The Most Up to Date Free Information Site on the
For Non-Profit Educational and Research Purposes.



by George W. Penington  -  Editor

FEBRUARY 17 , 2005
    ISSUE  #55




4) "The Submarine that wouldn't come up."
5) The first semi-submersible torpedo boat
6) The Historic Morris Island was up for sale on EBAY
7) No Man's (Is)land by Jason Zwiker  
9) Lecture: The Mystery of the USS Alligator
10) Dixon Scuttled the Boat -BY BARRY RUGOFF
11) average water temperatures for Charleston
12) P
ainting by artist William R. McGrath may still be available
13) What
are people looking for when they visit OUR site.

14)"The Captain and Submarine CSS H.L. Hunley" by Ruth H. Duncan

15) Novelist and Tampa company both in hunter's cross hairs
16) Lasch leaves Friends of Hunley
17) PIONEER 1 Progress reports
18) BOOK REVIEW: Secrets Of A Civil War Submarine: Solving The Mysteries Of The H. L. Hunley



A special welcome to all the new subscribers. This newsletter IS published
once a month  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
CSS H L HUNLEY CLUB.    This is my tenth year, hard to believe, of running the website as a free service to all those that played a part in making this happen.

George W. Penington

The Hunley store is now offering, a free one year subscription to newsletter with any purchase of $25 or more, a savings of $10.


New at the Hunley store - CSS Hunley Special Price: $79.99 plus  S&H   ( Product # 8396)  

Special edition CSS Hunley pewter sculptor, by Andrew Chernak, edition limit to 2500. Modeled after the painting by Conrad Wise Chapman. All aspects of Chapman’s painting are present in this sculpture, including thousands of rivets on the iron hull plating, five tiny detonators on the spar torpedo, windows in both conning towers, weighted keel plates which were able to be jettisoned for emergency buoyancy.

Quantities are limited.  We only have 3 remaining in are inventory.

 Item Name: CSS Hunley pewter sculptor Item Number: HL-8396 Price: $79.99




BRUCE SMITH  Associated Press
February 18, 2005

CHARLESTON, S.C. - On the anniversary of its sinking, a scientist said while it's still not known what sent the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley to the bottom, the vessel will eventually give up its secrets.

"There is no such thing as a smoking gun when you are conducting a forensic investigation," Maria Jacobsen, the senior archaeologist on the Hunley project, said Thursday.

"Archaeology is the perfect forensic discipline. But in our case we have a very cold case. It's not 10 years old. It's over 140 years
old," she said. "I'm very confident we will know what happened but it's a matter of time."

Thursday was the 141st anniversary of the sinking of the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship.

The 40-foot, hand-cranked Hunley rammed a spar with a black powder charge into the Union blockade ship Housatonic on Feb. 17, 1864.

But the Hunley also went down and was finally re-located off Sullivans Island in 1995. It was raised five years later and brought to a conservation lab at the old Charleston Naval Base where it sits in a tank of chilled water. NOTE: The sub was initially located by E. Lee Spence in 1970.

Thursday evening, Confederate re-enactors planned to march from Fort Moultrie on Sullivans Island to Breach Inlet, where the sub began its ill-fated mission. They planned to throw wreaths onto the water in memory of the sub's eight-man crew.

Earlier, journalists got a chance to see the wooden crew bench removed from the submarine. The 18-foot bench, fashioned of three sections of wood, is in remarkably good shape after the sub sat on the ocean floor for decades.

Jacobsen noted that there are few signs that worms ate away at the wood.

That would indicate the submarine filled with sediment after the sinking. Water rushing through would have brought in more sea life, she suggested.

Paul Mardikian, the Hunley's senior conservator, focused a magnifying glass on the bench to reveal a human hair from one of the

Scientists later found the faint imprint of fabric on the bench, which had been painted with an oil-based paint.

Since the paint probably took a long time to dry, the imprint could have been from the clothes of a crewman or perhaps a someone working on the sub before its voyage, said Kellen Correia, a spokeswoman for the Hunley project.

More clues about what happened after the sinking will be provided by examining the sediment excavated earlier, Jacobsen said.

Using Lead 210 dating, scientists can narrow down to decades when something happened in the sub. Beyond that, she said, scientists can get an even closer estimate by looking for pollen inside the sediment.

"We are looking at the pollen inside the layers. You can look at the pollen and that will give you an idea of how things changed in a year," she added.

Mardikian said that about 1,000 artifacts have been removed from the Hunley so far, including the shoes of the crew which were freeze-dried as part of the conservation process.

He said scientists are working three days a week on the sub itself and two days on conserving artifacts. Scientists think that they may find more artifacts in the heavy encrustations on the sub found beneath the crew bench.

The remains of the Hunley's eight-man crew were buried last year in a ceremony that attracted thousands and has been called the last Confederate funeral.

Scientists are still determining the best way to conserve the Hunley itself. The sub eventually will go on display in a museum in North Charleston.



Submariners carved no messages, but timber's condition indicates they suffocated, scientist says

"little or no water entered the sub before it filled with silt and sediment"

Of The Post and Courier Staff


They had hoped for some graffiti -- initials at the very least -- but scientists have found no messages from the H.L. Hunley's crew carved into the sub's bench.

That said, they may have uncovered a significant clue to the crew's final moments.

Maria Jacobsen, senior archaeologist on the Hunley project, said Thursday the bench appears to be made of a soft, fast-growing wood -- perhaps pine. The condition of the fragile, 18-foot bench lends considerable support to the theory that the crew ran out of air rather than drowned on Feb. 17, 1864.

"The only way that timber survives is if it is buried quickly," Jacobsen said Thursday.

The preservation suggests little or no water entered the sub before it filled with silt and sediment. There is only microscopic evidence that any worms nibbled on the wood.

"The oxygen dropped away very quickly, and very few animals would venture into such an environment," said Paul Mardikian, senior Hunley conservator.

The bench is the latest, and perhaps the best, evidence that the sub went from being dry and airless to being packed with sediment. Scientists will soon begin their examination of the sediments in the sub for more insights into how, when and why the sub filled with mud from the ocean floor.

The bench, removed in the past few weeks, also reveals a little more about the sub's operations and the way it was handled. An off-white, oil-based paint was used to paint over the bench. It appears there were several coats applied at different times, which may indicate that the sub's interior was repainted before each of the three times it sank.

"It would freshen the crew compartment," Jacobsen said.

Mardikian has found not only brushstrokes from when the bench was painted but also the pants of several crewmembers recorded in the paint. That may mean the sub was back in the water before the paint had time to dry.

As scientists worked on the bench Thursday, several recognizable features of the planks stood out -- most noticeably, a notch in the aft section of the bench, likely made by a sailor who had rapped his knuckles on it one too many times while operating the aft ballast tank.

A piece of the bench was missing in one section, an area where the remains of a Navy pea coat were found. It could have been that the heavy coat was used as padding on that particular seat.

Although scientists have found a few hairs from the crewman concreted to the bench, they have yet to find any markings common to other wooden pieces of sailing ships -- not a "George was here," "war is hell" or "Lincoln stinks" anywhere.

It may have been too cramped to maneuver well enough for the men to carve, or maybe they had other things on their minds while aboard the Hunley.



4) "The Submarine that wouldn't come up."


The first intimation they would have had of anything being wrong was the water rising fast, but noiselessly, about their feet in the bottom of the boat.  God BLESS the final crew of the CSS H L HUNLEY lost February 17, 1864


After extensive and exhaustive research it is now been proven that the Hunley did not go down with the Housatonic. In fact, the men of the Hunley had successfully accomplished their mission and were on their way back when some unknown tragedy struck.


 The following story is now interactive with what they believed in 1958 and what we discovered since then.

 It makes things a little complicated but I think it is worth it. I am inserting pictures from the actual finds as opposed to the theories.  GWP


Sims, Lydel "The Submarine that wouldn't come up." In: Amer. Hert., apr. 1958, v.IX, #3, p. 48-51, 107-111, refers to CSN 'Hunley'. (WS 525)




First appeared in The American Heritage magazine in April of 1958, Volume IX, Number 3.  The cover of the magazine was published thought the kindness of the Commodore Calbraith Perry and his great-great-grandnephew, the Reverend DeWolf Perry of Charleston, South Carolina.

I have added pictures to enhance the text and to bring it up to date.



"Eleven Confederate gentlemen dressed in blue and red with hats borne from England cranked the handles of the mighty southern submarine. "



The sun set in a clear sky behind Charleston the afternoon of February 17, 1864.  The besieged city lay in defiant silence, watching the Federal monitors at the entrance to the harbor.  Out at Fort Sumter, where the war had begun, the faint boom of the sunset gun proclaimed that the little pile of rubble, now scarcely more than a symbol of resistance, was still held by it Confederate garrison.  As the shadows lengthened, picket boats put out from the ironclads, to begin the nightly vigils, which the Federal Admiral John Dahlgren had so insistently prescribed.

Outside the bar, where the wooden ships comprising Dahlgren’s second line of blockade lay guarding the harbor’s entrance, the handsome sloop of war U.S.S. Housatonic prepared for a quiet night.  A slight mist lay on the water as lookouts of the first watch took their stations.  They were watchful but relaxed; it was not the sort of night a blockade runner would choose for crossing the bar, and besides, the hard-driving Dahlgren was away on a trip to Port Royal.

About 8:45, Acting Master J.K. Crosby, officer of the Deck, observed a slight disturbance in the water about a hundred yards distant and abeam.  Crosby thought it was a porpoise, or a school of fish, or even a plank moving in the water.  Whatever it was, it came on directly toward the ship.  Crosby looked once more, decided to take no chances, and gave orders to slip the chain, beat to quarters, and call the captain.

His decision was a wise one.  The Housatonic was about to experience the only submarine attack of the Civil War.

The Housatonic’s dubious distinction came about by chance.  If David Farragut had waited longer to capture New Orleans, Acting Master Crosby would have stood an uneventful watch.  For the story of the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, known variously and mistakenly as the Fish, the American Diver, and the David, and nicknamed with grim accuracy the Peripatetic Coffin, really began in New Orleans. But or the early fall so that city, the Hunley’s builders would never have begun a journey that led, eventually, to Charleston.

Sometime in 1861, James R. McClintock and Baxter Watson of New Orleans, marine engineers and machinist, determined to build a submarine at private expense and operate it against the Federal blockade at the mouth of the Mississippi.

No submarine in recorded history had ever sunk a ship in combat, but McClintock and Watson were not discouraged by this.  David Bushnell’s one man submersible, the Turtle, had almost done the trick during the Revolutionary War, and Robert Fulton’s later submarine demonstrations left no doubt those men of daring and ingenuity could make and operate a lethal undersea weapon.  Caught up in the fervor of the war’s first year, the two engineers determined to try.

To patriotism was added another motive, profit.  At the start of the war, Jefferson Davis had invited applications for letter of marquee authorizing private citizens to wage war against Union vessels.  The Confederate government was ready to pay handsome financial prizes for the destruction of enemy men of war. A submarine operated with any success in the waters of a blockaded port might pay its way and show a return on the investment without ever going to sea.

Work on the boat began late in 1861. As expenses mounted, other joined in the project – John K. Scott, Robin R. Barron, H.J. Leovy, and Horace L. Hunley. a man whose enthusiasm for submarines was to grow with every setback.  In the spring of 1862 the submarine, christened the Pioneer, was ready for a trial run in Lake Pontchartrain.  When she destroyed a target barge, the enthusiasm of her owners was groundless.  A letter of marque was obtained and plans were laid for action against the blockade.

At this point, Farragut entered the picture.  He moved up the Mississippi late in April and captured New Orleans.  The Pioneer disappeared, sunk either by accident or design, and was forgotten until it was found and raised many years later.  McClintock, Watson and Hunley packed their bags and moved to Mobile.

Farragut would come to Mobile, tool but not until the summer of 1864.  When the ardent trio of submarine builders from New Orleans arrived, the city seemed an ideal spot for their work.  There were plenty of enemy vessels for their craft to operate against when they built it; there were shops in Mobile and about as much raw material for the construction as could be found anywhere in the blockaded South’ and the city was under the command of an imaginative officer, Major General Dabney H. Maury, who was sympathetic toward projects involving underwater torpedoes.  He welcomed the three men heartily, approved their plans for private financing of the project, and ordered the boat to be built in the machine shops of Park and Lyons.  Furthermore, he extended technical assistance.  Two young engineers from the 21st Alabama Infantry, Lieutenants George E. Dixon and William A. Alexander – the latter an Englishman who had come to America in 1859 – were detached for special duty at the shops.

A submarine was built and towed off Fort Morgan to be manned for an attack on the blockading fleet.  It promptly sank, and the job had to be done all over again.  It is with this third effort that we are concerned.



Confederate States Submarine H L Hunley

Dimensions:  39’ 5” from upper tip of bow to the furthest aft point of the hull.  This does not include the propeller cover (shroud) and the rudder which would add another 4’ to 5 ‘.also does not include the upper or lower spar.

The widest point or belly in the center of the sub was 3.5 feet - width.  The height (tall) was 4’ 3”.  The hatches were a little less that 24” long and 15” wide (oval shaped)  The crew compartment from wall of forward and aft ballast tanks was 18’.  The bench is almost 18 (17.85) feet long, 3.0 cm thick, and is made of three distinct panels of wood bound together.  The submarine was built from cast and wrought iron.



Somewhere an iron boiler was found, about twenty-five feet long and four feet in diameter, and the builders went to work to make a submarine out of it.  They cut it in two longitudinally, tapered it fore and aft, inserted boiler-iron strips in the sides, and attached bow and stern castings.  Inside the castings, bulkheads were riveted across to form water-ballast tanks for use in raising and lowering the boat.  Of the tanks, Alexander noted later that “unfortunately these were left open on top” – a colossal understatement.


A strip twelve inches wide was riveted the full length on top, and flat castings were fitted to the outside bottom for ballast, fastened by bolts which passed through stuffing boxes inside the boat so they might be loosened to drop the ballast if necessary.  Sea cocks were installed in the water-ballast tanks, and force plumps to eject the water.


Propulsion was the big problem. Coal could not be burned below water, both because of the limited air supply and for lack of a smokestack. A storage batter adequate to operate even the smallest submarine had not yet been invented.  The builders spent weeks trying to devise some kind of electromagnetic engine but finally gave it up and settled for manual power.  A  propeller shaft was installed almost the length of the boat, supported on the starboard side by brackets, with eight cranks spaced so that the crew could sit on the port side and turn the cranks,  The arrangement left no room to pass fore and aft, but at least it assured some motion in the water.


For depth control another shaft was installed, passing laterally through the boat just forward of the end of the propeller shaft.  This controlled lateral fins, five feet long and eight inches wide, on the outside.   A lever amidships allowed the fins to be raised or lowered.  For the pilot’s guidance, a mercury gauge was attached to the shell near the forward ballast tank to indicate the depth of the boat when submerged, and a compass was installed nearby.  A wheel, acting on rods that ran the length of the boat, operated the rudder.  Fore and aft on the boat’s flat deck, hatchways were installed with coamings eight inches high.  Glass panes installed the coamings provided the only means of seeing out of the boat when the hatches were closed. 

There was no periscope.  An air box was set between the hatchways and equipped with a pipe so that fresh air could be taken in on the surface without opening the hatches.   All in all, it was a fantastically primitive affair.

The boat was boarded from both ends, part of the crew passing through the forward hatch with the skipper entering last, and the rest entering through the after hatch with the second officer in the rear.  The seven crew members took their seats facing the propeller shaft, the two officers fastened down the hatch covers, and the skipper lit a candle which would provide, illumination under water and also give warning when the oxygen supply ran low.


When all was ready, the first and second officers let water into the ballast tanks until the water level outside reached the glasses in the hatch coamings, an indication that the deck was about three inches under water.  Then the sea cocks were closed, the second officer took his seat with the others at the propeller shaft, and the cranking began.  The captain, still standing, lowered the fin lever and the boat slid deeper under the water, the mercury gauge indicating its depth.  When he was ready to rise, he raised the lever, elevating the forward ends of the fins; as the boat reached its normal ballast trim of three inches below the surface, or earlier if the captain chose, he and the second officer operated the pumps to force water from the tanks, lightening the boat.  When they were safely afloat and ready to land, the second officer opened his hatch cover, climbed out, and passed line ashore.

She could go four miles an hour in smooth water and remain submerged as long as the air lasted.  She was named the H. L. Hunley, in honor of their chief financial backer.


The torpedoes were copper cylinders holding charges of ninety pounds of explosive each, with percussion and friction primer mechanisms set off by flaring triggers.  The plan for firing them was as desperate as everything else connected with the project.  A torpedo attached to the submarine by a line two hundred feet long would float behind the boat, which would approach its prey, dive under it, and surface on the far side.  The torpedo would thus be dragged against the target and explode.

Almost from the moment she was put into the water, the Hunley was plagued with trouble and disaster.  Her fist trial in the smooth waters of the Mobile River was a success’ as General Maury watched; she towed a floating torpedo, dived under an old flatboat and scored a hit, blowing fragments a hundred feet into the air.  But once she was taken out into the choppy waters of the bay, it was another story.  She responded poorly, she was in constant danger of swamping, and that deadly torpedo trailing behind her was continually swinging in the direction of the wrong boat.


In later months, when the Hunley’s latent tendency to drown her crews had become virtually a fixed habit and she had become known as the Peripatetic Coffin, it was generally reported that she sank first in Mobile Bay, drowning a full crew of nine men.  This is apparently incorrect; but though she did not sink until later, General Maury and her owners alike agreed that their future in Mobile Bay was exceedingly dubious.


They talked it over and decided Charleston would be a better base of operations. Nowhere was the need for aid more acute than at this beleaguered port in the summer of 1863. Fort Sumter was under almost constant bombardment, a combined land and sea attack was underway, and the magnificent Federal ironclad, the New Ironsides; loomed as one of the greatest threats to the city. If the Hunley could slip out some night and sink that great ship, it would be a tremendous blow for the Confederacy.


Maury, accordingly, offered the privately owned boat to General P.G. T. Beauregard, commander of the city’s defenses.  Beauregard had been trying in vain to establish a fleet of torpedo boats, but the big brass of the Confederate Navy had been slow to assist him.  Why waste money on torpedo boats when you can build ironclads?

To Beauregard, the offer must have come almost as an answer to prayer.  He accepted, the Hunley was loaded on two flatcars for what must have been one of the most remarkable railroad trips of the war, and destiny’s date with the Housatonic drew nearer.


And now the Hunley’s difficulties began in earnest.  Beauregard asked Commodore John R. Tucker, flag officer a t Charleston, for naval volunteers to operate the deadly-looking little boat,  Lieutenant John Payne, an Alabamian whose valor had been demonstrated in a skirmish with enemy pickets only  a few weeks before, immediately asked for the command.  A crew joined him, and the Hunley was towed to Fort Johnson for trial runs.

A few nights later tragedy struck.  The submarine was lying at the wharf, ready to go out for a dive.  The crew members had already taken their places, and Payne was standing forward ready to close the hatchway, when the swell from a passing steamer poured over the deck.  The Hunley swamped and went down like a rock.

Payne escaped through the open hatch, watched the bubbles rising where the boat had sunk and grimly asked permission to raise the boat, collect another crew, and try again.

The experiment might have been given up at this point except for an event that electrified Charleston, delighted Beauregard, and redoubled the optimism of the Hunley’s backers.

While the Hunley had been traveling across country on her flatcars, work was being completed at Charleston on a small iron boat that lay low in the water with a long pole extending from its bow.  It was called the David, and the projection off its bow was a spar torpedo – a pole capable of being raised or lowered from the boat, with a torpedo fitted into a socket at the end of it. It was operated by a crew of four men.

On the night of October 5, the David, under command of Lieutenant William T. Glassell, steamed out to the New Ironsides, rammed her with the torpedo, and damaged her so badly that she was out of action for the remainder of the siege of Charleston.  The explosion poured water down the David’s little smokestack and drowned her boiler, and sailors on the ironclad were peppering her with shit’ Glassell gave the order to abandon ship. He and James Sullivan, the fireman, were captured in the water, but Engineer James H. Tomb after a while noted that the David was drifting away from the ironclad.  Returning to the boat, he found Pilot J. Walker Cannon, who could not swim, hanging to it, and the two re-entered it, got the engine going, and brought it back into port.

SULLIVAN, James - Referred to as Confederate Naval Fireman in history of the first Civil War Submarine to sink a ship. Recently discovered and saved from a watery grave, this story of the Civil War Submarine Hunley  is entitled "The Sub That Wouldn't Come Up" by Lydel Sims containing fascinating accurate (and some inaccurate) information). Historical pictures and drawings.



This was another first, the first time a warship had been damaged by a torpedo boat, and at Charleston enthusiasm reached fever pitch.  In this atmosphere, Lieutenant Payne had no difficulty in finding a second crew for the Hunley.  So the Hunley was raised, repairs were made, and the practice runs were resumed.  And history repeated itself, this time alongside the wharf at ruined Fort Sumter. [NOTE: This is probably the same sinking reported earlier. Fort Johnson is landward and behind Fort Sumter.]  The little boat swamped again, and only Payne and two others of the crew escaped.  (It might be well to note at this point that no exact count of the men lost on the Hunley is ever likely to be made.  Her unhappy fame resulted in such garbled reports, even from those close to her, that scarcely two stories agree.  All that can be done at this date is to make an informed guess, and on that basis fourteen men had now lost their lives on the submarine._

For all his enthusiasm, Beauregard began to wonder if the Hunley was worth the effort.  But at that time, Horace Hunley himself arrived from Mobile with a volunteer crew and a burning conviction that the navy crews simply did not understand how to operate his boat.,   He asked permission to operate her himself, with a crew who had learned her eccentricities at Mobile.


With some misgivings, Beauregard agreed.  The Mobile crew took out the Hunley, dived successfully, and returned safely.  The general relaxed,.  Then, on the rainy morning of October 15, in the presence of a large number of persons, Hunley took his boat into the water, submerged and failed top come up.

The word reached Mobile, and the two young engineers, Dixon and Alexander, who had been assigned to help build the boat, heard it with mixed emotions.  Both men were determined now to offer their services for yet another try at operating the Hunley.  They applied for permission to make the effort, and Beauregard, reserving judgment until the Hunley should be raised again, order them to report to his chief of staff, General Thomas Jordan.

Beauregard himself was present when the submarine was brought up, and the sight of its interior left an indelible impression on his mind.  Fourteen years later he still remembered the horror of it.  “The spectacle,  he recalled,  was indescribably ghastly: the unfortunate men were contorted  into all kinds of horrible attitudes” some clutching candles, evidently endeavoring to force open the manholes’ others lying in the bottom tightly grappled together, and the blackened faces of all presented the expression of their despair and agony/”

Sickened, he called a halt to the experiments.  But Dixon and Alexander pleaded eloquently for a chance to bring some good out of the repeated tragedies.  Beauregard hesitated, and General Jordan offered a suggestion’ instead of using the Hunley as a submarine, why not use it as a DAVID?  In short, fit it with a spar torpedo instead of the dangerous trailing explosive, and let it attack from the surface. 



Under these terms the General consented or such was his recollection in 1878.  But later his resolve may have softened, or the terms were interpreted broadly, for while the Hunley acquired a spar torpedo it continued to operate under water.

Meanwhile, Dixon and Alexander were making their own expert appraisal of the story as they pieced it together after the Hunley was raised.


The boat had been found on the bottom of the river at an angle of about 35 degrees, her bow deeply buried in the mud.  The bolts holding down each hatch cover had been removed, but the hatches were closed. Considerable air and gas escaped when they were lifted.  Hunley’s body was found forward, his head in the hatchway and his right hand still extended in the dying effort to open the cover.  The candle in his hand, significantly, had never been lighted.  The sea cock on the forward ballast tank was wide open and the cock wrench lay on the bottom of the boat.  In the after hatchway the corpse of Thomas Parks, second-in-command and a member of the firm at whose shop the boat had been built, still pushed at the hatch cover; the sea cock on his tank was closed.  Hunley and Parks had died of asphyxiation while the others drowned below them.  The clumsy arrangement for dropping the iron keel ballast had failed; the bolts had been partly turned, but not enough to release it.

Studying the grim evidence, the two engineers thought they could agree without question on what had happened, at the decisive moment had come immediately after the boat submerged.  Hunley had turned the fins to go down and then decided he needed more ballast – that is, more water in his tank to assist in the dive.  Without pausing even to light his candle, he had opened the cock.  Instantly, the boat dropped so low that the glass panes in the coamings were covered and the craft was plunged in darkness.  Hunley began trying to light this candle, the water continued to rush into the tank through the open sea cock, and the boat sank rapidly,.  The ballast tanks, it will be recalled, were “unfortunately left open on top.”” Now, Hunley’s tank flooded in the darkness.

“The first intimation they would have had of anything being wrong,” Alexander wrote in later years, “was the water rising fast, but noiselessly, about their feet in the bottom of the boat.  They tried to release the iron keel ballast, but did not turn the keys quite far enough, therefore failed.”

The boat was refitted, and Dixon and Alexander went to General Jordan to ask for a crew.  Jordan relayed their request to Beauregard, who balked at first but finally agreed to let the Alabamians go aboard the Indian Chief,  the Confederate Navy’s receiving ship, and ask for volunteers.  He insisted, however, that they give a full account of the Hunley’s past misadventures.  This was done, and eventually a crew of volunteer sailors took their places, under command of two lieutenants from an infantry regiment, in a privately owned submarine operated on orders of an army general.

The Hunley was off and, if not running, at least limping again.

The attitude of Confederate Navy officers on the scene appears to have been skeptical if not downright hostile. Flag Officer Tucker, asked to provide the submarine with a tow down the harbor, assigned the David to the task, with Lieutenant Tomb, one of the heroes of the Hew Ironsides attack, in command.  Tomb was directed to report his opinions as to the Hunley’s safety and efficiency to Tucker.

Tomb was skeptical, but in the days that followed, Dixon, Alexander, and their crew appeared to have broken the Hunley jinx at last.  They made a series of successful dives in Charleston’s immediate vicinity, and it was decided the Hunley must seek a victim among the blockading vessels outside the bar instead of going out after a monitor, as had been earlier planned.  For, alarmed by the success of the David in disabling his finest warship, Admiral Dahlgren had ordered chain booms to be placed around the monitors – the Weehawken, the Passaic, the Montauk, the Catskill, and the Nahant.  Accordingly, Dixon was ordered to moor his boat off Battery Marshall on Sullivan’s Island, where it could proceed by interior channels to the area where Dahlgren’s wooden boats lay.

By now it was November.  Quarters for the crew were provided at Mount Pleasant, seven miles from the battery, and practice runs were begun in earnest.

A major problem soon became apparent, the matter of distance.  The station of the nearest frigate, which they understood was the Wabash, was twelve miles away.  The Hunley could reach a speed of about four miles an hour in comparatively smooth water and light current, but in rough water her speed was much slower.  The ideal attack plan, Dixon and Alexander agreed, would be to go out with the ebb tide on a dark, calm night, strike, and come in with the flood tide. 

But whole weeks went by, and the wind held contrary.  The Wabash, or whatever vessel it was that lay off in the distance, was too far for the crew of the Hunley to reach by a reasonably safe hour.  They ventured out five, six, even seven miles, but each time they were forced to turn back, the men cranking with all their might to avoid drifting out to sea.

In all this time, the Hunley showed only one structural fault. The air box, which was supposed to provide fresh air through a pipe while the Hunley lay just below the surface, had not worked out well.  When ventilation was needed it was necessary to come up high enough for the after-hatch cover to be opened.  Several times, when they did this, they could hear conversation and song from Federal picket boats, and they realized how vitally important it was to choose dark nights for their expeditions.

The whole matter of the limited air supply at last led Dixon and his English associate to undertake an experiment.  Painfully conscious of their exposed condition and low speed when they had to surface, they decided to find out just how long it was humanly possible for them to stay down without coming up for air.

The Back Bay off Battery Marshall was chosen for the test.  All hands agreed they would go out, submerge, sink, and lie on the bottom for as long as possible.  When any man felt he had reached the limit of his endurance and must go up for air, he was simply to say, “Up.” Regardless of who spoke the word, it was to be considered an order for all hands to obey instantly.

Late one afternoon, after making several brief dives, they were ready.  While a crowd of soldiers watched from the bank, unaware of the plan, Dixon and Alexander compared watches, noted the time, and took the Hunley down.  She sank to the bottom of the bay, the men quit turning the propeller, and the experiment was on. 

For a long time they sat motionless, looking silently at one another across the shadows cast by Dixon’s candle.  Twenty-five minutes passed.  The candle went out and could not be relit.  Still no one spoke the word that would terminate the experiment. 

As the Hunley continued to lie on the bottom of the bay, the curiosity of the watching soldiers ashore turned to alarm, and then to a conviction of disaster.  A message was sent to General Beauregard, reporting that the ill-fated “coffin” had claimed another crew.  Powerless to attempt a rescue, the watchers gradually drifted away as the sun set.

And now in the darkened boat, the limit was reached at last.  A man gasped, “Up!” and, in the instant he spoke, every other man aboard echoed the word.

“Start the pumps!” The bow of the Hunley began slowly to rise, but the stern clung to the bottom.  Something had gone wrong with Alexander’s pump: it was not emptying its tank.  As the boat began to tilt dangerously, Alexander made a desperate guess.  The valve must be fouled.  Working frantically, he felt for the cap of the pump, took it off, lifted the valve, and fumbled for an obstruction. 

Seaweed lay thick around the valve. The Englishman snatched it off, replaced the cap and renewed his pumping.  One of the crew had begun to babble incoherently as the stern of the Hunley slowly began to rise.

But the worst was over.  They reached the surface, and with all strength he had left Alexander flung open his hatch cover.  For a while they slumped, gasping.  Then they made for shore.  A match was struck, and watches were examined.  It had been two hours and thirty-five minutes since the submarine had dived.

 SEQ Dixon's_watch \*

Meanwhile, the secret of the Hunley had reached the ears of the distracted Admiral Dahlgren.  A confederate deserter gave him a remarkably accurate account of the submarine, her construction, her weaknesses, and her potentialities.  Dahlgren had called for precautions against torpedo boats after the New Ironsides was attacked, but now he made his orders doubly detailed.

“The Ironclads,” he directed, “must have their fenders rigged out and their own boats in motion about them.  A netting must also be dropped overboard from the ends of the fenders, kept down with shit, and extending along the whole length of the sides, howitzers loaded with canister on the decks and a calcium [light] for each monitor.  The tugs and picket boats must be incessantly upon the lookout, when the water is not rough, whether the weather be clear or rainy.”

But, as Dahlgren went out nightly to see for himself whether his monitors were maintaining a proper vigil, the “diving torpedo” he reared was watching its opportunity to go against a wooden vessel outside the bar.  It was an eventuality the harassed admiral had not considered.

Now that the underwater test had been successful, the Hunley resumed her regular schedule, going out as often as the weather permitted and taking even more risks than before in her efforts to reach a target.  But still the wind was against her.

About the end of January, 1864, there came an even bigger disappointment.  Alexander was ordered back to Mobile to build a breech-loading repeating gun.  Alexander departed, crushed, and Dixon set out dejectedly to train a new second-in-command.

So matters stood when, on February 17, the wind turned to fair and sea grew calm.  Dixon decided that, in spite of a bright moon, he could wait no longer. 

We know that  February 17th, one hundred  and forty-one years ago was a calm, almost full-moon night with a slight mist rising because the water was warmer than the air.  A blockade runners nightmare was a respite for lookout crews aboard all the Yank  steamers set to destroy them.


 At Batter Marshall, a signal was agreed on for his use in case the Hunley wanted a light as a guide for her return trip.  The crew filed aboard, the hatches were closed, and the Hunley slipped under the water. The time had come at last.

Acting Master Crosby’s prompt alarm at sight of the supposed plank floating in the water abeam of the Housatonic brought the sloop’s captain, officers, and men piling onto the deck.  By now a moving phosphorescent light clearly marked the path of the strange object below them. 

It had changed direction.  At the sound of the call to quarters it had come almost to a halt and then begun to move toward the stern of the vessel.   When Captain Charles W. Pickering arrived on deck, the object was already on the Housatonic’s starboard quarter.

The sloop, a screw steamer of 1,240 tons launched at Boston late in 1861, carried thirteen guns. But by now it was impossible to use these weapons.  The shadow in the water was so near that attempts to train a gun on it were futile.  Captain Pickering and several others on deck began firing with revolvers and rifles.

The chain had been slipped, and now the engines began backing.  At the time the order was given it was the right thing to do, for the submarine was abeam. But now it was approaching from the starboard quarter, and the Housatonic’s engines sent the sloop closer toward its enemy. 

It was too late to change direction.  Before the men on deck had grasped what was happening, the vessel was shaken by a great explosion between the mainmast and mizzenmast.  Timbers and splinters flew through the air; men fell stunned or injured to the deck; the entire stern of the vessel seemed to disintegrate.  There was a great rushing of water, an immense cloud of black smoke rose from the stack, and the Housatonic went down almost immediately.  Less than an hour after Acting Master Crosby had first sighted the mysterious shape in the water, the survivors of the Housatonic were being rescued.  At muster next morning, only five members of the crew failed to answer.


History had witnessed the first sinking of a warship by a submarine.  The feat would not be duplicated for half a century.

A Federal court of inquiry convened aboard the Wabash the following week, reviewed the evidence, and found no indication that anyone aboard the sunken ship had been remiss in his duties.  Admiral Dahlgren hastened back from Port Royal,, redoubled his [precautions against torpedo attacks, and called on the Navy Department to offer a large reward to any crew that captured or destroyed a torpedo boat.  And in Charleston and Mobile friends of the Hunley and her crew waited word of the submarine’s fate.

The word did not come for a long time.  Not until a Federal picket boat was captured off Fort Sumter did Beauregard, and the whole Confederacy as well, learn the magnitude of the little submarine’s accomplishment.  Coupled with this news was the report that Dixon and his men had not been captured, a grim indication that they must have been lost.

It was April before a letter was sent to General Maury, still pressing from Mobile for official word of the Hunley’s fate.  Captain M. Gray, torpedo officer in the Office of Submarine Defenses, expressed the opinion that she had sunk with the Housatonic.  Gray believed the submarine had gone into the hole made in the Housatonic by the explosion and had been unable to muster sufficient power to back out. 

It was a good a guess as any.  Alexander speculated later that it must have happened just that way, Dixon, he reasoned – in a long memoir in the New Orleans Picayune of June 29, 1902, which is the richest source of information about the Hunley – had deliberately risked the moonlight in his ardor to sink the sloop, and had been observed by the lookout when he came to the surface for a final observation before striking her. Not knowing the Housatonic was about to back down upon him, he had submerged a few feet and steered for the stern.  The combined momentums of the two vessels brought them together sooner and with greater force than he had anticipated, and he and his crew had been unable to back their boat out of disaster.

Partly because of the Federals’ justified fear of torpedoes, Charleston did not fall until February 17, 1865.  When divers first went down to look at the wreck of the Housatonic, they saw no trace of the Hunley. But years later she was found, lying on the bottom of the harbor, still pointing toward the vessel she had sunk.  Within her still lay the remains of the last crew of the Peripatetic Coffin.

Lydel Sims is a feature writer on the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  He has collaborated on a new book about World War II submarine operations, soon to be published by Little, Brown under the title War Fish.



5) The first semi-submersible torpedo boat, CSS Little David, was built on the Stony Landing Plantation.



Old Santee Canal Park commemorates South Carolina's beautiful natural resources and emphasizes the tremendous historical significance of the Santee Canal.

Less than 30 minutes away from downtown Charleston in historic Berkeley County, Old Santee Canal Park offers its visitors a glimpse at the events that shaped our lives and our communities as we know them today.

Old Santee Canal Park is located at the end of Stony Landing Road in Moncks Corner; S.C. Stony Landing Road meets U.S. Highway 52 Bypass (Rembert C. Dennis Boulevard) at the traffic light.


Old Santee Canal is a 195-acre park located on the site of the first true canal in America. The park, on the historic Stony Landing Plantation, has been an important site for trade and transportation since colonial times. It served as an early trading post with the Native Americans.

6) The Historic Morris Island was up for sale on EBAY  

This sale has caused quite a stir in Charleston, S.C. There were over 18,000 site visits.  The following is the description that ran with the sale offer.

Up for auction, A one of a kind private 125 acre Island w/ pond at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. Featuring 1 1/2 miles of beach coastline and 1/14 harbor coastline. The properties name is Cummings Point on the north end of Morris Island. From the Ocean side you have unrestricted views of the Atlantic ocean from your semi private beach, From the North Point you have Fantastic views of Historic Fort Sumter, Patriots Point, Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Fort Moultrie and of course more ocean views, From the Western shore views of Parrot Point, Schooner Creek, James Island and more of Charleston Harbor and beautiful marsh's. Please Note: you are bidding on the property in foreground of the main picture, also pictured is the satellite photo of Charleston harbor ( property in bottom center), Map of Charleston harbor ( property lower center right) and a view just beyond Fort Sumter facing east towards Cummings Point. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask, I will get back to you within 24 hrs. All bids and names are private and confidential. (bids must be sent to Please note: The phrase semi private beach pertains to South Carolina law and beach's being public property. UPDATE: We now have 4 serious bids on the property any and all private bids must be in before 2/6/05 to have consideration. Come one come all for your piece of paradise and your place in history!

 A:  Morris Island/Cummings Point Charleston County, South Carolina, T.M.S. #450-00-00-13

Federal guns on Morris Island aimed at Fort Sumter

Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 / compiled by Hirst D. Milhollen and Donald H. Mugridge, Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1977.



Carlsen's company was on Morris Island during the bloody July 1863 battle. He may have picked up Union soldier's Ezra Chamberlin's identification tag in the aftermath of the battle. How that dog tag, found around the neck of first officer Joseph Ridgaway, got on the Hunley remains a mystery, but Carlsen is the best suspect.

By that winter, the German Artillery was likely stationed somewhere near Sullivan's Island, close enough that Carlsen learned of the secret torpedo boat that sailed beneath the waves. Perhaps he befriended some of its crew. He may have lost the Chamberlin nametag to one of them in a card game.

Whatever the circumstances, Carlsen soon got his chance for more adventure on the water. When the Hunley's first officer, William Alexander, was called back to Mobile, Ala., Lt. George E. Dixon looked to the ranks of Wagener's artillery unit for a replacement. Carlsen, a stout, 5-foot-9-inch veteran sailor with short forearms and a lust for action, seemed like a good choice. Carlsen got the seat reserved for new guys, the crank position in the very center of the Hunley's crew compartment. Maria Jacobsen, the Hunley project's senior archaeologist, calls it "the dead man's seat" meaning that whoever sat there had the least chance of escaping the sub in an accident


. The medallion, about the size of a Sacagawea dollar coin, is stamped with his Connecticut infantry group. The identification tag was privately printed - the U.S. military didn't issue official dog tags until the 20th century.
     When the tag was found around the neck of a Hunley crewman in April 2001, some people believed the remains belonged to Chamberlin, who had either defected or was taken prisoner.
     But scientists and historians say that, most likely, the medallion was just a battlefield souvenir. History records that Chamberlin died on Morris Island in July 1863, a month before the Hunley arrived in Charleston. Forensic tests show that the man found wearing the tag was in his mid- to late-30s, while Chamberlin was only 24 at the time he supposedly died.


7) No Man's (Is)land by Jason Zwiker   From the Charleston City Paper  Date: 2/9/2005

As noted in its online description, eBay item 4348832229 is a "125 Acre Private Island at the Mouth of Charleston Harbor," that may well be a "tranquil paradise made for hammocks and fishing." The property comes complete with a panoramic view, oceanfront, and lies just a few splashes away from Fort Sumter, Patriot’s Point, and Sullivan’s Island.

Caveat emptor: building a dream home on the island might pose a few problems. As an undeveloped barrier island, it falls under the Coastal Barrier Island Protection Act (CoBRA), which prohibits the use of federal tax dollars to subsidize new construction. Belonging to the CoBRA system also negates any hope of federal flood insurance. Anyone who builds a home on the utterly exposed barrier island, dead in the path of seasonal hurricanes and tropical storms, would be faced with the comforting prospect known as "self-insuring."

Only 60.7 legal high acres are to be found on the island, which is zoned for a maximum of one building per 25 acres. This is a discouraging fact for developers with the kind of grand-scale vision that applying for a state permit to establish 20 wells and septic tanks suggests. The state denied the request last year, so the current owner of the development rights to the island, Harry Huffman, appealed to the Charleston County Board for rezoning. No go. And so, in January, he listed the historic island on eBay with an asking price of $12.5 million.

The listing is not a traditional eBay auction. Those interested in making an offer on the property must contact the seller directly. And they have. So far, over 17,000 hits have been registered and, per a recent update added to the listing, four private bids have been made.

None of which pleases those interested in seeing the historic island preserved.

Considered one of the 10 most endangered battle sites by the Civil War Preservation Trust, Morris Island is where the 54th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry, an African-American regiment, fought the famous July 18, 1863, battle against Battery Wagner that was depicted in the 1989 movie Glory. Approximately a dozen Confederate batteries were built along Morris Island, and the first shots to hit Union-occupied Fort Sumter were those of the Palmetto Brigade, fired from their ironclad battery at Cummings Point. Artillery fragments, earthworks, and buried combatants make the island better suited for a battlefield memorial than a luxury home.

"This developer comes in with this idea to build mansions on what is basically one of the largest Civil War graveyards south of Gettysburg," says Bubber Hutto, a Navy engineer and longtime Surfrider Foundation activist. "It’s so universally unpopular that it was opposed by both the Civil War Preservationists and Re-enactors and the NAACP. When do you think that will happen again?"

Since 1855, according to Morris Island Coalition spokesman Blake Hallman, no fewer than six developers have attempted to remake the island according to their own designs. Considering all that is known of the sheer number of soldiers who died there in the Civil War, Hallman feels that the island is sacred. "It should be honored and revered," he says, in the same way as other sites so evocative of national memory are. He would like to see negotiations continue between the current owner and preservation groups "so the island can be appreciated and shared by all the people" and not just kept in the hands of a wealthy few. The price, he adds, is what has kept the island out of the hands of the preservation community
thus far.

The Charleston Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is one of several national and local preservation, conservation, and civic groups, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Coastal Conservation League, dedicated to raising awareness of the myriad threats facing the island. Surfrider chapter president Peter Beck adds that the group is "opposed to any and all development on Morris Island."

The confrontation between preservationist groups and prospective developers is ongoing. Those most familiar with the power of Atlantic winds and waves, however, are perpetually surprised that developers would even choose a deforested natural hurricane barrier as a possible building site.

"It may be favorable from a standpoint of beauty and desirability," says coastal geologist Orrin Pilkey, a professor emeritus of geology, earth, and ocean sciences at Duke University. "But there is nothing favorable, physically, in terms of development."

The old-growth maritime forest that once covered Morris Island was lost to both Confederate and Union troops in the time of the Civil War. In the years since, wind and waves swept away the high dunes that once ran the length of the island, leaving the remaining high ground exposed to the full onslaught of salt spray and storm surges. "No one can possibly say that they didn’t know there was an erosion problem," Pilkey adds, noting, however, that he has worked on similar cases and has been surprised at how many individuals faced with devastated properties claim exactly that.

"If someone does purchase and build on it," adds Andrew S. Coburn of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, "you have to think about all the expenses from that point forward, which probably no one does." Expenses such as the losses incurred in the wake of major storms that regularly visit the area. The odds of sustaining severe storm damage on the completely exposed barrier island are, according to Pilkey, "one hundred percent." And self-insured means that losses are just that: lost. As for federal assistance, recall the CoBRA zone stipulations.

As Dan Pennick of the Charleston County Planning Department sums it up, a builder would be facing, simply, "big time risks."

As unwise as development in the face of such obstacles, hurdles, and probably inevitable future hurricane devastation may sound, Surfrider Hutto isn't surprised to hear that offers have been made on the property. He goes on to describe how the property was sold to the current owner, whose plans for building met with the same failure the previous owner experienced.

"When you wind up with a large, shifting sandbar out in the hurricane-prone Atlantic Ocean that someone suckered you into paying 40 bazillion of your own dollars for, the only way you’re going to find someone stupid enough to buy it from you, would be to … put it up on eBay."


An article in the last issue of your paper (“No Man’s (Is)Land," City Beat, by Jason Zwiker) enlightened me about the issues involving Morris Island. First, thank you for printing such an eye-opening and informative article. Second, please take notice that I have signed a petition in support of preserving the land. Third, I have e-mailed or snail-mailed my position and request for support to these people and organizations:

Gov. Mark Sanford
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham
U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint
U.S. Rep. Henry Brown
S.C. Sen. Chip Campsen
S.C. Rep. James Merrill
Charleston County Council members

Finally, I have notified numerous personal and business acquaintances of the issue and requested their support. Just as the petition says, Morris Island is a treasure that belongs to all Americans; and I intend to continue doing my part by sending this message to all I can in hopes of getting the nation involved!

William J. Jernigan






Original Civil War Sailors Hat-U.S.S. HOUSATONIC-Hunley

This is an ORIGINAL Identified Sailors Hat from the "U.S.S. Housatonic"...Sunk By The C.S.S. Hunley in 1863......Absolutely 100% Authentic......Condition is Near Excellent......The Only One Known to Exist........................................................................................................

a picture of me with a Fifty-thousand Dollar Hat on…It doesn’t seem to make me look any better. .


The hat was first offered March 9, 2004 for $9,500.00 by 12njbearded1 and almost one year later the price has gone up to $50,000.00 . You will notice he has the date all wrong on the sinking..





February 16, 2005

9) Lecture: The Mystery of the USS Alligator
The Union Navy’s first submarine was built right here in Philadelphia. Even before the world knew of the CSS Hunley, Brutus De Villeroi constructed a 47-foot long submarine to counter the threat of the Confederate Navy. Called the USS Alligator, this new submarine had hand-cranked, screw-propulsion, an air purification system and a diver lockout chamber--all revolutionary ideas in 1863. While being towed south by the USS Sumpter to participate in a mission to capture Charleston, South Carolina, violent storms forced the crew cut its tow from the USS Sumpter and the Alligator was lost. Today, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is leading the effort to find Alligator and bring its story to the public. Catherine Marzin, National Partnership Coordinator of the National Marine Sanctuary Program, will detail NOAA’s efforts to find this important piece of history. Craig Bruns, ISM’s Collections Manager, will discuss Alligator's Philadelphia connection. Reception to follow. Reservations recommended, call 215.413.8658. $10 for non-members, FREE for ISM members.

If you have a question regarding the Alligator project, please e-mail

The mouth of Rancocas Creek is across the Delaware river from Philly in New Jersey.

Dear Hunley Group -

I just received some photos from Craig Bruns; Collections Manager at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, including a photo clipped from the Philadelphia newspaper.

My "Alligator Junior" model is now part of the Seaport Museum's new display about Brutus DeVilleroi and his USS Alligator submarine. He built the boat in Philly in 1862 on contract with the Union Navy to go up against the CSS Virginia (aka) Merrimac. Unfortunately the sub foundered and sank on the tow to Norfolk and the glory went to the USS Monitor.

I must admit I had second (and third, fourth and fifth) thoughts about "giving my model away", but to see in place at such a beautiful facility, I feel pretty good about it now.

Thank you for allowing me to boast a little!
Tim Smalley


 Well I for One am very proud of the work that Tim does… George

Feb 16- 2005 The model is finished, the video for the Discovery Science Channel has been shot and the model is now in her home at the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum (below). The video is set to air on Oct 5, 2005.
- 2005 The model is finished, the video for the Discovery Science Channel has been shot and the model is now in her home at the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum (below). The video is set to air on Oct 5, 2005.
Subject: Alligator in Context

While everyone involved in the project seems currently to be in "research mode" with nothing new to post right now, we do have some background information for those of you interested in understanding the context in which Alligator existed. On the website of one of our member units is a new Navy Chronology of the Civil War, with additional information inserted on the topic of submarines. The page is divided into half years and the full Word document (about 280 pages) is available for download in compressed (zip) format. The page is at .

Additionally, we have recently updated our "Ship's Library" at to include a number of submarine warfare books.

Lastly, although unrelated to Alligator, I would like to call your attention (and that of every visitor to our website) to the Navy & Marine LHA's "Support Our Troops" drive. This initiative is explained in full at or via the link from our main page.

Chuck Veit
President, Navy & Marine Living History Association




10) Dixon Scuttled the Boat

Tue, 08 Feb 2005  


Barry Rugoff ("Barry Rogoff" <>  Presents another Sinking Theory. 
NOTE: This theory was sent to the Hunley science team without response.

The list of sinking theories attributed to H.L. Hunley scientists
since the excavation of the interior omits one very likely
possibility: Dixon may have intentionally scuttled the boat.
Consider the circumstances he was facing:

1. The boat was almost certainly immobilized due to damage and/or
malfunction. There is no other reasonable explanation as to why it
was on the surface and in view of the Canandaigua roughly 45 minutes
after the attack. (The theory that Dixon waited on the bottom after
the attack is absurd for numerous reasons.)

2. The crew, including Dixon himself, must have been suffering from
some combination of the following factors: injuries, fatigue,
hunger, thirst, hypothermia, anoxia, and/or severe physical
discomfort. Some crew members may have already died or lost
consciousness by the time the decision to scuttle was made.

3. The crew, including Dixon himself, may have been experiencing
depression. The exultation resulting from the successful mission
would have quickly evaporated had the crew discovered that they were
stranded far from shore. Dixon knew with certainty that there was no
hope of rescue. The water temperature and the weather eliminated any
chance of swimming to shore.

4. Surrender was probably an unacceptable option. It was commonly
believed by both sides in the Civil War that to die in action (with
glory) was infinitely preferable to capture and possible execution.

5. The idea of a Union vessel finding a Confederate submarine full
of dead men floating on the surface would have been utterly
unacceptable. Dixon was much too good an officer to allow that
possibility to exist. It's a virtual certainty that Dixon had
formulated some set of contingency plans with the crew and/or
General Beauregard.

In light of these factors, Dixon may have simply opened the front
hatch, knowing that the boat would sooner or later take on enough
water to send her to the bottom. He may have hoped that he and the
remaining crew members were unconscious by the time the boat went

Given the limited amount of information that has been made available
to the public, this theory fits every bit of physical evidence
discovered to date. Unfortunately, it's much less appealing in a
romantic sense than a gallant struggle to the end against
overwhelming adversities. I hope you consider it to be worthy to be
included in the list of credible theories.


11) average water temperatures for Charleston


Below are the average water temperatures for Charleston starting in January.



Water Temperatures




















Charleston SC

























These average water temperatures were computed from long-period records ranging from several years to several decades depending on how long observations have been taken at a given station. Although ocean conditions vary from year to year, water temperatures are less variable than air temperatures, so these averages can provide useful information for planning beach activities such as swimming or fishing or going to war in a submarine..


What happens when you are stuck in a submarine in February…hypothermia.


Hypothermia is not a reflex, rather it is a condition. It is a term we use to describe a situation in which the body's core temperature has dropped below 95 degree Fahrenheit. Symptoms of hypothermia are:

Irrational behavior

Slowing of responses

Failing to respond to questions or instructions

Sudden uncontrolled fits of shivering

Loss of coordination


Blurred vision

Abdominal pain


When skin temperatures fall below about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, limb vessels will enlarge briefly a few times a minute in an attempt to raise skin temperature without sacrificing core temperature. Endurance is also decreased as core temperature drops, with fatigue setting in sooner.  Cold water can cause some physical and mental impairment. Tactile ability, or your sense of touch, decreases in cold water, as does your physical strength. In severe cold water, intellectual functioning can also be impaired. I



12) Painting by artist William R. McGrath may still be available
Note: You may recall MCGRATH was the original HUNLEY artist before McConnell changed boats in mid stream.  It is reported that MCGRATH will be coming out with another rendition of the Hunley soon. 

 Previously listed on EBAY.  Here is a description.

Own museum-quality artwork.  Breath-taking and a piece of history. Signed & dated by the artist.

Rare opportunity to own this one-and-only original painting of C.S.S. Hunley, the first submarine in the world to sink an enemy ship.

Painting was acquired in 1997 at the official Hunley Gala and Celebration in Charleston, SC, and has remained with world-renowned underwater archaeologist Dr. E. Lee Spence since that time.  Spence is the person who first located the Hunley and notified government officials of the find in the 1970s and subsequently donated his rights to the Hunley to the State of South Carolina.  The donation was acknowledged by numerous officials, including the Governor and the Attorney General.  (See below for excerpts and documentation.) 

The painting was done by artist William R. McGrath in 1994 and is signed and dated by him. McGrath's artwork may be seen in the Smithsonian; Naval War College Museum in Newport, RI; Confederate Naval Museum in Columbus, GA; Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA;  and in other prominent locations.  McGrath originally sold this exquisite painting to help raise money for the recovery of the Hunley.

The colors and the depth of detail make this painting one magnificent piece of artwork. If you enjoy and appreciate beauty, you can't go wrong with this painting.  Great for home, office, library, museum or other public or private facility.  Prestigious piece to own!

Perfect addition to collection of maritime, military, Civil War, historical, Confederate or other art and artifacts.

Matted and framed, it measures 29" by 23".  In perfect condition.  You've probably seen lots of listings on eBay that say "the picture doesn't do the item justice."  That is absolutely true in this case. The colors are splendid!   

The painting and the frame are in mint condition.

A new painting of an old object! 

Search for this item under ships, submarines, military, maritime, Civil War, history, Confederacy, shipwrecks, marine archeology, artifacts, original art, 1800s, 1900s.

More than likely, this is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an original painting of the Hunley -- one painted by such a renowned artist and then owned by the discoverer of the Hunley.

Originally listed at $10,375.00, so it is now at rock-bottom price for such a magnificent work of art!  Truly museum quality.  BIG price reduction.


Letter from Read Admiral USN (Ret.) Herman J. Kossler, executive director, Patriots Point Development Authority, 2/26/74:  "...The members of the Authority and I support your efforts to raise the Hunley, and of course, we would be delighted to have this historical submarine as part of the Naval Museum...."

Letter from Mayor Joseph P. Riley, 6/16/75:  " last we have found someone who knows where the Hunley is located...Lee Spence has given the newspapers a chart showing where the Hunley is located, so that we don't have any out-of-state pirates getting involved in research and re-claiming expedition which Spence will handle...."

Letter from Edwin B. Hooper, Vice Admiral, USN, Retired, Director of Naval History and Curator for the Navy Department, 7/2/75:  " appears that you may have succeeded where others have failed...."

Letter from Allan C. Mustard, Senior VP, SCE&G, 7/1/75 to Sen. Hollings:  "...I have discussed the matter further with Lee Spence who has visited the spot and actually touched what he thinks is the Hunley.  It is pretty well buried in sand and is outside the three-mile-limit but well within the area controlled by Federal Government...Lee's idea (for preservation) is that it would be displayed in a tank of water and viewed through portholes...But, at any rate, what Lee Spence is asking is the right salvage her and to take pictures during and after the process which would be sold to offset the cost involved with the salvage....he has pledged to turn over the salvaged hull and/or artifacts to...the State of South Carolina...."

Letter from Charles Molony Condon, 9/20/95:  "Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and profound gratitude for your generous and historic donation to the State of your rights to the submarine H. L. Hunley...."

Letter from Governor David M. Beasley, 11/20/95:  "...your work in discovering the Hunley is of great significance...."





13) What are people looking for when they visit OUR site.

There are over 3,000 pages of information on this site, all the answers are there.   

             Most Recent Queries

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Sun Feb 13 18:15:49 2005 tours
Sun Feb 13 12:42:24 2005 addressof USS Hunley
Sun Feb 13 12:39:31 2005 apeom hunley
Sun Feb 13 12:30:03 2005 apeom hunley
Sun Feb 13 12:09:58 2005 the living conditions on the hunley
Sun Feb 13 12:05:21 2005 the living conditions
Sat Feb 12 11:11:24 2005 hunley sub.
Sat Feb 12 11:11:08 2005 hunley sub.
Fri Feb 11 07:02:07 2005 info on the hunley
Fri Feb 11 07:00:15 2005 images
Fri Feb 11 07:00:15 2005 images
Fri Feb 11 07:00:09 2005 web cam
Fri Feb 11 06:59:47 2005 images
Fri Feb 11 06:59:24 2005 images
Thu Feb 10 19:31:12 2005 1860 gold coin
Thu Feb 10 19:24:23 2005 under what circumstances did the hunley enter the civil war
Thu Feb 10 19:23:54 2005 1860 gold coin
Thu Feb 10 16:57:30 2005 what it was use for
Thu Feb 10 16:22:20 2005 cussler
Thu Feb 10 14:16:50 2005 visitors
Thu Feb 10 14:00:20 2005 The hunley
Thu Feb 10 13:17:57 2005 What the hunley did
Thu Feb 10 13:08:03 2005 THe recovery
Thu Feb 10 13:05:39 2005 the rcovery
Thu Feb 10 13:04:48 2005 What the hunley did
Thu Feb 10 11:37:23 2005 logo
Thu Feb 10 11:20:26 2005 hunley
Wed Feb 09 17:51:24 2005 crew members of the Hunley
Wed Feb 09 17:50:12 2005 H.L. Hunley's captian
Wed Feb 09 17:42:33 2005 What jobs did the Hunley preform in the war?
Wed Feb 09 17:41:18 2005 hunley game
Wed Feb 09 10:24:48 2005
Wed Feb 09 10:24:47 2005
Wed Feb 09 10:24:19 2005
Wed Feb 09 09:40:17 2005 how many people died in the hunley
Wed Feb 09 09:39:05 2005 how many people died
Wed Feb 09 09:30:00 2005 how many people died in the hunley
Tue Feb 08 17:02:49 2005 the crew members of the hunl;ey
Tue Feb 08 15:48:51 2005 hunley simulator
Tue Feb 08 15:29:50 2005 simulator
Tue Feb 08 13:36:42 2005 ticket information
Tue Feb 08 13:32:58 2005 ticket information
Tue Feb 08 13:02:16 2005 what the humley was?
Tue Feb 08 10:45:01 2005 models
Tue Feb 08 10:30:42 2005 replicas


14)  Recommended book   "The Captain and Submarine CSS H.L. Hunley" by Ruth H. Duncan


The following book is one that I can recommend.  It is available on E-bay and I have corresponded with the Mark the seller and found him to be very honest and fair person. This book was published 5 years before Dr. E. Lee Spence discovered the location of the CSS H L Hunley off the coast of Charleston. Believe me, I have search far and wide and this book is very hard to find.  I will publish excepts from this book in the March issue of the newsletter, but you got to know there is only a few of these books available . GWP


Up for auction is this very interesting book that was shown on Antiques Roadshow and is extremely rare. It is "The Captain and Submarine CSS H.L. Hunley" by Ruth H. Duncan and was published in 1965. This is the 1st and only edition and only 1000 books were ever published for Ruth Duncan. She donated many of the books to libraries and schools...a small number of copies stayed in the family; one book was recently donated to the Hunley Museum. The book that is being auctioned here was recently found with several other copies still sealed in the original numbered boxes and was opened to inspect it's condition. This book and box are # 541. The book is in excellent condition considering that it is almost 40 years old. The box has a little age on it, a few stains and some yellowing. This is one of the last books that we have in this condition...sadly, several of the other remaining books that are left have some degree of moisture damage to mainly the covers.


The book contains in depth information about the personal life of Horace L. Hunley, inventor of the
Civil War submarine that bares his name. Lots of family info, letters and documents as well as pictures
 and illustrations help to make this a very interesting and informative book. Don't pass up on this
rare now  HERE IS THE LINK or you can do a search for [The Captain adn Submarine]


15) Novelist and Tampa company both in hunter's cross hairs

A South Carolina man, suing over the SS Republic, tangled with Clive
Cussler over the HL Hunley.

By SCOTT BARANCIK, Times Staff Writer
Published January 26, 2005

Two very different animals with something in common: Both have been
sued by a South Carolina man who claims he deserves credit for
shipwrecks they discovered.

Shipwreck hunter E. Lee Spence is one of four men who recently sued
Odyssey over the SS Republic, a side-wheel steamer that sank in the
Atlantic Ocean about 100 miles off the Georgia coast with thousands
of gold and silver coins aboard in 1865. Odyssey found the ship in
June 2003 and parlayed it into a National Geographic TV special and
millions of dollars in coin sales.

Spence and his co-plaintiffs claim the company used their research
to find the ship but failed to share the booty. Odyssey says it
relied on its own data.

Spence, who did not respond to requests for an interview, has rowed
this path before.

For more than three decades, he has claimed he discovered the HL
Hunley, a hand-cranked Confederate submarine that successfully
torpedoed a Union warship in 1864 and disappeared the same night.
Spence says he was fishing off Charleston Harbor in 1970 when a fish
trap snagged on something. According to a court filing, he dove down
and, "realizing what he had found, raced to the surface and
repeatedly screamed, "I've found the Hunley."

Spence continued to make the claim even after a nonprofit that
Cussler founded, the National Underwater Marine Agency, discovered
the Hunley in 1995 and after the South Carolina Hunley Commission
deemed NUMA the ship's official founders in 1997.

NUMA sued Spence for defamation in 2001; he countersued. The case
has dragged on for four years. It is scheduled for trial in April.

At times during the case, it has seemed as if Spence might fold. In
2003, he asked the U.S. District Court judge in Charleston, S.C., to
delay the proceedings because they were aggravating his "severe
depression and bipolar disorder" and twice led him to be

Cussler asked U.S. District Court Judge Sol Blatt Jr. to order a
mental evaluation for Spence and alleged Spence was seeking a delay
not because of mental illness but because he had run out of money to
pay his lawyers.

Indeed, Spence's lawyers dropped him for nonpayment that year. He
has represented himself since.

Spence and Cussler each wrote a nonfiction book containing details
about their hunts for the Hunley. In 1995, Spence self-published
Treasures of the Confederate Coast: The "Real Rhett Butler' & Other
Revelations. A year later, Cussler released The Sea Hunters: True
Adventures With Famous Shipwrecks.

Spence claims Cussler engineered the Hunley's discovery in order to
boost sales of Sea Hunters. Cussler's attorney, John Lay Jr. of the
Ellis Lawhorne law firm in Columbia, S.C., said his client had given
far more money to NUMA than he had received in royalties from the

The Hunley was exhumed in 2000. It is housed at the Warren Lasch
Conservation Center in North Charleston, S.C.

Spence's involvement in research on the Republic is well-documented.
A 1995 news release issued by Seahawk Deep Ocean Technology, a
company founded by Odyssey co-founders Greg Stemm and John Morris,
identified Spence as one of two researchers on the project. Another
credited Spence and co-plaintiff Alan Riebe with helping prove that
the Republic was carrying gold coins when it sank.

A 1995 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said
Seahawk gave Spence 40,000 shares of its stock in exchange for his
10 percent share of the Republic, if found.

Stemm and Morris say they never had access to the plaintiffs'
research because they resigned from Seahawk a year prior, in 1994.
They formed Odyssey in 1997.

Odyssey spokeswoman Laura Lionetti Barton declined to comment.


16) Lasch leaves Friends of Hunley


Of The Post and Courier Staff


He had imagined the moment for years, right down to "Taps" lofting on a gentle spring breeze.

Warren Lasch was standing graveside as the final crew of the H.L. Hunley was buried last April when the inevitable thought occurred to him: his mission, like theirs, was over.

After more than seven years at the helm, Lasch resigned last week as chairman of Friends of the Hunley. Although the Charleston businessman has long considered the Civil War submarine his own baby, he says there is little left for him to do for the project. The Hunley has been recovered and excavated, its crew laid to rest. Within a few years, it will be in a North Charleston museum.

"It's tough, but it's time," Lasch says. "I've completed my mission."

The vital statistics of the $9 million Hunley project under Lasch speak for themselves: The sub has been recovered and is on course for conservation damage-free, without injury, on time, under budget and -- now -- debt-free.

"The Hunley wouldn't be there if it wasn't for Warren," says Clive Cussler, the novelist who led the expedition that found the sub in 1995 and a member of the Friends of the Hunley board. "He has done a magnificent job, put a lot of time and money into the project and never asked for one cent."

Since 1997, when Sen. Glenn McConnell asked Lasch to lead the nonprofit with a promise that it would take "no more than 10 hours every other week," the Ohio-born entrepreneur has spent more time overseeing the Hunley project than his various trucking and medical industry businesses. He has donated office space, employee time and, often, written the checks out of his own pocket.

In the early days, when expenses piled up more quickly than the obscure project could raise money, Lasch guaranteed more than $2 million in loans, then set out to raise money to pay for the project with donations.

Today, 75 cents of every dollar spent on the sub comes from private sources, most of the rest from federal funds. Tours of the submarine are run by volunteers. Lasch credits the volunteers for much of the project's success. He says that, for the Hunley, everything has gone better than anyone could have imagined.

"How many projects can make those claims?" he says. "This has been aonce-in-a-lifetime project, and I'm just happy to have been involved."

Lasch has gathered accolades from the U.S. Navy and national safety organizations for his management of the project. For his trouble, Lasch has been a lightning rod for criticism surrounding the Hunley. For years, Friends of the Hunley has suffered through lawsuits about its nonprofit status, and business competitors have used the high-profile project to attack Lasch personally.

"He has taken undeserved hits along the way," McConnell, chairman of the state Hunley Commission, says. "The people of this community need to know that he has generously given to a project that this state chose to take on. Without Warren, we would not have been able to raise the Hunley. That's what his unselfish commitment to the project has meant."

When Lasch agreed to take the reins at Friends of the Hunley, he didn't even know what a "Hunley" was; he says he did it to give back to the community. He also had no idea how to run a charity organization.

"There's no road map for doing this; each of these projects take on a personality of their own," Lasch says. "I can remember sleepless nights thinking, 'I'm in over my head.' But we got it done by focusing on the mission. That takes discipline."

Lasch takes with him memories he'll carry forever: the moment the Hunley broke the surface on Aug. 8, 2000, and the funeral for the eight Hunley crewmen on April 17, 2004. As that ceremony ended, Lasch stood in Magnolia Cemetery with family members of the crew and accepted the flag that had been draped on one of the caskets.

A more lasting monument to his tenure is the Hunley lab, officially named the Warren Lasch Conservation Center. The lab gets good marks from the scientific community, and there is little doubt it will remain a player in historic preservation for years to come.

"My hope would be that 100 years from now it will still be saving and preserving history," Lasch says.

McConnell says the next step for the Friends is unclear; whether there will be a new chairman, or some sort of reorganization. Lasch, he says, is a tough act to follow.

"He's leaving us in such good shape we'll be able to complete the journey," McConnell says. "And I've made him promise to be there when the Hunley makes that trip from the lab to its final home. He is a member of the Hunley's fourth crew, and that's the highest honor I can give anyone."

Contact Brian Hicks at 937-5561 or


17) PIONEER 1 Progress reports


To all


I received this reply back from the state archives after letting them know of our project.  I will not have time to review it tonight but had time to send it forward.



George Fairbanks wrote:


The attached letter addresses a project involving the fabrication of a replica of CSA Pioneer 1. Any information you can provide in the way of know sketches would be greatly appreciated. 

George Fairbanks Jr.

11016 George Lambert Rd

St Amant LA 70774

Work Phone 225-673-6600 email

Home phone 225-647-4765 email


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Stafford [mailto:BStafford@SOS.LOUISIANA.GOV]
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 12:42 PM
To: George Fairbanks
Subject: Re: Pioneer 1


Dear Mr. Fairbanks,

Thank you for your request regarding our collections here at the Louisiana State Archives.  I'm not familar with any such records here at the Louisiana State Archives.  With our limited staff, we are unable  to conduct in-depth independent research here at the Louisiana State Archives, but I would be glad to send you a list of genealogist/researchers in the area that may conduct this type of research for a fee or you are welcome to visit us in Baton Rouge where our research
assistants would be glad to guide you to any resources we may have to assist you in conducting your
research.  If you visit our web site at
you will find more information regarding what type of request we accept, fee schedules and a mail-in
application form.   If after reading the information you still have questions, please feel free to call
the Research Library at 225-922-1208 or write to us at Secretary of State, Research Library,
P.O. Box 94125, Baton Rouge, LA  70804.

Thank You,

Bill Stafford
Louisiana State Archives




Every thing was going great on our fabrication of a first replica (steel & wood) presented to the Madisonville (LA) Maritime Museum and the start of a second complete steel version.  Then simple turned into questions last year when we were presented with this additional sketch showing six segments to the center section. 


Any help that you can provide us with our quest to build an accurate replica of the Pioneer 1 will be greatly appreciated.


George Fairbanks



George I have not heard any thing from the Hunley research group on our question of how many sections would the Pioneer most likely had.  Can you see if they are going to help us with an educated guess or any factual logic?  We are now way behind on getting going with the second replica.  We need some feeling of were the sections lapped or butt joined, were they bending ¼” plate 40” wide which would have cut the number of hole to be drilled and riveted in half.

 Have a great day George Fairbanks

John I am copying Dr. Roy Bonnet, David Carambat, Markkevin Spencer George Penington and Donald Becnel


John I have seen the sub up close several time before they moved it.   This was an un-named sub built about the same time as the Pioneer.  My buddy Donald made reference to it because it had only three sections to the center.  We need to have some way to get the word out that we are in desperate need of any old civil war documents that a private person may have at home pertaining to the Pioneer.  Some families keep sakes for a relative during the war.   We have an archive sketch that shows the six rings of rivets for the center section.  It just does not make sense that they would have drilled an additional 500 hole required to keep each section around 20” long. To me this means 500 more rivets and may more points to worry about leaks.  The shell has many documented letters making reference to it only being ¼” thick.  I feel that with a little forging hear they would have had no problem forming a 40” wide section. 


David made reference that the sketch that I sent to all only shows one ole of rivet.  He wonders if the joints were lapped. 


I found several sugar cane syrup kettles from the same error.  They are not made with lap joints.  They have a 3 ½ to 4” wide splice plate for the joint.  The kettles are made of ¼” plate.


I thought about calling several of the New Orleans stations and address what we were doing and what we needed.  I sent a request to the Leads Foundry Historical Society but I have not gotten a reply.  I will try that one again.  After all they Pioneer was made at their facility and they should take an interest.


We really need to make a final decision so that we can have Roy’s SLU student group make the final drawings for distribution to the six AWS sections for February.  Our section needs to have the center section completed for the AWS district conference in May.  We know that we can make this happen after all we made the previous three can center section in about ten days when you consider cutting materials, rolling and the seal weld bead used to secure the three can section.   This time we will have 500 holes to drill and 500 rivets to put in if we decide on three cans as being correct.  If it turns out to be six sections then we have 1000 holes and rivets to deal with.


We need to get this done before they announce that they have found Pioneer II in Mobile Bay.








The submarine that is on display at the Presbytere (next to St Louis Cathedral) has been there for many years. The first time I saw it was Have you seen the submarine? I enjoyed the meeting last night. Good seeing old friends.


Regards, John Bruskotter  Energy Partners Ltd Construction Superintendent


George: Does this help? There is a Sub at the Presbytere in Jackson Square in New Orleans. (Three bands on the middle section.) And some other assorted references on Civil War Subs. Donald






Confederate Submersible
George François Mugnier
c. 1890
Though the true identity of this vessel remains a mystery, it was once believed to be the Pioneer, a prototype for the Confederate submarine Hunley, which sank a Federal warship in 1864. The true Pioneer was built in New Orleans by two New Orleans machinists, James R. McClintock and Baxter Watson, and a wealthy lawyer, Horace L. Hunley. Never used in active duty against the Federal fleet, it was sunk in Lake Pontchartrain north of New Orleans by local residents in 1862 so that it could not be used by Federal troops who had captured the city. The vessel in this photograph, measuring twenty feet long, three feet wide, and six feet deep, was discovered in the lake in 1878 and brought ashore and forgotten for many years until it was ultimately put on display in front of the Louisiana State Museum's Presbytere in 1957, where it remains today.


HUNLEY documents, 1863-1864, 1957-1958. 35 items [copies]. Location: U:158, OS:H. Letters, documents, and photographs illustrating the history of the Confederate submarine Hunley, designed by James McClintock and Baxter Watson, financed by Horace L. Hunley, and built in Mobile, Alabama, in 1863. Included is information about an earlier submarine built in New Orleans in 1861-1862 by Hunley and McClintock. For further information see manuscript card catalog. Mss. 1559.







18) BOOK REVIEW: Secrets Of A Civil War Submarine: Solving The Mysteries Of The H. L. Hunley

Secrets Of A Civil War Submarine: Solving The Mysteries Of The H. L. Hunley
by Sally M. Walker


Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Library Binding: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (January 1, 2005)
  • ISBN: 1575058308
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.8 x 9.2 inches

Customer Reviews

Avg. Customer Review:


Most comprehensive telling of the Hunley yet to date!, February 5, 2005

Reviewer: D. M. Havrisko

Civil War buffs, 21st Century scientists, teachers, archaeologists, and readers looking for a good "yarn" alike will be absolutely riveted by this book. In the most comprehensive telling of the H.L. Hunley story yet to date, Walker's extensive research includes a variety of primary sources such as letters, African American testimony from Naval Court inquiries, and family photos to highlight the Civil War era - the "first" part of the story. Next, through a subtle color in pages of the text, Walker continues the story in modern times, detailing the 2000 raising of the sunken submarine. Color photographs showing every step of the recovery and excavation (including new scientific technologies), and thorough explanations by the actual recovery divers make this a unique "you-are-there" kind of book. A poignant end to the story is the facial reconstruction of Hunley's crew, and photographs of the funeral caisson taking the crew members to their final resting place in Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery.




My favorite comment.

realname: Joanna Beall
city: Kimgston, canada
state: NY
country: USA
Date: Wednesday January 26, 2005
comments:  <!--Love your webpage, I think it was the rant. I have a deep appreciation for anyone who can gripe with style.


Thanks for the praise of our model, you really must see her in person to appreciate all the fine detail work.  We've never been beaten in competition.  We build custom models of all sizes and detail levels for patrons worldwide, some with very prestigious names.  Please keep us in mind for any inquires you may receive on custom models of the Hunley.  We'd be happy to exchange links when the full page is uploaded, just let us know.  Enjoyed your site, you've done a lot of work on the Hunley, great research information!
Thanks again,
Christian A. Raven
Raven Arts

Dear George, Thank you for including 'On to Charleston' in this latest issue. I love being a part of the Hunley community that has really developed since the raising of the sub. If you ever need a favor please ask. I cannot remember if in past issues you have done an article on the debate between Dr. Lee Spence and Cussler, who really discovered the Hunley? At the Warren Lasch facility Cussler is given the credit and elsewhere as you know. Yours, Dan R.

realname: Brenda
state: NY
country: USA
Date: Thursday January 20, 2005
comments:  -->Really enjoyed your webpage. Nice mix of professional and personal experiences, a well balanced site.

realname: pirromans
city: Missoula, TX USA
state: NY
Date: Thursday January 20, 2005
comments<!--Hello nice page and it downloads very fast, enjoyed it very much, take care. The internet is a great place to showcase art and increase awareness in the variety of excellent work available.

realname: Carol Vanderhoef
city: Ft Myers, Fl USA
state: NY
Date: Thursday January 20, 2005
comments<!--YOU'RE THE BEST!!!!!

realname: Stacey Wales
city: Mirtle Beach, SC US
state: NY
Date: Friday January 21, 2005
comments<!--This site is great! Thanks for all of your work in putting it together.

realname: Clarence J. Turner
city: Newport Beach, Ca USA
Date: Wednesday January 26, 2005
comments: <!--Great Web Site. I am proud of your creativity. Good Luck.

realname: Carol Ladwig
city: Belfast, N. Ireland
Date: Wednesday January 26, 2005
Comments: <!--Hi there! I just bumped into your site, and I kind of enjoyed it! What a nice site, been surfing on it for the whole night and day and i neva got bored for a single minute. Keep up your good work and all of the best in everything you do!

realname: Tony Ostrowski
city: Telford
state: Shropshire
country: ENGLAND
Date: Friday January 28, 2005
comments: First heard about the Hunley on a television history channel. I have since been trying to obtain more information. Your site is of great value and interest. As an avid American Civil War enthusiast I am now looking to increase my knowledge of the lesser known battles on the sea and on the land.

Well, thanks,  Ya limey's were of great help at the beginning 'cause you needed desperately our cotton.  Just picking on you.  Thanks for your interest...stay in touch and sign up for the newsletter for the most recent information...

Thanks for the reply, Cotton is still king long live the Confederacy.

Maybe you can put me in touch with a Son/Daughter of the Confederacy.

I am an Englishman living in a small village in Telford. Telford was named after the famous engineer, Thomas Telford.

Although you may not have heard of Telford, you may have heard of IRONBRIDGE.

Keep in touch.



Hi again George,

Just got the notice about the new Hunley Newsletter being out, but, obviously, not the actual newsletter. 'Course I know why - I haven't yet sent you the bux. Have been intending to on a regular basis, but somehow, bringing it all together just hasn't fallen into place yet.  Mostly, I've been up to my eye lobes and ear balls in extremely busy, but also still rather short of the long green.  Having just received a bit of that, I'm planning to get it on it's way to you pronto - next week for sure if not tomorrow.

I do appreciate the offer to read now, pay later, and if you'll trust me to adhere to my end of the bargain, I'd like to take you up on it.  You can count on finding my dues in your mailbox real soon - this is far too valuable a resource to take a chance of loosing!!!!!!!!!!  Meanwhile, I'm so anxious to read about that unlocked hatch, et al, that I can taste it!  Any chance of doing that Fri. evening?

I haven't made any contributions to the written word in your journal, and don't know whether this may the proper time, or if, in fact, I should say much anyway. certainly others are far closer to the developing story at this time than I, but still,.....

Going back in my personal history, I might mention a few things and build briefly from there.  I've always been a very historically minded person (with some interesting but none-related background,) with deep interests in pioneering efforts in a number of fields, including automobiles and submarines. I've had an avid interest in the Hunley since grade school (50+ years,) and have done a fair bit of historical writing, mostly
automotive history. 

I was spurred to write to Clive Cussler due to our mutual interest in old cars and the Hunley.  I don't really know what I expected in return, but he took the time to write some very nice letters back, filled with information and replies to my inquiries.  We haven't stayed in touch on a regular basis, but I have a "warm, fuzzy feeling" about him as an historian and person as a result - and he is now as before, my  favorite author.

When I heard the news about his team having found the Hunley, I was ecstatic - like Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of RMS TITANIC, who is also a charming correspondent, Clive has a high set of scruples in his efforts.  In short, he's a man one can respect and trust for his attitudes toward relics of the past. 

The media news coverage was so skimpy at the time, however, that I had to resort to some genuine sleuthing to learn much more than the bare fact that discovery had been achieved. I wrote to, and also called, several officials in Charleston.  Never got squat back, even when I informed them of my interest, knowledge, and writing ability.  After begging and being rebuffed, I kind of lost the head of steam I'd had at the beginning.  The "Friends of the Hunley," as they came into being and power, were no better! 

It was the lack of official local government interest that slowed me down, but I was stopped dead in my tracks when the US Navy's Submarine Museum, in a very kind but frustrated manner, told me that they were also relying on media coverage, as even they couldn't get any information out of the officials in charge.

I might also mention that somewhere in this same time frame, a letter to the local Charleston-area marine museum was returned by the idiots at the US Post Office there because they couldn't find it!!!!  No, I admit my letter didn't have a street address, but then, I didn't exactly have a city directory in my files nor a phone number!  Was it too much to expect that they'd know where it was, and which PO Box to flip my letter into?  Great though my interest was and is, the roadblocks seemed just too daunting.

So I let the matter slip into limbo - - - until I found you.  And it feels SO GOOD to be amongst friendly and like-minded individuals!!!!!

Have to close for now, as the library is about to close for the night, and they're about to throw me out.  Wishing you all best, and promising to have a green missile pointed your way real quick, I am,

Walter E. "Wally" Wray


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