So far, researchers have found remains of a “very tough, very tough” ship with wood in feet and inches, suggesting it was built in the US, Canada or the UK, he said.
In the hull, archaeologists have found iron bolts and fastenings, wooden fastenings called treenails, and some bronze spikes that were used on the ship’s outer copper sheets and that were not popular until the 1830s. The estimated size matches the records for Caroline Eddy.
“It’s built solid enough to be a wooden ship, has the right fastenings to be a 19th century ship, and the right timbers for a 19th century ship,” said Meide. “Caroline Eddy is our prime suspect.”
Records show that the Caroline Eddy was built in 1862 as a supply ship for the U.S. Army during the Civil War and later sold to a dealer, Meide said.
She sailed for New York or Philadelphia on August 27, 1880 with a crew of Captain George W. Warren and seven sailors, but encountered a hurricane that filled her with water and demolished the mast, steering wheel and deck of cargo, The New York Times reported.
“The captain was knocked down and drugged at the wheel and when he came to he saw nothing of the crew about him,” the Times reported. The captain, it went on, “was about to throw himself overboard and drown when one of the sailors called him from the rigging where everyone else had sought refuge.”
“It was a sea like a mountain,” Captain Warren later told The Memphis Daily Appeal. “It was a pretty big sea, a bigger one than I’d like to see again.”