Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay and Other Tales of the Lost Chesapeake

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9780870334801: Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay and Other Tales of the Lost Chesapeake

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson issued a national call to arms against Imperial Germany. What followed in the United States was a frenzied effort to build hundreds of merchant ships to replace those being destroyed in Germany's campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare. The newly created U.S. Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation embarked on a course that, in the span of a few pivotal years in American history, came to exhibit mankind's genius, ignorance, avarice, drive--and folly--for the largest portion of that fleet came to rest on the muddy floor of Mallows Bay. In Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay and Other Tales of the Lost Chesapeake, Donald G. Shomette recounts three fascinating tales of the wonders that lie beneath the bay. An accomplished underwater archaeologist, Shomette describes the cutting-edge technology used in the excavation of the steamship New Jersey, the underwater hunt for the earliest English colony in Maryland, and the story of the great fleet that now rests in eternal slumber beneath the waters of Mallows Bay.

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From the Back Cover:

In this archaeological trilogy, Donald G. Shomette provides a tour of the treasures beneath the Chesapeake Bay. Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay, a companion volume to Tidewater Time Capsule, continues the author's quest to uncover the Bay's hidden history. New Jersey, a steamship that sank in the waters of the Chesapeake in 1870, is the subject of the first part of this absorbing narrative. The wreck became the scene of large-scale relic hunting, but also of cutting-edge technology. Events surrounding the exploration of the wreck were instrumental in the creation of the first state-sponsored underwater archaeology agency in Maryland. In part two Shomette describes the history and archaeological investigation of Kent Island, where the remains and relics of the earliest permanent European settlement in Maryland were excavated. Part three chronicles a fascinating yet little-known chapter in American history. During World War I, the U.S. government created an emergency program to build hundreds of wooden steamships to replace merchant vessels being destroyed in Germany's campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare. Most of these ships never saw the European Theater and now lie beneath Mallows Bay off the Potomac. The bay also holds the remnants of countless other vessels, making it the largest ship graveyard in the United States - and perhaps the world.

About the Author:

Donald Grady Shomette has authored fourteen books and many scientific and popular articles that have appeared in such publications as National Geographic, History and Technology, and American Neptune. He lives in Dunkirk, Maryland.

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