H. L. Hunley model
1/72 :Special Price:
The Hunley store now
has models. The kit was created from first hand observations and
measurements to create a truly accurate and magnificent
finished piece for display. Only a small amount of modeling
experience & a few tools are recommended to complete the kit.
Simple instructions included indicate what
tools are necessary. (Glue and paint are not included.) Scale
is 1/72. Length 11.50". Kit number #72-001.
1) WELCOME TO THE
NEW HUNLEY NEWSLETTER
A special welcome to all the new subscribers.
This newsletter is published every two weeks so no one is bombarded
with mail. It is now in html format which allows us to post
pictures and text. Sometimes they get a little heavy but if you
wait patiently all the pictures should download to you. It may be
best to save the letter to your computer so you can read it at your
leisure. If you ever have a problem with it and need some help just
write me and let me know. We even throw in a few free computer
lessons for neophytes. If you get the urge to write articles send
them on. Comments and feedback are always welcome.
the torpedo delivery system
of the Confederate Submarine
George W. Penington
There have been numerous theories that we have
mulled around in the CSS H L HUNLEY CLUB about the torpedo delivery
system of the Confederate Submarine H L Hunley and how it was
actually completed. We know the system of dragging a floating 90
lb. torpedo behind the submarine allowing it to contact its target
as the submarine dove below it proved to be extremely hazardous. The
spar mounted system was quickly adapted to the Hunley approximately
6 weeks before it was proven to be somewhat effective and
questionably successful. Below are pictures showing sections of
cut out section of the famous Chapman painting shows two
brackets and a third clamp mounted on the port side of the
the spool on the starboard side, further aft of the
The fittings seem to grasp the obvious
protrusions forward on the port side, and then clam or wrap the
wooden top spar above.
| "The spar rig components we
have seen show bolted-on retro-fit characteristics, but do not
appear crude or jury-rigged." "Chapman's painting clearly shows
fairly bulky fittings on the upper bow" jvnautilus
Excerpt from Chapman painting
|The protrusions that appear on
the port side do not show up on the starboard side leading to
the theory that the upper spar was side mounted.
|There are theories that the
lower spar was braced with rigging lines and by a cross bow that
ran perpendicular across the upper bow through the aperture
shown and that a metal bracing bar might have run down to the
lower spar to give it lateral stability.
There were three breaches found in the hull
of the Hunley. The hole in the forward conning tower, a bowling
ball sized gash just forward of the dive plane on the starboard
side, and a 24" x 18' tear near the stern.
The above are excerpts from Robert L. Helms' Project Work for
the Friends of the Hunley:
The starboard side does not show the
protrusion that may have been manufactured on the port side to
carry the upper spar.
Dowdey shows side-mount spar
It is theoretical that the Hunley cruised with the torpedo
raised out of the water. The Commander or his First mate in the
aft turret would have lowered it on instructions from the Lt.
Dixon after the USS Housatonic was targeted and the Hunley was
aligned for attack. The lateral forces on the spar from waves
and currents would be minimal until moments before the attack
time. The theory is, that Dixon would not have a second chance
to correct his course if it was altered once the torpedo was in
the water. He would have had to anticipate the currents from the
ebb tide and the Hunley even though it was aligned would have
been crabbing toward its target. These forces might have had
something to do with the fact that the impact of the torpedo was
toward the stern of the Housatonic, rather than amidships,
another few seconds and the Hunley could have undershot the 207'
"Keep in mind that the Hunley was placed on the Mt.
Pleasant wharf in November 1863. Chapman made his sketch and
Cook made his "photograph" of the Hunley in December. The towed
torpedo was still the primary weapon at that point, as evidenced
by the near disaster in January. So whatever spar rigging can be
seen in those works of art must have been experimental.
The David did indeed have a working spar torpedo but the
problem was greater than just adapting it to the Hunley. The
David's conical bow lent itself perfectly to a Y-shaped spar.
The Hunley's did not. The point is that the Hunley's engineers
were working under extremely adverse conditions and might have
settled on a design that was strong enough to keep the spar
stable while attacking but not while turning.
In any case, there were clearly tradeoffs involved in
lowering the torpedo at launch time vs. attack time. It's true
that the Hunley depended on stealth, but I don't think closing
to attack range in the dark with a raised spar torpedo would
have compromised it all that much.
As to the problem of lowering the torpedo, either hatch could
have been used to operate an external winch, which would not
have required very much effort as gravity would have been doing
the work. The crewman would have slowly released the brake,
allowing the torpedo to lower itself.
As to shifting the mass of the spar and torpedo, I think it
would have affected the trim more than the freeboard capacity.
Unless the spar and/or torpedo had positive buoyancy, the
displacement would have been the same regardless of position.
And lastly, keeping the torpedo dry as long as possible might
have been important. It had to have had some sort of opening for
the trigger cord.
Maybe evilmike2 can add some insight to these issues."
evilmike2 "Mike (the Torpedo Man) Kochan" wrote in part:
"Confederate view:...The idea was to get the tank at least 6
feet underwater. You can't compress a liquid so the surrounding
weight of water helps confine the explosion into the hull. Some
of the early experiments with row boats having spar torpedoes on
them being forced against an old barge or scow, would blow the
vessel to atoms but not harm the row boat only 10 feet away!!
I believe the 90lb torpedo on the Hunley was the size of the one
towed behind her on the surface.
The 130 odd pound Singer torpedo seems to make sense, size and
design. The 16 inch diameter and 24 inch long tank is a great
design with multiple trigger ignition points at the center of
the tank. This would ensure a most efficient burning of almost
all the powder in the tank.
If you could imagine Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, where the
Confederates had about 140 pieces of artillery fire at the union
forces to soften up their position. They basically took a one
pound service charge and if they all fired at once, that would
be the force coming out of the torpedo next to the hull of the
"Housatonic'. That's why it blew the stern quarter off , broke
the prop shaft and sank her in less than 5 minutes. "
" I believe these are the straps that held the top boom to
the hull. They are clearly visible in Chapman's painting. The
painting also shows some large bolt-like items that could have
served as guy wire attachment points.
Dan Dowdey's reconstruction shows the boom on the port side,
consistent with the current strap position. My reading of the
painting however puts the boom either on top and shaped to fit
or on the starboard side. (I have a larger-than-the-original
print of the painting that shows good detail of the painting.)
I also believe the boom as Chapman painted it runs fore and aft,
not athwart ships. This doesn't eliminate the possibility that
such a brace may have been fitted later.
Finally, put me in the camp that says the torpedo was shipped at
the dock and not in the target area. I do believe one of the
contemporary reports says as much. I think it would be too
risky to attempt to
lower the torpedo and spar at sea. Yes the shipped
configuration would generate more drag, but this was a
jury-rigged retrofit to replace the original towed torpedo
configuration. Compare the smoothed hull as originally
constructed to the spar-mount crudely but effectively bolted to
the hull. There is no sign of streamlining there."
Michael "jvnautilus "
Posted: 2-Jul-2002 by hunley_bar | Resolution: 480x352
3) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Defense Department to help conserve
the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley
From the Associated Press 3/28/03
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Defense Department has earmarked $700,000 to
help conserve the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, U.S. Sen.
Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced Thursday.
The money, from the agency's Legacy Resource Management program,
will help pay for continued conservation of the sub, which was
raised off the floor of the Atlantic Ocean near Charleston in 2000
and brought to a conservation lab at the old Charleston Navy Base.
Graham worked with the Defense Department, 1st District U.S. Rep.
Henry Brown, R-S.C., and those working to conserve and display the
Hunley to get the money.
"I am proud to have been a part of protecting this piece of American
history," Graham said. "The Hunley is a historically unique artifact
that is an object of interest to the people of South Carolina and
Under an agreement between South Carolina and the federal government
approved almost seven years ago, the United States retains title to
the Hunley while South Carolina has permanent custody.
One goal of the Legacy Resource Management Program is to conserve
and manage historical resources or property owned by the Defense
The Hunley is the first submarine in history to sink an enemy
warship. But the sub itself sank in February 1864 after blowing up
the Union blockade ship Housatonic off the coast of Charleston.
4) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT -
"We don't want to be
accused of stampeding anything,"
Hunley bidders to undergo 2nd round of questioning
BY BRIAN HICKS
Of The Post and Courier
COLUMBIA--A decision on where to build the H.L. Hunley
museum will not be made before the fall as the cities competing to
house the Confederate sub are about to undergo a second round of
The first question for Mount Pleasant will be -- Are you bidding
The Hunley Commission's site selection subcommittee voted
Thursday to submit a dozen questions to Charleston, Mount Pleasant
and North Charleston concerning simple matters such as who will own
the museum and what grant writers and exhibit developers are
available to them. There are more intangible questions, too, such as
their commitment to a first-class facility.
Chris Sullivan, the subcommittee's chairman, drew up most of the
questions to flesh out the more peripheral benefits associated with
each bid. The three cities, with Patriot's Point joining Mount
Pleasant, applied for the museum one year ago.
Sullivan said that one of the outstanding questions is the status
of Mount Pleasant. Mayor Harry Hallman earlier this year said the
town would withdraw its bid, and Town Council redirected the money
it had committed to the project, essentially taking the offer off
Town officials said they would consider putting more money back
up if the commission decides it would like to put the museum there.
Some commission members have said privately the town is trying to
have it both ways, which won't work. Sullivan said Thursday he will
ask town officials point-blank. He said that Patriot's Point
officials have said they are still a bidder even if the town is not
involved. But the home of the Yorktown does not have the taxing
ability to raise money as a town does.
"That's a question I have," Sullivan said. "Are we down to two
The questions that the subcommittee is now asking the bidders
concern historical presentation and displays, how they would handle
ongoing conservation and whether they are willing to help raise
money for the museum, which some estimate could cost up to $40
million. Also, the commission wants to know if the bidder or the
Hunley Commission would be responsible for hiring or firing staff at
Initially the commission expected to make a decision on the
museum site last year, but they were delayed when officials
associated with the project decided there was not enough money on
the table to proceed. With a state budget crisis and flaccid economy
looming, the commission has held off on the decision.
The subcommittee will give the bidders until June 27 to respond
to the questions in writing, and the sitting panel of the Hunley
Commission will reconvene to discuss the new information the first
week in September.
Sen. John Courson argued that since the sub will not be ready for
display for at least seven years, there is no hurry to make a final
"We don't want to be accused of stampeding anything," Sullivan
Reprinted with permission of the
Post and Courier and Charleston.Net
From: Tom Grazioli [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Funeral For The Crew?
I heard there was to be an announcement about the funeral for the
Hunley crew. Do you know if one was made and where I can get a copy
Hello Tom...Thanks for writing. .Sorry it took so long to get
back to you...had to make sure I knew what I was talking
about....which happens sometimes .I have not heard anything more
about the funeral arrangements other than it is supposed to be
around November, 2003 and will probably get delayed again. Below is
what the Friends of the Hunley, Inc. are running on their website.
If you haven't already....you ought to sign up for the bi-monthly
newsletter and I will keep you up to date as news is made available.
Just go into
www.thehunley.com to sign up
'cause we do not spam. Thanks again and stay in touch.
"Now that the eight-man crew has been removed from the Hunley,
forensic and scientific work is being done on the remains. The
courageous crew will ultimately be laid to rest alongside the
previous two Hunley crews at Magnolia Cemetery.
Before this takes place, we need to complete facial
reconstructions of each crewmember, so that we can know who these
men were and what they looked like. When they are finally laid to
rest, we will honor real men, with names and faces, heroes whose
stories can be fully told for generations to come. So that we are
able to do this, an exact date has not yet been determined, but it
is expected to take place either in late 2003 or early 2004. Please
do not email or call about the date of the Hunley crew burial. We
are extremely thankful to all of you who want to participate,
however, at this point, we do not have any more information other
than what is provided on this web page. We will post all contact and
date information regarding the burial on this web page as soon as it
becomes available. Thank you!"
Here is a link to a page I built awhile back with some contact
information and an article. I think that it will be a massive affair
from the letters that I have received. I hope that they are up to
George W. Penington
Thanks for the note. The reenacting community is very interested
in the final journey the crew of the Hunley. I expect there will be
a very large turnout for the funeral when the day comes. With recent
speculation of a November date, I had quite a number of inquiries.
One of my other contacts told me last night that the date had been
pushed back at least into 2004. We'll watch for the official word.
At Your Service, Colonel Tom Grazioli Palmetto Battalion
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 11:51 AM
Subject: Spar placement
Hi, I'm the father of a 5th grade Civil War
enthusiast. In the pictures and models of the Hunley craft, the
spar that held the explosive charge is pictured and represented both
top and bottom of the front of the sub. Is there any way of
knowing the real configuration or placement? What has the Hunley
Derek's father, Marc
Hello and thanks for writing. There is a
short fixed spar at the top of the forward bow and the longer one is
hinged at the lower forward bow. It just so happens that I just
finished building the 1/72 scale model of the Hunley and it was a
lot of fun. I have included it in this weeks newsletter. The
pre-discovery Hunley shows the spar on top. The revision since the
discovery is correctly showing the torpedo mounted on the lower
spar. The logo I use is correct. If you get a chance before
tomorrow sign up for the newsletter the 5th grader will enjoy it.
My site is definitely family safe. If you don't get the newsletter
, let me know and I will send you a separate copy. Here is the
picture of my completed model.
Thanks for writing and good luck to you
all. George W. Penington
NOTE: I need to move the upper spar to the
port side which appears to be the proper configuration.
6) FROM THE GUEST BOOK
Date: 21 Mar 2003
I, love the website. I, am a civil war enthusiastic, especially,
when it, comes, to something, concerning, THE CONFEDERACY. I, have
only been to, three Civil War Battle ground's. My first, was to ft.
Blakeley, located East of Mobile, Al. MY 2nd, was to SHILOH, and my
3rd, was to VICKSBURG, Ms. I, live, just 50 mile's, from Mobile,
Al., in Pensacola, Fl. I, hope someday, to go to see GETTYSBURG, Pa.
Why? hasnt someone tried to find, the first sub, that sank, in
Mobile, Bay? Steve Heard.
Date:22 Mar 2003
We, who have not had to make the ultimate sacrifice that these
men made, can only bow our heads in admiration.
Date: 27 Mar 2003
IT IS REALLY INTERESTING AND EDUCATIVE ALSO. BEST WISHES TO ALL
CONTRIBUTORS. CAN I FIND PRINTED MATERIALS ALSO???? SINCERELY,
SHAMBHU P.O.BOX 13344 KTM NEPAL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date:28 Mar 2003
I think this website is very informative and interesting. I would
love to go see The Hunley some day. I love historical artifacts of
the Civil War. It's sometimes difficult to understand that time but
find it very captivating.
Date:30 Mar 2003
Thank you for an informative web site. Really interesting.
Date:30 Mar 2003
My son is doing a Civil War project for school and we thought
this would be a great project and very educational for the 4th grade
project. Hope to be seeing you this weekend. Thank you the Boyst
Family from Warner Robins Georgia.
Date:01 Apr 2003
It is a great thing that people take such great interest in it's
history. I'm glad I found this web site. Remember, not to know one's
history is to remain a child. CW4 M. Suggs - Kuwait
OUR PURPOSE AND GOALS
Is to provide specialized information
to those who are interested in the recovery efforts and history of
the Confederate Submarine H L Hunley. It is available free to anyone
who might benefit from the information it contains, for example,
students and history buffs. Our mailing list will always be kept
private and will never be sold.
Feel free to forward this newsletter
to any friends or associates