|NEWSLETTER # 24
1) WELCOME TO THE NEW
WELCOME TO THE NEW HUNLEY NEWSLETTER:
DIXON WILL GET A FACE NEXT WEEK
THE CIVIL WAR
OVER THE CONFEDERATE SUBMARINE H L HUNLEY
YEAR END STATEMENT AND THANKS
NEW MAP AND CHART OF THE CIVIL WAR BATTLE HISTORY AROUND CHARLESTON HARBOR
FROM THE GUEST BOOK
OUR PURPOSE AND GOALS
are now publishing our newsletters in HTML. One of the primary highlights
is that we can now inserts images. We hope that you will like the new
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This weeks special at
The Hunley store.
Charleston Harbor Map by George Penington
Each map graphically shows
the ships around the harbor and their
appropriate location on specified dates.
George has plotted the locations of wrecks
such as the Blockade runner "Ruby" off Folly Beach. The
Housatonic and the Hunley are accurately
charted according to records and research that
Charleston Harbor map. (framed) $34.99 plus 3.50 S&H (product # 1022)
DIXON WILL GET A FACE NEXT WEEK
McConnell has announced that they are now ready to put a face on the
remains of Lt. George E. Dixon.
Archaeologist determined the photo post-war:
the man's tie, the lapels on his coat, his boots - even the furniture and
the draperies in the room - all indicate the tintype photograph was taken
after 1870 - six years after the Hunley sank - and perhaps even as late as
1890 Sally Necessary in Virginia, owns the original print.
summer of 2002, Diane France, described as one of the country’s most
renowned forensic anthropologist was hired to analyze the remains of the
Hunley crewmen. Her mission was to find clues about their lives and their
She spent two
weeks this summer studying the bones and making silicone-
based rubber molds, which she
has in Fort Collins.
The rubber molds have been cast and scientist are now ready to put a face
on Lt. George E. Dixon this week.
Now a mystery
may be solved and another one created.
The mystery comes from a
single picture, thought to be of Lt. George Dixon. According to Senator
Glenn McConnell, the photo shows a man in his mid 20s, and was found
tucked behind another picture in Queenie Bennett's photo album. Bennett
was the woman who gave Dixon the famous gold coin which saved his life at
the Battle of Shiloh.
According to Senator
McConnell, Queenie Bennett's descendants believed the photo is of Lt.
Dixon because it matches his description. However, some historians have
Some say that the lapels of
the jacket in the picture, and the design of the cravat, or tie, suggest a
later period than in the mid 1860s. One historian has suggested the tie
was fashionable in England at the time, and perhaps Lt. Dixon was a little
ahead of his time.
McConnell does say that Lt.
Dixon was a fashionable man, and had a reputation for being a dashing
man. His remains show he had very white teeth and his clothing found
inside the sub had some metallic threads, indicating his uniform is a cut
above what was expected to be found inside the Hunley.
But the first crewman’
Commander George E. Dixon will now have a face. It is hopeful that the
final touches will be made this week and the face shown to the public next
week. Diane France is one of a team that is ready to make this happen.
is a renowned forensic anthropologists whose
job is to identify skeletal and badly decomposed human remains for both
legal and humanitarian reasons. She is director of the
Human Identification Laboratory at Colorado State
University, and president of Colorado-based
International, a team of volunteer forensic scientists who lend their expertise to
local law enforcement.
And as part of the U.S.
Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team,
which rushes to the scene of
mass deaths, she spent two weeks sorting
through the debris of the World
Trade Center, seeking and helping to
identify human remains, some
painfully tiny. Dr. Doug Owsley, head anthropologist at the
Smithsonian, research assistant Rebecca Kardash
and Dr. Robert Mann, who is a hand and foot bone expert, were at the
Warren Lasch Conservation Center in February 2002 to study the human
remains of the crew. All are working with a common goal with each playing
Dr. Owsley said their goal
" is to sort the bones by laying them out
anatomically in order to make a person,". With 206 bones for each human,
it is a complex and lengthy process. The forensic team's task has been
simplified somewhat by the fact that the remains were found where each
crewmember was stationed in the submarine.
"This process is the first step in identifying each crewmember. We have to
create a person before the formal analysis can begin. What is also helpful
is that we are dealing with people of various sizes and ages, which will
assist us in laying out the remains," Dr. Owsley said. The scientists on
the Hunley project will be assisting the forensic team in this process.
The study of the remains helps to unlock the mystery surrounding the
crewmen. Project Director Dr. Bob Neyland
said, "We should be prepared for startling discoveries about the personal
life, background, age and health of the crew."
In the bones and skeletal faces
of the Hunley's crew Dr. France sees
clues, too. Her findings might
help archaeologists, conservators, anthropologists and historians
understand the life of Civil
War sailors and the dawn of modern
One probably smoked a pipe on
the left side of his mouth until an abscessed tooth forced him to
switch to the other side - where it again wore a gap in his teeth.
In another, she sees evidence of a once-broken nose. And compared
to modern mouths, their teeth show
The dangerous mission's
volunteers were not young men, but not old
either. Though probably not
wealthy, they showed no obvious signs of
disease or violent lives, other
than that they were Confederate
fighting men. "They seem like
pretty regular guys," France says.
"When you know something about
the remains you study, you start to care about them as humans and
develop a kind of relationship. I don't know anything about these guys
other than they got in a sub and blew up a Union ship. They had to be
really committed to their cause."
Little is known about them.
Since the Hunley had close ties to the Confederate Secret Service,
many records were intentionally destroyed at the end of the war to
protect operatives. Their names and a few details of their military
service are known, but little else.
polyurethane-plastic casts she personally made of the Hunley crew's bones, she
has found no clues to the cause of their deaths on the bone-chilling
night when the sub went down. Their bones
won't reveal if they suffocated
or drowned in the Hunley's
"I've found nothing that will
tell us what happened that night," she
"What interests me most is the
preservation of the men," France
says. "You could clean up a
cadaver today and it wouldn't be any better preserved than these
"Bearing the solemnity of this
process in mind, it's fascinating and fun to pick up clues the public
can't readily see," France says.
"I think it's kind of
disrespectful to want to totally isolate yourself
from these people."
France's casts of the Hunley
crew's skulls will help artist Sharon
Long of Laramie reconstruct
faces, to be displayed at the Hunley
museum in South Carolina.
Hunley Commission have promised that the crew's
will eventually buried beside
two previous Hunley crews. Glen McConnell states that the funeral will
probably be in November of 2003 or as late as April 2004. He says that
they want to make sure the bone studies are complete and matched up to
Sharon Long is a forensic artist who
specializes in re-creating what people looked like when they were alive by
examining their skulls. Relying on a scientific technique for measuring
skin depth of various parts of a skull, Long
then forms a clay model of the head. She then places tissue markers of
differing lengths on 21 strategic points on his face. After connecting the
points with clay strips, she filled in the open areas. The final plaster
version of the head was made from a mold cast from the clay model and will
be ready for display this week. http://www.trib.com/scjournal/ARC/1997/JUNE/6_8_97/lv1.h
of Sharon Longs work – Sgt Floyd)
says. "As a scientist, I know
that any knowledge is valuable, preserving the skeletons of the Hunley
crew, or Kennewick, or
any human skeleton is important
because it gives us a greater
understanding of the ways that
the skeleton records a person's life."
Excerpts from article “Civil
War legends surface with sub
expert studies exhumed sailors”
Denver Post Staff Writer.
You can reach:
Dr. Diane France, President
1713 Wilcox Court, Suite A
Fort Collins, CO 80524
THE CIVIL WAR
OVER THE CONFEDERATE SUBMARINE H L HUNLEY
Beauregard McConnell is sending the troops back to the drawing table to
find a pot of gold.
The battle is over where
to put the Confederate submarine Hunley and the weapon of choice is not
Minnie balls but money.
State Sen. Glenn McConnell
is stating that,
Pleasant, Charleston and North Charleston need to recalculate the numbers
and to include the unexpected.
A first-class Hunley-Civil
War maritime museum is
roughly $38 million, McConnell
said, but none of the cities are offering anywhere near that. It is
difficult to determine which city is actually offering the most.
proposals were referred to the State Budget and Control Board for
interpretation. It first appeared that the highest offer - from North
Charleston - was about $11 million, Mount Pleasant about $7 million and
the City of Charleston,
about $5 million.
McConnell says he can’t
recommend that any of the three cities
get the sub without more
cushion behind the project or a bigger commitment by the
cities to raise money, seek
private donations or apply for public
grants. McConnell says that
any city who gets the package has got to be
prepared for the unexpected. As anyone knows with construction projects
there is always those hidden cost.
Glenn McConnell, chairman
of the state Hunley Commission is quoted as saying, "All of the offers
leave us financially short right now, I can’t accept
any of them."
The Post and Courier
states that “McConnell isn't suggesting the towns put up all the money,
only that their pots get bigger or their efforts to attract outside money
expand because it is not clear how much, if any, state money would be
available for a new
museum.” The State of South Carolina
is up against its worse financial crisis in decades, and Monday is D-day
for lawmakers to deal with an estimated $350 million dollar half year
scrounged through three complicated city proposals with a feeling that
each one of them was short. The state Budget and Control Board with their
financial experts conducted an analysis of the bid packages.
Their report was completed
the first week of December and found that all three
bidders would be able to
sustain the annual operations of a sub museum and do well in drawing
visitors. But the report did not address the cost of actually constructing
has concern over the construction cost and the technology needed to
“leave visitors with a lasting emotional impact” and a feeling of what
those men went through.” He compared this impact to the feelings and
remembrances one gets from leaving the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum in Washington, D.C. McConnell has a number
between $34 million to $38 million for the Hunley museum. He stated
that construction projects usually come in higher than planned with
towns all have sites on the waterfronts: The numbers may not be that far
off: Charleston - $5 million for a $29.5 million museum near the South
Carolina Aquarium; Mount Pleasant - Patriot's Point, $7 million over 10
years for a $28.5 million museum; North Charleston $11 million and a $40
million museum. On
December 15, 2002 JASON HARDIN AND JAMES SCOTT Of The Post and Courier
Staff reported the following:
City officials say a weak economy makes finding money difficult.
"I don't think anybody likes to have the squeeze put on them," said Charleston City Councilman
Robert George. "The implication is if you don't put up a lot more
money, I'm going to take my submarine and go somewhere else. And that's
unfortunate, because in the long run, (McConnell) may be the loser."
George was not alone in
rejecting the idea of throwing more chips on the pile. In fact, a
majority of Charleston's
council members agreed that the city's
bid should not be raised, some with dismissive comments.
With the national economy
still in a rocky patch and many local residents feeling the sting of
higher property tax bills, now is not the time to ask for more money,
"They can take the Hunley
and put it in Mount Pleasant
or Moncks Corner or wherever they want to
put it. We haven't got any more money," said Charleston City
Councilman Larry Shirley.
Those comments have been
echoed, to varying degrees, all across Charleston's
North Charleston Mayor
Keith Summey said the city couldn't afford to put up any more
money. He said North
Charleston - which has offered a $40 million plan with
$11 million coming out of the city's pocket - would have to find a
way to do more with less.
"The bottom line, the
Hunley is not in a rush," Summey said. "As I see it, unless something
drastic happens, where is it today? North Charleston.
For me, that's a positive on our part."
Mount Pleasant Mayor Harry
Hallman said last week that he doubts there is much enthusiasm in
East Cooper for upping the bid.
Charleston Mayor Joseph P.
Riley Jr. said his city's bid is strong as it is. He said that
bid offers the lowest cash amount, the money
is upfront rather than spread out over several years, making it
roughly equal to the Mount Pleasant-
Patriot's Point bid.
"I'm certainly not
planning to recommend to City Council that we increase the financial
commitment," he said.
Councilman Bob King expressed his frustration that McConnell came back and
demanded more money from already strapped municipalities. King
said with police officers and other city employees leaving over low
pay, there is no way to squeeze any more cash from the city.
"Glenn McConnell is out of
range and is holding us hostage," King said. "It is too much. Why
play games with us?"
council members said they were not enthusiastic
about the city's initial $5
Wendell Gilliard said the city has more important issues to deal with,
such as crime, improving schools and discontent over property taxes.
"It's a great historical
find, nobody's doubting that, but we have more important issues," he
said. "I would just as soon it stayed underwater so we could focus on
these other issues that are important to our community."
Gilliard, who is black, also said the idea of celebrating the Hunley - particularly with city
money - touches a nerve.
"What would have happened
if it was successful?" he said. "If the Hunley was successful in
its mission, we would still be in shackles and chains today,
let's face it."
George suggested that the
Hunley be part of the Charleston Museum, which
at one time was the plan. He said the submarine, even
when accompanied with Civil War
relics and exhibits, might not be
enough to justify a museum with
a $30-million-plus price tag. "We're talking about something you can
arguably look at every square inch of in 30 minutes," he said.
&nbs; McConnell said he doesn't
expect cities to pay the entire tab for the museum by themselves
and suggested that they could also make a more aggressive commitment to
seek private funds or grants.
It's unclear how much time
mayors will spend trying to seeking private donations for a museum
that is not guaranteed to be built in their city, but North
Charleston Mayor Pro Tem Kurt Taylor said the city would be willing to look
for additional revenue through such sources.
McConnell said he will
recommend at the January meeting of the Hunley Commission that the
municipalities be invited to revise their offers. He suggested the cities
be given up to four months to consider expanding their
YEAR END STATEMENT AND THANKS
I met with Glenn McConnell this week at the
CSA Galleries here in town. He said that he will make sure that the
press packets and releases are made available from The Friends of The
Hunley which will help in getting good accurate information out to all the
subscribers. One of everyone’s major complaints has been the lack of
information. I have found that even the local papers always put a twist to
the news and that we have to read between the lines to get the true
story. Glen and I have been friends for over thirty years so it was great
getting to see him in a relaxed atmosphere. I asked him about giving up
his law practice and he said it was an easy choice. Law was always
strenuous to him having to constantly stay under pressure, dealing with
judges, changing deadlines, tons of paper work and we both agreed that we
have reached an age where life should be a little less testy. I found Glen
in the store actually being a stock boy and smiling. He commented that it
was a hell of lot more fun dealing with people that came in, that were in
a good mood and were there because they wanted to be. CSA Galleries also
agreed to carry my Charleston Harbor Civil War Battle Map and were
impressed with its detail. So anyone locally that wants one can go by and
pick one up saving the shipping cost. I want to thank all the subscribers
and hope you all enjoyed the Hunley Newsletters. We have a lot of great
things to look forward to next year and I know that all the politics and
battles will be put aside with the primary goal of finding the Hunley a
new home and the proper burial of the brave men who took that sub out,
giving their lives in a cause they believed in. Merry Christmas and have
a great, prosperous and happy New Year and stay in touch. George W.
MAP AND CHART OF THE CIVIL WAR BATTLE HISTORY AROUND CHARLESTON HARBOR.
The map based around the Civil War in Charleston Harbor has
expanded to include the
River area. Based on Chart 11521 reduced to a manageable size of 11 x 14,
the image is scaled to fit a standard frame. The Latitudes and Longitudes
are scaled so that tracking can be accurately done. Each map graphically
shows the ships around the harbor and their appropriate location on
specified dates. I have plotted the locations of wrecks such as the
Blockade runner "Ruby" off Folly Beach. The Housatonic and the Hunley are
accurately charted according to records and research that are publicly
Naval Records and History, reports, and documents the locations of such
ships as the Canandaigua, the probable course of The Hunley, and the
location of various other blockading ships in relation to Hunley the
night of February 17, 1864 are shown.
The depth of the
waters around Charleston are based on soundings from 1973-96. The map
includes locations of the first and second sinking of the Hunley, the
probable route taken to sink the USS Housatonic and the location of the
USS Canandaigua. All the time and research in making this map has been
extremely interesting and gives a great perspective of the battles in
and around Charleston Harbor from 1861-1865.
FROM THE GUEST
08 Dec 2002
This is very pertinent to the
history of our great state. Thank you for all your efforts. J. Brian
14 Dec 2002
This is great, please make sure
that those men are returned to there families and bless you for bringing
them home. Everyone must know those men must of been very scared. Barbara
16 Dec 2002
I had submarine duty in 1968
so I've been very interested since I heard about the finding of the
Hunley. I have a Confederate belt buckle which I found with a metal
detector. After I heard of the discovery in 95, I rented a VHS tape called
the Hunley. The movie tells about a boy who lied about his age and didn't
have to be there, who volunteered to go, is this true?? I enjoy your web
site; you have a lot to offer the public. Thank You..
16 Dec 2002
I need the role of the hunley in
the civil war for a project
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
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George W. Penington