Shipwrecks, their History & Discovery

TEMPORARY MENU (click on underlined blue links)
Note: We were hacked. Unfortunately, most of our menus and hundreds of pages are no longer working. is the oldest site on the world wide web that is devoted exclusively to shipwrecks & related topics. typically comes up on the first page when you Google “shipwrecks.” That search gets over 75,000,000 results, so that’s impressive. We expect to be back at that level soon. Keep checking back to see our progress.

(click on this link to read about him)

H.L. Hunley (1st submarine in history to sink a ship, lost in 1864)
     For more on the Hunley:
          • See also: The Marred History of the Hunley
          • See also: X-Ray magazine’s article on the Hunley
          • See also: U.S. News & World Report’s article
          • See also: California Diver’s interview with Spence

Georgiana (Civil War era, iron hulled, screw steamer)
     For more on the SS Georgiana:
         • See also: Discovery of the real Rhett Butler
(i.e. meaning Spence’s identification of George Trenholm, a Charlestonian, who was a tall, handsome, shipping magnate, banker, and Treasurer of the Confederacy, who owned the SS Georgiana and her million dollar cargo, as the primary historical basis for the fictional Rhett Butler in Margaret Mitchell’s award-winning novel Gone With The Wind.)

United States (wooden hulled, screw steamer, sunk in 1881)

Ozama (iron hulled, screw steamer, sunk in 1894)
For more on the SS Ozama:
• See also: The Ozama’s loss off Cape Romain, SC  
         • See also: The Ozama’s construction & physical details
         • See also: The Ozama’s steam engine & machinery
         • See also: The Ozama role in smuggling guns for revolutionaries 

Delia Maria (square-rigged ship, owned by George Alfred Trenholm, wrecked in 1854. Trenholm was the hero of the day, and was later the historical basis for the dashing Captain Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind)

Researching Civil War Shipwrecks

Other shipwreck discoveries by Dr. E. Lee Spence: Note: the following sections are very incomplete and need extensive work.

More American Civil War era wreck discoveries by Spence:

Blockade Runners
           Mary Bowers (side wheel steamer)               
           Constance Decimer (side wheel steamer)
           Norseman (screw steamer steamer)
           Presto (side wheel steamer, wood hull)
           Stonewall Jackson (side wheel steamer)
           Minho (side wheel steamer)
           Celt (side wheel steamer)
           Beatrice (side wheel steamer)
           Wave Queen (side wheel steamer)
           Rattlesnake (screw steamer)
       Military Vessels
           CSS Flamingo (3 stacks, side wheel steamer)
           CSS Stono (3 stacks, side wheel steamer)
           CSS David (torpedo boat)
           CSS David II (torpedo boat)
           USS Housatonic (wood hull, steam sloop)
           USS Patapsco (Passaic-class ironclad monitor)
           USS Weehawken (Passaic-class ironclad monitor)
           USS Keokuk (experimental ironclad)
           USS Commodore Jones (sidewheel gunboat)
       Other Vessels 
           Stone Fleet #1 (24 ships, sunk to block Charleston)
           Stone Fleet #2 (20 ships, sunk to block Charleston)

    Wrecks from other eras: When added, this section will include both identified and unidentified wrecks that have been discovered by Spence and his partners.

Note: Besides those shown above, there are a great many more wrecks to be re-listed, including the telling of Spence’s role in the discoveries of the 1865 wreck of the steamer Republic, and the 1857 wreck of the Gold Rush era steamer Central America. Undiscovered wrecks and wrecks discovered by others are actually the biggest focus of this website., an enormous number were listed previously and they will be again as time permits.