Civil War era shipwreck discovered during search for Ike debris

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Like a toy surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks - er, slightly water-logged Cracker Jacks, that is - a Civil War era shipwreck turned up among Hurricane Ike debris.

The discovery, thought to be previously uncharted, was made by crews last week scanning the bays around Galveston to chart debris.

While the find came as a kind of fun surprise to the contractors doing the work, State Marine Archeologist Steve Hoyt was pleased - but not terribly surprised.

Hoyt added it's possible the shipwreck had been buried in mud and Ike's surge might have uncovered it. Or, it could just be that it had simply been overlooked until now.

In the past, smaller areas have been surveyed for different projects, such as pipelines, to ensure that the work won't disturb any significant sites, Hoyt said.

When the Texas Historic Commission finds out about a "new" historic ship wreck site, personnel begin to comb through a database of thousands of shipwrecks known to have occurred in the region.

The next step for the Texas Historic Commission is to assess the site.

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