Possible Civil War vessel found in Miss. river

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A curious history buff may have found a Civil War-era vessel in the Yazoo River. This week, near drought conditions left the water level so low that a boat was visible in the river bottom.

Bob Harston of Silver City, Mississippi, said he's heard stories about the Confederate vessel in the river for years. Harston called Vicksburg National Military Park historian Terry Winschel, who traveled to the site Monday with an archaeologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The experts spotted what appeared to be a sidewheeler packet vessel, used by Confederate troops to navigate narrow channels.

A pitman arm, used to crank the wheel, was visible in the mud and silt.

Winschel says the vessel was the fifth in a series of seven boats of the same name, all owned by Thomas P. Leathers of Vicksburg.

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