Recent storms have dislodged some of the sediment that covered the ship, 57 feet (17 meters) beneath the surface, so researchers took advantage of the opportunity to map the vessel with state-of-the-art sonar in the fall of 2012, according to the statement.
The map has revealed previously unknown features of the shipwreck, including a largely intact paddlewheel that once propelled the vessel forward. It also shows damage to the wheel's steering column and the engine room.
The Hatteras rests in federal waters, and is protected under the Sunken Military Craft Act as a war grave, according to the release.
The ship was part of a blockade to prevent goods from traveling to and from Galveston, which remained one of the last bastions of the Confederacy late into the Civil War, the NOAA noted.
This article originally appeared on OurAmazingPlanet.com.
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