Have the remains of a Rev War ship turned up in the Savannah River?

It sounds likelier than not:

Perhaps the cannons were tossed overboard or they served as ballast. Maybe the old artillery pieces are related to a Civil War ironclad, which was scuttled by its Confederate crew. The Corps doubts that theory.

Archaeologists and Britain’s Royal Navy are offering an even more intriguing and exciting possibility.

They told CNN last week that — based on measurements and appearance — the cannons may be from the HMS Rose, a famed British warship that mixed it up with colonists during the revolution or, as the UK calls it, the War of Independence. Nearly 250 years ago, the British scuttled the ship in the Savannah River to block the channel and prevent French ships from coming to the aid of colonists trying to retake the city.

If this is the Rose, then it’s a significant find. That ship’s crackdown on Rhode Island smugglers at the outset of the Revolution prompted that colony to outfit vessels for the protection of American shipping, which in turn laid the basis for the Continental Navy.

After playing a role in the fight for New York in 1776, the Rose’s career ended at the bottom of the Savannah River three years later when British forces defending the city scuttled her to prevent French ships from navigating the channel. The Franco-American assault on the city in 1779 was, of course, one of the allies’ greatest disasters.

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Filed under American Revolution, Archaeology

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