Rediscovered Civil War Shipwreck Gains International Recognition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 10, 2020) As the United States battled its most divisive conflict at the height of the American Civil War, a cargo ship named the Maple Leaf embarked on a short voyage from South Carolina to Florida carrying the equipment and personal belongings of three Union regiments.

It has now arrived in the 21 st century as an internationally recognized time capsule of everyday life for Civil War soldiers and a National Historic Landmark, thanks to an underwater explosive, seven feet of mud and a determined amateur historian.

More than 155 years after it settled into its final resting spot on the bottom of the St. Johns River and nearly 35 years after the first artifacts were retrieved from the Maple Leaf, the ship receives International recognition on National Geographic Channels documentary series Drain the Oceans.

The shows London-based film crew joined Jacksonville-based SEARCH, Inc. as they conducted a high-resolution sonar and magnetometer archaeological survey of the wreck site in the summer of 2019.

SJAE divers with bow-rail 1988

Using computer-generated imagery, the teams digitally drained the water and mud around the wreck to unlock secrets long-held by the ship. The episode, part of this seasons Civil War segment, aired in the United States on June 9 and is slated to air in more than 170 countries.

Tin cookware

Dr. Keith Holland, a Jacksonville dentist intrigued by the prospect that the undiscovered Maple Leaf might still be found, sleuthed out the location....

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