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30. Wooden ceiling planking and frames in Area E. Fig. 31. Photomosaic of the stern complex (Area E) depicting at top the rudder (far left), keel and ceiling planking and strakes of portside. The starboard hull (at bottom) has collapsed outwards and is entirely dislocated from the keel. Representative samples of each type of glass bottle were recovered from the stern cargo, and the remainder moved to an off-site storage area in a sterile zone. Similar storage areas were excavated off-site to receive broken timbers, coal and other items that needed to be cleared to expose underlying stratigraphy, but were deemed unsuitable for recovery.
8). The structural remains of the bow (Area A; Fig. 9) are relatively flat, but seem to reveal that the vessel settled on the seabed at an angle on her starboard bow. A very hard and cemented pan area is stratified less than 20-30cm below the sea bottom, composed of hard-packed shell and concreted, calcareous growth. The structural remains of the bow suggest that the Republic impacted with this hard surface at the time of wrecking, damaging the hull’s sides. The starboard side is more extensively broken up than the port side, possibly indicating that the starboard bow area struck first.
After the Union captured New Orleans on 25 April 1862, the Tennessee was seized and converted into a powerful gunboat, and was also employed as a troop transport, supply and dispatch vessel (Kelly, 1961: 11). After the battle of Mobile Bay, the Tennessee was renamed the USS Mobile to avoid confusion with the captured Confederate ironclad Tennessee (Ridgely-Nevitt, 1981: 274). The ship was decommissioned at Brooklyn Naval Yard on 4 December 1864 and in March 1865 was sold out of military service to Russell Sturgis, a merchant whose family had made its fortune from the opium trade with China (Vesilind, 2005: 85).