"Blockade Runner" Discovered
|Historical marker in Tampa denoting the battle of the blockade runners|
Divers have searched for the Scottish Chief for years, calling it the "elusive boat." But the mystery of what happened to the wooden rear-wheel steamship has been solved. Divers from the Florida Aquarium have found the vessel sitting on the bottom of the Hillsborough River, near where it empties into Tampa Bay. Aquarium spokesman Tom Wagner says most of the 124-foot-long boat is still there.
"Finding Tampa's cultural history in places you wouldn't normally expect is exciting, and a lot of people don't know that Tampa has a small - but colorful - role in the Civil War," he says. "This battle at Ballast Point was Tampa's only battle of the Civil War, and these boats were involved in that."
Last summer, divers discovered the Kate Dale, the first Confederate blockade runner ever found in Florida. Wagner says they had expected the Scottish Chief to be found nearby, but the boat had apparently been burned dragged further downriver by Union soldiers.
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