Watch a video about the historic discovery of the Maple Leaf produced by the Florida Humanities Council.

Submerged only 20 feet below the surface of the St. Johns River in Florida, the Maple Leaf remained hidden for almost 150 years. Her discovery in 1984 presented an unparalleled opportunity to increase public understanding of our nation’s bloodiest conflict. The cargo of the Maple Leaf contains some of the best-preserved Civil War artifacts in recent discovery including, but not limited to, the personal belongings of three infantry regiments. Ceremonial swords, surgical equipment, and even souvenirs Soldiers collected from Southern plantations are only a few of the historical treasures preserved by the muddy banks of the St. Johns. Our upcoming exhibit highlights these lost artifacts, telling the stories of Soldiers and their daily lives as they struggled to cut off one of the main supply routes to the Confederacy.