Archive for the 'War of 1812' Category

Jun 26

U.S.S. Scorpion Artifact Vignette: Surgical Scissors

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:49 AM


“It is no small presumption to dismember the image of God.” -John Woodall (1556-1643) The Naval History and Heritage Command’s Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) has been conducting a multi-year investigation of a shipwreck in the Patuxent River believed to be War of 1812 vessel USS Scorpion. During the 2011 field season, several artifacts were recovered from the vessel’s hold including a pair of surgical scissors, SCORP-2011-53 (Figure 2). Previous investigation of the shipwreck in 1979 yielded another pair of surgical scissors, 99-69-AE (Figure 1). UAB has been conducting ongoing research to better understand the specific medical uses of these artifacts…. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 18

U.S. Declared War on Great Britain on June 18, 1812

Monday, June 18, 2012 1:00 AM


Today is the 200th anniversary of the U.S. declaration of war on Great Britain. Later known as the War of 1812, it began because of tension between the two nations over commerce restrictions and the impressment of American Sailors into the British Royal Navy. The war was concluded on February 18, 1815 with the Treaty of Ghent, which restored relations between the two nations with no territory loss for either. The following article, originally published in the November 1939 issue of Proceedings, shows the United States’ struggle with Great Britain over the issue of impressment. A Chapter From Genesis Of The… Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 17

Innovative Scientific Analysis Tool at Underwater Archaeology Conservation Lab

Monday, October 17, 2011 1:54 PM


NHHC volunteer, Dr. Raymond Hayes, Professor Emeritus at Howard University, Washington DC, and Woods Hole Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, has partnered with the Underwater Archaeology & Conservation Laboratory (UACL) to analyze archaeological materials from historic naval shipwrecks. Dr. Hayes has been awarded a Research & Discovery Grant from Olympus INNOV-X to examine archaeological components from shipwrecks using an innovative Delta portable X-Ray Fluorescence (pXRF) unit. This state-of-the-art technology uses an x-ray beam to identify the specific elements present within archaeological material. Dr. Hayes’ research endeavors to use this data to trace the elemental composition of a wood sample back… Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 12

USS SCORPION Project 2011: Final Week

Friday, August 12, 2011 4:08 PM


1 August, 2011 –  This begins the final week of excavation on the 2011 USS Scorpion Project! The team will work together this week to continue to investigate the wreck, map the site and recover artifacts. The team was pleased to welcome 7 staff members on site from NHHC Commemorations  and gave them a tour of the barges and explained the details of the archaeological operation.     2 August, 2011- Today, the archaeology team recovered two important pieces of the ship’s architecture which they believe to be “catheads.” Wooden vessels commonly had a pair of these thick, L-shaped beams incorporated into either side of the bow (one portside, one starboardside). One… Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 28

USS SCORPION Project 2011 Day by Day: Week Three

Thursday, July 28, 2011 11:05 AM


     Monday, 18 July 2011- Today, we were back in the Patuxent trenches continuing our efforts to delineate the boundaries of the suspected USS Scorpion wreck. So far, the team has been successful in uncovering ship timbers in test units placed on the upstream and downstream extremities of the site. These test units allow archaeologists to assess the vessel’s degree of preservation, articulation, and orientation within the river. One of the vessel’s features that we are still trying to determine is which end of the wreck is the bow and which end is the stern. Since Scorpion and the… Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 21

USS SCORPION Project 2011 Day by Day: Week Two

Thursday, July 21, 2011 3:20 PM


  Monday, 11 July – Today was a very exciting day for the project as archaeologists from UAB, MHT and MSHA began active excavation of the wreck believed to be War of 1812 block sloop Scorpion, captained by the US Navy hero Joshua Barney. While the river bottom in this stretch of the Patuxent is only between 6-8 feet deep, the strong current makes excavation quite difficult for the divers. To help combat this, and to conduct a systematic excavation, the team moved the aluminum shoring boxes assembled last week by US Navy divers into place on specific points of the wreck. Once placed,… Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 18

USS SCORPION PROJECT 2011 Day By Day: Week One

Monday, July 18, 2011 9:15 AM


Wednesday- 6 July 2011  Today, the Naval History and Heritage’s Command’s Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) began mobilization for Phase II of the USS Scorpion Project. This collaborative project brings together the UAB, the Maryland Historic Trust (MHT), and the Maryland State Highways Administration (MSHA) for the purposes of archaeologically investigating the remains of the War of 1812 block sloop Scorpion. Under the direction of Drs. Robert Neyland (UAB), Susan Langley (MHT), and Julie Schablitsky (MSHA), field work was initiated in the summer of 2010, which included a remote sensing survey and hydro-probe testing to locate the shipwreck, followed by limited… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 27

USS SCORPION Project: Phase II Begins!

Monday, June 27, 2011 9:41 AM


  After months of careful planning and preparation, the NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB), in conjunction with Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) and the Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA), initiated the second phase of the archaeological investigation of what is believed to be the wreck of USS Scorpion. Captained by US Navy hero Joshua Barney, Scorpion served as flagship in the famous Chesapeake Bay Flotilla, which endeavored to defend Washington, D.C. from the British during the War of 1812. On August 21st, 1814, British forces chased the Flotilla up a narrow bend of the Patuxent River where Barney then evacuated his… Read the rest of this entry »

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