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A Civil War Gunboat in Pacific WatersLife Aboard the USS Saginaw$
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Hans Konrad Van Tilburg

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035161

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035161.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
A Civil War Gunboat in Pacific Waters

Hans Konrad Van Tilburg

University Press of Florida

This chapter traces the history of the discovery of the wreck that turned out to be the remains of the navy gunboat USS Saginaw, a wooden side-wheel steamer that was lost at Kure Atoll on October 29, 1870. The survey of the physical artifacts and the history associated with the ten-year service of the USS Saginaw together open a window onto one of the unique maritime narratives of the Pacific Ocean. The importance of finding such artifacts underwater goes beyond the initial excitement of discovery. The survey of shipwreck sites like the Saginaw's, with the application of a little historical and archaeological imagination, is actually a form of time travel.

Keywords:   USS Saginaw, shipwreck, Kure Atoll, artifacts, archaeological discovery, maritime history, Pacific Ocean

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