An article in today’s  Charlotte Observer  provides  theory but still no clear evidence about what happened to the H.L. Hunley a Confederate submarine (the  secret hope of the Confederacy) that sank near Charleston, South Carolina in 1864. The Hunley was the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship.

The public will soon have an unrestricted view of the sub now that an eight ton truss that was used to raise the vessel off the coast of South Carolina has been removed.  The vessel has been undergoing preservation in a laboratory in North Carolina since August 2000.

The next step in the conservation process is the use of a conservation tank of chemicals to dissolve salt and incrustation on the hull. This is expected to take about six months with three of those with the hull in the conservation tank. The tank will be drained the scientists will then use hand tools to remove the deposits.

The Hunley had a crew of eight who died after it rammed a spar with a powder charge into the USS Housatonic. Theories have been offered that the sub could have been damaged by fire from the Housatonic, or perhaps the crew was knocked out from the concussion of the blast, or maybe even struck by another Union ship coming to the aid of the Housatonic. Skeletal remains were of the crew were buried in 2004. There was no evidence that they rushed to the escape hatch because they were found at their stations. The funeral was called the last Confederate funeral.

It’s still a fascinating story. If you’d like to purchase Tom Chaffin’s book click on The H. L. Hunley: The Secret Hope of the Confederacy

To read the article written by Bruce Smith of the Associated Press in more detail, click on Charlotte Observer.


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2 Comments on Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley provides a glimpse of Civil War history

  1. Ann P. says:

    The Hunley is so small so the sailors who manned the vessel must have been very brave.

  2. Jesse M. says:

    A fascinating tale. I can recommend study of how the Civil War actually started. The reasons are ones that would fit in well with this generation of citizens.

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