Nanticoke River shipwreck could be linked to Revolutionary War skirmish
Evidence of age and repairs suggests it could have been intentionally scuttled, perhaps because it was no longer seaworthy. Charring could indicate an accidental fire, or could offer a more historically significant clue — that this ship was among at least a dozen that British sympathizers looted and burned in Revolutionary War skirmishes known to have taken place in Vienna in 1780 and 1781.I suspect it will be a long time, if ever, before we find out. They are still looking for remnants of Commodore Barney's fleet in the Patuxent.
It may prove true, as archaeologists continue to search archives and scrutinize the soggy timbers. But even if it can't be tied to any specific incident, the wreckage discovered in April and revealed this week could offer a rare glimpse into the state's maritime history, as the oldest Maryland-made ship found in local waters, Schablitsky said.
Archaeologists plan to develop a three-dimensional model showing it to be a precursor to the schooners or clippers for which the Chesapeake Bay is known.