Friday January 24, 2003

2) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Fight over opening Hunley records stalls

3) Negativity on Hunley belittles its status as world-class project  BY GLENN MCCONNELL
4) Hunley technology impresses Marlin 


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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 is available.

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


 1) WELCOME TO THE NEW HUNLEY NEWSLETTER 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.


2) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:    Fight over opening Hunley records stalls

COLUMBIA -The legal fight over whether the group safeguarding the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley should make its records open to the public has stalled over whether a single deposition should continue.
Both sides argued in front of a judge Monday over whether Friends of the Hunley, Inc. consultant John Hazzard should submit to further examination. His October deposition was halted after about seven hours when his lawyer said the questions being asked were more about causing embarrassment than in finding case facts. Hazzard's deposition was being collected as part of a legal suit filed months ago by Greenville construction contractor Edward Sloan Jr. Sloan, who has a history of filing open records lawsuits against governments, sued Friends of the Hunley, Inc, saying the nonprofit group is a wing of the state Hunley Commission and therefore all its records should be open to public scrutiny under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.

Hazzard was deposed because he has two roles in the project: as legal counsel for the state Hunley Commission and as a consultant to FOH. He is also a staff lawyer for Hunley Commission chairman and state Sen. Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, in the Legislature. "Mr. Hazzard ... seems to be the one most intimately involved in both organizations," said Sloan's attorney, James Carpenter of Greenville. Carpenter said he was not badgering Hazzard at the deposition; rather, he was being thorough. He said he needed about two more hours to finish his questions. Friends of the Hunley, Inc lawyer Biff Sowell stopped the deposition from proceeding.

Circuit Judge James R. Barber III said he would review transcripts of the deposition to see whether Carpenter's line of questioning was redundant, or whether he would have Hazzard submit to a second round of questions. He also ordered Hazzard to produce his tax returns for the judge's private review to see if Hazzard was correctly reporting all his income from FOH. Hazzard was not present in the courtroom in Richland County but in a later telephone interview declined comment, saying he had not heard from Sowell on the day's events.

When Sloan first filed his case, he said his suit should not be interpreted as "anti-salvage of the Hunley," but as an attempt to get a legal determination of who was overseeing its conservation and restoration, and what money was going into it. The Hunley project has received about $8 million in state and federal funding since the recovery effort began. The money has been overseen by Friends of the Hunley, Inc in an arrangement that has allowed the group to avoid state procurement codes.

Sloan wants a judge to determine that Friends of the Hunley, Inc is the alter-ego of the Hunley Commission, making it susceptible to public record laws, procurement codes and an audit by the General Assembly. FOH has voluntarily turned over to Sloan some documents he requested even though the group contends it is a private body. In its court response, Friends of the Hunley, Inc argued it should be considered a private nonprofit charity set up as caretaker and fund-raiser for the sub.

Barber did not give an indication on when he might issue a ruling on the future of Hazzard's deposition.

Of The Post and Courier Staff covers state and local politics. Contact him at 937-5551 or

Used with permission from and the Post and Courier

3) Negativity on Hunley belittles its status as world-class project


Recent criticisms of the Hunley project by a reader deserve response. First, the Hunley project is not another monument to government ineptitude but rather a national treasure to American ingenuity, bravery and sacrifice. It represents our legacy that people in the defense of or pursuit of freedom, as they perceive it, will put aside the element of fear to answer the call of duty. Additionally, her recovery is an international technological feat and her conservation so scientifically complex and novel that the multinational recovery, archaeology and conservation team have set the bar worldwide in these areas. Like a gift from the past, the Hunley, having escaped the jaws of time, comes back to a grateful people to remind us and those that follow that freedom does not come easy for any generation, and that freedom's continued preservation will require that same type of sacrifice.

Contrary to the reader's assertion that we have spurned a private offer because we wish to maintain control, we did so because they wanted to remove the Hunley from Charleston. His entire dialogue belittles this project and questions the wisdom and motives of those of us involved.

The Hunley was recovered ahead of schedule and below budget. Hundreds of citizens have freely volunteered their time each week to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to conserve her. Thousands of visitors have come to Charleston to view her. These visitors have spent their money in our gas stations, hotels and restaurants. In a warehouse on a closed Navy base, only opened a day and half each week, the Hunley has proven she is a sought-after attraction. The Hunley has been the subject of national and international press coverage because her story interests people from across the nation and around the world. The project has also won national awards for conservation and preservation.

The last leg of the Hunley's journey home is to a world-class facility where visitors can view the Hunley and her crew through the eyes of those who manned her on her historic mission, allowing people to see and understand the sacrifice these men made. This resting place also will be a place where people, through virtual reality, can learn the sciences of archaeology, conservation, hydrodynamics and forensics, as well as learning about the maritime history of our country and how the Hunley was, in so many ways, ahead of her time. The Hunley, built like no other boat in the 19th century, will be joined with the Peery collection, an unparalleled 19th century maritime collection that would not even be available today to a museum for tens of millions of dollars. This unique and unsurpassed facility, in an emotional and educational experience, will pass on the American legacy that honor, courage and valor endure forever. All of this will ensure its long-term sustainability. So the Hunley is not some "little pet project" but instead a world-class one that deserves a vision for the future as well as our thanks to all the volunteers who have helped to get it where it is. That is why we should not sell it short.

The facility, based on expert projections, will likely cost over $30 million and perhaps as much as $40 million, and there is nothing wrong with our being upfront about the true costs. The public deserves frankness ó not a gloss over. Additionally it does not take a rocket scientist to conclude that the gracious offers of $4-1/2, $7 and $11 million will not get the project to the finish line. No one is being greedy, just honest. What we need is a partner that will make the Hunley Museum its No. 1 development project and bring to the table the talent to help identify and pursue the federal and private funds available to rightfully showcase this national treasure in our community. We are not asking for a handout but rather a helping hand to the finish line.

This challenge will require a unified effort. However, based on the belittling and misinformed remarks of three Charleston city councilmen, it appears unlikely there will be unified support from the city of Charleston; and the strange criticism of a North Charleston councilman that his city is being held hostage, thankfully, is minimized by the statesman-like approach of Councilman Kurt Taylor, who wanted to know what other type of resourceful efforts we might be looking for in order to successfully finish the project. Mount Pleasant has largely remained positive.

If a Hunley Maritime Museum is to be built, it should only be done in a fashion that allows it to be self-supporting and an economic asset to the community and not a liability to the taxpayer. Setting our goal that high brings criticisms from those who have other objectives, but the public benefits more when we strive for the best.

Otherwise, the public is better served by leaving the Hunley safely where she is until we can do it right.

Glenn McConnell is president pro tempore of the S.C. Senate and chairman of the Hunley Commission.

Used with permission from and the Post and Courier

4) Hunley technology impresses Marlin  January 22, 2003

Of The Post and Courier Staff

Sterling Marlin knows a thing or two about engineering, but the NASCAR driver was amazed at the technology used more than a century ago in building the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley.
And he was just as amazed at the technology being employed today to preserve the submarine, which in 1864 sank the U.S.S. Housatonic outside Charleston Harbor and never returned from its historic voyage.
When asked, what was the most impressive thing he saw during a private tour Wednesday, Marlin answered: "All of it. Just to look back at how they did things 130, 135 years ago.
"The welding. The relics that came out of it, the old watches, coins, knives and stuff like that. The bench they sat on to crank it. The paint’s still on the bench. It looked like the boiler plate had been cut with a shear, no jagged edges. It was real neat. The rivets. They didn't have any electricity to drill, but they done it."
Marlin, his wife Paula and 12-year-old daughter Sutherlin along with a family friend got a personalized tour directed by Friends of Hunley chairman Warren Lasch, project supervisor Bob Neyland and archeologist Harry Pecorelli, the diver who was the first person to touch the Hunley when it was discovered in May 1995.
The submarine was recovered in July 2000 and brought to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center at the old Navy Base where the sub and its contents are being documented and preserved.
Marlin said history and physical education were the only subjects he was good in as a student, but that he really began to get interested in the Civil War about 15 years ago when people began finding Civil War artifacts near his hometown of Columbia, Tenn.
"My great-great granddaddy, William Marlin, fought in the war. He survived it and lived to be 94-years old," said Marlin, who noted that his great-great grandfather had three brothers who also fought in the Civil War and survived to live to their 90s.
Marlin said someone had furlough papers that pointed out the Civil War soldier was 6-1, 160 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. "That's us," said the blonde-haired, blue-eyed driver.
Marlin said he began relic hunting about 12 years ago. He now has a Civil War room in his home and fans contribute to his collection.
In Detroit a few months ago, a fan of Marlin's presented the driver with a sword from the Civil War.
 Used with permission from and the Post and Courier


On April 7, 1863, the Northern iron clad fleet of nine ships was preparing to attack Charleston and demand its surrender.  Charleston was one of the few ports still open to blockade-runners and was vital to the economy of the Confederacy.

General P.G.T. Beauregard, considered a military genius, devised a plan in the new field of mine warfare. All of the inner reaches of the harbor were sowed with various barrel, boiler and frame type torpedoes. In several areas, barriers were erected of rope netting and empty barrels to give the appearance of contact mines.

The H L Hunley had arrived in Charleston, S.C. on August 15, 1863, a new invention in a new war in a new harbor. While the Southern inventors were developing mines and the new torpedo boats, the Northern inventors were developing ways to countermand these “infernal” machines and obstacles. The North had a fear of mines and only a limited idea of what the South would throw at them.  Capt. John Ericsson designed and built the first armored turret ship, the “Monitor,” launched on January 30, 1862. Ericsson was dedicated to the study of torpedoes and sun motors. He invented the ship propeller and was commissioned to build a minesweeping raft  intended to deal with confederate torpedoes, and the clearing of mine barriers. (See newsletter #18 for more information on Ericsson)

Of many inventions the Northern abolitionist developed, this huge and crude minesweeping device was an early development. A raft designed to catch torpedoes was tailored to fit across the bow of the Weehawken, the lead ship of the ironclad squadron and was mounted in preparation of attack. The raft was 50 feet long and 27 feet wide, almost 1300 square feet, the size of a small house, notched out to fit snugly and be held in place with ropes and chains attached on each side of the mother ship.  The raft had chains and grappling hooks hanging from the front and sides designed to explode or move any torpedo obstructions. 

Three of these contraptions were built, two were lost at sea before reaching Charleston, and the third one did more damage than good. One of he “Devils” is reportedly in the Bahamas having been lost at sea.


Strapped to its bow the “Devil” continually fouled in the Weehawken’s anchor chain holding up the advancement of the squadron.  It was finally cut loose as the lead ship rounded Cummings Point. When it washed up on the beach after the battle, the Confederates scratched their heads over it nicknaming it “The Devil”. No one has thought much about it since. Mike Kochan, a civil war re-enactor mentioned it to me when I met him at his Torpedo Display at the Hunley site.  He stated that he had talked with contacts at the Charleston Museum who confirmed it was up in the marsh behind Fort Sumter. I researched a number of historical maps and Coastline Surveys none of which mention the exact location.  One map shows a wreck in the area but it was unidentified. As you can imagine there is tons of Civil War debris laying around in the bay and marsh behind Fort Sumter and Morris Island.

Now here is a damn Yankee (mudsill) from Pennsylvania telling me where to look in my backyard to find what?  The “Devil”. That was hilarious and I will never hear the end to it.  I decided that we were interested and arranged an expedition to go out there and find it, get some pictures and possible some verification of its existence.  Mike, the Torpedo Man, Kochan was interested in pictures of the wood or a grappling hook for his display but couldn’t get down here before it got too cold.  He did give me a few ways to positively identify it and good directions; I also found reference to a Merritt Dredge barge lost in the area and wanted to make sure of our identification of the Civil War Raft was not something earlier. It took us most of a day and an ebb tide to get behind Morris Island not counting the time it took to snag a few bass.  I marked the spot on The Charleston Harbor Civil War Battle Map and identified the “Devil” exactly where we found it.

email from Mike:

It's on the next creek (Bass Creek) toward the ocean coming down it's on the left at the bend then past the bend is the swamp angle site I’ll get back at ya

After Mike sent us better directions and a hand drawn map from the Charleston Museum, we ventured out to find the “Devil” What’s ironic is the “Devil” was right there amazingly close to the “Marsh Angel” on the South side of Bass Creek We were very surprised to find it so far up a very small creek and can only surmise that it was moved during exceptional high water. You can see from the pictures that there is not really much left of the Devil. I’m thinking we may have to form a private non profit sometimes charitable organization called “Friends of the Devil”

Another irony that I discovered while doing further research appeared when I came across Clive Cussler's notes where he claimed to be the first to identify the "Devil":  This is his description


During the battle of Charleston between Admiral Dahlgren's monitor fleet and the Confederate forts, the Weehawken led the Union squadron into the harbor with a huge wooden anti-mine raft attached to its bow. The weight and drag made the monitor completely unmanageable and the raft was cast adrift. Although it's been sitting in the reeds along the north bank of Bass Creek all these years, we were the first to identify it.

32 43' 30"
79 53' 25"

First off it was not Admiral Dahlgren's fleet it was S. F. DuPont, Rear-Admiral, Comdg. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron that was in command. Dahlgren replaced DuPont due to the politics of losing this major battle.
Secondly, The "Devil" is on the South Bank of Bass Creek -  there is nothing on the North Bank but pluff mud, oysters, marsh hens, saw grass and fiddlers. Finally, there were numerous people in Charleston who knew of and had identified the "Ericsson Raft" including Dr. E. Lee Spence and the Charleston Museum Staff.

32 43' 40" 
  79 53' 18"   
These coordinates are a little more accurate particularly in a creek that was only 50' wide at high tide.


Figure I Section from Charleston Harbor Civil War Map

 Additional pictures and full text Devil/The Devil and the Marsh Angel.htm


Report of Major Harris, C. S. Army.  OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER,   Charleston, S. C., April 23, 1863.

The 'devil' floated ashore on Morris Island; the cables by which it was attached to the turret's bow were cut away. It is probable that the "devil" becoming unmanageable, was the cause of the turret retiring early from the action, it being a massive structure, consisting of two layers of white-pine timbers, 18 inches square, strongly bolted together; a reentering angle 20 feet deep, to receive the bow of the vessel, 50 feet long, 27 feet wide; a layer of beveled timbers on the front, forming a bow; seven heavy iron plates, through which passed chains directly down' and over the sides, through hawse pipes; to these were attached grappling irons with double prongs, suspended underneath, at the sides and bow; in the countersinks of the plates were loose iron rollers, apparently to facilitate the drawing of the chains through the holes over them, when the grappling took hold, to drag up to the "devil" whatever he may catch with his hooks.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,   WILLIAM H. ECHOLS, Major, Engineers.

 Major D. B. HARRIS,
Chief Engineer Department.

Figure II Devil Mid Section

Figure III Devil Spike Remains



MARCH 12, 1863. Off Charleston, S. C., March 12, '63.

Dear Herald:
Everything is quiet off Charleston, just now, but I can assure you it will not long be so. During the past fortnight blockade runners have been very scarce, owning, I presume, to the brightness of the moon at night. The blockade is kept up by fifteen vessels and the New Ironsides, the latter lying anchor at Rattlesnake and Ship Channels. Guns are planted on every available pointed land. Torpedoes without number are already sunk, ready to blow the Yankees-or mudsills, as the rebels term us-sky high, and all sorts of obstructions have been placed in the channels of the harbor to obstruct our entrance; the Sumter, Moultrie and Fort Beauregard are all mined ready to be blown up after the rebels leave them and when we Yankees have taken possession of them, and also that if the rebel commanding officers find that the city likely to fall into our hands it is to be burnt. It is possible that they may do us some injury with these torpedoes, but great caution will be taken to cause them to explode before our ships reach them, for which a machine has already been prepared for that purpose. Yours truly, X. (Boston Herald, March 17, 1863 


 First dispatch CHARLESTON, April 8--8 p.m. All quiet thus far to-day. The people and troops are in high spirits at the results of yesterday's fight. The Keokuk is certainly sunk. The fighting was chiefly at a distance of 900 yards. The monitors can not pass Sumter without coming within 400 yards. The impression is very general that the enemy will renew the attack after repairing damages. Seven monitors and the Ironsides are still off the harbor.10 o'clock p.m.: The latest official intelligence from the bar states that only two of the ironclads have gone south, leaving seven remaining besides the Keokuk, which lies sunk about 1,000 yards from Morris Island. The Yankee machine called the "Devil," designed for the removal of torpedoes, has floated ashore and fallen into our hands. All quiet now. The enemy is constantly signaling, but no renewal of the attack is anticipated before tomorrow. The Yankees have been busy all day repairing damages.
Second dispatch CHARLESTON, April 9--a.m.

All quiet this morning. The monitors are still in sight. Yesterday evening many pieces of the Keokuk's furniture, with spyglasses, washed ashore on Morris Island beach. Many of these articles were covered with clotted blood. The impression prevails at our batteries that the slaughter on board the Keokuk was terrible. We have the Richmond papers of 8th and 10th, but none of the 9th. The above extract would seem to confirm dispatch we took from the enemy's signal yesterday.

 DANL. BUTTERFIELD, Major-General, Chief of Staff.

 G. V. FOX,  Assistant Secretary Navy.

Report of Major Echols, C. S. Army.  C. S. ENGINEERS' OFFICE,  Charleston, S. C., April 9, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to make the following report of the engagement between Fort Sumter and the enemy's ironclad fleet on 7th April, 1863, at 3 o'clock p.m., lasting two hours and twenty-five minutes:

They steamed up main Ship Channel toward Fort Moultrie in line of battle as follows: Four single turrets, Ironsides, three single turrets, and Keokuk, following one after the other at intervals of about 300 yards, the foremost one moving slowly and carrying on her prow the "devil," or torpedo searcher, a description and drawing of which is appended. When within 2,200 yards, Fort Moultrie fired the first gun upon her, near buoy No. 3, then distant about 1,500 yards from Fort Sumter, which haft previously trained her battery of barbette guns upon the buoy, and opened fire by battery when she reached that position, at three minutes past 3 o'clock.


Detailed report of Rear-Admiral DuPont, U. S. Navy. No. 185  FLAGSHIP WABASH, Port Royal Harbor, S. C., April 15, 1863.

I herewith enclose (marked No. 1) the order of battle and plan of attack, in which the Weehawken, Captain John Rodgers, with a raft in front, was to be the leading vessel of the line, and the Keokuk, Commander Rhind, was to be the last, The chain of the Weehawken, the leading vessel, had, however, become entangled in the grapnels of the pioneer raft, and the vessels were delayed in moving until about fifteen minutes past 1, when, everything being clear, the Weehawken moved on, followed by the Passaic and others in the regular order of battle.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,   S. F. DU PONT,
Rear-Admiral, Comdg. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

Detailed report of Captain Drayton, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Passaic.

U. S. IRONCLAD PASSAIC,  Off Morris Island, S. C., April 8, 1863.

SIR: In obedience to your signal, I yesterday, at 12:30, got underway, prepared to follow the Weehawken, which vessel had on the bow a raft projection for catching torpedoes. This, however, fouling her anchor and causing some delay, I, at 12:40, signaled for permission to go ahead. The Weehawken, however, having at length cleared her anchor, proceeded at 1:15 toward Charleston, followed by this vessel. On the way up a number of buoys of various descriptions were passed, strewed about in every direction, and causing suspicion of torpedoes, one of which machines we saw burst under the bow of the Weehawken.

Detailed report of Captain Rodgers, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Weehawken.

U. S. S. WEEHAWKEN, Inside Charleston Bar, S. C., April 8, 1863.SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report:

Yesterday, April 7, one of the grapnels of the raft attached to us became so entangled in our chain that the Weehawken was detained about two hours in getting underway. In obedience to given signal we succeeded, however, in arriving under the fire of Fort Sumter at about 2:50 p.m. The raft which we had attached to our bow did not much impede our steering, but while lying at anchor the waves converted it into a huge battering ram. In two days it had started the armor upon our bow; no vessel can carry it except in smooth water. Its motions did not correspond to the movements of the Weehawken; sometimes when she rose to the sea the raft fell, and the reverse. Thus we were threatened with having it on our decks or under the overhang. No prudent man would carry the torpedo attached to the raft; in a fleet an accidental collision would blow up his own friend, and he would be more dreaded than an enemy.

 Abstract log of the U. S. S. Keokuk, and additional notes by Commander Rhind, U. S. Navy, commanding.

 Tuesday, April 7.--Wind moderate, northward and eastward; weather fine. Enemy occupied in transporting guns down Morris Island beach, having observed our troops signaling from north point of Folly Island. At 12:30 the fleet got underway by signal from flagship, formed line, but were delayed for about an hour and a half by the anchor of the

Weehawken (the leading vessel) getting foul of her raft ahead.

 [Telegram.] NEW YORK, April 11, 1863.  The reported loss of one of the rafts before Charleston is very serious. Had we not better send on one of those now ready here? The attachment of the cable under the raft had no doubt been omitted and the upper ones shot away. J. ERICSSON.

 G. V. FOX, Assistant Secretary.

Report of Captain Rodgers, U. S. Navy, regarding the Ericsson raft.  U. S. S. WEEHAWKEN,  Port Royal, April 20, 1863.

SIR: In compliance with your order of this day, I have the honor to submit the following report in regard to the raft said to have been invented by Mr. Ericsson for the purpose of carrying a torpedo to be used in blowing up obstructions:

Upon trial in this harbor I found that the vessel with the simple raft steered as well, I thought, as usual; certainly not so much worse as to render its use objectionable. Whether she would handle as well with the resistance of the torpedo 12 feet under water added on to the raft I have not tried, and therefore can express no opinion.

There was another trial of the simple raft attached to this vessel in North Edisto Harbor with the captains of the ironclads on board. They did not judge of it so favorably as to be willing to use it. I thought that it would not be wise to carry the torpedo into action, since in evolutions we might come into contact with some of our own vessels and thus blow them up.

The event proves that the anticipation was not ill founded. Two ironclads actually came into collision with the Ironsides and she had to stop to avoid the Weehawken. Had those vessels which actually touched her been provided with formidable torpedoes to explode upon contact, the result might have been most disastrous. In plain words, that folly would rise into crime which should carry loaded torpedoes in a rapid tideway in a somewhat narrow channel, without known buoys, under fire, and with the attention divided, among a friendly fleet.

The proposition is so evident that it would lose by argument. I declined, accordingly, to attach the loaded torpedo to the Weehawken during the attack upon Fort Sumter unless I should receive positive orders to do so. I stated, however, that I thought the raft might be useful with grapnels hanging from it to catch obstructions. This, accordingly, I carried into action, and this I brought out.

The raft was cut so as to fit the bow of the vessel and secured by chains from ringbolts on the raft a and c to ringbolts on the bow of the Weehawken, and further secured by rope lashings to the same bolts and also from the ringbolts b and d, I presume as designed by the inventor.

In crossing Charleston bar the chains from a and c parted; all the lashings broke. This happened twice in the short period in crossing from the outside of the bar to the anchorage inside.  When inside, it was found that the sea converted the raft into a huge battering ram, which shook the vessel at every undulation.

It is obvious that with the pitching which always accompanies a swell the two bodies would be brought into collision with a power proportionate to their weight. The raft, I think, displaces about 90 tons of water. Its motions did not at all correspond with [the] motions of the vessel. The raft rose while the vessel fell, and the reverse. It was a source of apprehension lest it should get upon the deck or under the overhang.

The conclusion forced upon me was that no vessel can carry it attached to the bow except in smooth water. After it had started the 5-inch iron armor upon the bow I cut it adrift.  Afterwards I offered to use the one still in tow of the Ericsson to blow up the Keokuk. It was brought in weather when confessedly I could not carry it, and it was anchored. When the sea became smoother it was put upon the bow, with the torpedoes all ready to be raised and lowered into their place.

There was still some sea, with a cross current, and Chief Engineer E. D. Robie, who, in conjunction with Chief Engineer Stimers, was sent out from New York in special charge of the rafts and torpedoes, found that the water was too rough, with too much spray for him to attach the lock and fit the instrument for use. He said that the force of the waves which came over the bow of the raft would not permit the torpedo to be hoisted outside against their boating.

I went on board the Ironsides to report the fact to you. On board the Ironsides he made the same report, in the meanwhile, Chief Engineer Stimers came on board the Weehawken, where I met him on my return. The sea had somewhat fallen, and he said that the torpedo could now be fitted for firing, but I found that during my absence the heavy ringbolts, a and b, had drawn out of the raft and left it liable to swing round and bring the torpedo, when ready to explode, against the Weehawken's side. A chain, I was told, had been prepared to come up and under the raft from beneath the point e and robe secured inside the anchor well. It was beneath the raft and I did not see it. I had no faith that the chain would stand a strain which had drawn out from solid wood two ragged bolts 24 inches long and nearly 5 inches in circumference. All sailors know from experience that chain is less reliable against surges than lashings.

The raft in its battering tendencies had become unbearable. In the sea and cross currents it drew the bolts intended to keep it pointed toward the object it was desired to use it upon, and it was ready to turn its destructive power against those who were to employ it.  It was decided not to make the first trial of it attached to the bow of a vessel under circumstances so adverse.  Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN RODGERS, Captain.

 Rear-Admiral S. F. DU PONT,
Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

Newspaper clipping from the Baltimore American of April 15, 1863.  A disgraceful result. OFF CHARLESTON BAR, April 8, 1863.  Sinking of the Keokuk.

The ironclad Keokuk, as I related in my report of yesterday's proceedings, retired from the conflict badly pierced with shot, seventeen balls passing through her armor, five of which were below the water line. She was with difficulty kept afloat during the night and at 8 o'clock this morning sank near the end of Folly Island, about 3 miles from Sumter. She lies in about 2½ fathoms of water, and her smokestack is visible above the water line.

Mr. Stimers has made arrangements to blow her up and destroy her to-morrow. Her pumps were kept going through the night and hopes were entertained until a few moments before she sank that she could be saved, but she sank very suddenly.  The officers were unable to save anything except the clothing in which they stood.

The rebels stood on the shore watching her sinking, and it is said this afternoon that they are collecting fieldpieces along the shore to prevent any attempt to raise or destroy her. But she will be destroyed by one of Ericsson's torpedoes attached to a raft in front of the Weehawken, which will destroy her at one explosion by coming in contact.

The Secretary of the Navy sent down from here appliances to be used in removing obstructions in the harbor. These rafts and torpedoes have been here nearly two months, and the attempt to take Charleston has been abandoned without their usefulness being considered for a moment. One of the rafts was taken in by the Weehawken with grapnels attached to it to catch torpedoes, but they refused to have the torpedoes connected with it. They were afraid the torpedoes might kick backward, although they had been experimented with and even the raft had not been injured. One of these torpedoes, containing 700 pounds of powder, would have swept away the obstructions in the harbor and enabled the fleet yesterday afternoon to go up and bombard the city. They were, however, not used, and this great national retribution is abandoned.  C. C. FULTON


Brig. Gen. Roswel S. Ripley, Commander of the Charleston defenses, compiled and transmitted this report on the ironclad attack against Ft. Sumter, April 7, 1863 and its aftermath. Charleston, April 13, 1863.

On the morning of the 7th the enemy was inside the bar .........until about 2 o'clock p.m., when the enemy steamed directly up the channel, the Weehawken, with a false prow for removing torpedoes attached, leading, followed by three monitors, the Ironsides (flag-ship), three other monitors; the Keokuk, double-turret, bringing up the rear.

At each fort and battery officers and men made preparation for immediate action, while the enemy came slowly and steadily on. At 3 o'clock Fort Moultrie opened fire. At five minutes past 3 the leading vessel, having arrived at 1,400 yards of Fort Sumter, opened upon it with two guns. The eastern battery of Fort Sumter replied. Batteries Bee, Beauregard, Wagner, and Cummings Point opened about this time and the action became general, the four leading monitors closing up on the Weehawken, and taking position at an average distance from the forts and batteries of about 1,500 yards.

In accordance with instructions, the fire from the different points was concentrated upon the leading vessels, and the effect was soon apparent from the withdrawal of the leading monitor from action, her false prow having been detached and she otherwise apparently injured. The remaining monitors in advance of the flag-ship held their position, directing their fire principally at Fort Sumter, but giving occasional shots at Fort Moultrie (of which the flag-staff was shot away), Batteries Beauregard and Bee.

Toward evening of the 9th a raft, apparently for removing torpedoes or obstructions, was towed inside of the bar. Nothing occurred of importance during the 10th.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,  R. S. RIPLEY, Brigadier-General, Commanding.


 -----Original Message-----
From: Liz Sent: Monday, January 20, 2003 9:11 PM
Subject: Not receiving Hunley newsletter, but want to

 Greetings, I tried to subscribe to the Hunley newsletter but the server told me I was already subscribed.  I didn't get newsletter 25, though.   Can you check to see if I really am on the subscription list?  Someone sent me newsletter 25, so I do have it, but I'd like to subscribe. Thank you!  I really like your site.   Liz 

I have checked with several technicians about this and there can be a number of reasons. One problem is that individuals that sign up from their offices or work computers have settings that block this type of E-mail.  You should re-sign up from your home computer or personal email.  Other reports are that AOL and some others treat this type of mail as SPAM, even though you have requested to receive it. Of course they let the Porno come through and block the mail that you want. Another problem that some people have encountered is reading the new HTML format.  The Techs say that this is due to using an outdated Internet Explorer.  You can upgrade to a new version from But don’t take that as a recommendation, Internet Explorer 6 has its own set of problems even though I like it.


Name:       Keith

Organization:    Roanoke Civil War Roundtable


Message: I will be in the Charleston area on March 2 for my honeymoon and
wish to see the Hunley.  I have not seen a new schedule for viewing.  Will it be open then?


I went by the Warren Lasch Lab last week and didn’t realize that the Gift Shop wasn’t open during the week days, so I called.  The schedule will remain the same.  Tours and Gift Shop are only open on weekends.
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.




When I looked back over the year there was a lot of good stuff that came out in the year 2002 and I think this book is well worth it. I also negotiated with the HUNLEYSTORE.COM so that anyone who purchases the book also gets a $6.00 gift certificate that can be used toward the purchase of anything they carry. But remember IF EVER YOU DO NOT GET YOUR NEWSLETTER EVERY OTHER FRIDAY JUST LET ME KNOW AND I WILL SEND IT INDIVIDUALLY FREE.

 To order the Hunley  2002 E-Book click here.

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.


Date: 07 Jan 2003

Comments: Your web site is very interesting. I found it to be informing. All the Hunley men died for a good cause and deserve to be recognized by the government, if not for what they believed in dieing for then the achievement they made in history. These brave men deserve full military honors and a representative from the U.S.N. to honor the memory of an honorable foe. Respectively, H.L. Fogle, USN, Ret.

Date: 08 Jan 2003

Comments: Roi, @-}-} @}-}- @-}-} @}-}- I thought you would outlive us all. You always seemed eternal, even when you were a very young man. As if you'd seen it all, from the suffering darkness to the healing light. You were our guide, reminding us, by example, to look for the good in everyone, to take care of each other.xoxo Chozzie

Date: 10 Jan 2003

 Comments: My husband & I went to see the confederate submarine the H.L. Hunley at the Warren Lasch Conservation Lab and it was quiet a touching experience to see it and listen to the confederate dressed volunteers who make you feel like you take this in your heart as an unforgettable honor to have been able to be there. We love your email updates and the latest on the possibilities of where the H.L. Hunley may one day be displayed. The Charleston Harbor sounds wonderful. I can just picture it there. Thanks for all the information your site provides...

Date: 16 Jan 2003

Comments: I am doing a biography on George Dixon. I found a lot here thank you

Date: 17 Jan 2003

Comments: This address is a very good on the HUNLEY especially when your doing research on the Hunley for a school project called research triangle and it help me a lot when I find all these things on the e-mail

Date: 17 Jan 2003

Comments: First Kent, now Roi. Two of the most generous and entertaining souls I've ever known. This town seems a lot less colorful than when they were here. Long live the Captain and the Cowboy!

 Date: 22 Jan 2003

Comments: As a writer I hope to be able to do some significant story on the Hunley. Time has been at a premium lately, partly because of a call to active stint in the Army. Thanks for a great web site. Jim Micko Warner Robins GA

Date: 22 Jan 2003

Comments: This is a very good web site. It's informative and helps us stay updated with what is going on with the Hunley. We enjoyed seeing the Hunley in July 2001. Please put the Hunley were others can enjoy it as much as we did. After we came back from that vacation and told people we had seen the Hunley, those who knew what we were talking about wanted to know if there was a web site. We told them there was and if they were in Charleston they could see it them selves. Thanks for a great history lesson. John & Jeanine Black, Rossville, Illinois.

Date: 22 Jan 2003

Comments: This is a very good web site. It's informative and helps us stay updated with what is going on with the Hunley. We enjoyed seeing the Hunley in July 2001. Please put the Hunley where others can enjoy it as much as we did. After we came back from that vacation and told people we had seen the Hunley, those who knew what we were talking about wanted to know if there was a web site. We told them there was and if they were in Charleston they could see it them selves. Thanks for a great history lesson. John & Jeanine Black, Rossville, Illinois.

Date: 23 Jan 2003

Comments: what a great historical web page keep the memory alive Russell & Dolores Kendall Plainview, New York



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