Archaeologists pull 3 Civil War cannons from Pee Dee river site

COLUMBIA, SC – Underwater archaeologists plan to pull three cast iron Civil War cannons from the bottom of a South Carolina river where they have lain for more than 150 years.

Researchers from the University of South Carolina plan to use a front loader to lift the heavy weapons out of the Pee Dee River on Tuesday morning.

Photo Gallery: Civil War cannons pulled from Pee Dee River

The cannons once armed the 150-foot Confederate gunboat Pee Dee. They were shoved overboard and the ship set afire as Union forces began threatening the region in 1865.

State underwater archaeologist James Spirek (SPY-rek) says the cannons appear in very good condition.

The weapons will be restored at the same North Charleston facility where the Confederate submarine H.L Hunley is undergoing refurbishment. Once that two-year process is complete, the cannons will be displayed in the Florence area.

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