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During the latter part of the Civil War in Florida, the Union transport ship Maple Leaf was sunk in the St. John's River near Jacksonville by a Confederate torpedo. Originally used in Canada as a pleasure excursion vessel, the Maple Leaf was purchased and put into service by the Union army during the war.
After it sank, the ship lay in the St. John's River until 1984, when it was rediscovered and partially excavated by Keith Holland and the St. John's Archaeological Expedition, Inc.
The ship's contents, encased by the river's muddy bottom, provide a time capsule of this period in history, offering a glimpse into previously undocumented aspects of the war and its effects on northeastern Florida.
This exhibit features items used by the soldiers on board the Maple Leaf, an authentic reproduction of the Civil War-era torpedo that was used to sink the ship, and an informational video.
Illustrations created by John LoCastro & Synergy Design Group