Newsletter 59-Electronic Torpedo Detonation
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by George W. Penington  -  Editor

    ISSUE  #59


2) William Blackmore Announces: A NEW HUNLEY SUBMARINE MODEL
3) Was Hunley's torpedo battery-powered?


Divers discovered Hunley's lost snorkels - Back in Time to July 2000


8) Lee Spence & Harry Peccorelli From Someone who was there
10) Friends of the Hunley Freedom of Information lawsuit
11)  appreciation and apologies.


Everyone is free to enjoy the Newsletters, send them to Friends, If you like them we only ask that you donate $10 to help us keep it up.
click here.






Well he's Back...George W. Penington that is.

I have defied Death four times that I know of in the last three months so I must not have fulfilled my destiny at this point. I cannot explain why I have more lives than the average cat except it may be because I was conceived under the 'ANGEL OAK'   Since I apparently am going to be around for awhile longer I need to apologize to several thousand subscribers and one non-subscriber.
When you get older but not necessarily wiser, medical issues become part of your life. To explain what was happening and why you haven't received any newsletters recently, here it is: It started when I got a 'pulmonary embolism'  (which most people don't survive) and in my case related to the taking of a particular medication and Post Polio Syndrome. The pictured creature is not from War of the Worlds but is actually a Greenfield filter  installed in a primary vein to catch blood clots.  I had two additional clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis) since the PE which caught me off guard - one in each leg that has prevented me from walking on crutches as I have for 50 years. The pain, I am told and believe, is equalivent to that suffered by cancer patients so I didn't much feel up to writing newsletters.  I appreciate all of your patience and know that I am now feeling terrific, and look forward to hearing from you all. It has been a grateful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for.

NOTE: 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
and honorable Men of the Hunley,
 but also to the Subscribers and Contributors to each issue, particularly to
CSS H L HUNLEY CLUB.    This is my tenth year of running the website as a free service to all those that played a part in making this happen.

George W. Penington

    2) William Blackmore Announces: A NEW HUNLEY SUBMARINE MODEL

Finally we are allowed to announce that the final touches are being put on the most complete and correct 1/24 scale Cutaway model of the CSS H L HUNLEY.

The model is 27.5 inches long and features the interior mechanics actually found in the Hunley including such things as the bellows, depth gage, the bench and the bilge pump.

(Click poster to enlarge)

William Blackmore's model assimilates  the spar support arrangement found on Mike Crisafulli's poster available here

The aft bilge pump can be mounted at 45 degree angle or straight up and down.  The hatches, flywheel and other essential mechanics are all cast.  There are over one hundred parts including approximately ½ lb. of metal - making this model the most complex Hunley model on the market. This model kit is for the experienced modeler able to be creative, imaginative and patient. The limited space in the cabin makes for a very crowded condition just as it was in real life.
Blackmore stated in an interview last week that he has gone with the four cable set-up apparatus for controlling the spar and torpedo. (As rendered in Mike Crisafulli's Reconstruction site and the Rugoff-Darrow site with illustrations by Bruce Kinney. He also stated that he is definitive on the issue that the torpedo was electronically detonated an issue discussed further in this newsletter. Blackmore is sending me the model to build so that I can make a historical record of the progress of putting it together. This model will separate the men from the boys and we shall see which category I fall into.


Since these models are technically not ready and limited by the first molding the Hunley Store has decided that they be reserved to give away as Christmas presents with the purchase of a $10.00 gift certificate.

The Hunley Store is offering this replica of a Confederate Ten Dollar bill as proof of reservation that can be held or given away as a Christmas present reserving one of the first of this series to be shipped sometime in February, 2006.






The bearer of this numbered Confederate Ten Dollar Bill #____________will be reserved one newly released and updated 27.5” Cutaway CSS H L Hunley. The grantor of this note agrees to pay the balance of One Hundred Eighty-nine dollars prior to the shipping date projected to be in February, 2006, One hundred forty-two years after she sank the USS Housatonic and finally returned to port in the year 2000.
_______________________________          __________________________
Signed by the Hunley Store                                    Date





 3) Was Hunley's torpedo battery-powered?


Was the Singer torpedo attached to the end of a 20' spar adapted to be electronically fired?

November, 2005

by George W. Penington

CHARLESTON - .Hunley researchers have presented us with a new mystery. Could the CSS H L Hunley have used a battery powered torpedo to set off its explosive force after it was attached to the hull of the Housatonic.

Researchers have uncovered a number of items that forward the issue of battery power. For example out of the sludge comes a rectangular copper plate and coils of wire, the kind of stuff used to build a battery according to Mike Drews, a material-science
professor at Clemson University. The rectangular plate had holes drilled in it and traces of zinc remained attached.  Even though this material can not be described as defining it raises the mystery bar. Drews stated that "several parts of any onboard battery, such as zinc plates, would have disintegrated over time, along with paper or cloth separating the plates."

 According to Paul Mardikian, the sub's senior conservator. "It is not enough to say there was an electrical system on the Hunley, but we cannot rule it out" but most researchers believe the Hunley was experimenting with the new battery technology.

The copper-and-zinc plate, a coil of wire and a single separate strand of wire with a noose on the end which was possibly the trigger wire was found in Lt. George Dixon's command post in the most forward position of the sub.

In 1863 and earlier the North and the South was experimenting with electronics.

[Confederates allegedly sank the USS Cairo with the first electric mine, which was attached by wire to the shore.]

The reader may recall that the Union Navy's version of the submarine, the Alligator, was designed to release divers underwater to set electrically detonated charges to the hull of  enemy ships.

After the Hunley sank the USS Housatonic off Sullivan's Island on Feb. 17,   Confederates used electric torpedoes to sink a Union ship in the James River  in August 1864 the same year.

All along we have thought that he Hunley's torpedo was triggered by a rope lanyard and that the torpedo exploded mistakenly early.  Remember that
during the excavation of the aft ballast tank, scientists discovered a coil of rope. The fragile textile and waterlogged rope was carefully removed for conservation and later documentation. At this time we have not heard further evidence of its make-up or type of material used.

We all believe that a forward thinking intelligent commander would have researched and prepared for alternative methods of sinking his enemy, after all this may have been their only chance.

"We had two pumps and deadlights reinforcing the glass ports along the top of the submarine," said Sen. Glenn McConnell, chairman of the Hunley Commission. "If the torpedo could also have been electrically detonated, this would be right in line with the Hunley to have fail-safe measures in place for all her critical functions. This would be a cutting-edge upgrade to an already state-of-the-art firing system."

Still, some think the wire could have been used as the lanyard trigger because wire would be less likely to tangle and would be harder for the enemy to see. It is apparent that 150 feet plus of 1/4 rope would have taken a larger spool than the one pictured on the starboard side of the Hunley.

Note the size of the spool in this Cook photo.

Clemson University using CSI tactics is bound to get to the bottom of this.


Was Hunley's torpedo battery-powered? Copper plate, zinc traces, wire suggest electrical system

June 25, 2005

Of The Post and Courier Staff

Lying among the tools, ballast and spare parts littering the floor of the Hunley, the rectangular copper plate looked like something from a UFO.

Drilled with holes, lined with symmetrical ridges and laced with traces of zinc, the plate at first raised more questions than it answered about the Confederate submarine.

But put it together with strange coils of wire and other things found onboard, and the plate suggests the crew might have used a battery-powered torpedo to sink the Housatonic.

"It's the kind of thing if I were trying to build a battery in the 1860s that I would have used," Mike Drews, a material science professor at Clemson University, said. "Having a piece of copper sheeting by itself isn't that strange, but this piece doesn't look like what you'd expect."

Clemson is expected to begin an analysis of the plate next week to see what else scientists can learn. The clues that Hunley scientists have gathered so far hint that the sub was experimenting with battery technology. For starters, the artifact looks similar to the copper and zinc plates used to build batteries in those days. It was found in the captain's compartment, where commander George Dixon was in charge of the torpedo. It was within an arm's reach of a coil of wire and also a twisted wire with a noose on the end that could have served as a trigger. There doesn't appear to be wire used on any other part of the sub.

While all this evidence is circumstantial, it is promising nonetheless. It means that the Hunley may have been not only the first sub to sink an enemy ship, but the first ship of any kind to sink a ship using battery-powered weapons.

"It is not enough to say there was an electrical system on the Hunley, but we cannot rule it out," said Paul Mardikian, the sub's senior conservator.

Although the Hunley's predecessor, the American Diver, was briefly fitted with an electro-magnetic engine, there is little chance a battery -- if onboard -- had any other use than weaponry. And, by the time the Hunley was launched, electrically detonated mines were the cutting edge of wartime technology.

Confederates allegedly sank the USS Cairo with the first electric mine, which was attached by wire to the shore. The Union Navy's submarine, the Alligator, was meant to take divers underwater to plant electrically detonated charges beneath enemy ships, but it was lost before it ever saw action. In August 1864 -- more than six months after the Hunley sank the Housatonic off Sullivan's Island on Feb. 17 of that year -- Confederates used electric torpedoes to sink a Union ship in the James River.

The technology took off after the war. In the late 1860s, the British Navy began experimenting with electric torpedoes, but did not perfect the system until the 1870s.

Until now, most scientists have speculated the Hunley's spar-mounted torpedo was triggered by a rope lanyard that through friction or some other means detonated the 90-pound charge of gunpowder in the torpedo. That still may be the case. It could be that the sub was merely experimenting with battery detonators, or used both methods. Hunley research has shown, time and again, that the crew was prepared for Plan B.

"We had two pumps and deadlights reinforcing the glass ports along the top of the submarine," said Sen. Glenn McConnell, chairman of the Hunley Commission. "If the torpedo could also have been electrically detonated, this would be right in line with the Hunley to have fail-safe measures in place for all her critical functions. This would be a cutting-edge upgrade to an already state-of-the-art firing system."

Another, yet related, explanation for the wire onboard the sub also concerns the spar, the pole attached to the front of the sub. The lanyard used to trigger the spar may have been wire instead of rope. Wire would have been more hydrodynamic, less likely to tangle, and nearly invisible.

And the spool mounted on the sub, as depicted in contemporary art, was not nearly big enough to hold hundreds of feet of rope. But it could have handled that much wire easily.

That, however, does not explain why the crew would have had a battery onboard.

The absence of other material is pretty easy to explain. Drews said zinc plates would have disintegrated -- that was their job in a battery -- and the paper or cloth separating the plates could have rotted, as well. If traces of such things remain, Clemson scientists should find them in their study.

With permission of the Post and Courier and

ARTICLE ENDS HERE******************************



Although it's tempting to envision an innovative battery sandwich of
copper, tin, and cloth in the cabin next to Dixon, I'm skeptical.  I've done only a little checking on historical battery technology, but it appears that Gassner's 1880s invention was the first successful dry cell.  Leclanche was experimenting with improved batteries in the late 1860s and perfected one that could be mass manufactured for telegraph use.  Some credit him with developing the dry cell - one type of dry cell is called a Leclanche Cell - but it appears that any battery in the Hunley would have used a liquid electrolyte.  So if the copper plate was part of a battery, I'd expect the remains of a fairly large liquid-tight container to be found as well. 

I think it's more likely, as Brian Hicks suggests, that the loose wire coil found hanging in the tank is evidence that thin wire was used as the mechanical torpedo lanyard instead of rope.



Beginning his work in 1794, Italian inventor Alessandro Volta observed the electrical interaction between two different metals submerged near each other in an acidic solution. Based on this principle, his first battery consisted of a series of alternating copper and zinc rings in an acid solution known as an electrolyte. His device for generating a consistent flow of electricity was invented in 1800. He called his invention a column battery, although it came to be commonly known as the Volta battery, Voltaic cell or Voltaic pile. Volta’s discovery of a means of converting chemical energy into electrical energy formed the basis for nearly all modern batteries. Volta researched the effects which different metals produced when exposed to salt water. In 1801, Volta demonstrated the Voltaic cell to Napoleon Bonaparte (who later ennobled him, Count, for his discoveries).

  • 1800 - Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile and discovered the first practical method of generating electricity. Constructed of alternating discs of zinc and copper with pieces of cardboard soaked in brine between the metals, the voltic pile produced electrical current. The metallic conducting arc was used to carry the electricity over a greater distance. Alessandro Volta's voltaic pile was the first "wet cell battery" that produced a reliable, steady current of electricity. 
  • 1836 - Englishman, John F. Daniel invented the Daniel Cell that used two electrolytes: copper sulfate and zinc sulfate. The Daniel Cell was somewhat safer and less corrosive then the Volta cell. 
  • 1839 - William Robert Grove developed the first fuel cell, which produced electrical by combining hydrogen and oxygen.
  • 1839 to 1842 - Inventors created improvements to batteries that used liquid electrodes to produce electricity. Bunsen (1842) and Grove (1839) invented the most successful.
  • 1859 - French inventor, Gaston Plante developed the first practical storage lead-acid battery that could be recharged (secondary battery). This type of battery is primarily used in cars today.


The Federals didn't like our Southern presents we left them in our rivers and harbors. The torpedoes were often described as: "Diabolical Warfare", "Infernal Machines" and "little sea devils" .

Here are some of the facts and players that led us and helped develop the potential to use an electronically fired torpedo mounted to the end of a spar on the south's most modern and top secret submarine. Individuals who may have the most influence on this type of torpedo development were Mathew F. Maury, Samuel Colt, and possibly Robert Fulton to name a few.

If the CSS H L Hunley had electronic torpedo detonation capability then the Confederate States Navy Submarine Battery Service, Confederate States Army Torpedo Bureau and Confederate States Secret Service, that were all established during the Civil War, contributed to the advancement of this Torpedo capability. During October, 1862  the Confederate Torpedo Bureau was established under Lieutenant H. Davidson, continuing the work pioneered by Commander M. F. Maury.


 Matthew Fontaine Maury  (1806-1872)

Matthew F. Maury Nicknamed "Pathfinder of the Seas," with the approval of the Confederate government, began immediately experimenting and working on an electric torpedo design during the American Civil War.  His initial attempts were fruitful and his work tended to be primarily with electricity.  He drew several Confederate naval officers (mostly former US Navy officers who had served with him) to the torpedo ranks on a full-time or part-time basis. Maury, an underwater explosives researcher, resigned from the U.S. Navy and offered his services to the Richmond government in 1861, eventually forming the Submarine Battery Service to construct and employ electrically-activated mines.  source:

Diagram of electrically detonated “torpedo” of the type used by Confederate forces during U.S. Civil War.

Diagram of electrically detonated “torpedo” of the type used by Confederate forces during the U.S. Civil War. This diagram resembles the shape of the previously assumed Singer Torpedo.

The ironclad Cairo was the first major U.S. Navy ship lost to mine in the Civil War. Operating in the Yazoo River in Mississippi in December 1862, Cairo was destroyed by a mine triggered by a nearby Confederate shore party as she attempted to support mine-spotting boats moving on the river in front of her.


Sinking of the Union Ironclad Gunboat U.S.S. Cairo by Torpedoes in the Yazoo River, December 12, 1862 THE ART OF WILLIAM MCGRATH-Limited Editions




Samuel Colt (July 19, 1814January 10, 1862),
born in Hartford, Connecticut, was the inventor of the Colt revolver,
 and founder of the Colt Firearms company.

Besides firearms, other roles Colt played in the development
 of technology included the first remotely detonated explosive,
the first underwater telegraph cable, and the popularization of
using nitrous oxide as anesthesia.

In 1842 Sam Colt then turned his attention to selling the
U.S. government on his ideas for waterproof ammunition;
underwater mines for harbor defense; and, in association
with the inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, the telegraph.

In 1844, Colt demonstrated for Congress his invention
of an underwater mine that used a telegraphed signal
for harbor defense. Colt’s showmanship prevailed as
he blew up a 500-ton schooner on the Potomac River
to the delight of the thousands who attended.
But to his great disappointment, Colt was once again
unsuccessful in securing a U.S. government contract.

After a couple of decades, Samuel Colt, firearms inventor,
tried his hand at the torpedo business.  He admittedly
springboarded off of Fulton's efforts.  By 1841, he had
developed some rudimentary torpedoes fired by electricity,
developed significantly since Fulton's time.

    Colt managed a couple of demonstrations during the 1840's,
blowing up ships with electrically detonated mines. 
Congress was impressed and voted him a considerable
sum of money to continue his efforts.

He had experience in firearms, explosives, ships,
and the sea, and so he used his experience and
imagination to develop a device that could set off
an underwater explosive by remote control..


The following is excerpted from the Northern
Admiral D. D. Porters writings about Torpedo Warfare.

Torpedo Warfare. [The North American review. /
Volume 127, Issue 264, September - October 1878]
Part 2  AUTHOR Admiral D. D. Porter, U.S. Navy


Page images are mounted at Cornell University Library.
This text was generated from the page images by optical character recognition (OCR). Corrections have been applied by George W. Penington

In the early 19th Century Robert Fulton [FULTON, Robert, inventor,
born in Little Britain township (now Fulton), Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1765;
 died in New York, 24 February 1815. ] contemplated the use of electricity to fire torpedoes,
but abandoned the effort as unfeasible. He never succeeded in arranging a battery
that would insure ignition of the fuses..  Fulton's experiments failed and interest waned.
Fulton finally gave up on torpedoes and returned to his successful invention,
the steamboat despite his prophecy, that the torpedo would finally revolutionize all naval warfare.

Note: Model available at the Hunley Store


Fulton was so violently opposed and ridiculed, he was not much out of the way in advocating a torpedo corps, to consist of a thousand boats, with their complement of officers and men, to attack the enemy’s vessels wherever they could be found at anchor or in a calm. In Fulton’s day such a notion received less encouragement than would now a scheme for transporting passengers to the Paris Exposition by a balloon. Of late years, so great has been the progress made in the sciences and mechanic arts that there is no longer room to question the success of this once dubious system of naval warfare.
 All told, we lost nearly twenty vessels from torpedoes during the war of the rebellion.

The case of the Commodore Jones, a large gunboat that was blown up at Deep Bottom, on James River, was a particularly painful one. This vessel was at the time employed in dragging for torpedoes, and was surrounded by row-boats employed in the same service. The captain having been notified by a Negro pilot that he was near sunken torpedoes, the gunboats engines were stopped and she commenced backing. Scarcely had she gathered stern-way, when suddenly and without any apparent cause she appeared to be lifted bodily, her wheels rapidly revolving in the air, and persons declared they could see the green grass of the river-bank beneath her keel. An immense fountain of foaming water shot to a great height, followed by a denser column thick with mud. The vessel absolutely crumbled to pieces, dissolved as it were in mid-air, enveloped by the falling spray, mud, water, and smoke. When the excitement of the explosion subsided, not a vestige of the vessel remained in sight, except small fragments of her frame which came shooting to the surface. Nearly every one on board was killed or wounded. This vessel was destroyed by a charge of about two thousand pounds of powder contained in a tank and fired by electric wires. It is needless to say that this catastrophe checked the advance of the other vessels astern of the Jones, but measures were immediately taken to capture the torpedo-operators, who, to save their lives, pointed out the location of other infernal machines, and explained the secrets of their torpedo service.
 [Note: The Confederates would hide on the shore line after anchoring their torpedoes in the river channel and running several hundred feet of wire to a triggering mechanism]

 The Confederates took particular pains to defend the James River by torpedoes, which had the effect of completely closing it against the approach of the United States vessels. Our fleet would have been destroyed in detail had it attempted to force its way up against the concealed torpedoes protected by heavy batteries. In the early part of 1864 the Confederates had completed their system of defense throughout the South, and the difficulty of approaching their strongholds through their lines of torpedoes was almost insurmountable. The ideas of Fulton seemed to have taken possession of our humane friends at the South, and it would require a book to describe all the incidents connected with Confederate torpedo warfare, and to recite the damage we sustained in the latter part of the war, when the enemy had by means of blockade-runners imported hundreds of electric batteries, and tons of iron carcasses to be filled and distributed, as occasion required, through all parts of the Confederacy. Every navigable stream within their jurisdiction was amply defended by submarine batteries; and General Beauregard remarked concerning Charleston, that he attached more importance to one of his pet torpedoes for the defense of that place than to five ten-inch guns; and well he might, since our iron-clads were impervious to the latter, and entirely vulnerable to the torpedoes.

 The following is a list of our vessels destroyed or severely damaged after the Confederates had succeeded in getting their torpedo system in full operation. Some of the saddest episodes of the war were in connection with the loss of these vessels Cairo, Baron de Kalb, Eastport, a wharf-boat, Commodore Jones, Tecumseh, Otsego, Basely, Patapsco, Harvest Moon, Milwaukee, Osage, Rodolphe, Scioto, Ida, Althea, Housatonic to say nothing of injuries to vessels, destruction of boats, and a somewhat demoralizing effect temporarily produced on a navy which has never yet declined to attempt the most hazardous undertakings.



FROM Mike (the Torpedo Man) Kochan  aka "evilmike2"
Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2005 15:55:44 -0000


I set this up at Hyberina park this weekend for the first time at an event and it was well received by all. I had a better spot than last year. The weather wasn't great and it's shake down cruise turned up some things that need fine tuning.
The full size, U. S. Iron Clad Steamer Monitor turret canopy was recognized from a distance by quite a few, not like the case with the Torpedoes where very few people knew about them. Now I have to do some more homework on the Monitor.
Sun, 28 Aug 2005

I've built a full size awning and stanchions repro of the Monitor's
Turret cover. So I've been digging for Monitor facts lately.

I was able to get enough Info and x-rays  from Paul and Maria at the
Lasch Center this spring to build the yoke and spar and set up at a
living History mid July.
As well as working with Bill McGrath for his new Hunley attack print
that came out June or July. Check his web site for his Torpedo set up. [Note: McGrath's website is apparently down for repairs]

copies and original print purchases can be arranged through The Hunley Store

Basically from the 1 inch dia yoke bolt to the 1 3/4 long slot at the
other end of the spar is 16 feet. The first section of the 3 piece spar
is a solid bar 44 inches long from the yoke bolt to the end and
back from the end 2 inches is a hole for a bolt to fasten it the next
section. That section is 67 inches long and also has a bolt hole in it
almost 4 inches from the end allowing the yoke bar it enter aprox. 6
inches. the aprox 1/2 inch dia bolt that goes thru these holes in a
virt. position sticks out about an inch and a half on both sides of
the spar itself and had the head and nut on the ends meaning something
could have been fastened there but is not there now. For something involved
with lowering to the proper depth the attachment here at 42
inches from the yoke pivot bolt has to be thought out more.

The third piece joins the second with about a 3 1/2 inch dia. coupling 3 1/2
inches long this as well as the spar tube are really close to today's
2 inch sched. 40 pipe ( about 2 1/2 O.D. with a 1/4 inch wall

From the info I have there are no bolts here so they no
doubt threaded together. The third section is 81 inches from it's end
to the center of the lengthwise slot with a bolt in it. the bolt has
it's head and nut leaving about a half inch space between them and the
spar tube dia. then another 6 inches or so to the very end which might
have been broken off.

Around the slot area is a lead wrap about 1/16 0r so thick . This lead
was probably pored into the space between the spar O.D. and the
Torpedo tank thimble I.D. which had an open slot in the end several
inches long to hold the bolt. The bolt was not tightened down but was
to prevent side to side swinging of the tank. The lead sleeve held the
torpedo to the spar but on impact with the hull it allowed a good 3
inches of movement loosening the joint and allowing the spar to pull
out of the thimble as the sub backed away. The spar being in pieces
and the thimble straps for the tank removal would allow it to be taken
to a forge where the lead could be pored in then taken back to the sub
for assembly.
I used Singer's drawings for the tank and trigger box for the Torpedo
which places the triggers in front of the tank so I made the tank
thimble with a holder on the barb end which allowed the barb to enter
the hull but would stop entering at the holder leaving the front of
the tank about 6 inches from the hull. You need the tank as close as
possible to get the desired effect.

A test was done back then using a thin skin tank (not boiler plate)
containing 150 pounds of black powder. It was lowered 10 feet under
water and positioned 2 feet from a ship's hull. When detonated it did
not damage the hull. This means the force went to the path of least
resistance and broke the surface and didn't build up enough force to
break open the hull.

This could very well mean that once the Housatonic's hull opened up at
about (guess) 7 foot depth any other damaging force would have broken
the surface and not come back to where the Hunley was when she was 18
feet away when she stuck the torpedo in. So if she were at 50 feet
away when it was detonated she would feel a ripple force but not a

With the heavy wall pipe and the 1 inch bolt and the bearing surface
around it it's quite possible they didn't need any other support to
drop her down close to the ship and stick her in the side.
They shipped and unshipped the tank and the fact that no wench was
found I feel means that these operations were done at the dock and or
with a small boat and the spar was designed to be released to depth
and not raised and lowered at will by the sub. Enough for a while.

Don't forget to check out William McGrath's site for the view of the

Barry Rogoff <> wrote: No one knows the actual spar configuration and it's likely that no one ever will. There was only one month between the point at which Dixon converted the boat to a spar torpedo and the final mission so it's likely that the spar configuration was built to be as simple
and foolproof as possible. The concept was based on the original David (the one that attacked the New Ironsides) but had two major differences:

1. It used a single pivot point instead of a Y-shaped spar with two
pivot points on opposite sides of the hull.

2. The torpedo detached from the spar and was detonated remotely
instead of on impact.

You can find some illustrations of various theories and modelmakers
interpretations at:

Also, search eBay for hunley -(con,randy,leann) for recent models.

There are two issues on which there are different schools of thought:

1. Were the spar and torpedo fixed at departure time or deployed
(lowered into position) when lined up for the attack run?

2. If the spar and torpedo were fixed, what sort of lateral support
was used to overcome water resistance when the Hunley changed
direction? Barry

From:"david coon"  Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 20:38:30 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:Re: [CSS H L HUNLEY] Re: Hunley's Spar?

I believe that you hit the nail right on the head with your comments about the need for simplicity in the Hunley's torpedo spar arrangement. I'd say that the final spar arrangement probably consisted of the iron spar that was found, a support cable to the upper bow point, and two lateral bracing cables running to the lugs underneath the diving planes. The only justification for the additional weight and complexity of a hoisting spar would be to avoid blowing up on a floating log.   The fact that Dixon and Alexander planned to ram their torpedo into the side of an enemy ship at full speed tells me that they were confident that it wouldn't detonate until they were ready for it to.   Also, if I were on the Hunley, I wouldn't bet my life on her ability to handle the extra top weight when the torpedo was hoisted up out of the water. So I'd bet on the idea that the spar was fixed at departure time. Live Long and Prosper.     David Coon

Barry Rogoff" <
 Date:Fri, 09 Sep 2005 13:45:39 -0000
Subject:[CSS H L HUNLEY] Re: Hunley's Spar?

Thanks David. I'm not taking a position on the fixed vs. deployable
spar question. I think either was possible. I just want to clarify
the facts a bit.

<<The only justification for the additional weight and complexity of
a hoisting spar would be to avoid blowing up on a floating log.>>

Hitting floating debris would not have detonated the torpedo because
it didn't have an impact fuse. Ramming the harpoon point into a
floating log, however, might have been somewhat problematic.

Running with a raised spar would have increased maneuverability and
kept the torpedo relatively dry. The actual fuse was connected to a
lanyard and may not have been perfectly watertight. EvilMike, care
to comment?

<<The fact that Dixon and Alexander planned to ram their torpedo
into the side of an enemy ship at full speed...>>

They didn't. The mass of the Hunley was great enough to have
destroyed the spar or rammed it right through the hull of the
Housatonic. They wanted to hit just hard enough to firmly plant the
harpoon point and may have been slowing down at the point of impact.

<<...I wouldn't bet my life on her ability to handle the extra
top weight when the torpedo was hoisted up out of the water.>>

Compared to the actual weight of the boat (about 7.5 tons), I don't
think raising the torpedo would have made much of a difference.
Dixon had two ways to adjust the trim: pumping water into and out of
the ballast tanks, and pumping water between the two.




     6) Divers discovered Hunley's lost snorkels - Back in Time to July 2000

1. Support straps: On Saturday evening, divers had excavated the bow section and installed 6 of the straps. Foam padding is added to each strap to cushion the sub. A total of 32 slings will cradle the Hunley.

2. Snorkels:  the divers discovered the missing snorkels. Source: National Park Service, Naval Historical Center, S.C. Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, Oceaneering International Inc.

"Dr. Bob Neyland, Hunley project manager, said the two snorkels were found on the ocean floor on the sub's starboard side. The longer of the two pieces is about 1.5 meters - or 4 feet - long. The snorkel set was one of the last missing pieces of the submarine."

"This sub is getting more and more complete," Neyland said. "The fact that the snorkels were right there shows that the sub hasn't moved much."

"That the sub is probably lying almost exactly where it came to rest in 1864 is good news both for the sub's condition and any artifacts that may be inside the lost sub."

 William Alexander, a lieutenant in the Confederate army and a one-time Hunley crew member, in a 1902 article suggested the sub's snorkel assembly didn't work very well. Alexander, who was reassigned before the Hunley's last mission, wrote that more often than not, the sub would just surface and they'd open a hatch to get more air."

According to Hunley historian Mark Ragan's book "The Hunley: Submarines, Sacrifice and Success in the Civil War," the idea was that the submarine would rise to just beneath the surface; the air shafts (snorkels) would be raised to filter in good air."

"In 1995, diver Ralph Wilbanks - a member of the Clive Cussler dive team that found the sub - reported the snorkel assembly was in the up position, but the breathing tubes had broken off. Wilbanks was one of the divers in the water Saturday when the snorkels were found, helping Neyland with a fiberglass tape profile of the submarine."

Archaeologists examine snorkels from the sunken Hunley submarine. Aboard the barge transporting the H.L. Hunley back to Charleston, two team members examine the snorkels from the Hunley.




A conservator removes sediment from the interior of the Hunley






Hello to all the members on this site,(CSS H L HUNLEY CLUB) its really nice to be here and thanks to the Moderator for the welcoming message.

I am a model maker and run a model kit manufacturing company here in
England called Speedline Models.  I have been specializing in the
speed record cars and boats of Donald Campbell and large scale
models of the Royal National Lifeboat Associations Trent and Severn
class of lifeboats for a while now.

Earlier this year I was drawn into the murky subject of working
model submarines, in particular the dive units.  I designed a simple
and unique dive unit which we made up and tested and it works very
well.  There are loads of model submarines about to put it in but I
thought I might just make one of my own.  Looking for an interesting
subject I came across the Hunley.  Having researched it via the
amazing web sites that exist on the subject I was hooked.  The ship
itself is amazing, the history even more so.

I have a lot of information taken of the web sites and we have
produced a drawing of her at 1/8th scale.  Looks about right, a bit
long with the spar on but its the size for me!
I am lucky enough to employ a really fine sculptor who is currently
working on two figures to accompany the model, for display
purposes.  The figures are the two in the painting, the guy leaning
on the prop ring and the soldier squatting down.  As a display that
should be quite impressive I think?

Speedline is famous in the UK for the high level of detail and
accuracy found on its Lifeboat kits and this model of the Hunley
will be very accurate.

I do not want to go to great lengths and spend lots of money unless
the model is accurate and so here comes the help! bit. The model,
though a fully working, radio controlled model will not compromise
any detail and will be equally at home in the board room, so can
anyone point me in the right direction to get the best possible
drawings/plans and detail reference material for this project? 
Authenticity is vital, particularly with such an important subject
and ideally at least two source of the information to enable it to
be collaborated. Your help would be very much appreciated.
Many thanks
Adrian Gosling
Speedline Models.
"Adrian Gosling" <>

You need to talk to Tim  and visit his web site. I build RC subs too
( but Tim and David Merriman have both built the Hunley.
Good luck on the project and be sure to visit sub
 and post your build so we can all see it and help you.

Steve Neill

"sneill" <>

As far as online, Michael Crisafulli's is the best I'm aware of:
Note the high resolution down-loadable PDF of the drawing. --Mike Mc

You may find this site useful as well: There's a section that shows many existing models of the Hunley.


Hello Adrian -
The Friends of the Hunley have seen fit not to release enough measurements to make a perfect set of plans so Michael's plans are definitely the best out there. I suspect when the actual measurements are finally made public, his will be pretty close to right on. However if you plan to build models for commercial sale, you will need to work out a licensing arrangement with him.

...Or you could contact The Friends of the Hunley and attempt to work out a deal with them. If so, I hope you have deep and wide pockets! 

My site has many photographs of the Hunley taken during and after its recovery and photos of my 1/12 scale radio controlled model.

Note - with bow planes only and a single central ballast tank, it handles very poorly as an RC model while under water unless it is run at a VERY slow speed (close to scale). In reverse it also turns very poorly -  surfaced or dived. The foreplanes only don't allow for precise anglekeeping. I suspect this was handled on the real sub by pumping and filling the bow and stern tanks to control trim. 

A few links follow below , but if you go to and once you are in the site, do a   Google "Current Site" search, several dozen come up.
Best Tim Smalley

Just to say a big thank you to all who have offered their help and
advice in guiding me to the best sources of information on the
Hunley.  I think I now have enough to sink a battleship!

Naturally enough, I have been reading with some interest the
thoughts expressed about the circumstances of her sinking and for
what its worth here are my observations of the situation.  
Clearly the captain and his crew were in great danger throughout the
mission but at the vital moment, the reactions of the captain must
have been determined by the circumstances at the time and can only
ever remain guessed at.  One thing that seems pretty certain to me
is the high possibility of the ballast tanks overflowing, resulting
in all the ballast moving to one end.  One thing that model
submariners learn very quickly is that when they go down too
steeply, all the water in the buoyancy tanks floods past the baffle
plates to the bow and the boat dives more steeply.  Within seconds
this becomes a vertical one way dive to the bottom.
In a similar manner to the Titanic where a circumstance of the water
flowing over the top of the open watertight bulkheads had not been
considered, the Hunley's design with its open topped ballast tanks is
a serious flaw.  Given the circumstances of the night in question,
with a twenty foot long pole stuck into a moving ship, crewmen
moving and the nature of the sea at the time, is it not reasonable
to suggest that the charge was detonated early because the Hunley
was sinking and the crew had little chance of surviving anyway. 
Better that than to loose the mission?
"Adrian Gosling" <> 


I think I can speak for all in saying "you're welcome and good luck
with your plans."

<< the vital moment, the reactions of the captain must have been determined by the circumstances at the time and can only ever remain guessed at.>>

That's certainly true. Many people have spent years trying to think of everything that might have been going through Dixon's mind, but there was probably something that we've all missed.

<<One thing that seems pretty certain to me is the high possibility of the ballast tanks overflowing, resulting in all the ballast moving to one end.>>

The open ballast tanks were clearly a safety hazard. Even the Friends of the Hunley have acknowledged it. If I remember all the previous discussions correctly, there were several possible reasons for that design and one that's fairly certain: it provided a larger volume of breathable air.


Michael Crisafulli's copyright protected site shows great detail of ballast tanks. I suggest a visit to learn more about the Hunley.  GWP

Had the ballast tanks been airtight, they might not have been able to admit enough water to achieve the slightly positive buoyancy that is believed to have been standard operating procedure. As it was, the boat contained metal ballast weights for that exact purpose. And artifacts (tools?) were found in the forward tank.

<<Given the circumstances of the night in question, with a twenty foot long pole stuck into a moving ship, crewmen moving and the nature of the sea at the time, is it not reasonable to suggest that the charge was detonated early because the Hunley was sinking and the crew had little chance of surviving anyway. Better that than to loose the mission?>>

There's no reason to believe that the torpedo didn't detach from the spar as intended. In fact, there's quite a bit of testimony to prove that it did. I'm not sure whether or not there was physical evidence at the business end of the spar.

Although the Housatonic kept up a head of steam and had slipped her anchors, it's unknown just how much movement she actually achieved and whether or not it made any difference to the Hunley.

Dixon would have anticipated the change in trim that resulted from the loss of the mass of the torpedo. He may have used the down angle to help submerge the boat in order to get some water between her and the Housatonic's big guns (see recent posts).

And I see no possibility whatsoever that Dixon would have scuttled the boat without even trying to survive the attack. The Hunley's mission was dangerous but it wasn't a suicide attack. Men like Dixon and his crew don't give up their lives that easily.  Barry




     8) Lee Spence & Harry Peccorelli From Someone who was there

From: "Mark M. Newell" <>  
Date:Wed, 7 Sep 2005 09:56:23 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [CSS H L HUNLEY] Lee Spence & Harry Peccorelli

I have just read Lee Spence's remarks concerning the
discovery of the Hunley and his remarks concerning
Harry Peccorelli. I rarely follow, or respond, to
issues on the Hunley (I can still detect the stink of
the ethics and integrity of some State officials and
Cussler's group in my nostrils), but I would like to
reaffirm Lee Spence's account of the discovery (I did
use his information among that of others in my 20
years of research to confirm that it did actually
still exist and where it was)  and also comment on
Harry Peccorelli. Harry was a student when he begged
to be allowed to participate in the 13 day field
project during the summer of 1994. During the search
the groups involved excluded NUMA from detailed
information about the 'targets' we ground truthed
during the field operation. This was done on the
orders of the State because of very specific concerns
about members of the NUMA team. The actual discovery
was made in September of 1994. Cussler and NUMA were
advised of this, again without specific details being
given. Harry Peccorelli subsequently revealed the
actual location to Cussler employees with the result
that they prematurely excavated and tried to claim
'first discovery' in the New York Times. The Times
published a story which credited the entire Hunley
search team (many hundreds of people over 20 years),
sending Cussler into a frenzy of calls to State
officials to get the truth suppressed. Needless to
say, I do not support Lee's conciliatory remarks about
Harry Peccorelli. [Note: Lee's remarks are below - See "Reprint of Spence comments"]

Mark M Newell Ph.D., RPA
POB 984
Augusta Ga. 30903
706 399-6813
Articles & Opinion at
Online novel at
Everything else at
We recommend:

Barry Rogoff" <
Date:Thu, 08 Sep 2005 15:33:57 -0000
Subject:[CSS H L HUNLEY] Re: Lee Spence & Harry Peccorelli

Dr. Newell,

Thanks very much for posting this information. It confirms what many
of us in the Hunley group have suspected for years.

I'm curious as to exactly which of Lee Spence's remarks you were
addressing. He has participated in this group but it was brief and
took place some time ago. Have there been recent developments in the
ongoing legal conflict over the discovery?

I'd also like to know your opinion about why Dr. Spence's discovery
was never taken seriously by the same groups that jumped at the
opportunity to support Cussler's claim, e.g., politicians,
government agencies, the academic community, and the news media? My theory is that although Dr. Spence had "the goods" with respect to
the actual location of the Hunley, his presentation wasn't credible
enough to convince anyone that his discovery was real.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.




Email sent to CSSHLHUNLEY CLUB in response to Article “Hunley technology impresses Marlin”
Re: [CSS H L  HUNLEY] Hunley technology impresses Marlin

By E. Lee Spence

I wish I had had the opportunity to shake Sterling Marlin's hand. I have been a fan of his for years. The first race car driver I ever heard of as a child in the 1950s was Sterling Moss. So, when Sterling Marlin came along, I paid attention to his career right from the start. By chance, about six years ago, while I was on a business trip to London, I happened to meet Sterling Moss and wife just as they returned from a race and I was invited into their home.
It was a real pleasure. It would have been an honor and a pleasure to have met Sterling Martin and to have been able to talk with him and tell him about the Hunley. I think I should have had that opportunity. I did not.

As far as Harry Pecorelli being "the diver, who was the first person to touch the Hunley," I had published my map showing the Hunley's correct location prior to Harry's diving on the wreck. And. I think most of the people on this board are aware of my claim to have first found and touched the Hunley in 1970.

The boat captain the day I found the Hunley was Joe Porcelli who had just gotten out of the Green Berets. Jim Batey, who then ran a commercial diving business, and a couple of other people (I believe it was Ron Reneau and Mike Douglas) went out the next day and/or the day after and dove on it. Joe did likewise. In fact, I believe Joe actually dove on it twice. Jim and Joe gave signed statements to that effect years ago. Troy Clanton, III, who was aboard boat the day of find also gave a signed statement. Unfortunately, Mike and Ron are long deceased. The next time I went out it was buried. Mike Douglas and David McGeehee helped me relocated it with a magnetometer, but it was still buried. David signed a statement about that years ago also. Captain Jack Parker helped me relocate the Hunley in preparation for my 1980 lawsuit claiming the Hunley. He signed two statements relative to that. Dr. Mark Newell, who was the official director of the Hunley Search Project (even according to NUMA), had initiated the project and has gone on record that he used my maps, which I had furnished to the State Archaeologist years earlier, and my other data to have the expedition locate the target in 1994, and which was dug up and proved to be the Hunley in 1995. Dr. Newell ( has stated that he believes I found it first and that what the 1994/95 Hunley Project did was to "verify" that it was indeed the Hunley.

I donated my rights to the submarine to the State in 1995, but for well over a year I didn't visit the Conservation lab because I had been told in front of witness that I would be arrested if I ever showed up there.

When I finally did go, I was watched as though I was an unwelcome guest or a threat to the security of the place. When I went up and talked with the man keeping a close eye on me (who happened to be a man I had always respected), I was told in no uncertain terms that my presence there was making a lot of people "uncomfortable." It was a very unpleasant experience for me and my guests. Also, I did not like the fact that when I paid, I got what I thought was a receipt, but I had to give it back to them before we could see the sub. I am used to getting receipts. I paid by check, so that will have to suffice, but avoiding the obvious accounting issues; I would like to have the receipt or ticket (even torn in half) as a souvenir.

So, not only have I not gotten the honors I deserve. I have been threatened, insulted, and humiliated, while others get treatment, privileges and honors that I believe should have gone to me for my original discovery of the Hunley.

I have no doubt that Harry deserves credit for his work. He does. From what I have heard he is a very competent and accomplished person. He has unquestionably been a valuable asset and has helped save the Hunley. I do think he deserves honors and respect, but I found the Hunley first and I think I deserve recognition, honors and respect for both my 1970 discovery of the wreck and my 1995 donation of the Hunley to the State.





10)  Friends of the Hunley Freedom of Information lawsuit

"jvnautilus" <> 
Date:Fri, 04 Nov 2005 14:30:34 -0000
Subject:[CSS H L HUNLEY] Friends of the Hunley Freedom of Information lawsuit

I think the lawsuit is based on requests for financial information, but
I wonder if the Friend's lawyer agreeing that the organization is
subject to the Freedom of Information Act means we may have access to
technical information that the Friends have been holding so long.

From "The State": "A lawyer for the Friends of the Hunley conceded Wednesday to the S.C. Supreme Court that the group preserving the Confederate submarine must
open its records to the public." Full article:

Posted on Thu, Nov. 03, 2005

Hunley case may be out the window.

Freedom of Information Act getting little help from the S.C. Supreme Court even though most parties agree that Friends of the Hunley, Inc. is a public body.


By George W. Penington
Editor of The Newsletter

Charleston-Friends of the Hunley, Inc. lawyer Biff Sowell  told Associate Justice Costa Pleicones and the five-member South Carolina Supreme court that" it is my belief that Friends currently is a public body" and that the FOTH, Inc. must open its records to the public. The corporation was set up under the states Hunley Commission to handle the business matters of the recovery and restoration of the American civil war relic, the Confederate States Submarine H L HUNLEY

In 2001, Edward Sloan, a Greenville S.C. businessman filed suit against the FOTH, Inc. requesting  financial records and other documents from the Friends of the Hunley. FOTH, Inc. refused claiming it was a charitable organization and not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. In an attempt to avoid further exposure the FOTH, Inc. hurriedly turned over the documents.

In Sloan's law suit Attorney Jim Carpenter said they were asking the court to declare the Friends of the Hunley, Inc. a public body and part of the Hunley Commission. This would require the Friends of the Hunley to conform to state procurement and low-bid procedures, as well as Freedom of Information. Many individuals and businesses have been shut out of what appears to be a private club for under the table friends, lawyers, and good ole boys. " If it is ruled as a public body then it must give information to any citizen that request it. So far the Friends have  given information to reporters, while denying it to citizens it considers to be harassing it."

Carpenter has expressed the feelings of many of those on the outside that the group, Friends of the Hunley, Inc., was set up to get around the limits of government regulations. He said the Friends of the Hunley has denied FOIA requests to others, including Charleston businessman Jock Stender, whom Carpenter claimed dug through the Friends of the Hunley trash to retrieve documents.

Here lies the conundrum.  The case was in appeal to a lower court when the State Supreme Court without explanation suddenly decided to hear it. Now Chief Justice Jean Toal has stated that Sloan doesn't have a case that should be decided by the State Supreme Court. It is still not clear whether this is the final decision but the judge has stated that the case was moot, i.e. a dead issue, because Sloan got the records he requested. The judge appears to be taking the side of Friend's attorney Sowell who stated “But we mooted it (the claim) when we gave him all the documents,”

photo's courtesy of The State Newspaper

“That reason (to sue) has evaporated now that they have given you all the documents,” Toal said, quoting Sloan, who said that, once he received the papers, his interest was only “academic.”

Carpenter told Toal a decision was necessary because the foundation had denied other Freedom of Information requests and the case is “of public importance.”

Toal countered, “What is the public importance in light of the fact that the Freedom of Information Act has been complied with?”

Carpenter told Toal if the court didn’t rule, it would be allowing public agencies to stonewall citizens seeking information.

“They didn’t give us the documents until after we sued them. Should the court allow an entity to say, ‘No, we are not going to comply with the Freedom of Information Act until you sue us?’’’

According to the State Newspaper Carpenter added, “It’s not in keeping with the public policy of this state” to allow agencies to flout the law until they are sued.

The foundation’s refusal to honor a Freedom of Information request “cries out for a ruling by this court,” he said.

Responding to another Toal question, Carpenter said “many, many tens of thousands of dollars” in attorney’s fees are at stake. Under the law, if a plaintiff wins a Freedom of Information lawsuit, he or she is entitled to attorney’s fees from the agency that violates the law.

The big question "Is the Friends of the Hunley, Inc. an extension of an existing state agency, the Hunley Commission?" appears from the attitude of the Chief Justice to be a difficult issue to resolve and a difficult issue to prove leaving many people around the state either disappointed or apathetic. Many of the black people around the state are naturally resentful anyway over the money being spent uncontrollably. GWP

  11)  appreciation and apologies.

To the Post and Courier and, My Thanks, appreciation and apologies.

My sincerest apologies go out to the Post and Courier and Brian Hicks. In my haste to get out the newsletter, which takes me numerous hours no matter what I do, apparently I did a partial re-write and in over zealousness not to step on toes, I did anyway.  Having lived in Charleston all my life the Post and Courier has been a friend for 50 years.  I know a lot of the writers and staff and have relied on them for much of the information I get.  When the Fiends of the Hunley, Inc., Warren Lasch ( who gratefully is now gone), and my good friend and fraternity brother Glenn McConnell suddenly blacked me out from getting information. blocked my press privileges and no longer invited me to press releases, the Post and Courier backed me up , although some of  it was individual support and underground.  My support for truth and justice when it comes to politics and Lee Spence is well known, but it has cost me,.... but I have never wavered.  My hope is that maybe one day we will have some deathbed confessions and repentance for the wrongs that were done and history will rack itself into a truth alignment. You never know. I have noticed that writers and reporters all over the world have changed their stance and no longer attribute the finding of the Hunley to Clive (the jive) Cussler, but instead take a more neutral stance Any fear or paranoia are gone, there are no other retributions that FOTH can do that hasn't already been done. We will see what happens with the "Freedom of Information" rights. GWP


Dear Mr. Pennington,

   A reader has drawn my attention to a story posted on your website ( by Brian Hicks, a reporter for The Post and Courier.

  The story appears to have been edited by you and is positioned over a graphic very similar to the actual graphic that appeared with Hicks’ story in The Post and Courier.

  I am informed that you have in the past had conversations with John Kerr, the newspaper’s lead attorney, concerning the use of our copyright stories. In these conversations, I am informed that conditions were accepted for the use of the stories on your website. Two of the accepted conditions were that our stories run on the site unedited and that the line “by (or with) permission of The Post and Courier” line appear with it. I see that you have used the permission line, however there has been no permission granted to edit the copyright story.

  My concerns are that the story, “USS Monitor and the CSS H L Hunley teams to collaborate on preservation”

is reprinted and is edited, and is accompanied by a graphic that indicates, at least to some web visitors, that it contains information from The Post and Courier, as does the story. As you are aware, this graphic contains information that has not appeared in The Post and Courier and, in fact, is in conflict with information we have published. To wit: “Found: When: 1970 by E. Lee Spence”.


    I assure you that I have no quarrel whatsoever with your contention as to who found The Hunley. I only have concerns because at least one visitor to your site has mistaken your graphic information as content published by The Post and Courier.

    If you will please remove the edited story by Brian Hicks and replace it with an unedited version that is also uninterrupted by added paragraphs and unassociated graphics, there will be no need for further communications with Mr. Kerr. Also, there will be no need to withdraw our permission for you to reprint copyright stories your site.

   If you could also indicate by some device that the graphic immediately below the story is unassociated with the story, I will greatly appreciate it.

   As a personal note, I found your site to be very interesting and I very much enjoyed my visit to it.    You have my best wishes for your continued success.

Steve Mullins

Managing Editor

The Post and Courier

134 Columbus St.

Charleston, S.C.



Hello Steve...Thanks for writing.  I will try to fix this error immediately.  Will send you the new link as soon as possible.  George W. Penington


Much appreciated. Again, a very interesting site.


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city: Oklahoma City
state: OK
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Monday November 28, 2005
Time: 11:16:51 AM


We have an ancestor that may be related to Hunley Sailor Joseph Ridgaway. Our ancestors were Ridgeway's [also spelled Ridgway and Ridgaway from Virginia and South Carolina. We are doing research to get it confirmed.

realname: Raj Kulkarni
city: Fredericksburg
state: VA
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Saturday November 26, 2005
Time: 09:26:16 AM


I am trying to locate the book titled Valor in Gray for my adopted family of Mr. Donald Doggett and his wife Ms. Joanne Doggett. I think I finally tracked it down to your website. This is great. I would like to give this as Christmas present to Mr. and Mrs. Doggett. Please let me know how I can buy this book. Thanks so much. All the best. Raj

realname: Charles G. Hardin
city: Fallbrook
state: CA
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Monday November 21, 2005
Time: 05:44:43 AM


Lifetime member of the Lees of Virginia. Member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, American Civil War Society, and seeker of knowledge regarding the activities and treasures of the Knights of the Golden Circle. I own a very rare book on this subject entitled: "Jesse James Was One of His Names."

realname: greci
username: greci
city: New York
state: NY
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday November 16, 2005
Time: 08:29:06 AM


Very good site! I like it! I just wanted to pass on a note to let you know what a great job you have done with this site..Thanks!

realname: Grace Bowers
city: Hurleyville
state: NY
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday November 09, 2005
Time: 08:09:01 AM


Just heard about this incredible submarine. Never knew anything about it! What a feat for those days and why was it kept secret all these years in history books! Looking forward to reading more about it and the crew. They were so brave to do such a think in those days.

realname: samantha
city: rapid river
state: mi
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Saturday November 05, 2005
Time: 09:04:29 AM


im doing a report on the hunley for school thats why i need this info

realname: Mark Hewlett username:
city: Crowley
state: tx
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Friday November 04, 2005
Time: 01:01:35 PM


I met a relative of Mr. Hundley who runs a hydraulics shop in Joshua, TX. He told me about his great grandfather and that he changed his last name to Hundley with a D so only his family would be remembered for his invention and not the other Hunley's in America. (by the way, I am related to Harry S. Truman, president of the USA !!! The Young family and Hewlett family are very proud of Old Harry !!! It took a lot of guts to drop the atomic bomb !!! The man in Joshua, TX looks just like Mr. Horace Hundley inventor. Thanks, Mark Hewlett, Crowley, TX

realname: Justin
city: Deerfield
state: IL
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday November 02, 2005
Time: 04:13:40 PM


I need to find out about the USS Hunley for school or I'm gonna get a zero. I am also interested in the HUnley

realname: haley
city: cavespring
state: ga
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday November 02, 2005
Time: 09:52:45 AM


the hunley seems really cool. Eight of my friend and I doing a pesintation of the hunley for my schools livung timeline day. <3- HALEY *N* DEANA

realname: Oliver Neil Dixon
city: Unionville
state: Ontario
country: Canada
Remote Name:
Date: Thursday October 27, 2005
Time: 08:10:03 PM


I saw a documentary about the Hunley and George E Dixon. I had an uncle name George Dixon and another one named Ernest Dixon. They were sons of Calhoun (not sure of the spelling) Dixon who settled at sometime in Trinidad (West Indies). He came from either Ireland or Scotland.

realname: Justin Cheng
city: Georgetown
state: Penang
country: Malaysia
Remote Name:
Date: Friday October 21, 2005
Time: 03:26:03 AM


It is a great honor to learn more about THE HUNLEY. I've seen it in action and have learn that it is the 1st ever undersea war machine to destroy the british destroyer.

realname: Michael R. King
city: Hermann
state: MO
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday October 12, 2005
Time: 04:29:21 PM


I am interested in drawings, desire to build model, frame and hull drawings would be appreciated. Thank you. Mike King phone 573-486-4506 fax 573-486-4507

realname: Heath
city: Southport
state: QLD
country: Australia
Remote Name:
Date: Tuesday October 11, 2005
Time: 10:12:16 PM


informative site would like more info and pics of the discoverys that have been made

realname: d van konijnenburg
city: delft
country: holland
Remote Name:
Date: Saturday October 08, 2005
Time: 11:16:38 AM


I've seen the movie about the discovery and saving the Hunley on national geographic I'm curious what happens after bringing it on land.

realname: Pam Durgan
city: Morrisonville
state: NY
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday October 05, 2005
Time: 07:17:16 PM


I have been interested in Naval history for a number of years. I have to say that the "submarine" division is my very favorite. Just finished watching a documentary about "the Alligator". Very informative ,but "The Hunley" and her crew really got me to respect the men who volunteer for sub duty and risk their lives every day.

realname: Cheryl Buckler
city: Sutherlin
state: OR
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Tuesday October 04, 2005
Time: 02:07:06 PM


The most memorable part of the TV show was when the gold coin was recovered. I also was pleased with the respect shown for the remains of the crew members; I wish this was a more universal trait among people who dig up the past.

realname: jeff smith
city: florence
state: al.
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Monday October 03, 2005
Time: 08:11:41 AM


An avid fan of Clive Cussler. Also an avid collector of civil war memorabilia.

city: Phx
state: Az
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Sunday October 02, 2005
Time: 09:13:07 PM


I recently saw somthing on tv about the Uss Alligator. I was mezmerized/I had to see these civl war subs. They are cool/it is amazing the injinuity we had back in those days with such limited imagination. I would like to learn more.

realname: Doug
city: Oshawa
state: ont
country: canada
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday September 28, 2005
Time: 04:20:50 AM


I was able to catch the t.v. show "Sea Hunters' when a team found the Hunley and raised it from the water. I'm a huge military history buff and think the Hunley story is an essential for any war buff. Your web site is very well laid out and full of knowledge. Thanks

realname: Randy Gray
city: Dallas
state: Or
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Saturday September 24, 2005
Time: 01:36:09 PM


My first visit to Have always used I like your site.....very interesting and much more informative.

realname: Maryetta Rayca
city: Kennett Square
state: PA
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Friday September 23, 2005
Time: 03:11:26 PM


When I was visiting my son in Charleston, we visited the Hunley. Very impressive. I had read the book by Clive Cussler and was amazed at the preparation and preserevation taken to raise the Hunley. Amazing!

realname: elaine beard funchess
city: Claremont
state: NC
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Monday September 19, 2005
Time: 10:21:42 PM


My ancestor Henry Beard died when the Hunley sunk the second time. I am very proud of this fact and of my family heritage.

realname: dennis wiley
city: mobile
state: al
country: csa
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday September 14, 2005
Time: 01:35:57 AM


very nice article.we were all somewhat of a cav-romantic at his age.remember your first 'WHITE BELT'? god bless.

realname: Steve Gandee
city: Panama City
state: Panama
country: Panama
Remote Name:
Date: Friday September 09, 2005
Time: 02:30:14 PM



realname: Eric Poach
city: Monroeville
state: PA
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Friday September 09, 2005
Time: 01:11:23 PM


Had a chance to visit in July and I was greatly moved. I am looking forward to the conclusions concerning what caused the vessel to sink, it seems current evidence is pointing toward the vessel being swamped.

realname: Taylor Hadley
city: Rock Hill
state: SC
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Friday September 09, 2005
Time: 10:21:57 AM


To write a paper for school

realname: Fred Hicks
city: Hamilton
state: NJ
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday September 07, 2005
Time: 10:06:30 AM


I think this is a great site and the information has been very helpful in keeping up-to-date with The Hunley. I think the Hunley is a great treasure and see been seen by everyone.

realname: alice walker young
city: Long Beach
state: CA
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday August 31, 2005
Time: 06:06:02 AM


Recently, I saw the model of The Hunley at Ports 'O Call, in San Pedro, CA. It came along with several (touring) tall ships. Does anyone know where this is on display when it's not on tour? The scale-sized model looks to be made as authentically as possible. I'd like to see it again someday.

realname: Linda R. Morgan
city: Ethel
state: LA
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Monday August 22, 2005
Time: 05:19:41 AM


I am so interested in the Hunley. Recently I visited the city of Charleston; however, the tours are only available on weekends and I was there during the week. Future plans are to return on the weekend and actually visit the Hunley.

realname: yager
city: fort plain
state: n.y
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Sunday August 21, 2005
Time: 06:03:38 PM



realname: Dan White
city: Freeport
state: Il.
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Friday August 19, 2005
Time: 07:40:47 AM


I just recently read the book, Raising of the Hunley, and was fascinated by it. I did enjoy your web page. But, after the book, and your information, I do have a question about the Hunley itself. I don't know if you answer questions on line or not, but how did they attach the bomb to the vessel being destroyed, How did it stick ? I find the models of the boat very intriguing, and may purchase one in the near future. Thank-you Dan White

realname: stephen como
city: san antonio
state: texas
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Thursday August 18, 2005
Time: 03:35:17 PM


i saw a show a few years ago about the discovery of the hundley and i have always been interested in viewing the hundley when it is opened. i just saw a show on the history channel called the "most" where they talked a little about the hundley and it again raised my interest.

realname: Krista
city: swansea
state: SC
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Sunday August 14, 2005
Time: 03:40:19 PM


I am facinated with the Hunley. I am in SC History this year and I look forward to learning about the Hunley and everything there is to know. My mom went to the tour in Charleston this weekend and she said that is is great so she is taking me and my younger brother next weekend to see it. I truley am facinated with the Hunley. Krista

realname: Shelly Hackett
city: Tularosa
state: NM
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Wednesday August 10, 2005
Time: 12:03:17 PM


I watched the Hunley, while I was on vacation several years ago, be pulled out and made its final voyage. I find it very interesting to follow all the discoveries that have been made.

realname: EroComix
city: New York
state: NY
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Monday August 08, 2005
Time: 04:27:26 PM


WOW! I'll add your site to my bookmarks.

realname: Wanda Richard
city: Coral Springs
state: FL
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Thursday August 04, 2005
Time: 07:03:49 AM


I love the whole Charleston area and the history of the place. It holds a dear place in my heart. And the Hunley being there is just another part of that wonderful history!

realname: C. Grenfell
city: Whitby
state: ON
country: Canada
Remote Name:
Date: Monday July 25, 2005
Time: 06:27:44 PM


I was recently in Charleston and wished to view the Hunley. Unfortunately, the party I was with was unable to do so since any appointments to view this artifact were only available on the weekends. We phoned the call centre located in Arkansas, and were provided with information that differed from that contained in the pamphlets obtained from local tourist locations. Perhaps the Call Centre should be updated to ensure it provides information consistent with the distribution materials available to the public. I hope to return to your fine city next year and would truly like to view the Hunley since those who served on it were of an impressive caliber. The fact that you only accept appointments demonstrates a unique seriousness towards the viewing of a most impressive vehicle of the CSA. Although Canadian, I can only express my appreciation for the courage and commitment of the CSA during a most trying of times. As you are well aware, Canadians supported the CSA, inspite of the aggressive drafting procedures employed by the North for incorporating Canadians into its force, during this time.

realname: Michael E. Allen
city: Middletown
state: RI
country: USA
Remote Name:
Date: Sunday July 24, 2005
Time: 07:48:06 PM


Like many I am a Civil War/War Between the States enthusiast. My kin served with the 11th Conn. Vol. Inf. and Artillery as well as the Thomas Legion Walker Battalion CSA. The Hunley and especially the information about their last hours is extremely interesting. The incredibly brave men that served aboard this craft were not men that did not believe in their cause nor their purpose. A difficult time in American history but a defining one in our Nations growth. top


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