Hunley – Lost With All of Her Crew 1863

H.L. Hunley was a Confederate submarine that was the first to sink a warship.

The H.L. Hunley was a Confederate submarine that was the first to sink a warship. Unfortunately the Hunley's crew did not survive the attack.

 

Build in 1863, the Hunley was made from a cylindrical iron steam boiler. It was designed to be hand powered by eight men turning the hand-cranked propeller and one man to steer. On August 15, 1863, the submarine arrived in Charleston atop a railroad car.

On February 16, 1864, the Hunley attacked the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor. The submarine rammed the Housatonic with a torpedo attached to a long pole on its bow. The torpedo exploded, sinking the warship. The Hunley also sank, with its crew of nine. The Hunley remained at the bottom of Charleston Harbor until August 2000, when it was excavated. On August 8, it once again saw daylight.

Today, the first phase of the Hunley excavation has been completed. Scientists are conserving the artifacts, cataloguing findings, sketching the submarine, and reviewing their logs. Among the artifacts recovered are the spar that the torpedo was attached to, a lantern, pocket knife, canteen and wallet.

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