published Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Civil War-era rifles on display at Georgia state park

LITHIA SPRINGS, Ga. — Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials say a collection of Civil War-era artifacts are on display at the Sweetwater Creek State Park.

Officials say a crate of rifles recovered from a Confederate shipwreck are being housed in an aquarium at the park in Lithia Springs.

The water is expected to slowly drain salt and other contaminants that could damage the rifles and the crate they're being stored in. The aquarium is in the lobby of the park's visitors' center.

Officials say the rifles have been traced to the CSS Stono, a ship that ran aground in 1863 and was lit on fire years later to prevent the weapons on board from being turned over to Union troops.

Officials say a team of archeologists found the rifles in the 1980s.

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