The Hunley


Pat Cook

Member
Apr 27, 2000
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Just a note to any and all in the South Carolina area. Most of you probably already know this but the civil war submarine Hunley is now on display near the Naval yard in Charleston.

Last weekend my wife, Rose Ann, and I were in this absolutely lovely city and were joined, on Sunday, by Brian Meister and Phil Gee. I only had to mention seeing an ad for the once-lost warship when it was quickly agreed we all take in the Hunley tour. While the surroundings are rather spartan and also accompanied by the obligatory gift shop (to raise money to help defray costs), seeing the actual 150 year old submarine is quite moving, especially with a narrator, dressed in full rebel outfit, to accompany you and answer questions.

The ship itself is longer than I had imagined and, we were told, took two railroad flatcars to carry. Lying on it's side, with a large section removed, you can look into the tank and see the inner workings - the crank, seating, etc. And, if you think it might seem cramped for those brave men you can test a mock-up model as you leave the main exibition. Needless to say, at 6' 6", it was rather close quarters for me.

Afterward, Brian questioned where the crew was to be buried and when. We were told it would be about a year (the lab scientists are still working on DNA and facial reconstruction) and they would join, most probably, the others in the confederate section in the Magnolia cemetery. Now, some of you out there don't know Brian Meister but saying cemetery to him is like saying "Donuts on the big tray" to me or Whitfield. Next thing, we were driving to the Magnolia cemetery, where Brian, in short order, found the graves of Horace Hunley and the crew of an earlier attempt at testing the submarine.

All in all, it is well worth your time and, as I mentioned earlier, a very moving experience.

Best regards, all
Cook
 

Pat Cook

Member
Apr 27, 2000
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Hi Colleen and Tracy,

I believe you both would enjoy Charleston - in fact, everyone would; there's something there for everybody. Lots of maritime stuff as well. At the battery, in fact, there is a capstain from the "USS Maine".

Speaking of revolutionary war, as I mentioned we visited a few cemeteries while there. I have a photo of the grave stone of one young man (and I mean young!), which lists his name and underneath it reads:

"Revolutionary soldier 1775-1783"

Takes your breath away, doesn't it?

Best regards to you both,
Cook
 
S

Susan Leighton

Guest
Greetings all,
I was born and raised in "The Holy City" as Charleston is known. Speaking from experience, Charleston is a historian's paradise. Horsedrawn carriages, cobblestone streets, art galleries, waterfront parks, an aquarium and open air markets. There is no other city like it in the World. There is a city ordinance that dictates no building shall be higher than the steeple at St. Michael's Cathedral, so the skyline remains pristine and authentic.

Raising the Hunley is one of the City's greatest modern achievements. I was in the boat parade in the harbor when the submarine was raised from the ocean floor a few years ago. It was a magnificent experience. It was also a very costly endeavor, partially subsidized by National Geographic. There is a current controversy brewing in Charleston because the Hunley backers want the City to fund something like $30 million on the continued restoration and eventually a museum specifically dedicated to her.
The City is still 'smarting' over the aquarium which was supposed to bring in millions, but is currently losing money. It seems that it always boils down to money...and historical significance and educational value take a back burner... e.g. the giftshop where we can purchase the genuine 'made in China' Hunley memorabilia.
Susan Y. Leighton
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,604
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Easley South Carolina
From iWon News:
quote:

Scientists on Tuesday removed the rear hatch on the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, although the work won't immediately remove the questions surrounding the sinking of the sub in 1864.

The 40-foot, hand-cranked sub, the first in history to sink an enemy warship, sank off Charleston after sending the Union blockade ship Housatonic to the bottom on Feb. 17, 1864.

The eight Hunley crew members went down with the sub.

The Hunley has two towers with hatches but the rear hatch apparently was locked. After it was removed from the sub, which is in a conservation tank at a lab in North Charleston, the hatch was taken to the lab for X-rays.
For the rest of the story, go to http://apnews1.iwon.com//article/20060913/D8K3N2C0G.html
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,604
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Easley South Carolina
From The Google News page:

CSI Hunley: Fate of historic sub a cold case file
quote:

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – It could be one of the nation's oldest cold case files: What happened to eight Confederate sailors aboard the H.L. Hunley after it became the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship?

Their hand-cranked sub rammed a spar with black powder into the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston on a chilly winter night in 1864 but never returned.

Its fate has been the subject of almost 150 years of conjecture and almost a decade of scientific research since the Hunley was raised back in 2000. But the submarine has been agonizingly slow surrendering her secrets.
Full story at http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hGu8-osVyTVV0EyAa8A3ImTnmaegD95GUIVO1
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
From The Republican Herald:

Hamburg students near completion on Civil War submarine project
quote:

HAMBURG - From 3 to 4:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday, a group of Hamburg Area High School students work to solve a mystery that's nearly 150 years old.

Last November, researchers with the Clemson Conservation Center, North Charleston, S.C., held a video conference with Hamburg Area students. The center is restoring the H.L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine that sank Feb. 17, 1864.
More at http://republicanherald.com/news/hamburg-students-near-completion-on-civil-war-submarine-project-1.735876
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
From abc27:

Students donate replica Civil War lantern
quote:

In 1864, the Confederate submarine Hunley torpedoed and sank the Union ship Housatonic. The Hunley also sank that night, joining naval history to a mystery.
More at http://www.abc27.com/Global/story.asp?S=13632512

Comment: The beauty of this was that one of the objectives of this project was to show whether or not the blue lantern reported by Confederate soldiers on shore could be seen. The students showed that it could be seen by actually doing it.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,604
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483
Easley South Carolina
Dec 2, 2000
58,604
631
483
Easley South Carolina
From Deseret News:

Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley hull being revealed after almost 150 years
quote:

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Scientists this week should get a look at the entire hull of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley for the first time in almost 150 years. Perhaps they will also find a clue as to why the sub sank off Charleston in 1864.

The hand-cranked Hunley, the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship, went down with the eight-man crew after sinking the Union blockade ship Housatonic.
More at http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700145372/Confederate-submarine-HL-Hunley-hull-being-revealed-after-almost-150-years.html
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,604
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Easley South Carolina
From The Navy Times:

Civil War-era sub begins new restoration phase
quote:

The H.L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine, sealed its place in history on a February night in 1864 when it became the world's first sub to sink an enemy warship in combat. Then its own fate was sealed when it sank mysteriously to the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Charleston, S.C., killing its crew of eight.
More at http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/06/gannett-civil-war-confederate-sub-hunley-restoration-062711/
 
C

Chris Rucker

Guest
Kudos to the PA high school shop class which reproduced the lantern found on the H.L. Hunley. Unfortunately, by making a lantern with a blue lens, they have perpetuated a mistake which has been repeated by all Hunley authors and researchers. Recent research shows that the two mentions of "blue light" in the historical record referred not to a blue lantern, but to a commonly used pyrotechnic signal used for generations by both military and civilians. Hence, the lantern found on the recovered Hunley has a clear lens, not a blue one. There is virtually no historic mention of a blue lantern in the Hunley saga, and blue lanterns were not used for signalling in either the Federal or Confederate forces. Pyrotechnic blue light, acually a vivid white color, was the "blue light" which was observed by Robert Flemming from the sunken USS Housatonic, and which was claimed by Jacob Cardozzo in a postwar account to have been the prearranged signal of success between the Hunley and Confederate forces on Sullivan's Island. See the YouTube videos on "Burning Blue Light" and "Making Civil War - Era Blue Light" to see the reproduction pyrotechnic blue light in action.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
From The Summerville Patch:

Big Step in Hunley Conservation
quote:

NORTH CHARLESTON – It has been 136 years since anyone has seen the H.L. Hunley submarine the way it looks today.

Off the coast of Charleston in 1864, shortly after becoming the first combat submarine to complete its mission by sinking a Union ship, the Hunley and its eight-man crew went missing.
More HERE
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,604
631
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Easley South Carolina
From The Island Packet:

British submariners honor crew of Confederate sub
quote:

Sharing a bond with those who fought beneath the waves, a group of submariners from the United Kingdom paused Friday to pay tribute to the crews of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship.
More HERE
 

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