by George W. Penington  -  Editor

February 2006 Issue #61



Restoration in Charleston excerpt from Clemson World Online
CSS H L HUNLEY -Day of Remembrance - 17 Feb 1864
Spence is Doing Well even without the benefit of ATTORNEYS
Cornwell to Help Solve Hunley Mystery
Battle Reenactments and the Hunley Replica
Tours of the Hunley
Contest and Survey 




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THE TIGERS ARE IN TOWN  Clemson University takes over the Warren Lasch Center, 82 acres of land, a dry dock and a wharf along with $10.3 million in State money to start the new "Restoration Institute"  a satellite Clemson Campus in Charleston.

The Warren Lasch Center is the home of the
Confederate States Submarine H L Hunley
which is now
held by the closed private company Friends of the Hunley, Inc.  responsible for the preservation of the one hundred and forty
two year old submarine discovered in 1970 by local Marine Archaeologist Dr. E. Lee
Spence and finally raised in 2000 from 27 feet of water at
the mouth of Charleston Harbor. 

The Warren Lasch Center has been shrouded in controversy
including the resignation of its namesake Warren Lasch who was involved with  the States Port Authority, and several lawsuits 
around the accounting of millions of dollars in state and private
funds. To the frustration of many, Friends of the Hunley, Inc.
has been very lax in releasing information including financial
accounting and scientific and historical information about the
submarine.  The Friends of the Hunley are the subject of a lawsuit
in the S.C. Supreme Court over whether it must publicly disclose its finances and actions which many suspect as a cover up for mis-appropriation and shifty accounting.

Plans are now to build a 22,000 square foot addition to the
existing lab as part of Phase one which will finally end up as
a total 65,000 square foot facility to be completed by the year
2008.  The dreams are for the new Clemson University
Restoration  Institute
to contract to handle all of the
preservation work needed on items recovered from ocean
discoveries with a "cutting-edge metallurgy and textiles restoration center".

Part of the deal with Clemson University requires them to
finish the work needed on the CSS H L Hunley  or the property
will revert back to the city of North Charleston.

"These facilities will form the nucleus of a vibrant university
research campus," Clemson President James Barker said in
the cover letter to his presentation to the trustees. Clemson is
also trying to build a " Clemson University Architecture Center
in  the middle of Charleston's historic district on land the city of
Charleston has given Clemson for a  22,000-square-foot
architecture school on George Street is in the middle of historic Ansonborough, where residents are protesting the construction
of a modern-style building amid their historic homes.

Clemson plans to break ground on the downtown $7 million
structure this year if all approvals are met.

The Hunley Commission approved the the deal, which would
urn over the conservation lab to Clemson in exchange for the
university funding the Confederate sub's restoration.

Clemson will take over the lab with as much as 90 full-time
employees and a payroll of more than $5 million annually. The
remaining Hunley scientists will keep their current jobs, and
FOTH, Inc. will continue to raise money for the restoration
and the sub's  museum.  Clemson plans to eventually build
a 65-acre campus that would create between 2,000 and
4,750 jobs with annual payrolls between $125.8 million
and $286.3 million.

Clemson wants to make the old Navy base a national center for restoration and development of new technology.

"We think South Carolina is well-positioned to have a world-class materials conservation laboratory," said Jan Schach, dean
of Clemson's College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities and
director of the university's restoration institute.

Clemson  expects to have the Hunley restored and ready for
display in a permanent museum by 2009.

"Clemson University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report magazine as the leading national university in South Carolina and 39th among the nation's top public universities."  CLEMSON NEWS
CLEMSON -- Clemson University is joining an international effort to conserve the H.L. Hunley, the first submarine in history to sink a warship in battle. The Civil War submarine, recovered off the coast of South Carolina, is one of the largest intact metal artifacts ever recovered from the ocean floor. But its size -- 45 feet -- and wrought iron and cast iron composition have complicated the job of conserving the submarine, which is now being maintained in a special chilled freshwater solution at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center....excerpt from article by WRITER: Sandy Dees  <>of Clemson University....original article

Restoration in Charleston excerpt from Clemson World
Fall 2005 -- Vol. 58, No. 4

Clemson is working to restore the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley
and develop a 65-acre research campus in North Charleston that
could employ thousands. The city council donated 80 acres of land, valued at $14.5 million, on the former Charleston Navy Base for that purpose. 

The property includes the Warren E. Lasch Conservation Center,
where the Hunley is being conserved. The Hunley Commission has endorsed the transfer of the Lasch Center to Clemson.

The University will use the site to establish research space for the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) and expand Hunley
work to include Clemson faculty and student research in historic preservation, advanced building materials and assembly, urban
ecology and healthy communities.

In September, Clemson was granted $10.3 million in matching state
funds that will enhance the University’s commitment. The S.C.
Bond Act Review Committee awarded the match — through the
state’s Research Universities Infrastructure Act.

Clemson will use the matching funds to upgrade the Lasch
Center, improve infrastructure and landscaping at the site, and
build the first facility on the North Charleston campus to support
esearch conducted through CURI.

CURI is the first formal academic organization focused on the
restoration economy, created to bring together experts and
researchers and to drive economic growth through restoration
industries and technology. It will have design and planning studios
in the Clemson Architecture Center in historic downtown
Charleston and will locate its research and development
laboratories and facilities at the North Charleston campus.

This is a great opportunity for Clemson to show how science
and business can work together to expand our economy and
provide new jobs in our state, says S.C. House Speaker Robert


CSS H L HUNLEY -Day of Remembrance - 17 Feb 1864I

'm sure all on the board are aware that today is the 142nd anniversary of the CSS H.L. Hunley's final voyage.  For me, it's a day to reflect and remember the eight brave men who went to their deaths in a determined attempt to strike a blow against the enemy in defense of their cause.  And I also want to remember the five seamen from the Housatonic who perished that night.  I was touched when I read Richard Wills' master's thesis (recently provided to us by Barry) and noticed that he had dedicated his research to the memory of those five U.S. Navy sailors.  Of course brave men were not lacking on either side in that long and terrible conflict we know as the American Civil War.  And we are fortunate that our country has always produced individuals who have been willing to sacrifice their lives in defense of the rights and freedoms we hold so dear.  Fittingly, we remember their sacrifice each year on Memorial Day.  But today is special, it is a day to remember all who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country on the night of
17 Feb 1864

  Kim Johnson

The art work of Daniel Dowdey with his permission




When Scientists released the discovery of  a series of complex "deadlights" covering the 10 portholes in the Hunley's crew cabin ceiling they were measured to be about one inch-thick made of, cast-iron and served to strengthen the hull to keep them watertight particularly around the glass ports, one of a sub's most vulnerable hull penetrations.

The deadlights also served to mute the glow of light from inside the submarine when she was running just beneath the surface of the

Even though the interior of the cabin was painted white the need for more interior light became obvious yet they had to also maintain their stealthiness by being able to shut the light out to observing enemies.  They thought ahead about light giving away their position and the
more serious problem of the results of leaking.  All of these optional equipment amendments added to the ingenious advancement that
the designers thought out way in advance of any planed attacks.
The Hunley was a stealthy, sleek attack weapon not simply
something fashioned out of a boiler.

In old diagrams of the sub, the word "deadlight" appears in
connection with the ceiling portholes, which acted as skylights
and illuminated the sub during the day. Most people thought
that was merely a reference to the portholes, not any mechanism
beneath them.  


The deadlight coverings have been hidden in the concretion
covering the submarine. Scientists are just beginning to chip away
at the mass of silt, sand and shell that has enveloped the sub like a cocoon for more than a century. In some places, the concretion is
harder and thicker than the sub's metal hull. Conservators have
cleared the concretion from one of the two deadlights in the first
hull plate that scientists removed to gain access to the sub in 2001.
The other remains buried under a mass of concretion.

The deadlights kept the Hunley hidden from Housatonic sailors
on the night of Feb. 17, 1864. Although one sailor testified he
saw a faint glow of light, probably from the forward conning tower,
it wasn't enough to give the Union troops much of a target. No
survivors recounted seeing light from multiple portholes.

With the sub cruising just 2 feet below the surface, the portholes
 -- if left uncovered -- would have looked like an airport runway
at night, outlining the sub's exact position.

The thickness of the deadlights suggests they had a more serious purpose, as a thin piece of tin could have blocked the light.
Senior Hunley conservator Paul Mardikian removed the glass from
the  deadlight and remains of a dome-shaped rubber gasket, perfectly preserved.,


GRACE BEAHM/STAFF courtesy of the
Charleston's Finest Newspaper

Senior conservator Paul Mardikian watches as Philippe de Vivies chisels away concretion Wednesday from one of the Hunley's hull plates.

Mardikian said "the rubber may have buckled or the inside of the deadlight cover could have been shaped to fit into the porthole.
That would have made the sub watertight around the glass,
which was only 1 centimeter thick and vulnerable to gunshot -- or perhaps the repercussion of an exploding torpedo. "

"It was probably meant to plug it," Mardikian said. "It's very funny
with the Hunley, how you think it is so simple and when you get
into the details you are amazed at how well it was constructed."

dead·light   Audio pronunciation of "deadlight" ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (ddlt)n.
  1. Nautical.
    1. A strong shutter or plate fastened over a ship's porthole or cabin window in stormy weather.
    2. A thick window set in a ship's side or deck.
  2. A skylight constructed so that it cannot be opened.

    n : a strong shutter over a ship's porthole that is closed in stormy weather



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BUY ONE NEW CUTAWAY HUNLEY AND RECEIVE pewter sculpture of Lt. George E. Dixon, by Andrew Chernak FREE (an $80.00 value)
Charles Williams
Williams Media




The fully up-dated CSS H L HUNLEY MODEL is ready to ship.

Spence is Doing Well
even without the benefit of ATTORNEYS


Spence's location for the wreck of the Hunley, which he published on a map in his book Treasure's of the Confederate Coast, several months before Cussler's alleged discovery, was within twenty-one thousandths of an inch of the State's location,

CHARLESTON, SC-- Internationally known undersea explorer E. Lee Spence, who is in a court battle, with best selling novelist Clive Cussler, over credit for the discovery of the Civil War submarine Hunley, has just won an important judgment in a similar case. In that case, Spence sued Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., (AMEX: OMR), Seahawk Deep Ocean Technology, Inc.  (SHWK.PK ) Gregg Stem, John Morris, and others, alleging that Odyssey’s 2004 discovery of the steamer Republic, with its reported one billion in gold and silver, used Spence’s confidential and proprietary research to target and find the wreck.

Will Lee Spence get a few pieces of Eight?


On February 10, 2006, a judge in Charleston awarded Spence and his partners a whopping $121,000,000 from one of the defendants, Seahawk Deep Ocean Technology, Inc. The case is still going forward against Odyssey et al. Spence is seeking $309,000,000 in damages relating to the Hunley from Cussler and says he is "looking forward to the jury hearing his case. " As you may know, Spence's location for the wreck of the Hunley, which he published on a map in his book Treasure's of the Confederate Coast, several months before Cussler's alleged discovery, was within twenty-one thousandths of an inch of the State's location, if they were marked on the same map. Spence first located the Hunley and reported his discovery to the State in 1970.

Cussler's National Underwater & Marine Agency sued Spence in 2002, claiming he defamed Cussler and published false statements about the charity.

Spence filed a countersuit in the same court, claiming Cussler and the NUMA discredited him and his discovery.

Cussler's promise to give any damages recovered from Spence in the case to charity was considered obnoxious and ordered removed from the lawsuit.

Spence never expected to be in this position particularly after having been commended by the State in 1995 for the "important role you have played in the discovery of the Hunley. "

Spence received service of a lawsuit from his nemesis, Clive Cussler from Colorado. Cussler is the Board Chairman of his own organization called National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), and attorney Richard Tapp, who is also the attorney for the Hunley Commission and Friends of the Hunley, Inc. The suit filed in October, 2001 asks for a jury to decide who first located the sub: Spence in 1970, or Cussler's group in 1995.  Spence is now fighting the battle to be allowed to present his evidence and documentation of his discovery to the jury pending the outcome of the next hearing.


Cornwell to Help Solve Hunley Mystery

Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Best-selling crime author Patricia Cornwell will
donate at least $500,000 to help researchers solve the mystery of
the sinking of the Confederate submarine Hunley, the first sub in
history to sink an enemy warship.

"This is a crime scene and you are doing an autopsy on that
submarine," Cornwell told The Associated Press Tuesday. "It's much
like Jack the Ripper  you take the best modern science and apply it
to a very old investigation and see if you can make the dead speak
after all these years."

The eight-man, hand-cranked sub rammed a spar with black powder into the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston on Feb. 17, 1864. The Hunley never made it back.

The sub was located off Charleston 11 years ago and raised in 2000.

Cornwell, whose 20 crime books include her series of thrillers
featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, often conducts research in working labs to give her novels added realism. She visited the
Hunley in its conservation lab a month ago and worked with Dr. Jamie Downs, the coastal regional medical examiner for the state of
Georgia who has worked on the Hunley project.

Cornwell said one of the purposes of her donation is to bring in
equipment such as high-tech computers that might help solve the
mystery of the sinking. That equipment includes an infrared device
able to show structural weaknesses in metal.

She also said she may recruit other scientists she has met over the
years  including experts in metal from the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory who may be able to help unravel the Hunley mystery.

"They may not find anything that answers the question," she said in
an interview from New York. "I'm simply saying this should not be
put to rest without us doing everything we can to try to figure out
what happened to the Hunley and what killed these eight people on

There are generally two theories about the sinking. One is that the
glass in the conning tower was shot out during the attack, allowing
water to rush into the iron vessel. The other is that the crew ran
out of air as they tried to crank the sub back to shore.

In December, scientists said that in removing encrustation from the
front conning tower, the view port glass was missing. If shattered
glass is found at the bottom of the sub, it could indicate it was
broken during battle. But if it is found largely intact, it might
indicate it broke when the sub was sinking. The floor of the sub is
still encrusted with hardened sediment.

A Thursday news conference was scheduled to discuss Cornwell's involvement in the project.

But she told the AP there were no plans to write a book about the
Hunley, such as her 2002 book that explored the identity of Jack the
Ripper, who killed at least seven prostitutes in London's East End
in 1888.

NC - Battle Reenactments and the Hunley Replica 4-5 March

For North Carolina members (the Hunley replica is only partially
accurate, but does include changes based on actual finds):
KINSTON -- Battle re-enactments, military demonstrations, 19th-
century music and a reproduction of a Confederate submarine will be
some of the highlights of a living history weekend planned for March
4-5 in Kinston.

Battle re-enactments will be held both Saturday and Sunday on U.S.
258 south of Kinston, about a quarter-mile south of its intersection
with U.S. 70. The location is the site of an 1862 Civil War battle
for the town.

Camps of both Confederate and Union re-enactors will open to the
public at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.

A variety of demonstrations, including artillery, cavalry, civilian,
infantry, and medical, as well as music and sutlers (vendors who sell
original and reproduction items), will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Also on hand will be a full-scale reproduction of the Confederate
submarine C.S.S. Hunley, the first working submarine ever used in

Other highlights of the living history weekend will include a re-
enactment of the capture of the 15th Connecticut Regiment by
Confederate troops on Saturday and an attack by forces under the
command of Gen. Robert Hoke on Sunday.

Sunday's battle will be the first re-enactment of the Battle of Wyse
Fork to held near the site of the original battle. The Battle of Wyse
Fork, fought in 1865, was the second largest Civil War battle fought
in North Carolina.

Admission is $5 per person, with children 12 and under free. Proceeds will go toward the preservation of the two Lenoir County Civil War battlefields.

The event is sponsored by the Historical Preservation Group, the
Lenoir County Battlefields Commission and the Kinston Convention and Visitor's Bureau. For more information, visit or contact Si Lawrence at the Eastern Civil War Office at 919-581-1041, or

Brought to our attention by JVNAUTILUS


Hello Group;
I meant to join quite some time ago after I posted at George
Penington's site...[The] my theory of the Hunley's ballast tank operation entitled "How did the Hunley's ballast tanks work and how did she submerge?"

George you invited me to join at that time, but I never got around to
it til now. Thanks for the invite.

I continue to be very interested in the Hunley, but now my interest is
also turning to another lost submarine wreck now that the Hunley is
safely with us and will be studies for the next 20 or 30 years. I am
wondering if anyone, knows anything, about whether or not there are any efforts ongoing to try and find McClintock's second submarine called the Pioneer 2 and also called the American Diver that floundered in mobile bay while being towed in rough seas? This boat looks like and is the prototype for the Hunley. She was also the first submarine to use an experimental electric motor that was deemed underpowered and uninstalled and a hand operated crank was installed in its place. The Hunley sank the first ship sunk by a sub as far as we know thus far, (there are sketchy reports I have heard of other sub sinking before the Hunley, but none proven) but the American diver was the prototype for the Hunley and I am unable to find anything at all about a search to find her. Anyone know anything about an American diver search?
Bill Akins."Bill Akins" <>

Hi Bill. Welcome to the group.

I remember reading something about a half-hearted effort to find the
second boat a long time ago. If I remember correctly, some experts
believed that it would have sunk deeper into the muck than the Hunley, and that there's no known reference point to search from. Unlike the  Hunley, it's neither a legend, nor an engineering marvel, nor a compelling bit of Civil War history, and thus little reason to spend a lot of money trying to find it.

The first boat, the Pioneer, is known to have been recovered by the
Federals after the war. The famous "Rebel Submarine Ram" diagram shows its design in elegant detail. Sadly, the Pioneer was sold for scrap.

css hl hunleY GROUP


Tours of the Hunley are available 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Tours are not available on weekdays so that the archaeologists can continue their preservation work.

Tickets are $10 plus a service charge and can be purchased by either calling 1-877-448-6539 or on the Internet at Children under 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance, and walk-up tickets are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.






For several years now we have been asking if anyone knew Lt. George E. Dixons Middle Name  and what the E. stood for and no one has been able to definitively answer the question. Here are two clues. Number One is that's Cussler is the Left Picture above and the Second is that his middle name starts with E. just like George E. Dixon. Cussler once said that he thought he might be Dixon re-incarnate. The contest is included as a survey or you can E-mail me . First right answer gets this Hunley Collectors Coin. Thanks and enjoy.   Contest and Survey 



The National Trust's Southern Office  and the Morris Island Coalition are working together to raise money to buy the site. Blake Hallman of the Morris Island Coalition is quoted in the Post and Courier as stating, "It's a travesty to build on a graveyard where brave men fought and died"  "If the property falls off the market or is developed the state and nation will lose out to a "few privileged people in a bed and breakfast."

The final selling price is secret but the value for the land has floated, ranging between $4 million and $12.5 million. It was appraised at $4.1 million in 2001.For More Information on this topic


The Post and Courier - Charleston, S.C.
Date:Feb 2, 2006

The Ginn Co. purchased a chunk of the island for $6.5 million Wednesday and agreed to resell it to the nonprofit Trust for Public Land for $4.5 million. The company also agreed to donate $500,000 to help plan for the island's future, company founder and president Bobby Ginn said.

in the Charleston and Mount Pleasant area. The people who will live in and use these facilities will now have a new oceanfront park that they can go to," Ginn said. "That's the motivation, if any. As Charleston and Mount Pleasant go, we go."

Ginn bought the property from the Yaschik Development Co. of Charleston, which paid about $3 million during a foreclosure proceeding in the mid-1980s. The island's profile has risen in recent years as various developers proposed building as many as 60 homes on the island, which can be reached only by boat.

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