Hurricane Isaac uncovers mystery Civil War warship on Alabama beach
Gulf Coast residents are getting a history lesson after a mysterious ship popped up on the beach after Hurricane Isaac.
The wreckage of a presumed Civil War warship washed up in Fort Meyer, Alabama, near Mobile, after the Category 1 storm barreled down on the Gulf Cost.
Portions of the blockade runner had been uncovered in previous hurricanes but the strength of Isaac’s storm surge unearthed more of the ship’s structure, leaving behind a stunning scene and much debate over the ship’s provenance.
'Look what Isaac uncovered!' Meyer Vacation Rentals posted on their Facebook page, with photos of the breathtaking remains provided by thelocal real estate company.
The ship first became visible after Hurricane Ivan, in 2004, and reappeared after Hurricane Ike in 2008.
'There is disagreement about this mystery ship, whether it is a blockade runner from the Civil War or a rum runner from the 1930s.'
'Either way, it's quite interesting. This is the most visible it has been in recent years. Eventually the shifting sands will pull it back under the beach, where it will slumber until another storm is powerful enough to bring it back to the surface,' the posting added.
The wooden boat, measuring 150 feet long and 30 feet wide, is believed to be the remains of the Monticello, a Confederate blockade runner that had burned after it crash trying to pass the Union Navy guarding Mobile Bay during the Civil War.
The vessel appears to have been powered by steam. The ship’s hull appears to be an old water pump and a long pipe runs down the center of the ship, according to the Mobile Press-Register.
In the War Between the States, which lasted from 1861–1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln ordered a blockade to cut off the South from trading with Europe to weaken the Confederate Army during the conflict.
A runner was a military warship used to break blockades or used in smuggling operations, because its lighter weight allowed for greater speed.
The steamships were designed to be longer, narrower and faster than traditional steamers, stationed along the coast, so they could outrun the enemy.