Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Project in Columbia, S.C., river thus far finds no dumped Confederate munitions

A cleanup project in Columbia, S.C., thus far has yielded no remnants of captured Confederate munitions that were believed to have been thrown into a river.

“We recently completed the first phase of the Congaree River remediation project, during which several hundred metallic objects were removed from the soil along the shoreline,” Ginny Jones, senior public affairs specialist for SCANA, parent company of utility SCE&G, said earlier this week.

Gervais Street bridge (NPS)

“None of the objects were of historical significance. Recent heavy flooding washed a significant amount of silt onto the project site, adding a layer of complexity to the challenge of remediating the soil below,” Jones told the Picket.

Since early October, the region has dealt with the effects of heavy rainfall and flooding. The search for the metallic objects began in late September.

The State newspaper has reported that sonar and metal detection have located where the weapons were likely dumped into the Congaree River near the Gervais Street bridge. But no one is certain the objects are associated with the Civil War.

Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman
, on his way to North Carolina after seizing the South Carolina capital, kept what he wanted of Confederate ordnance and threw the rest into the river in February 1865.

SCE&G is conducting a remediation project in the Congaree River because of the detected presence of tar. It says tests show it to be coal tar created by manufactured gas plants that operated throughout Columbia more than century ago.

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