Brooke Rifles, Dalhgren Recovered from Pee Dee River
For 20 years, amateur diver Bob Butler searched the murky waters of the Pee Dee River for cannons he knew had been jettisoned from a Confederate warship shortly before it was scuttled in advance of surging Union troops at the end of the Civil War
He found one in 1995 as he dove near U.S. 301 on the Florence-Marion county line. He discovered another in 2006. He was on hand seven years later as a member of the Pee Dee Research and Recovery Team when the third cannon was located.
On Tuesday, Butler watched with quiet satisfaction as a team from the University of South Carolina raised the cannons from the muddy bottom of the river, some of the final remnants of Union Gen. William Sherman’s march through the Carolinas in 1865.
“We brought a little bit of South Carolina history to the surface today,” Butler said. “This closed the book on a lot of history. It’s really special.”
Kudos to all involved.