth that turned out to be true. Queenie
Bennett, Dixon's fiancee, gave him the twenty-dollar gold piece when
he went off to war. The coin saved his life by stopping a bullet at the Fig. 15. A
battle of Shiloh. This story was known from a letter from Dixon to "lucky" g
Fig. 14. Dixon's fiancee, Quenie Ben-
nett,hadgien hima $20goldpiecearly
in the war. A Union bullet at Shiloh had
penetrated his trouser pocket and struck
the coin. The impact lef the coin shaped
like a bell, with the bullet still embedded
in it. It probably saved Dixon's life and
became his "good luck" piece, Courtesy
of the Friends of the Hunley,
Aaria Jacobson holding Lt. Dixon's $20
INA Quarterly 29.1
Queenie and a letter that a friend of Dixon wrote home to his wife. Everyone
asked us about the gold coin, but its presence was unconfirmed until Maria
Jacobson found it on the last day of the excavation as we were doing a block
lift of Dixon's remains and clothing (fig. 15). It was apparently in a left pock-
et. No one knew, however, that it was inscribed on the reverse side with (fig.
April 6, 1862
My Life Preserver
Seeing the coin is very different from reading about it, just as the archaeo-
logical investigation of Hunley has provided a much richer picture of this historic Fig. 16. Reverse side of the coin, show-
vessel than contemporary documents and pictures could ever have done. I am ing the inscription. Courtesy of the
glad to have played a role in this. Friends of the Hunley.
Bringing Texas Steamboats Alive for Texans
Michael Quennoz and Barto Arnold
Historical displays on nautical affairs are invalu-
able to the archaeologist. They provide a wonderful op-
portunity to give the community insight into what we
do-the process by which we help bring their own his-
tory back to life. With this end, the Institute of Nautical
Archaeology (INA) and the MSC Forsyth Center Gal-
leries brought Natchez on the Mississippi 1870-1910: A
Photographic Exhibit to Texas A&M University during
the fall of 2001. The exhibit displayed a small part of
the work of Henry C. Norman, who in the late nine-
teenth and early twentieth century photographed the
life of Natchez, Mississippi, his home town. In 1960,
Natchez physician Dr. Thomas Gandy purchased over
seventy thousand glass negatives of Norman's work.
Eventually Dr. Gandy and his wife published several
books on Henry Norman and the steamboats he photo-
graphed, including Norman's Natchez: An Early Photog-
rapher and His Town and The Mississippi Steamboat Era in
Historic Photographs. Beginning in 1993, a traveling ex-
hibit visited the Barbican Centre in London, the Getty
Museum in Los Angeles, and the Center for American
History (CAR) at the University of Texas at Austin.
In the fall of 2001, Barto Arnold, Director of Texas
Operations for INA, in cooperation with Cory Arcak of
the Forsyth galleries, and Lynn Bell of CAR, arranged to
display a portion of the exhibit, focusing on Mississippi
river steamboats. The large format photos provided beau-
tiful detail of these often-lavish vessels. Andy Hall, an INA
research associate, provided additional panels on the his-
tory of steamboats in Texas as well as highlighting the un-
derwater archaeology of steamboats. He also provided
expanded captions for the photographs, enhancing histor-
ical and archaeological aspects. Forsyth curator Cory Ar-
cak then organized the exhibit.
A series of free, public lectures were also scheduled
to help bring the history and tradition of the steamboats to
life. For example, Barto Arnold discussed the Red River
Wreck currently being excavated on the Oklahoma and
Texas border. Inspiration for the photo exhibit derived from
the work on this wreck, the earliest western river steam-
boat yet excavated by archaeologists. Capt. Alan Bates, one
of the foremost steamboat historians, discussed the evolu-
tion of steamboat technology and Andy Hall highlighted
the long history of steamboats in Texas.
The timing of the exhibit could not have been bet-
ter, as it coincided with the Texas A&M football season.
Before and after every home game, hundreds of people
visited the Forsyth Gallery, located directly across the street
from Kyle Field. To take full advantage of this opportuni-
ty, students from the Nautical Archaeology Program act-
ed as docents, explaining the exhibit to visitors and
The steamboat photo exhibit, comprising some two
dozen images, is available to tour museums. The same is
true of the full (120-image) exhibit of Natchez on the Missis-
sippi, Interested parties should contact Lynn Bell, Center
for American History, University of Texas at Austin at (512)
495-4452 or by email at email@example.com. a
INA Quarterly 29.1
The Denbigh Project 2001:
Excavation of a Civil War Blockade-Runner
Barto Arnold, Tom Oertling, and Andy Hall
To those who took the active part, it was-although attended with some privation,
danger, and anxiety-on the whole a rather enjoyable occupation, with something
of the zest of yacht-racing...
-William Watson, The Civil War Adventures of a Blockade Runner
American Civil War blockade-runners have become
a hot topic in recent years and INA's current Denbigh exca-
vation at Galveston, Texas has stimulated this interest (fig.
1). Although historians have carried out extensive research
on the subject, archaeologists have not excavated many
blockade-running ships. Likewise, iron-hulled merchant
steamers of the nineteenth century are a largely unexplored
field. The Denbigh Project is helping to fill these gaps in
This year's Society for Historical Archaeology meet-
ing in Mobile, Alabama included an all-day session on
blockade running in the Gulf of Mexico and Civil War
wrecks in Mobile Bay. There were fifteen presentations and
several discussions on the topic, and this does not include
relevant papers at other sessions. The four presentations
specifically devoted to Denbigh included two by the au-
thors of this article, the first entitled "The Denbigh Project:
Second Season of Excavation of a Civil War Blockade Run-
ner," and the second, "Too Successful a Boat: New Histor-
ical Research on the Blockade Runner Denbigh." There were
also papers by E. Gene Shimko ("The Blockade Runner
Denbigh as an Example of Mid-Nineteenth Century Ma-
rine Engineering") and John de Bry ("Denbigh: The Cuban
Connection"). Members of the Denbigh team presented sev-
eral other papers on topics suggested by the Project re-
search, and Katie Custer had a poster presentation, "A Rose
from the Past: Conserving a Rose Stem from the Civil War
Blockade Runner Denbigh." The Society presentations were
only a part of our efforts to keep the academic community
and general public informed about the Project.
I may safely say that one of the most successful, and certainly one of the most
profitable, steamers that sailed out ofHavana to the Confederate States was a some-
what old, and by no means fast, steamer named the Denbigh. ... She was light
on coal, made but little smoke, and depended more upon strategy than speed. She
carried large cargoes of cotton, and it was generally allowed that the little Den-
bigh was a more profitable boat than any of the larger and swifter cracks.
Fig. 1. A computer graphic compiled by Andy Hall from all the information to hand so far.
INA Quarterly 29.1
The Denbigh investigation has continued since win-
ter 1997. In the test excavation season, 1999, we completed
two trenches of five by fourteen feet, one each in the for-
ward and aft sections of the hull. We then opened the area
along the centerline of the vessel and over the port engine.
This revealed the engine frame, piston, and connecting rod.
We removed the 550-pound rod from the wreck for con-
servation, study, and public display. The following year,
we exposed the port cylinder on its aft and inboard side
and opened a third trench in the middle section of the af-
ter hold. Most of the work in 2001 continued to focus on
the engine room.
Most of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology's ex-
cavations over the past thirty years have involved vessels
built before the Age of Steam. INA Quarterly readers may
be unfamiliar with the operation of marine engines, so
perhaps a brief explanation is in order. High-temperature,
high-pressure steam can perform work as it expands (los-
ing both temperature and pressure in the process). In each
cylinder of a reciprocating engine, the steam pushes a pis-
ton while it is expanding. Steam can be introduced through
valves from a steam chest into both ends of the cylinder
alternately. This drives the piston equally on both the for-
ward and back strokes, unlike the familiar four-cycle in-
ternal combustion engine (gasoline or diesel), which
generates power on only one stroke out of four and con-
sumes energy during its compression stroke.
As noted in the quote by William Watson at the head
of this section, Denbigh was highly regarded as "light on
coal." Efficiency is particularly important for marine en-
gines, because fuel stations are so much farther apart at
sea than on a highway or railroad line. Inefficient engines
require extra fuel storage, so nonpaying coal bunkers will
replace cargo space. More efficient engines need fewer stok-
ers, hence less room for crew quarters and provisions and
still more room for paying cargo (or, on a warship, extra
guns). As an added benefit, a more efficient steamship need
not rely on sails for auxiliary propulsion, which again saves
on weight, space, and crew requirements. A blockade run-
ner, in particular, would want to reduce the size of its masts
and top-hamper to the absolute minimum, since this would
significantly reduce its visibility and enable it to stay be-
low the horizon.
In steam locomotives, the exhaust is typically vent-
ed into the air, but ships (like fixed power plants near a
lake or stream) use cooling water to condense the exhaust.
This creates a partial vacuum that allows steam to push
harder on the piston from the other side. In the low pressure
engines used through much of the 1860s, this extra force pro-
vided a particularly significant percentage advantage in ef-
ficiency. To maximize the pressure differential between the
two sides of the piston, it was essential to avoid condensa-
tion on the walls of the high-pressure end of the cylinder as
the expanding steam cooled. Due to the increased steam
pressure, the boiling point (and hence the condensation
temperature) was significantly higher than 100' Celsius,
the boiling point at normal atmospheric pressure.
Unwanted condensation was generally avoided in
several ways: the steam leaving the boiler was often run
through a superheater to increase its temperature, and the
cylinder walls were also heated by surrounding them with
a steam jacket. The condensate from the jackets also pro-
vided a source of fresh water. Denbigh appears to have
employed both these strategies. In addition, engine design-
ers limited the stroke length of the cylinder, so that unnec-
essary expansion would not cool the walls below the
boiling point of incoming steam. This approach eventual-
ly led to compound engines, in which the steam was ex-
panded in as many as four consecutive cylinders to reduce
the cooling at any single stage. In the 1860s, however, ships
relied on simple engines with a single expansion of the
steam in large cylinders like Denbigh's.
To create the vacuum on the exhaust side, most ships
in the 1860s used a condenser that sprayed a jet of cool
seawater over the steam. An air pump then removed the
water and gases from the condenser. They were pumped
into the hot well, a vertical box with a domed top, where
the water settled to the bottom. The engine's feed pump
then transferred this preheated water back to the boiler as
needed (again, a more efficient approach than using cold
feed water). Denbigh had all these typical features, although
the feed pump may have been removed during salvage
operations after the Civil War.
Obviously, a piston moves back and forth in straight
lines, while paddles and screw propellers move in circles.
Every ship with reciprocating engines must therefore have
some mechanism for converting one form of motion into
the other. Typically, a pivot (often on an assembly called
the crosshead) attaches the piston rod to a connecting rod
that then drives a crank on the driveshaft-an arrangement
that requires considerable room for a large single expan-
sion cylinder. This was a particular problem for early steam
screw warships, since the propeller shaft must run in a fore-
and-aft direction fairly low in the hull. The cylinders need-
ed a low profile to protect them from enemy fire, but also
needed to fit crosswise within a narrow beam.
Paddle steamers like Denbigh had transverse axles
well above the waterline, which presented a different set
of problems. In order to keep the engine room as small as
possible (to avoid cutting into payload size), many designs
used vertical cylinders driving the paddles through a rock-
er assembly located either next to the engine (a side lever)
or above it (a walking beam). Denbigh took the simpler and
more mechanically efficient approach of placing almost
horizontal cylinders behind the paddlewheels. Each pis-
ton rod drove a crosshead back and forth along diagonal
I-beam guides. The crosshead then turned the paddle crank
INA Quarterly 29.1
by a connecting rod nearly eight feet long, as well as driv-
ing other rods to control the valves in the steam chest and
transmit power to the auxiliary machinery like the air and
feed pumps. The space this design consumed was consid-
ered an acceptable price to pay for speed and efficiency in
Denbigh's original mission as a short-haul passenger pack-
et, but it also worked well for the oceanic blockade runner
that the ship eventually became.
In 2001, the Denbigh team focused almost exclusively
on the engine room (fig. 2). We opened most of the remain-
der of the compartment from the central alleyway between
the engines to the portside of the ship. We recovered the
remains of the superheater cap, which had fallen from the
upper section of the boiler to its port side. At the end of the
season additional excavations were made on the sponson
of the port paddlewheel. We hoped to better understand
the operation of the paddle feathering mechanism, and par-
ticularly the bearing for the eccentric wheel hub.
The engine room work was conducted in several
functional areas: the portside of the engine room; the cen-
tral alleyway between the engines; and the forward area
between the boiler and the engine. This excavation allowed
the collection of more information about the port engine
and its various components.
I said that on blockade-running steamers it was necessary to have everything cleaned
in the morning watch, so as always to have a good head of steam, and be ready for
a spurt at daybreak, in case daylight might show a cruiser close by, when we would
want all the speed [the engineer] could put on to get beyond reach of her guns.
Unit 3-Engine Room
In 2000, we designated the port half of the engine
room as excavation Unit 3 and recorded the basic engine
structure while digging about halfway to the ship's bilge
(fig. 3). The following year's work began with removing
the sediment that had filled the hole over the winter. Most
of the season was spent excavating to the interior hull sur-
face. During this process, we examined the ancillary steam
equipment and the surrounding structures. We observed
a box-like series of rectangles outlining the engine and
paddle shaft space. This was constructed of iron members
that were massively oversized when compared to the nor-
mal hull frames and deck beams.
The team also located a storage area between the en-
gine and the portside of the ship. Ceiling planking over the
floor timbers provided a walkway to access the outboard
side of the engine and this stowage. The storage area con-
tained two wooden bins, a few tools and supplies, a spoon,
bricks, broken pottery and glass, and the engineering de-
partment's private supply of alcohol. The forward bin was
excavated completely, but the other one awaits future work.
INA Quarterly 29.1
The flat plate of the keelson sitting on top of the floor
frames served as a walkway for the engineers and oilers to
access the inboard side of the engines. A hard compact layer
of sandy material located between the frames may have
been a marine concrete. It was a common practice of the
period to fill the bottom of the ship with this material. A
pipe running from the bottom of the vessel through a tri-
angular hole in the keelson plate to the engine may repre-
sent the bilge pump intake. The bilge water ran into the
condenser through a manifold on the inboard side of the
engine (a manifold on the outboard side provided addi-
tional cooling water directly from the sea). A coaming
around the pump intake would have reduced the amount
of coal and other debris from the bilges that would other-
wise be sucked into the condenser. A one-inch metal bar
ran the length of the engine frame about three and a half
feet above the alleyway surface. This may have been a
guardrail to prevent anyone from falling into the moving
The engine was completely exposed from the cylin-
der forward. In prior seasons, we identified the cylinder,
steam chest, piston rod, connecting rod, cross head, crank,
and axle assembly. In 2001 we identified nearly all the re-
maining key components. These included the condenser,
air pump, hot well, and linkage (power takeoff) from the
crosshead to the air pump. We also identified some of the
steam and water lines with their connections and through-
hull exits, as well as recording the engine frame structure.
Portside of the engine room
This area included two oversized frames (partial
bulkheads) extending into the hull, most likely to provide
additional support to the center of the ship. The forward
frame measures 3.7 feet and the after frame, measuring three
feet, is paired with a stanchion and tied into a large longitu-
dinal angle iron that was part of the deck support struc-
ture. We also noted four pipes running through the area.
Two storage tanks were placed against the port side
of the hull. The forward tank was placed low in the hull be-
tween the partial bulkheads. It measured 2.2 x 2.7 x 6 feet. At
the aft end was a drain opening with a rounded dowel still in
place as a stopper. This tank is believed to have held fresh water
condensate from the steam jacket of the cylinder. The aft tank
was smaller, 1.65 x 1.8 x 22 feet This was based about two feet
below the deck in the comer of the after bulkhead and the
hull. There was a small square inspection port facing inboard.
We believe this tank contained lubrication oil.
Forward of the engine
Numerous large metal concretions prevented exca-
vation of the area between the engine and boiler. It ap-
peared that these concretions incorporated plates and
structural elements from the upper part of the vessel and
engine parts discarded during salvage. The firebox doors
were blocked, but enough of the aft face was uncovered to
show that the portside door to the boiler tubes was open
and hanging on one hinge. Nineteen inches forward of the
after boiler face was another bulkhead with only the up-
per portion of a round-topped opening exposed. This was
probably the port coal bunker hatch.
Excavation Unit 5 was a five-foot square with one
side centered on the paddle shaft outboard of the port pad-
dlewheel hub. We hoped to identify the feathering mecha-
nism and the structure of the sponson. We specifically hoped
to determine the nature of the offset hub that anchored the
rods for the adjustable floats (paddles). There were two types,
one with a solid hub and the other with a central rim-like
structure. Brief initial observations at the end of the sea-
son indicated the solid hub variety of feathering mecha-
nism. Further work will be necessary in this area.
On my asking the engineer what they meant, he said that some of thefiremen and
trimmers had been picked up about the grog-shops in Havana, and a more worth-
less and despicable set he had never seen. ... they now wanted to get ashore to get
The Denbigh team found a variety of artifacts during
the 2001 season. Our most intriguing finds were five intact
wine bottles discovered in the wooden bin. Three of these
still had corks in place when they were first seen, although
one lost its cork during excavation (fig. 3). The contents of
the remaining two bottles had a vinegar-like smell, and were
saved for analysis. Other glass and ceramic items were found
in fragments. One of these was the neck and numerous shards
of a glass demijohn bottle (fig. 4), which still had shreds of
the wicker basket on its neck. Ceramics include the bottom
of a bowl with a naval crown transfer print, the handle of a
cup, and numerous sherds of earthenware and whiteware.
We found several bricks in the bin and around the
port side. Two were large and flat, like pavers. Although
one appeared to be a standard English brick, the others were
stamped, "Th. Boucher/Brevete." These bricks possibly pro-
INA Quarterly 29.1
ilnuu: D. /tn lwuJ
Fig. 3. Liquor bottle, sealed and with con- Fig. 4. Part of glass demijohn bottle with Fig. 5. Spoon marked "Rogers & Bro. Nick-
tents intact. Scale 6 in. wicker at neck. Scale 6 in. el Silver." Scale 6 in.
vided installation around the boiler or hot tanks, or might
have been for the galley. In the bin with the bricks were four
iron rings or thimbles and three wooden wedges. Other
items in the bin included a conch shell and coconut, opened
but with the husk still on. A large bronze oval frame, with
wood fragments adhering, is believed to be a scuttle cov-
er, possibly for a deck opening to the coal bunker.
A spoon, possibly silver plated, was also uncovered.
It is marked "Rogers & Bro. Nickel Silver" (fig. 5). This exact
mark had not been identified in a standard reference, but
several Rogers family companies operated in Connecticut.
A wooden mallet was found in the bottom of the
ship next to the bin. It is thought to be part of the engi-
neers' tool kit. A bronze spigot was also in this area. Of
particular interest is a length of what is believed to be a
rose stem. This was located beneath the keelson and can
therefore be tied directly to the active life of the ship.
As with most excavations, debris from the years af-
ter the sinking was mixed with the many interesting orig-
inal Denbigh artifacts. These anachronistic items, such as
obviously recent fishing weights, were discarded from the
Havana now having become the principal centrefor blockade running, a crowd of
speculators soon found their way to the place, who bought up the goods in the
limited market, and run them up to a high figure to sell to blockade runners, repre-
senting them, of course, as consignments recently got out from Europe specially
selected for the Confederate market.
Jerry Powell, a student of Civil War history and a
professor at the Baylor Law School, volunteered for archi-
val research. Since he is familiar with admiralty court
records, his assistance is most welcome. Powell visited the
National Archives Regional Repository in Fort Worth, Tex-
as. This is where the records of the New Orleans federal dis-
trict court are kept. He also conducted research in the main
National Archives collections in Washington, DC. Among
other things, he found the vessel file on Denbigh and a sal-
vage claim for cotton jettisoned by the ship after tempo-
rarily grounding while leaving Galveston in April 1865.
One of the documents retrieved by Powell con-
cerned the European Trading Company, the firm the own-
ers put together to handle their blockade-running
operations. We learned that the managing director had his
office in Paris, France, probably because this was the home
of Emile Erlanger, one of the three owners. After the war,
Erlanger married the daughter of the chief Confederate
agent in France, John Slidell. This personal relationship
may have been a factor leading the Erlanger concern to
float a cotton bond issue. The funding was a key factor in
enabling the South to continue the war, so Erlanger and
his partners might have controlled the essential raw mate-
rial for the textile mills at the center of Europe's econo-
my... if the Confederacy had won.
Co-Principal investigator Andy Hall conducted his-
torical research in Liverpool and Wales, where Denbigh
worked before becoming a blockade runner. Long time col-
league John de Bry pursued information in the archives of
Havana, Cuba and Paris, France. The work in Cuba was a
scouting trip for future research. As William Watson noted
in the quote above, Havana was the home base for most run-
ners in the final years of the war. The potential for finding
Denbigh records there looks good, since John made good con-
tacts for future work. The Project is still on the track of Den-
bigh's ship's papers. These are mentioned in the skimpy
after-action report contained in dispatches from the fleet
at Galveston. Much archival research remains to be done.
INA Quarterly 29.1
We soon got into the [Galverston] channel, which was perfectly smooth, but with
barely eight feet of water, it being nearly low water. I knew that this was the deep-
est end of the channel, and that near the inner end there was a short space where
there was nearly afoot less, and very likely we should there take the ground. ...
The vessel stuck and the engines were stopped. ... There was little danger from the
enemy, as we were now in past the fleet, and within three hundred yards of the Con-
Near the end of the war the United States Consul- Banks in New Orleans. Since this communication is dated
General in Havana scored an intelligence coup by obtain- almost simultaneously with Denbigh's last voyage, it must
ing the sailing instructions for the Galveston run. These describe the same set of signals and lights its officers were
are contained in a dispatch from the consul to General expecting to see.
U. S. CONSULATE-GENERAL,
Havana, May 20, 1865.
SIR: The blockade runner Owl, Captain Maffitt, under the rebel flag, will leave here for Galveston
to-day or to-morrow. On her return from Galveston the Owl will come out by the main channel. By
following the accompanying directions the Owl may be caught: Station a light-draft gunboat on the
Northeast Channel (there are 7 feet of water at low tide); run in far enough to keep the Knoll buoy
always in sight. If the night is very dark, cross the bar and anchor just inside. Let the Owl pass the
buoy and cripple her from the start; then come in behind her. Don't trust sailors to look out. To cross
the Northeast Bar, bring the light to bear S. W._ S. The bar is a long one. There is no danger of the
enemy or shoal water. I regard this information as reliable. Will you communicate it at once to the
officer in command of the naval forces at New Orleans? The rebel ironclad ram Stonewall was given
up on yesterday by those having charge of her to the Spanish colonial authorities of the island of
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM T. MINOR,
U. S. Consul-General at Havana.
Major-General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding U, S. Forces at New Orleans.
Navy O.R.-series 1-Volume 22 [S#221
West Gulf Blockading Squadron.
From January 1, 1865, to January 31, 1866, pp. 156-201.
What amazing operational details for Denbigh! The
runner frequently used this approach through the North-
east Channel, also called the Swash Channel. The instruc-
tions suggest why the ship may have grounded on the
night of May 23-24. Due to the disorder at the end of the
war, the garrison guarding the harbor forts left town on
May 22-23. It seems probable that the navigation signal
lights were not set on the night Denbigh strayed out of the
channel, became stuck, and was destroyed. However, we
know from William Watson's account that going aground
was a routine event. The fatal problem for Denbigh on this
occasion was that the deserted forts could not protect it
while it was grounded.
Note that Consul-General Minor advises General
Banks to warn the blockaders not to rely on sailors as look-
outs. Perhaps he believed that the enlisted seamen's dili-
gence was not what it should be. Therefore, a responsible
officer should stand lookout instead.
INA Quarterly 29.1
It now seemed to me that blockade running between Havana and Galveston had
been largely taken up by companies or syndicates who owned several vessels, and
whose policy seemed to be to play a high stake.
Schroder Sails to Galveston?
It appears that a member of the Schroder merchant
banking family, one-third owners of Denbigh, may have
sailed to Galveston from Havana on the ship. A document
from the National Archives vessel file on Denbigh lists the
passengers arriving in Galveston on August 30, 1864-the
ship's first trip to Texas, soon after Mobile Bay had been
closed to Confederate shipping. The document lists "Hen-
ry Schreoter" among the passengers.
This could easily be a misspelling for Schroder. At
least two of the family's English branch had "Henry" as
one of their multiple given names. One of these was the
head of English operations and the other was one of his
sons, in his early twenties at the time. Schroder's Bank was
conducting a bond issue and railroad construction project
in Cuba at this time. With the South's fortunes ebbing, this
was probably a more important operation than Schroder's
interest in the European Trading Company or their stake
in the Erlanger cotton bond issue. It would not be surpris-
ing for a family member to be in Cuba inspecting or super-
vising the railroad project. Having a family member make
the first trip to a new port as supercargo would have pro-
vided a sound foundation for Denbigh's future operations
in Galveston. International credit and trade relationships
often hinged on personal contacts.
It may therefore be well imagined that rumours from reliable sources, of great
victories, crushing defeats, and important successes of one or the other side were
constantly being manufactured and circulated by way of bulls or bears. The news
of Lee's surrender, however, was so authentic that no room was left for doubt.
The recent work of the Denbigh team lent itself par-
ticularly well to public outreach. The Project assisted with
the publication of the Civil War Adventures ofa Blockade Run-
ner by William Watson, reissued after 109 years by Texas
A&M University Press. This contains a new introduction by
Barto Arnold, and is intended as the first of two to three book-
length publications related to the Project. The book is part of
our outreach to both the public and the profession.
Several other exhibits on Denbigh have recently ap-
peared. We have already described the presentations at
the 2002 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Ar-
chaeology. The authors presented a poster session at the
Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting in
Dallas. By adding to these graphics an already-on-hand
replica of a doll suggested by the leg found in 2000 (see
page 33), the Project was able to present an exhibit in the
library of Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG).
The Discovery Museum at Galveston's Moody Gar-
dens requested the Denbigh Project's participation in a large
traveling exhibit about ocean exploration called Treasures of the
Deep. Fortunately, the connecting rod completed conservation
just in time for the August through May exhibition This im-
pressively massive 550-pound and nearly eight-foot-long arti-
fact attracted much attention to INA's work on the Texas
coast. Large graphics and the doll replica accompanied the
connecting rod, forming a local addition to the exhibit.
By arranging exhibits during the fieldwork, prelim-
inary results can be shown at very little cost. This provides
a much higher profile for the Project in the local communi-
ty. The exhibits described above exposed thousands of
people to a historic preservation view of shipwrecks.
Another opportunity for public outreach was pro-
vided by an outing on the weekend of September 7,2001,
co-sponsored by INA and the Southwest Underwater Ar-
chaeological Society. The volunteer sport divers and Den-
bigh staff visited the wreck site. They also conducted
preliminary mapping of a hulk used as a bulkhead in the
town of Bolivar facing the Intracoastal Waterway. Local leg-
end claimed that Al Capone had once owned this early twen-
tieth-century steel yacht. However, Andy Hall was able to
identify the wreck as the Olive K, built for one of the most
prominent executives and inventors at Ford Motor Compa-
ny. The work during the dive weekend included taking GPS
coordinates, photos, and measurements. This was prima-
rily a training exercise for avocational archaeologists and
students, as there are no plans to excavate.
INA Quarterly 29.1
Of course the rope was fixture and no part of the running gear, but it kept the old
gentleman out of harm's way, and he was quite happy in the imagination that he
had been of some service.
The Project used the recovery of Denbigh's super-
heater cap to stage a press outing. The cap was exposed to
high heat levels during the ship's life and it had been in
shallow, oxygenated water for 136 years. The superheater
is highly degraded and the artifact is prevented from crum-
bling only by its encrustation. Conservation and curation,
therefore, was not really practicable. This was confirmed
when a fragment of one of the superheater's iron pipes
was CT scanned, revealing total oxidation of the metal.
Thus, the plan was to recover the cap and study it before
returning it to the site.
There was a good turnout of both print and broad-
cast journalists for the outing. The crew floated the super-
heater cap with a liftbag and a line was passed to the recovery
boat provided by TAMUG. Due to the high winds and chop-
py seas, additional assistance was needed to haul in the line.
Those members of the press party who were not photograph-
ing the recovery became participant-reporters.
Denbigh received good coverage on the Houston
television stations, with a feature piece in addition to news
reports. There was also radio coverage, including an on-
site telephone interview. A thirty-minute Public Radio
show produced and syndicated by KAMU-FM on the main
A&M campus in College Station provided in-depth cover-
age. Front-page newspaper articles ran in both Houston
and Galveston, and the Associated Press also ran an arti-
cle. The Houston Chronicle's article by its science writer
was perhaps the best yet on Denbigh. Much of this cover-
age can now be seen on the INA web site.
The senior author considers it a half-done, semi-ster-
ile exercise if archaeologists concentrate solely on their sci-
entific publications. Journal articles trade popular appeal
for depth of coverage. They do not reach a mass audience
with the story of the scientific study of shipwrecks. In con-
trast, the press does. Finally, museum exhibits give archae-
ologists the best opportunity to reach the greatest numbers
with in-depth information on results. All three-scientific
technical publications, press coverage, and museum ex-
hibits-should be considered the archaeologist's profes-
It was a kind of exciting sport of the highest order, in which the participators re-
garded with more satisfaction some successful elusion of the enemy, a chase and
escape, or other adventure, than any other emolument.
After the successful 2001 excavation season, we now
almost completely understand the layout of Denbigh's en-
gine room. We have recorded all the major components of
the power plant, except for the (probably salvaged) feed
pump and steam piping. Although the depth of overburden
makes for slow going (even with four induction dredges at
once), the excavation is certainly worth the effort. There is a
lot more to learn from this important and exciting wreck.
Acknowledgements. The Denbigh Project is an undertaking of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M Uni-
versity. The work is funded entirely by grants and donations. The principal donors include: The Albert & Ethel Herzstein
Charitable Foundation of Houston; The Brown Foundation, Houston, Texas; Communities Foundation of Texas (Bill's
Fund of the); The Ed Rachal Foundation; The Hillcrest Foundation, founded by Mrs. W. W. Caruth, Sr.; The Horlock
Foundation, Houston, Texas; Houston Endowment, Inc.; The Strake Foundation of Houston, Texas; The Summerfield
G. Roberts Foundation of Dallas; The Summerlee Foundation of Dallas; The Joseph Ballard Archeology Fund of Texas
Historical Foundation; and The Trull Foundation of Palacios, Texas. -V
For Further Study visit the Denbigh web site: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/projects/Denbigh/
LNA Quarterly 29.1
The Denbigh Doll
The Denbigh excavation team found a china doll's leg on
the site during the 2000 season. This is a particularly unusual
artifact for an area thought to be the crew quarters. What
was a doll-and perhaps even a child-doing aboard a ship
that was in routine danger from the US Navy? More than
most archaeological artifacts, this item allows us vividly to
imagine a human connection with the past. There are sever-
al possibilities for how the leg came to be on the ship. It is fun
to speculate about this... although we will probably never have
a definitive answer.
First, however, we should describe how contemporary
"china head" dolls were made and used. In the nineteenth cen-
tury, this popular style of doll had a porcelain head and shoul-
der piece, and porcelain lower arms and legs. These decorated
ceramic body parts were attached to a stuffed body of doth or
glove leather. As a toy, the doll could be shipped as a kit. A
mother and daughter could sit by the fireside sewing and mak-
ing the body and fashioning elaborate doll clothing. Family en-
tertainmentwas far more creative in the days before broadcasting
and the Internet.
However, china head dolls were not only used as toys
for children but also as fashion aids for adults. In the days before
glossy magazines and televised style shows, couturiers publi-
cized the latest fabrics, patterns, and fashions by sending dolls
in miniature outfits from the fashion centers to the provinces.
These allowed consumers to see the overall "look" of current
styles, and order their wardrobe from a local dressmaker. The
dolls also allowed the seamstress to see exactly how to assemble
the clothes according to the designer's pattern.
This historical information suggests a number of ways in
which the leg might have come aboard Denbigh. Before it began
blockade running, the ship served for about two years as a pas-
senger stearnerbetween Liverpool and Rhyl, a resort about twen-
ty-five miles away in Wales. During this time, a leg could have
dropped off a passenger's doll and been swept accidentally into
the bilge where it was found.
It is also possible that Denbigh had carried the doll's own-
er to Havana from Mobile or Galveston. Particularly near the
end of the war, runners sometimes carried passengers. Some
people felt they had good reason to evacuate the South with
their families ahead of the victorious Federal armies. Since the
Union Navy blockaders preferred capture rather than destruc-
tion of their targets, there was comparatively little risk from gun-
fire (besides, the Federal gunners were notoriously bad shots).
Although the final voyage of Denbigh was inbound, a child could
have lost the doll's leg on an earlier trip from the blockaded
Another possibility is that a doll was among someone's
abandoned personal effects when the ship was hastily aban-
doned on the morning of May 25,1865, Someone might have
bought the doll in Havana as a toy for their daughter or a fash-
ion template for their wife. In addition, many crewmembers car-
ried merchandise for sale on their personal account A doll, or
the fashion news represented by the doll, might have been a
valuable luxury item for the isolated well-to-do inhabitants of
Barto Arnold asked Rebecca Bryant of Austin, Texas, to
examine the Denbigh artifact She teaches classes on doll mak-
ing, including casting, firing, and decorating the china doll parts
and making the bodies and garments. They decided to replicate
an 1860s doll with the likely characteristics of the Denbigh exam-
ple. Ms Bryant produced a completely handcrafted figure with
a full set of handmade period clothing-a camisole, corset, pan-
taloons, slip, hoops, and dress. This replica was featured in the
INA display at the Moody Gardens Discovery Museum,
Galveston, described in the accompanying article. o
On the left is the leg that was found on the wreck site and a newly produced leg. Rebecca Bryant has recreated replica dolls (center
and right) as accurately as possible using all known facts. Courtesy of Rebecca Bryant.
INA Quarterly 29.1
2002 Institute of Nautical Archaeology Directors' Meeting
The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas, pro-
vided an elegant setting for the annual meeting of the Board
of Directors of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Jan-
uary 24-26,2002. The gathering began with committee ses-
sions on Thursday the 24'. The business meetings of the
Audit and Executive Committees, and of the Board itself,
followed on Friday. That evening, the Directors, INA re-
searchers, and guests shared the annual banquet of the In-
stitute. They were entertained by a presentation on the
recent Turkish survey by George Bass.
On Saturday, the group was informed by a full day
of illustrated presentations on recent INA projects. Board
Chairman Ned Boshell and President Jerome Hall shared
the honors as hosts. Dr. Bass returned to the podium to de-
scribe the final season of work at TektaS Buru. INA devot-
ed three years to excavating its first Classical Greek shipwreck
from the Golden Age. The small fifth-century BCE merchant
ship might have shared the sea lanes between Samos and
Chios with Pericles and Sophocles. Among the finds were
the earliest known lead-core anchor stocks and ceramic eyes
from the bow. Although there were no surviving hull re-
mains, the clinched nails at the site suggest that this was a
very early example of the standard Greek and Roman con-
struction techniques. Dr. Bass also described the next ma-
jor Turkish excavation, a wreck from the sixth century BCE,
and a few high points of the recent survey. The submers-
ible Carolyn found a new shipwreck nearly every day.
Shelley Wachsmann described two projects. His
work at Tantura Lagoon on the coast of Israel, where sev-
en wrecks were found within an area the size of a basket-
ball court, is moving towards publication by TAMU Press.
More recently, he has been working in some unexpected
places. It seems that rice paddies in Portugal may be the
most likely place to find well-preserved Phoenician ships.
Due to the siltation of ancient harbors, the quayside sites
where ships are likely to be found are now all well inland.
Dr. Wachsmann has been working in several places where
abundant Phoenician ceramic remains suggest the likeli-
hood of finding contemporary ships abandoned near the
harbors. There may also be Roman, Greek, native Iberian,
and other wrecks from the ancient and early medieval
periods. Since Phoenician seafaring was so important for
Mediterranean history, and has left so few remains, this
project has the potential to provide extremely valuable in-
Barto Arnold gave a presentation on the excavation,
conservation, and public outreach efforts centered on the
Confederate blockade-runner Denbigh. The site is so close
to Galveston and Houston that this project has attracted
enormous interest with a wide segment of the public. The
recovered artifacts are Texas state property, and will ulti-
mately be placed on museum display in the area.
Jerome Hall continues his excavation of the "Pipe
Wreck" at Monte Cristi Bay in the Dominican Republic.
The coins found at the site suggest that the wreck occurred
around 1651-52. The ship was built of English oak felled
in the winter of 1642-43 and was carrying a Dutch cargo
(including enormous numbers of clay smoking pipes),
Left: Dr. Donny Hamilton receives a plaque in recognition of his work for
Below: Directors, guests, and INA staff enjoy an excellent lunch between
presentations on Saturday. Photos: D. Frey
INA Quarterly 29.1
Above: The INA submersible Carolyn has already performed admirably.
Right: Filipe Castro will be continuing his work in the Arade river.
probably headed for upper New York. The chances are that
the ship was at Monte Cristi to trade for meat, tobacco,
hides, and salt. The site continues to provide valuable in-
formation from the age of most vigorous commercial com-
petition between the English and Dutch.
Kevin Crisman has been working in the Azores
since 1996. Although the islands have few decent harbors,
their location made them an indispensable stop for ships
returning to Europe from the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
The combination of dangerous anchorages and high traf-
fic led to over four hundred recorded shipwrecks. A quar-
ter of these were in the vicinity of Angra, mostly between
1492 and 1660. Dr. Crisman's recent excavations and stud-
ies of two ships from Angra Bay therefore only represent
a first step towards realizing the potential for Azorian
Filipe Castro has had three projects underway, all
in his native Portugal. He has essentially completed the
field work on the Pepper Wreck from the Tagus Estuary,
but much remains to be done in the J. Richard Steffy Ship
Construction Laboratory at Texas A&M University. The
Cais do Sodre Ship from the Age of Discovery was found
during construction of the Lisbon subway system. Final-
ly, Dr. Castro is planning surveys and excavations at
Arade, which was a major Phoenician, Carthaginian, and
Roman port. It also was the site of a battle between Vi-
king and Muslim fleets in 978 CE. Two ships have been
found so far, one from the sixteenth to seventeenth centu-
ry, and a clinkerbuilt hull from around the thirteenth.
Kroum Batchvarov continues his work on the Kiten
Shipwreck, the first to be scientifically excavated in Bul-
garia or the entire Black Sea. The hull (probably from
around the turn of the eighteenth to the nineteenth centu-
ry) reveals interesting details of construction, but it is hard
to make comparisons, precisely because this is the first.
The wreck is exceptionally well preserved, showing the
potential for future projects in these waters.
Ayse Atauz continues her survey and excavations
in Malta. In addition to her continued work around the
Quarantine Hospital and Xlendi, a Norwegian team using a
remotely operated vehicle assisted her in carrying out a small
survey below the depths accessible to looting by divers. They
found an enormous deposit of what appear to be Roman
amphoras, far too numerous and too widely scattered to be
the remains of a single ship. Ms. Atauz is seeking a rea-
sonable explanation for this phenomenon.
The business sessions ended with a time of remem-
brance. Directors Sylvia Baird, Frank Darden, Michael Katzev
(a co-founder of INA) and Nautical Archaeology Program
student, Erkut Arcak ended their earthly voyage this year.
President Jerome Lynn Hall led a period of silence, punctu-
ated with a reading from the Rubiat of Omar Khayan.
The Director's meeting ended with a final social
gathering Saturday night at the Dallas Country Club. One
exciting feature of the meeting was the addition of many
new Directors and other contributors to the INA commu-
nity. The Board forms the core group of supporters who
make the work of the Institute possible.
INA Quarterly 29.1
By Christine Powell
Marine Archaeology in India
by S. R. Rao
New Delhi: Government of India, 2001
ISBN 81-230-0785-X, 255 pp, 270 illustrations, notes, biblogra-
phy, index. Cloth. Price: Rs. 600.00 per copy
Nautical archaeology has a Eurocentric bias. When someone
talks about "Classical Archaeology," Greece and Rome are the subject.
"Preclassical Archaeology" is about the Mediterranean Basin and the
Fertile Crescent of the Near East However, there are other-and equally
classic and ancient-territories that have seen little archaeological at-
tention. The Indian Subcontinent is one of those places.
Among the oldest texts describing sea travel, possibly in the
early third millennium BCE, is the Rig-Veda. In that same millenni-
um, the Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization was in contact across
the Indian Ocean with Sumer and Egypt, when those cultures were
still using reed riverboats. At the beginning of the Common Era,
the most profitable trading voyages for Roman traders were not
within the Empire, but to the Subcontinent. India anchored an ac-
tive maritime trading network in the Middle Ages that stretched
from Zanzibar to Indonesia. First the Portuguese and then the Dutch,
French, and British inherited this trade and ran it from local ports. Despite India's rich nautical tradition, Western archaeol-
ogists and historians have largely ignored South Asia.
Indians are now stepping forward to fill the gap. Dr, S.R Rao has been conducting excavations and surveys since
1948, and this lavishly illustrated book gives a broad overview of what he has learned. Among his first work was an
excavation of Lothal, at the head of the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat State, where a Harappan port flourished around 2300
BCE. This included a large tidal dock with locks to maintain the water level and a 240-meter-long wharf, a design similar to
that used in the London Docklands some four thousand years later. The capacity of the Lothal dock has been estimated as
thirty ships of sixty tons each Archaeologists have found items in the town from as far away as Ugarit in western Syria.
India in the third and second millennia was decidedly not a cultural backwater.
The warm water and energetic storm waves of the Subcontinent are hard on perishable materials such as shipwrecks.
Therefore, Marine Archaeology in India features port excavations. Roughly half the book is devoted to Dr. Rao's work in the area of
Dwarka and Bet Dwarka in northwestern India near the border with Pakistan. The divine avatar Krishna reputedly founded these
ancient harbor cities, which prominently feature in ancient Hindu and Buddhist texts preserving traditions from the second
millennium BCE. Fortunately for nautical archaeology, the ancient sites have largely subsided into the sea, where they have
been preserved from subsequent development. Dr. Rao details his findings, correlating them with the MahAbhdrata and
other ancient writings in a manner very reminiscent of Heinrich Schliemann's use of the Iliad.
Shipwrecks are not ignored, however, in Marine Archaeology in India. It includes a chapter that lists many promising
sites for surveys and possible excavations. Most of these are from the well-documented eighteenth and nineteenth centu-
ries. Another chapter lists many ancient port sites that might yield ship remains. Throughout the book, there are scattered
mentions of rich local shipbuilding traditions that have spanned almost five thousand years. With its long maritime history,
India could provide much valuable information in the future to students of hulls and cargoes alike.
Although the book's organization is somewhat loose and the English is not always idiomatic, the account is informa-
tive and entertaining. Dr. Rao dearly targets an audience with a special interest in India who are unfamiliar with the
techniques of underwater archaeology, so he repeats much information that would be familiar to readers of the INA Quar-
terly. The many color photographs and diagrams provide commentary to the text that will be particularly useful for those
who have not personally participated in an excavation. More experienced readers are not ignored, however. The book
provides abundant food for the thought of all those who were previously unfamiliar with India's nautical heritage, a
INA Quarterly 29.1
By Filipe Castro
L'6pave de Port Berteau II
Eiric Rieth, Catherine Carrierre-Desbois, and Virginie Serna
editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Paris, 2001
ISBN 27351-0807-4: 154 pages, various photographs and draw-
ings, references, bibliography, paperback
INA's Richard Steffy describes this as one of the best re-
cent monographs on ship construction, both because of the sub-
ject vessel and the comprehensive presentation. It describes an
interesting boat excavated on the right bank of the Charente
River in Northwest France. Aiming at the study of both the
vessel and the environment in which it was conceived, built,
and sailed, the authors present an immense amount of infor-
mation in four pleasant chapters, written in an organized, cear,
and easy style.
The Port Berteau I boat was a small trader built with tim-
bers that were probably felled in the winter of 599-600 CE. Some-
time in the seventh century, the vessel was left on the riverbank
with the keel up while undergoing repairs orjust for winter stor-
age. For some unknown reason, it slid into the river and sank. In
time the upturned bottom broke away, and sediment covered
the upper part of the hull. The boat's remains were found in 1973, excavated between 1992 and 1997, and studied and
reconstructed in 1998 and 1999. It is estimated to have been 14.29 m long and 4,8 m in beam, with a depth in hold of one
meter. The shipwrights fastened the planks to the frames with treenails and to the posts with iron nails, at least in the
upper works. Empty, with one ton of ballast, the boat displaced about 7.6 tons of fresh water, At full capacity, with the
waterline 40 cm below the caprail amidships, it displaced 25.5 tons. The weight of the hull has been estimated at
around 5.7 tons, and the total weight of the vessel empty, with rudder, masts, rigging, and anchors 7.6 tons.
The first chapter describes the larger study carried out by the French Centre National de la Recherche
Scientifique (CNRS) in which the Port Berteau II vessel took part. Begun in 1971, the project includes a survey
and inventory of all medieval sites of archaeological importance along the lower course of the Charente River.
This tidal section of the Charente is strongly influenced by the maritime environment and was regularly pene-
trated by coastal craft. The second chapter studies the Port Berteau II archaeological site in relation to its fluvial
environment, both from the physical and cultural viewpoints. The CNRS investigation sought to understand the
landscape in which this vessel was built and sailed.
The third chapter is devoted to the shipwreck itself. A comprehensive description of the boat follows the pre-
sumed construction sequence, from the posts to the frames and planking, and then from the cross-beams to the decks
and steering system. Particular attention is given to the fastening patterns and the runs of the hull strakes for their
importance in the determination of the hull shape. A detailed analysis of the preparation of the timbers and the tool
marks left by its carpenters completes the study. Vegetable fibers and an organic grease were used to caulk the plank-
ing seams, probably pressed into place from the outside.
Eric Rieth proposes a reconstruction of the vessel and analyzes its architectural characteristics in the fourth
chapter. He sees these as functions of the many technical, economic, and cultural influences on the builders. A set of
lines is proposed, together with a structural reconstruction. Evidence suggests that this vessel was built "frame-first"
over a flat keel 10.3 m long. However, the structural importance of the planking, wales, and through-beams is not
neglected. A strong case is made for the placement of two strakes over a smaU number of frames. Running around the
turn of the bilge and at the level of the caprail amidships, these two natural runs defined the basic overall shape of the
hull. Three appendices present studies on the nails, dendrochronology, and palinology. When I finished read-
ing, I had to agree with Mr. Steffy's enthusiastic assessment of L'pave de Port Berteau II o
INA Quarterly 29.1
News & Notes
The INA Quarterly would like to
congratulate the following graduates
from Texas A&M University in studies
related to nautical archaeology. In May
2001, Christopher J. Cook, Danny Lee
Davis, Adam Isaac Kane, and Mason
Daniel Miller were awarded the Mas-
ter of Arts. Madeleine Jean Donachie
became a Doctor of Philosophy in De-
cember, 2001, after defending her dis-
sertation "Household Ceramics at Port
Royal, Jamaica, 1655-1692: The Build-
ing 4/5 Assemblage." Luis Filipe Mon-
tiero Viera de Castro became a Doctor
of Philosophy for his research on "The
Pepper Wreck: A Portuguese Indiaman
at the Mouth of the Tagus River." He
has recently become an Assistant Pro-
fessor in the Nautical Archaeology Pro-
gram. Asaf Oron received his Master's
degree in December, 2001.
The INA Quarterly Editor, Chris-
tine Powell recently represented the Nau-
tical Archaeology Department as noted
scholar in the 2001 celebration of the Col-
lege of Liberal Arts.
An hour-long documentary
about Brett Phaneuf's work in Nor-
mandy will air on BBC2 May 30 and the
Discovery Channel June 5. It is called
"D-Day Beneath the Waves." An up-
coming TNA Quarterly will carry a com-
prehensive Normandy article.
The shipwreck pictured in fig-
ures 3 and 4 in the Quarterly 28.3:24 is
actually an 80-60 BCE Roman ship-
wreck and nota fourth-century BCE Ro-
man shipwreck as stated.
INA Quarterly 29.1
Erkut Arcak Endowed Graduate Fellowship
With his unfailing reserves of energy and enthusiasm, Erkut Arcak pursued the dream of becoming a Profes-
sor of Nautical Archaeology. While earning a degree in his native Turkey, he worked on several INA projects there.
In the fall of 1998, he enrolled in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University, where his thesis
research was on the Ottoman imperial galley Kadirga. All who knew Erkut foresaw a promising career in the field,
frustrated only by his untimely death on June 9, 2001 at the age of thirty (INA Quarterly 28.3, 28-29).
In honor of Erkut, family and friends have announced the establishment of the Erkut Arcak Endowed Grad-
uate Fellowship within the Nautical Archaeology Program. This fellowship will help other Turkish students, and
students studying the nautical archaeology of Turkey, to fulfill their dreams at A&M.
If you would like to contribute, please contact Cory Arcak at firstname.lastname@example.org or send contributions to:
Texas A&M Foundation
Erkut Arcak Endowed Graduate Fellowship
401 George Bush Dr.
College Station, TX 77840-2811
Please specify "Erkut Arcak Endowed Graduate Fellowship" on the contribution.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
By now you've probably noticed a stunning difference in the INA Quarterly, namely, the cover!
It's the first of many changes that our former INA Development Committee suggested we incorpo-
rate in coming issues. Along with keeping you up-to-date on our numerous archaeological projects,
we want to provide occasional activities that will stimulate your imagination. Hence, the inclusion
of a puzzle in this volume of the Quarterly that-although not guaranteed to replace the New York
Times crossword puzzle-will at least challenge your nautical vocabulary and our efforts to develop
a series of educational activities. Many thanks to our Editor, Christine Powell, who does a splendid
job with each volume, and who now wears an additional hat, that of "Lieutenant" in the "Midship-
man's Corer." Please feel free to send us your comments "whatever they be" and let us know how
you feel about the scope and quality of the publication. Your readership is important and we value
I'm delighted that this volume of the Quarterly brings together several well known scholars in
the field of underwater archaeology. We are fortunate indeed to see their articles published in a
theme issue on the Civil War. The cutting-edge naval technologies the authors describe invite us to
consider how seafaring has shaped the world in which we live. It is sobering to consider that less
than one hundred years after its birth, these United States trembled on the brink of dissolution over
a series of issues that culminated in one of history's most horrific wars. Yet, when we consider the
outcome of that prolonged and dreadful engagement, we must acknowledge that waterbore vessels
played no small part in securing and maintaining these united and democratic states.
John Broadwater, Manager of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, shares with us his expe-
riences with the investigation of USS Monitor, the Union ironclad that made history by engaging the
CSS Virginia, her counterpart within the Confederacy, at the now famous sea battle in Hampton
Roads, Virginia, on 9 March 1862. Later that year, in the fury of rising wind and waves, Captain John
Pyne Bankhead ordered the red lantern hoisted on the turret, signaling, essentially, the end of this
"little cheesebox on a raft" in the early morning hours of 31 December.
Dr. Robert Neyland, a Texas A&M University Nautical Archaeology Program (TAMU/NAP)
graduate, heads the team that raised the Hunley and is now responsible for its conservation and
publication. Several former TAMU/NAP graduates have assisted Dr. Neyland in telling 6f the val-
iant efforts of Lieutenant George Dixon and his crew as they sought to turn the tide of Union sea-
power that fateful night outside Charleston Harbor.
INA's staff archaeologist, J. Barto Arnold, continues to keep you up-to-date on his excavation
of Denbigh, now in its third season in Galveston, Texas. Barto's persistent work in the zero-visibility
water of Galveston Bay has yielded few artifacts, but a wealth of information about the vessel and
the role that blockade runners played during the waning days of the Confederacy and the war.
So, enjoy our first colored cover, Conrad Wise Chapman's painting of the Confederate subma-
rine H. L. Hunley. As you read through this volume of the Quarterly, please know how much we
appreciate your support of INA. You, reader, are the heart and soul of this marvelous institution!
All the best
Jerome Lynn Hall
INA Quarterly 29.1
INSTITUTE OF NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
Christine A. Powell
Jerome L. Hall, Ph.D., President
Donald A. Frey, Ph.D., Vice President Cemal M. Pulak, Ph.D., Vice President
James A. Goold, J.D., Secretary & General Counsel Claudia LeDoux, Assistant Secretary & Assistant Treasurer
William L. Allen
John H. Baird
Edward O. Boshell, Jr.,
Chairman and Treasurer
Ray M. Bowen
John A. Brock
Elizabeth L. Bruni
Robin P Hartmann
Faith D. Hentschel, Ph.D.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Allan Campbell, M.D. Charles Johnson, Ph.D.
John Cassils Harry C. Kahn 11
Gregory M. Cook Mustafa Koq
William C. Culp, M.D. Francine LeFrak-Friedberg
Lucy Darden Robert E. Lorton
Thomas F. Darden Alex G. Nason
John De Lapa George E. Robb, Jr.
Claude Duthuit Lynn Baird Shaw
Danielle J. Feeney Ayhan Sicimoglu
Bill Klein, M.D.
Dana F. McGinnis
J. Richard Steffy
William T. Sturgis
Frederick H. van Doorninck, Jr., Ph.D.
Robert L. Walker, Ph.D.
Lew O. Ward
Peter M. Way
Garry A. Weber
George O. Yamini
Sally M. Yamini
Betsey Boshell Todd
NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY PROGRAM FACULTY
Filipe Castro, Ph_.D, Assistant Professor
Kevin J. Crisman, Ph.D., Nautical Archaeology Faculty Fellow
Donny L. Hamilton, Ph.D., Frederick R Mayer Faculty Fellow
Cemal M. Pulak, Ph.D., Frederick R Mayer Faculty Fellow of Nautical Archaeology
C. Wayne Smith, Ph.D., Assistant Professor/Director of the Archaeological Preservation Research Laboratory
J. Richard Steffy, Sara W. & George O. Yamini Professor of Nautical Archaeology, Emeritus
Shelley Wachsmann, Ph.D., Meadows Associate Professor of Biblical Archaeology
NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY PROGRAM FACULTY EMERITUS
George E Bass, Ph.D.
George T. & Gladys H. Abell Professor of Nautical Archaeology George O. Yamini Family Professor of Liberal Arts, & Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Frederick H. van Doorninck, Jr., Ph.D., Frederick R Mayer Professor of Nautical Archaeology, Emeritus
Mr. & Mrs. Ray H. Siegfried l Graduate Fellow: Matthew Harpster Marian M. Cook Graduate Fellows: Peter D. Fix and Taras P. Pevny
J. Barto Arnold, M.A., Texas Operations
AySe Atauz Don
Jeremy Green, M.A. And
Kroum N. Batchvarov
Arthur Cohn, J.D. Faithl
David Gibbins, Ph.D. Fred
Australian Institute of Maritime Archaeology
Bryn Mawr College
University of California, Berkeley
University of Cincinnati
Esra A.ltnarnt-G6ksu Mar
Minewer Babactk Tub;
MustaJa Babacik Ade
Hani Bedeir Zafe
Chasity Burns Bilg
William H. Charlton, Jr., M.A. Jane
Michelle Chmelar Kat
Douglas Haldane, M.A., INA-Egypt
aid G. Geddes I John McManamon, Ph
rew Hall, MA. Thomas J. Oertling, M
D. HentscheL Ph.D. Carolyn G. Koehler, PI
rik T. Hiebert, Ph.D. William M. Murray, PI
Corning Museum of Glass
Departanento de Arqueologia Subaicutica de
la INA-AH., Mexico
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
New York University, Institute of Fine Arts
STITUTE OF NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY ST
ion Feildel Gilser Kazancioglu
a Ekmekgi Emad KhalU
1 Farouk Sheila D. Matthews, v
r Gill Mistie Moore
e Giinesdogdu Eric Nordgren
SHaldane Muammner Ozdemir
hy Hall Ralph Pedersen
Tufan U. Turanl, Turkish Headquarters
i.D. Ralph K. Pedersen, M.A.
.A. Brett A. Phaneuf
h.D. David I. Owen, Ph.D.
h.D. Cheryl Ward, Ph.D.
Gordon P. Watts, Jr., Ph.D.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Partners for Livable Places
University Museum, University of Pennsylvania
Texas A&M Research Foundation
Texas A&M University
University of Texas at Austin
Robin C. M. Piercy
Sema Pulak, M.A.
.A. ulkran enyiz
A. Feyyaz Subay