The USS Columbine and the battle of Horse Landing

The USS Columbine was a Union naval vessel that patrolled the waters of the Saint Johns River during the Civil War. On May 23, 1864, the Columbine was attacked at Horse Landing by Confederates forces a few miles south of Palatka, Fl. The Confederate’s were under the command of Captain John J. Dickison. After the battle, the Columbine and its crew were prize of the Confederates. The vessel was set fire, serving as a funeral pyre for the Union naval and soldiers killed during the battle.

Over the years several attempts have been made my different people to locate the wreckage of the Columbine. However, no wreckage was ever found.

During October 2003, I began to search for the wreckage of the Columbine. During November 2003, the wreckage was eventually discovered and was identified by archaeologist during 2005. The reason the wreckage had gone undiscovered in the past, was due to the landmark Horse Landing not being located in the same place today that it was located during the civil war.

Although most of the underwater work is complete, research suggests that the remains of some of the soldiers and sailors killed during the battle may still be laying on the bottom of the river. Presently, land survey work is underway to record the civil war location of Horse Landing. After that work is completed, it is likely we will obtained permission from the Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C. to continue to looking for those remains.

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