by George W.
Penington  -  Editor
    ISSUE  #53  PAGE 1

Click here or on the Sub to go back to The Hunley Home Page


Yes this may be your last Hunley Newsletter? I have thought long and hard about this. Do to the ever rising cost of running this site, I am sorry to say that I will have to start charging for this newsletter. To me $10.00 a year seems like a fair amount for this service.  If you would like to continue your newsletter subscription  you can click on the link below and sign up. Our next newsletter #54 will be out on January 14. With new information on how the Hunley sank.

Thank you, George      

Click here to continue your subscription.


2) Sunken Military Craft act - 2005 National Defense Authorization Act
3) Fifty Thousand Dollars down…on the Hunley
4) Friends of the Hunley, Inc., subject to Freedom of Information Act.
5) Fluids could help preserve
H.L. Hunley.
6) ACW-era sub found on Panama's Pacific coast
7) Civil War-Era Sub Linked with Earliest Deaths
from the “Bends”

8) Save the submersible
11) THE
12) E-MAIL and Guest Book Selections:



Welcome from the Hunley Store 


New at the Hunley store in time for Christmas

We will e-mail a Purchase-Gift Certificate that can be used while item is shipped

Chapman's painting Framed Special Price: 199.99 plus  S&H  ( Product # HL-1000F)  
Print of Conrad Wise Chapman's painting of the Confederate Submarine  Hunley. The Hunley print is framed in1 1/2 inch mahogany molding and has a double matting in sand and tampico brown. The total size of the print and frame is 22'' x26 3/4''.  



THIS IS A DYNAMIC NEWSLETTER WITH LOTS OF GOOD INFORMATION - Please feel free to download and print it...thanks, gwp

A special welcome to all the new subscribers. This newsletter will be published randomly until I decide whether to publish it once a month or every two months.  i will let everyone know soon. Until then the newsletter information will be sent out  with a link to the online addition available to subscribers only.

  ALL issues are dedicated not only to the brave and honorable Men of the Hunley, but to the Subscribers and Contributors to each issue, particularly to the CSS H L HUNLEY CLUB.      THANKS ALL,  George W. Penington


2) Sunken Military Craft act - 2005 National Defense Authorization Act

Military shipwrecks are scattered all over Charleston Harbor and are now protected by Federal Law.

The new law states that federal agents can bring criminal charges, seize the boats and equipment of trespassers plus fine them $100,000.00 per day for looting military shipwrecks which technically belong to the federal government.  But open for discussion is…. Would have the CSS H L HUNLEY be protected by this new Act? Privateer of Military ship?


Brian Hicks explains the facts of this Act best in his article dated November 29, 2004.

Used with permission of the Post and Courier and

Story last updated at 9:21 a.m. Monday, November 29, 2004

Looters of sunken treasure subject to legislation's stiff fines
Of The Post and Courier Staff

In the 1970s, local lore has it, treasure hunters armed with underwater blowtorches prowled the waters outside Charleston Harbor for the H.L. Hunley.

They planned to cut it up and sell souvenirs of the Civil War submarine, and perhaps even the bones of her crew, to collectors around the globe.

There was a time when such looting was pretty common. Now, with legislation that just passed Congress, federal agents can seize a treasure hunter's boat and fine him $100,000 for mining the government's archaeological gold.



Claire Peachey, an underwater archaeologist with the Naval Historical Center, recovers artifacts from a sunken Revolutionary War-era warship near Bangor, Maine. Wrecks such as this one are protected from looters and treasure hunters by a new federal law.

Bob Neyland, head of underwater archaeology at the Naval Historical Center and the Hunley project coordinator, said the new Sunken Military Craft act was forced by rapid advance in shipwreck-hunting technology.

Nowadays, just about anyone with a boat and a few electronic gadgets can be an amateur treasure hunter.

"This will go a long way to protecting war graves; and it will go a long way toward protecting archaeological sites," Neyland said.

The act covers thousands of wrecks in foreign waters around the world, and the dozens of Civil War-era ships that litter the South Carolina coast. It was part of the massive 2005 National Defense Authorization Act, a $420 billion piece of legislation that covers nearly 20 percent of the federal budget.

South Carolina's entire delegation supported the measure, and Lowcountry U.S. Rep. Henry Brown said it was an important measure for protecting ships like the Hunley that remain in state waters.

The legislation has direct bearing on the Palmetto State. A recent survey by the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology identified 46 wrecks in South Carolina waters, some charted on maps and many in areas accessible to small boats. Just in the waters of Charleston Harbor, the location of remains of Confederate ships such as the Chicora and Palmetto State and the Union Ironclad Patapsco, are commonly known.

In the past, amateur archaeologists and treasure hunters have picked over the wrecks. State Archaeologist Jonathan Leader said the new federal law is aimed directly at those looters and others with nefarious intentions.

"Obviously they are not just going after people who stumble upon these wrecks," Leader said. "The real issue is people out for gain or profit off these wrecks. I have no sympathy for those people and am glad this is being done."

When the Hunley submarine was found about four miles off the coast, there were some tussles about ownership and title. The Hunley was built as a privateer, briefly commandeered by the Confederate government and then sunk.

The law applies to any vessel built for military purposes, but not to commercial or merchant vessels. Courts have generally upheld these rights anyway, but the new law eliminates any question of salvage rights for military ships. James Hunter, a Naval Historical Center archaeologist working at the Hunley lab, says it's an issue that comes up more often than many imagine.

A few years ago, a Maine man found the remains of a Revolutionary-era Continental Navy vessel in the Penobscot River near Bangor. The man told officials about the wreck, and Hunter and a team of underwater archaeologists have made three survey trips.

Just about anyone could reach it.

"It's so close to shore you could hit it with a rock," Hunter said. "This will serve as protective legislation for these wrecks."

The civil penalties for disturbing military shipwrecks tops out at $100,000 a day -- not per vessel -- giving federal agents the right to levy almost unlimited fines for anyone trespassing on wrecks. The law leaves open the possibility of criminal charges.

Neyland said the idea is not for the government to hoard these vessels, but to protect the sanctity of war graves first, and then to learn from these wrecks and get the most out of them.

"This is meant to protect these wrecks for the greatest public benefit," he said.

Contact Brian Hicks at (843) 937-5561 or




 3) Fifty Thousand Dollars down…($50,000.00) Balance due Twelve million, nine hundred, and fifty thousand…($12,950,000.00) to go. How would you like to be facing that note?

Sun, 12 Dec 2004

Gift is first of several donations slated for submarine restoration

BY BRIAN HICKS - Of The Post and Courier Staff

The city of North Charleston has strengthened its ties to the Hunley
by paying $50,000 toward the sub's restoration, the first of several
expected donations to the project.

The city has promised to kick in that much every year for lab
operations until a
North Charleston Hunley Museum is opened. The
first installment was paid Thursday.

State Sen.
Glenn McConnell, chairman of the Hunley Commission, said
the money will help make up for a decreasing amount of federal
funding for the project.

"This $50,000 will go a long way toward paying the expenses of
conserving the Hunley," McConnell said.

The federal Defense Legacy fund that has paid most of the project's
bill has decreased, mainly due to budget constraints, from $700,000
in 2003 to $450,000 in 2004.

McConnell says the project is debt-free after front-end costs for
raising and excavating the sub put the project $2.2 million in the
hole. That money has been repaid, and 75 percent of money spent on
the project is now raised privately.

North Charleston offered to pay $13 million of the proposed $40
million museum's price tag as part of its bid to keep the
Confederate sub, currently on the former Navy base, in the city.
This money,
Mayor Keith Summey says, is the city's way of showing
its commitment to the sub.

"This is what we talked about," Summey said. "We want to be a part
of the restoration of the Hunley."

The museum, which is planned for the banks of the
Cooper River just
north of the Navy Base, is under design. McConnell says he'd like to
see it open by 2008, but that could depend on how long it takes to
restore the sub.




4) Friends of the Hunley, Inc., subject to Freedom of Information Act.  Attorney general's opinion about Sub Charity

 State Attorney General Henry McMaster says in his opinion that
money raised by the company, Friends of the Hunley, Inc., is meant to
be spent on the Confederate submarine project, and not required to be returned to the
state general fund.

Claims that
Sen. McConnell used the project to funnel money to companies operated by his friends and has spent thousands of dollars with little official oversight was not answered. McMaster stated that Friends of the Hunley, Inc. was within its legal responsibility to establish a charity to act in behalf of the state.  But that without specific allegations or charges, it was not appropriate for his office to look into that spending, therefore his opinion does not address whether there has been ethical improprieties but mainly focused on whether a state agency can create a private

"A court would uphold the actions of the Hunley Commission in
creating a nonprofit corporation -- Friends of the Hunley, Inc. -- for the
purpose of raising sufficient funds to defray the costs of curating,
displaying and exhibiting the Hunley,"
McMaster said.

"Likewise, we believe a court would conclude that revenues derived from the
Hunley's exhibition and display are not legally required by the
programmatic agreement or any other provision of state law to be
returned to the general fund of the state, but may remain with the
nonprofit for the operation of the project."

Other questions and issues where not addressed by McMaster’s opinion such as
whether taxpayer money has been improperly spent , but did add that the Friends of The Hunley, Inc. a nonprofit group set up to oversee the conservation of the historic Confederate submarine, is a public agency that must disclose how it spends its revenue.

The opinion shows the Hunley Commission, as an agent of the General Assembly, had every right to
establish the Friends of the Hunley charity to run the project, as the Department of Corrections, Department of Transportation,
State Museum and Patriots Point have done according to Senator McConnell.
The Friends of the Hunley, Inc. has received $8 million in state and
federal money and had claimed in court that it did not have
to disclose information to the public.

McMaster disputed that by stating, "We believe the law is clear, any
entity which receives or has received taxpayer funds — federal, state or local is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
This would include the Friends of the Hunley."

John Crangle, executive director of Common Cause, a public watchdog
group had asked for an attorney general's opinion on the Hunley project and to look into the Friends of the Hunley, Inc. spending practices.

 Sun, 14 Nov 2004

5) Fluids could help preserve H.L. Hunley.
 Will the HUNLEY be treated like decaffeinating coffee or making hops for brewing beer?

Confederate sub was encased in sand.  By Bruce Smith The Associated Press

CHARLESTON - After months of testing, technology using supercritical
fluids shows promise for preserving the Confederate submarine
Hunley, which sat encased in sand beneath the ocean for almost 140

But months of more tests and studies must be done before scientists
settle on the best way to remove the corrosive salts from the hand-
cranked sub.

"So far, so good. But we still have a long way to go experimentally
before we can sit back and say we will use this process," said
Michael Drews, the materials scientist heading the Clemson
University research team helping with the Hunley conservation.

The 40-foot Hunley became the first sub in history to sink an enemy
warship when it rammed a spar with a black powder charge into the
Union blockade ship
Housatonic on Feb. 17, 1864.

The Hunley never returned and was finally re-located off
Island nine years ago. It was raised in 2000 and brought to a
conservation lab at the old Charleston Naval Base where it sits in a
tank of chilled water.

The Hunley's eight-man crew was buried earlier this year in a
funeral that attracted thousands and has been called the last
Confederate funeral.

Scientists also have considered using cold plasma technology and
traditional electrolysis to preserve the Hunley.

In supercritical fluid technology, in this case the fluid is water,
fluids take on the characteristics of both a gas and a liquid under
intense heat and pressure and have unique dissolving characteristics.

While the technology is used in some commercial applications such as
decaffeinating coffee and processing hops for brewing beer, it has
never been used to preserve marine artifacts.

Drews' team has conducted preliminary experiments using two small
chambers, the largest about the size of a pint container, to treat
rivets removed from the Hunley when sections of the hull were opened
to allow the excavation of the silt and the crew's remains.

Results of that work must still be analyzed and, if they are
positive, scientists would then construct a larger chamber - perhaps
about the size of a garbage can - to treat larger pieces of metal,
Drews said.

But even if the technique shows promise, there still is a major
question. Can it be used to treat the entire Hunley?

Scientists hope to find a method that does not require taking large
sections of the sub apart.

"If everything was go, we would still have do to an engineering
assessment on the Hunley to see if it were compatible,"
said. "We know the Hunley was not designed to be put into a big
pressure cooker.

"We may have a good process for removing the salts, but it may not
necessarily be a good process for the Hunley."

In cold plasma technology, hydrogen gas is blown over an artifact in
a sealed container and the plasma formed pulls impurities out of the
artifact as a gas. However, results of initial tests were not
encouraging and "we have pretty much eliminated it,"
Drews said.

The traditional method of conserving large marine artifacts, and one
that takes years to complete, is electrolysis.

In that method, a slight electrical current is applied to remove the
corrosive salts from metal artifacts in a tank of water.

However, the electrical field often doesn't always penetrate


6) ACW-era sub found on Panama's Pacific coast


Naval History Magazine (Nov-Dec 04, pp.55-56) includes a special
report on finding a ACW-era sub found on
Panama's Pacific coast!  An
online article can be found at:

As of this time, it is not on the web-enhanced version of the

The sub, the "Explorer" was designed by
Julius Kroehl for purposes
of pearl diving.  Despite having many advanced features, it did not
account for proper decompression - many crewmembers died as a result
of the bends. 
(Could sudden compression and then decompression

affect the Hunley crew on their final mission?)

James Delgado of NGC's "Sea Hunters" had investigated the sub, along
Mark Ragan.  According to the editor's note, his findings
should have been presented on 29 Oct the 7th Maritime Heritage
Conference, in
Norfolk, VA.  See


From: "Tim Smalley" <
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004
03:03:33 -0800 (PST)


Re: [CSS H L HUNLEY] Naval History - Civil War-era sub found

Great article. I had heard of this sub, but didn’t' really know anything about it.

Re the bends. The Hunley crew would have been at about 1 atmosphere since there was no diver lockout chamber. The pearl diving sub would have used increased air pressure bled from compressed air tanks to allow a hatch to be opened in the bottom of the sub. The increased pressure is what causes the bends.

Special Report

7) Civil War-Era Sub Linked with Earliest Deaths
from the “Bends”

Naval History, December 2004


Archaeologist James Delgado, host of National Geographic International Television’s “The Sea Hunters,” which also features best-selling author Clive Cussler, has announced the discovery of a forgotten Civil War submarine, the Sub Marine Explorer, on a deserted island on Panama’s Pacific coast. Delgado’s account of the sub’s history and discovery was announced at a recent press conference and is featured in his new book, Adventures of a Sea Hunter: In Search of Famous Shipwrecks (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2004). News of the discovery comes as the U.S. Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continue their search for the USS Alligator, the Navy’s first submarine, which foundered off the North Carolina coast in 1863, and work continues to preserve and study the remains of the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley in Charleston, South Carolina.

With interest in Civil War submarines at an all-time peak, Delgado’s discovery highlights not only the role of subs in the Civil War but also the exploits of a forgotten New York inventor—whose invention may have killed him. His submarine was the most technologically advanced craft of its age, even more so than the fabled Hunley, but it had a fatal flaw. Its crew compartment, pressurized to the same intense pressures as the deep to allow divers to freely leave and reenter the sub to disarm enemy mines, lay explosives, or, in its final career, collect pearls from the seabed, did not allow the crew to “decompress” when the sub returned to the surface.

That meant the men inside were exposed to the dreaded “bends,” which can cripple and kill divers. History records that the first American victims of the bends, also known as decompression sickness, were workers laboring to build the Brooklyn Bridge in 1869. Descending to the bottom of the river in pressurized caissons, they were struck with a debilitating illness that mystified doctors, who termed it “caisson disease.” It was not until decades later that researchers discovered the cause: rapid decompression after spending time under pressure. The first American to die of caisson disease is said to have been a worker on the St. Louis Bridge in 1870. But Julius Kroehl, a former Union naval officer and inventor of the Sub Marine Explorer, died in Panama of “fever” after several test dives in his craft in 1867. Physicians who have reviewed the technical details of the Explorer and her dives have determined that Kroehl suffered from decompression sickness, which has similar symptoms to malaria, also called fever. It is likely that Kroehl, in fact, was the first American to die from decompression sickness, which continues to claim the lives of divers each year.

This plan of the Sub Marine Explorer appeared in a 1902 article on the history of U.S. submarine development in Journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers.

A German immigrant and a resident of both New York City and Washington, D.C., Kroehl built the Explorer in Brooklyn between 1863 and 1865. The submarine was abandoned off Isla San Telmo in Panama’s Pearl Islands in the fall of 1869, after its final crew was stricken, to a man, with “fever.” Laid up and forgotten in a small cove, it remained unidentified until resident fishermen on a nearby island pointed it out to Delgado, who was sailing through the islands in 2001. “They thought it was a Japanese midget submarine from World War II,” recalls Delgado. “It turned out to be much older and much more significant. In this case, truth is stranger than fiction—although it feels like finding Captain Nemo’s lost sub on Robinson Crusoe’s island.” Delgado led an expedition to Panama earlier this year with the Sea Hunters crew that included a representative of the Historic American Engineering Survey and Hunley Project Historian Mark K. Ragan to document the sub and remove the sand that clogged her interior. They found intact glass instruments filled with mercury and the intricate pipes and valves that controlled Kroehl’s Explorer.

These current section views illustrate the narrowness of the Explorer’s conning tower, and the placement of the lower hatches through which the crew exited and entered the submerged craft.


Plans are under way to continue the documentation of the Explorer and perhaps bring the submarine home. Where she might go is up for discussion. One option is the foot of East Third Street in Brooklyn, where she made her first dive. Another is the Warren Lasch Center in Charleston, where the H. L. Hunley is undergoing conservation for eventual display. A third possibility is Washington, D.C., home of Kroehl’s wife and site of the family home, when Kroehl was not working as an inventor or in the Union Navy as an underwater explosives expert attached to the staff of venerated Admiral David Dixon Porter.

Editor’s Note: Delgado will be detailing his team’s findings in a keynote address to the Seventh Maritime Heritage Conference at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia, on 29 October. For details, visit the conference Web site,

Tell a Friend about This Page


Story last updated at 9:20 a.m. Sunday, October 31, 2004

8) Save the submersible

Maritime archaeologist identifies decaying sub in waters off Panama as Civil War-era cousin of H.L. Hunley, wants to rescue it for history

Of The Post and Courier Staff

Every day, the tides uncover the football-shaped iron hulk, left to rot just off the beach of a deserted island near Panama.

The locals call it a death machine, and the ebb and flow of the Pacific creates the ghostly illusion that it is endlessly diving and re-surfacing.

When the maritime archaeologist James Delgado arrived in Panama on a cruise ship in 2001, locals told him about the ship, claiming it was a Japanese sub abandoned after World War II.


Marine archaeologist and maritime historian James Delgado examines the Sub Marine Explorer off the coast of Panama. He found the Civil War-era Union sub in 2001 near one of the Pearl Islands.

Faced with the prospect of another boring bird-watching tour, he hired a boat to the remote island for a peek. There, in the surf of Isla San Telmo, Delgado found a forgotten chapter in submarine history, a Civil War-era cousin of the H.L. Hunley.

"It looked like something out of '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea'," Delgado said. "At first I thought it looked like a Holland submarine, but it was much smaller."

Delgado climbed around the sub, and was struck by its strange construction. Some of its design elements appeared to date to 1900, but the strange iron bars between its two hulls seemed like they'd been forged in the 1850s.

A few years later, Delgado got his answers. He has identified the wreck as the Sub Marine Explorer, a submersible built in New York in the waning days of the Civil War. Turned down by the U.S. Navy, its builder took the sub to Central America to make a fortune in pearl diving.

Before it was over, the sub's builder made another important -- and deadly -- discovery about deep-water diving.

Delgado says the submarine, which in some ways is even more advanced than the Hunley, is a unique maritime treasure that should be saved. Now he's looking for a way to rescue the fallen fish-boat from the waters of Central America.

Ideally, he says, the Explorer should be brought to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where it could benefit from the cutting-edge technology being used to save the Hunley.

"I can't imagine a better place for it," Delgado said after a tour of the North Charleston lab earlier this week. "If the funding could be found, it would be a great fit."

The two 1860s subs have much in common: design elements, similar conservation problems and, perhaps most notably, tragic pasts.


Delgado could not get the sub out of his mind.

After returning to Canada, where he is executive director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, he sent photos of the boat to every maritime historian he knew, and he knows a lot of them. Delgado, co-host with Clive Cussler of National Geographic International's "The Sea Hunters," has been in the shipwreck business for decades, and was formerly maritime historian for the U.S. National Park Service.

For a long while, however, none of his contacts could offer much advice about the fat little sub. One friend mentioned it looked like the Intelligent Whale, a Civil War-era sub, and that made Delgado think: could it be that old?

Then, one day last year, Rich Wills, a Navy archaeologist, said the sub resembled drawings he'd seen of the Sub Marine Explorer, built for the U.S. Navy during the Civil War by a German immigrant and engineering whiz kid named Julius Kroehl.

Delgado got the drawings and any doubt he had melted away. He had his sub. The final confirmation was found in the article accompanying the drawings in the 1902 journal. It said the sub had been abandoned off Panama in 1869.

This research is the final chapter of a long, intriguing story...

Kroehl emigrated to America in 1838, where he studied to become an engineer. He took to the work like a duck to water, and by 1845 had patented a flange-bending machine for ironwork. More than a decade later, while blasting away at a reef causing problems for ships in the East River channel, Kroehl hired Van Buren Ryerson, who had crafted a pressured diving bell, to help. Kroehl would remember the bell and its name, Submarine Explorer.

Delgado says that in 1861 Kroehl became the first inventor to offer the U.S. Navy a submarine to sneak into Southern ports and attack from beneath the surface. Officials instead chose to go with Brutus de Villeroi, who eventually built the USS Alligator, the Navy's first submarine.

Kroehl instead spent most of the war as an underwater explosives expert for the Union, working the Mississippi River circuit until he was discharged with malaria. While recuperating, he came up with the idea of a submarine that divers could get in and out of underwater, from which they could set charges and disarm enemy torpedoes. Delgado says Kroehl was smart, and knew the Navy wouldn't pay for the construction of such an experimental boat. So he joined up with the Pacific Pearl Company, which was itching to mine the pearl beds off the Central American coast.

While Kroehl was building his submarine in early 1864, the 'shot heard round the world' in the underwater arms race was fired off Charleston. The privateer H.L. Hunley had sunk the USS Housatonic four miles offshore.

The boat, which Kroehl called the Sub Marine Explorer, was 36 feet long and 10 feet wide and could carry six to eight men. It was notable for its odd elliptical shape, its flat bottom and its separate chamber for pressurized air, which could be pumped into the crew compartment to equalize the pressure enough so the hatches could be opened underwater.

It was, Delgado said, the first self-propelled "lock out" dive chamber, an invention most historians thought didn't come along until the 20th century.

By the time the Explorer sailed, the Civil War was just about over. The Navy passed on the boat, but the Pacific Pearl Co. was ready for business. They used tests of the sub in the East River to attract investors.

The New York Times covered one such demonstration in May 1866, when Kroehl took the sub down for an hour and a half, leaving the people on the dock afraid that he had perished beneath the surface.

"Kroehl popped out of the hatch smoking a Meerschaum pipe, holding a bucket of mud scooped off the bottom of the channel," Delgado said.

Soon after that, Pacific Pearl shipped Explorer to Panama, where it gathered pearls successfully for almost three years. Kroehl did not make it so long. After one dive, Kroehl became ill. The locals said he had the "fever" and died shortly thereafter.

Delgado believes there is more to the story. In 1869, according to some accounts, the Explorer was abandoned in Panama Bay after a stint of heavy use. For 10 straight days, divers were taking the sub to a nearby pearl bed 100 feet below the surface, working for four hours and then returning to the surface. To some degree, all of them fell deathly ill.

Reading of Kroehl's symptoms, Delgado says he doesn't believe the engineer had a relapse of his malaria. His symptoms sounded, like those of the other workers who got sick in the sub, much more like the bends.

"They didn't know about decompression," he said. "It was unknown until workers on the Brooklyn Bridge started getting caisson's disease, and wasn't known as the bends until years later. I think Julius Kroehl may have died of the first recorded case of the bends."


The future of the submarine is uncertain. Exposed to the air, sea, and intrepid tourists, its hull is deteriorating badly, and it has apparently fallen victim to looters -- the propeller and conning tower hatch are missing.

Delgado took a crew of scientists down in 2002 to map the sub and give it a more careful examination. On Friday, Delgado said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is looking for the Alligator, has set aside money for a fact-finding expedition to Panama next year. Scientists want to find out if the sub, apparently made almost entirely of brittle cast iron, is too fragile to move, or if it can be saved.

Then -- if it is determined that Explorer can be rescued -- comes the hard part: finding the money to bring it up and care for it. Delgado says if it can be salvaged, it could be put in a tank of cold freshwater to desalinate it until technology invents a way to preserve it for posterity.

The Hunley lab, with its cutting-edge research on preserving Charleston's Civil War sub, is an obvious place for Explorer, says Delgado. But for the foreseeable future, scientists there have their hands full with their own crusty sub.

"It is an interesting parallel story to the Hunley," said Maria Jacobsen, senior archaeologist for the Hunley project. "It furthers our understanding of the evolution of diving technology. But they are two different things. The Explorer is an evolved concept of a dive bell, while the Hunley is a highly maneuverable, hydrodynamic stealth boat. In its case, it is the weapon."

Jacobsen said that the Hunley lab is the ideal place for such a ship, but it will be years before scientists there will have any time or energy to tackle another major project. But if the sub had to sit in holding tanks at the lab, like the cannons from the Alabama, Delgado says that would be better than allowing it to rot off the beach of Isla San Telmo.

"I'd just like to see ol' Uncle Julius's sub saved," Delgado said.


The submersible was built by Julius Kroehl, a German engineer and former Union naval officer during the Civil War. The 36-foot-long, 10-foot-wide sub was the first to have a pressure chamber system that allowed divers to enter and exit the sub while it was underwater. It was used in the 1860s for pearl diving off the coast of Panama, where it was ultimately abandoned.

Contact Brian Hicks at (843) 937-5561 or


12) E-MAIL and Guest Book Selections:


From: "Tim Smalley" <>  
Date:Thu, 21 Oct 2004 12:01:36 -0700 (PDT)

Subject:[CSS H L HUNLEY] Alligator Shoot photos posted

Hi there - I have finally had a few minutes to post the photos from our USS Alligator shoot at the Carderock / David Taylor Test Facility in Washington on Oct 5-6.
Go to the above site and click on "What's New for    21 October,  2005"
Tim Smalley

Subject: Guest Book Entry

realname: Matthew W. Kresal
city: Grant
state: Al
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Thursday December 09, 2004
Time: 06:18:10 AM


Excellent source for information on the Hunley. Using it for a history project! A lot of thanks!
Thanks for writing...let me know how the project goes.....George


Editor and Webmaster of The Hunley.Com newsletter


----- Original Message -----

From: James Lawlor


Sent: Friday, December 10, 2004 6:33 PM

Subject: Need for Help

 Hi George,

I am disabled/retired since 1993.  In August of this year I had my right  leg amputated because of a recluse spider bite.  That is not why I am writing to you.  I have lots of time on my hands -- more so than ever now.  I have coded HTML for years now.  I have been a fan of research for years and was delighted when they located and finally raised The Hunley.

 I maintain my own Irish genealogy website at clan.

 If I can be of any assistance to you.  Let me know.

 Best regards for a happy holiday 

Jim Lawlor
Sounds great Jim.. Write some articles about the Hunley or just your life experience...I will put them somewhere...maybe we can talk later.... Great to hear form ya...George



Subject: Guest Book Entry

realname: Colin Marlborough
city: Middlesbrough
state: TS
country: England
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday December 08, 2004
Time: 11:49:45 PM


Good site wealth of information Thank you
Thank hell of a hobby.  George

With lots more to come...sign up for the newsletter and you will soon hear the real reason the Hunley sank. 


----- Original Message -----



Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2004 9:28 PM

Subject: making replica
   dear sir,

 i am currently in the process of building an exact reproduction of the hunley for my art class. i have seen photos of art works of the submarine and would like to purchase a model of the hunley to work from. could you tell me which one of the many models on the market truly represents the hunley? i need to see some detail of the submarine skin, i know it was made of iron plating riveted together. did the rivets have round heads or were they flush with the iron plates? how wide were the iron plates, were the plates two half's put together or one plate rounded into a band? are there any working blueprints that i can buy that would show me exact measurements? any help would be greatly appreciated. what was the number of crew on board 8 or 9 ?    i a wait yor reply thank you  clark cole

Clark....Thanks for writing...There is alot of information on my site that will help you...I will try to put some stuff together and get back to you.  George



Subject: Guest Book Entry

realname: David G. Sasher
city: Rayne,
state: La.
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday December 15, 2004
Time: 09:01:17 PM


I am David G. Sasher,Sr. and I am requesting your help in my research on my Uncle Stanley Sasher. Uncle Stanley all his life has always been interested in boats. During the WWll he was an officer in the Merchant Marines station out of Australia. Being that he was in the Merchant Marines, it was not uncommon for them to have contracts with the US Army. So my Uncle Stanley was in the Merchant Marines and served on a US Army FS 88 vessel. Back then it was not uncommon for the US Navy to stripped there PT boats and give them away. As a matter of fact, the Navy gave over 100 PT Boats to the Russians. They also gave quite a few PT Boats to the US Army. I have reason to believe that the vessel my Uncle was on was a 80 foot Elco. On the bow it has sharks teeth and a eye painted. Mid ship it had painted "Donald Duck" " Fast Express " with Donald Duck carrying a brief case. Any and all information that you may have would be truly appreciated. Thank you David G. Sacher,Sr. P.S. My E-Mail is ( )




realname: R. Doc Lamkin
city: Bradenton
state: Fla
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Thursday December 16, 2004
Time: 07:49:20 PM


My family and friends can not thank you enough. Clive Cussler Has made and continues to make the greatest contributions toward marine Archaeology in world History. Thank all of you again. R. "Doc" Lamkin P.S. If ever you need a friend, you have them. There are a bunch of us old LRRP/Rangers around and we all like what you are doing. Keep up the good work.


----- Original Message -----

From: Lee Cross


Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 10:06 AM

Subject: Mistake

 Hello George, When opening up the Hunley Newsletter, I accidentally clicked the unsubscribe button.  This was a unintentional mistake!  I clicked before I read.  Please reinstall my subscription.  I’ll be more careful next time!   Lee Cross

I gotcha...thanks Lee and stay in touch. George

 Lee is the Publisher of the Hunley Torpedo Newsletter

realname: amber
city: greer
state: sc
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Saturday December 18, 2004
Time: 04:07:43 PM


i love tha hl hunley web site

Tours of the Hunley are still available on weekends at the
Warren Lasch conservation lab where the sub is housed.


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