National Civil War Naval Museum opens Water Witch replica ship Saturday

The 160-foot replica of a Union blockade ship captured by Confederate commandos near Savannah on June 3, 1864, is finally ready for action.

This Saturday the Port Columbus' National Civil War Naval Museum will open the Water Witch replica in front of the 1002 Victory Drive museum during the annual RiverBlast event 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Civil War re-enactors in sailor and marine uniforms will participate in a commissioning ceremony as RiverBlast kicks off at 11 Saturday morning. The event continues 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

After capturing the ship, the Confederates at first ran it aground, then towed it loose and moved it upriver beneath a battery. They burned and sank the ship to keep the Union from recapturing it as forces under Gen. William T. Sherman approached the coast.

For more information, call 800-742-2811, www.portcolumbus.org.