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In 2008 the Maritime Research Division (MRD) of the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina received a National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) grant to study the naval operations at Charleston Harbor during the American Civil War. Funds from the ABPP grant allowed the MRD to undertake historical research and archeological investigations on cultural resources remaining on the Charleston Harbor Naval Battlefield, the scene of a protracted struggle from 1861 to 1865 between Confederate defenders and Federal attackers. This report, The Archeology of Civil War Naval Operations at Charleston Harbor, 1861-1865, presents the findings and recommendations generated by our study of this significant naval battlefield. The main objectives of this project were to define and delineate the Study Area, Core Area, Defining Features, and the Potential National Register Boundary of the Charleston Harbor Naval Battlefield through historical and archeological documentation. Identifying the historical and archeological extent of the battlefield to include the Defining Features composed of cultural, natural, and military features of the landscape aided in determining the project Study Area and the Core Area of combat actions all encompassed in a Potential National Register Boundary. A modern military analysis scheme called KOCOA, a method to understanding the natural, cultural, and military features of the landscape and their effect on the battle, provided a framework to analyze and interpret the Charleston Harbor Naval Battlefield. Fieldwork to support the project objectives consisted of conducting marine remote sensing operations to gather additional information on previously recorded sites. In addition to investigating underwater sites, archeologists documented several terrestrial sites including buried blockade runners. The historical and archeological information derived from this project to document the boundary and cultural remnants of Charleston Harbor served not only to illuminate the past, but also the present and future of this important naval battlefield. By delineating the boundary and documenting extant features, managers charged with the preservation of these nationally significant cultural resources can use these findings to interpret and to protect the battlefield, both in the present and in the future.

This report, funded by American Battlefields Protection Program, National Park Service, Washington, D.C. (, Grant Number GA-2255-08-025, and was prepared by the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina for the ABPP.

This report is the ARPA-redacted Version approved for Public Distribution.

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