In the summer of 1968, a local archeologist organized an excavation of Buffalo Bayou near the Milam Street Bridge in the hopes of recovering long forgotten Civil War artifacts. After the war ended in 1865, munitions, once housed at the Kennedy building located at Travis and Congress, were dumped into the bayou. The disposal of the weaponry was part of a broader effort to deprive the approaching Union forces of the equipment and supplies of the Confederacy. Barges loaded with rifles and cannon balls were driven up stream to the low water bridge at Milam Street and sunk.
This amazing, never-before exhibited archeology collection has received new life with modern conservation treatments and has been researched by experts in munitions. The result of this year-long project is to educate visitors about Houston’s role as a port city in the Civil War, to discover what happened to these artifacts once abandoned in the bayou, and to learn about the techniques used to conserve artifacts left underwater for decades.