CSS Georgia Online Exhibit

In March of 1862, a group of Savannah women formed the Ladies Gunboat Association to support the construction of Georgia’s first ironclad ship. Through cooperation with groups throughout the state, the ladies raised over $115,000 to build the ship. To save time and money, the Georgia was constructed of wood and covered with overlapping railroad rails. Though she remained anchored in the Savannah River because her engine was too weak to power through the tide, the vessel successfully served as a deterrent against U.S. attack on Savannah from her position until late 1864. The Georgia’s retreating crew scuttled her in front of Fort Jackson on December 20, 1864, as U.S. General William T. Sherman’s forces encircled the city.

The C.S.S. Georgia remained virtually untouched and forgotten at the bottom of the Savannah River until 1968 when she was struck during routine dredging. Several dives in the 1980s recovered some of her cannons and other artifacts, but the recovery efforts for the rest of the ship have been stalled for decades. Recently there has been renewed interest in bringing up the Georgia to allow for a major dredging project in the area.

Though many might have seen the Georgia as a failure, her legacy lies in her protection of the city of Savannah through the creation of a static front in the Savannah River. This online exhibit uses maps, image galleries, and a timeline to explore the topics and themes related to the C.S.S. Georgia. Click on the links below to start your exploration.


Get started by learning about the importance of the CSS Georgia


Primary Sources

Learn more about the CSS Georgia through primary sources



Explore the when and where with key dates about the CSS Georgia, from the Civil War to today.