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Explosion aboard Steamer USS Tulip: Site Investigations and Management of a Union Gunboat Wreck of the American Civil War

Author(s): George Schwarz

Year: 2017

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Summary

USS Tulip was a 240-ton screw-propelled gunboat that served in the Potomac Flotilla protecting Union waterborne communications during the American Civil War. While serving, Tulip developed a defective starboard boiler which culminated in its explosion in November 1864 in the lower Potomac River, instantly killing 47 of the 57-man complement and claiming the ship. Tulip was left undisturbed until discovered by sport divers in 1966, which began a long period of looting until local law enforcement and the Maryland Historical Trust got involved in the early 1990s. Following investigations, over 1,500 artifacts lifted by the sport divers were eventually returned to Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) for conservation, research, and exhibit. In 2015-2016, NHHC led renewed investigations of Tulip for site management and research initiatives. This poster outlines the Navy’s current Tulip research, including side scan sonar, magnetometer, and ROV surveys with partners, as well as artifact case studies. 


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Cite this Record

Explosion aboard Steamer USS Tulip: Site Investigations and Management of a Union Gunboat Wreck of the American Civil War. George Schwarz. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435561)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 302

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America