The Steamer Georgiana
Designed for raiding enemy merchant ships in the open ocean, the CSS Georgiana was poorly suited as a blockade runner. Most contemporary and post war accounts describe the Georgiana as more powerful than the better known steamers Alabama, Shenandoah and Florida. She was owned by George Alfred Trenholm, who Dr. Spence has shown was the historical basis for Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind. She was sunk off the present day Isle of Palms in 1863 while attempting to breach the Federal blockade of Charleston, South Carolina, while carrying a million dollar cargo. Almost by a trick of perverted fate, the only ships the Georgiana was responsible for sinking were the blockade runners Norseman, Mary Bowers and Constance Decimer, each of which subsequently ran on the Georgiana shipwreck and were totally lost. The Georgiana and the other three shipwrecks were all discovered by Dr. E. Lee Spence in the 1960s.