We 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 newsletter.

***************** SPONSOR ***************************************************************************************

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 is available.

Charleston Harbor map. (framed) $34.99 plus 3.50 S&H  (product # 1022)



Glenn McConnell has announced that they are now ready to put a face on the remains of Lt. George E. Dixon.

   Dixon enhanced  

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.

During the 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 deaths.

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 questions.

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.

Diane France 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 NecroSearch 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 different parts.

     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 tiny
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
more decay.

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. Working from 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 claustrophobic confines.
"I've found nothing that will tell us what happened that night," she says.
"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 guys."
"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 remains
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 each crewman.

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.


                                                                                                                       (sample 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 

Fort Collins expert studies exhumed sailors” 
By Ron Franscell
Denver Post Staff Writer. .

You can reach:
Dr. Diane France, President
NecroSearch International
1713 Wilcox Court, Suite A
Fort Collins, CO 80524


General 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,
Mount 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.

All three 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 shortfall.

     McConnell 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 a museum.

McConnell 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 unexpected cost

The three 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 Sunday, 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, many said.      "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 harbor.      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 although Charleston's 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.      North Charleston 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?"      Some Charleston council members said they were not enthusiastic about the city's initial $5 million bid.      Charleston Councilman 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 packages.  


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. Penington


The map based around the Civil War in Charleston Harbor has expanded to include the Stono 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 available.

Using available 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.



08 Dec 2002


This is very pertinent to the history of our great state. Thank you for all your efforts. J. Brian Pearson


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



Remote User:


I need the role of the hunley in the civil war for a project


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

<<<>>> <<<>>> <<<>>> <<<>>> <<<>>> <<<>>> <<<>>> <<<>>> <<<>>>

George W. Penington