by George W. Penington  -  Editor

JUNE 29, 2003

ISSUE  #37

1) Welcome to the new Hunley Newsletter>
3) The Pioneer and the David-Part One of Two>
8) E-MAIL >



A special welcome to all the new subscribers. This newsletter is published every two weeks so no one is bombarded with mail.  This issue contains   information about the "DAVID" Charleston built semi-submersibles and the "Pioneer". Also some interesting photo's of Charleston during the Civil War are included. The battle of David and Goliath is a two part series to be continued next issue.  George W. Penington



C.S.S. David model 1/72 :Special Price: 39.95. Also you will Receive a free Hunley Commemorative Coin a $20.00 value Free. When you place your order today.

 The Hunley store now has the new David model. The kit was created from first hand observations and archeological 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.  Kit number #72-002.  $39.95 each.                 






The Mills House was one of the finer hotels in Charleston and on the night of the fire one of the guest was General Robert E. Lee, the military department commander.  He was relaxing in the parlor when he heard the alarms from the fire station across the street, but he wasn’t prepared as was anyone else for the quick approach of the fire. The General, choking and gasping grabbed a baby, which belonged to another guest and led the way out of the hotel leaving his belongings behind.

Digital Enhancement by George W. Penington  Originals from Library of Congress



The burial of the final crew of the H. L. Hunley is scheduled for Saturday, April 17th, 2004 starting at 10:00 a.m. at White Point Gardens, followed by a funeral procession and ending at Magnolia Cemetery for the burial.


From the The Post and Courier.

With the Carolina Day celebration of the 227th anniversary of The
Battle of Sullivan's Island on Saturday, Mount Pleasant, Sullivan's
Island and the Isle of Palms announced a new historical marker to be
placed at Breach Inlet, located between the two islands.
A ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. July 25 at Breach Inlet. The
marker will tell of the inlet's significance in both the
Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

The marker will bear the following inscription on the front: "In
1776, a force of British Army regulars attempted to cross Breach
Inlet in an effort to capture Fort Sullivan (Fort Moultrie). Their
advance was thwarted and many British lives lost when their boats
were caught in treacherous currents while under fire from Colonel
Thomsen's Eutawville sharpshooters who had erected a temporary fort
near this spot overlooking Breach Inlet."

On the back, it will read: "In 1864, the Confederate submarine, H.L.
Hunley departed from Battery Marshall near this spot on Sullivan's
Island. It passed through Breach Inlet on assignment to sink the USS
Housatonic. The Hunley crew signaled Battery Marshall that their
mission was successful, but the submarine sank. The wreck of the H.L. Hunley and crew were recovered in 2000."

*The Confederate Submarine H L Hunley was discovered in 1970 by Dr. E. Lee Spence. It took over 30 years to finally recover the sub.





3) The Pioneer and the David - Part One of a two part series


The Pioneer and the David


The "Pioneer" was being built in New Orleans while the "David" was being built in Charleston

Late fall 1861 Leeds Foundry, Front Street, New Orleans, La. – James McClintock and Baxter Watson are building a three man submarine boat, cigar shaped, 30 feet long and 4 feet in diameter. The middle body was cylindrical – ten feet long –ends were conical.  Conning tower with manhole and hatch – circular glass windows on each side. Clockwork type torpedo made to screwed into the bottom of enemy ships. It was mounted on top of the boat with the screws employed. Screws were gimlet pointed and tempered steel.

Materials include ¼ inch plate steel sheets bolted to an iron frame. The bolt heads are hammered into counter sinkholes to provide a smooth surface on the hull.  A propeller shaft, hand crank and a small spiral propeller is mounted to the stern.  Diving planes are mounted on each side.  Matthew Maury (Underwater explosives designer) Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

Horace L. Hunley joins McClintock and Watson, and in February 1862, the submarine was launched from the New Basin Dock and made ready to test on Lake Pontchartrain.  The boat proved that it could move in any direction, could dive and surface but had to be steered by compass which was unreliable.

The owners and financial backers were granted a Letter of Marque also known as a privateering commission from the Confederate government on March 31, 1862. Description: Submarine Propeller,  Armament: Magazine of Powder
Measurements: 34’ (May have included the spar) 4’ diameter with conical ends.  Painted black.  Skipper: John K. Scott.  Note: commission was granted to cruise the high seas, bays, rivers and estuaries in the name of the Confederate States of America and entitled to a share or commission of all vessels destroyed or captured.

The investors besides Watson and McClintock included Horace Hunley’s brother in law, Robert Ruffin Barrow, a sugar baron who owned eighteen plantations scattered around the South and John K. Scott, an acquaintance of Horace, described as a citizen of New Orleans and commander of the submarine Pioneer.

These investors applied for and received one of the first privateering licenses issued by the Confederate government as authorized by President Jefferson Davis. Privateers were ships of varying types owned by private citizens and had the authority to attack and destroy Northern ships on behalf of the Confederacy. This was done to supplement the almost non-existent Confederate Navy.

One month later in April, 1862, New Orleans was evacuated with the Confederates burning and destroying anything that could be of value to the Union attackers. The Pioneer owners scuttled the sub in the New Basin Canal between New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain and moved their operations to Mobile, Alabama.

The Union forces found the scuttled submarine and pulled it on shore. Several U.S. Naval engineers inspected the hull and machinery making drawings and measurements confirming the length and diameter of the submarine.

The torpedo boat was sold at auction by United States Authorities around February 15, 1868. The advertisement in the New Orleans Picayune states that the torpedo boat in now lying on the banks of the New Canal, near Claiborne Street. It states that, “it is built of iron and weighs two tons.”  “It was built as an experiment, and was never fully perfected, and is only valuable now for the machinery and iron which is in and about it. (The Hunley: Submarines, Sacrifice, and Success in the Civil War, Ragan page 21.)




4) The Battle between David and Goliath  

“… seems that the vessel was called the "David," probably to point to the presumed success against the Ironsides, which was to enact the Goliath.” - Dahlgren

The "Davids" were built and engineered in Charleston, S.C. Their first successful attack was four months before the Hunley sank the U.S.S. Housatonic.

The secrecy, rapidity of movement, control of direction, and precise explosion indicate, I think, the introduction of the torpedo element as a means of certain warfare. -Rear-Admiral Dahlgren regarding the "DAVID"


The David’s were semi submersible torpedo boats, sleek in design. 54 feet long and about five foot six across the midsection, with a steering wheel, a steam engine and boiler which turned a single propeller.  They had ballast tanks which allowed them to sink low in the water with only a few inches of exposed trim and the smokestack showing. Mounted on the bow was a spar roughly 22’ feet long with a torpedo explosive device attached at it’s tip which was rammed  home in the enemy ships side.

The first David’s weighed in at 500 tons and General Beauregard was convinced that they were by far a better investment in iron than the “ironclads “  that were being built in Charleston. Actually the work on the David’s was fairly well advanced.

There were two men in Charleston who had the expertise and the money to create the first David.  Captain Theodore D. Stoney, recording secretary of the Southern Torpedo Company, and Dr. St. Julian Ravenel. teamed up with a young army officer, Captain Francis D. Lee with Stoney putting up the money and Ravenel drawing the plans. Lee  engineered the long boom with the torpedo on the end.

With Charleston society the way it was, and the General Beauregard, being the dancer and cad that he was, meetings were held at the Mills (now the Mills-Hyatt House) on Meeting Street where money and southern entrepreneurs always got together. But money was less a problem than getting the steel needed to build the DAVIDS.

The DAVIDS never really had a chance to prove themselves, even though they felt like a good investment to Beauregard. The torpedo rams had only proven themselves once against the Yankee Frigate New Ironsides.  The watch on deck of the New Ironsides , a Northern blockader, inadvertently allowed the DAVID to approach alongside.  Just as the Confederate David came within earshot of the ship,  the Union guard, and the Southern attackers were chatting in the Southern style. The guard wanted to know what these crazy Rebs were up to. The Southerners were just getting ready to fire at the guard almost three stories above their heads when a current pushed the David down the length of the New Ironsides.  The DAVIDS' crew were being dragged down the length of the ship toward the anchor chain where they got hung up.  Here they are with their torpedo ram all twisted up on the bow chain of the New Ironsides and the Yankees  above asking them what they were doing down there, not realizing the Rebs where desperately trying to get lose from the anchor chain, red faced as they were,. Finally they got lose and clear.  The Southern Boys always had convincing answers to the Yankee questions.

While the crew of the David was struggling desperately to get their lines untangled from the New Ironsides they were chatting with the enemy officers above when they finally got clear and started drifting away.  Suddenly a crewman of the David blasted his shotgun toward the New Ironsides and killed the First Officer of the Deck.  The Little David , fighting the current, powered up and rammed home the torpedo.  With a blast that shook the New Ironsides  it was not enough to sink her. The Yankees in that moment knew the David was there and was a foe to contend with.

The South knew at this point that she needed more DAVIDS to beat the Yankee Goliath.

"If ya see a smoke stack with an alligator attached “duck and run” were the orders of the day.  The DAVIDS were the predecessor of The Hunley and even though they were built and designed in two dissimilar areas of the South both ships could have turned the tides of war in a different direction.  The DAVIDS had proven themselves, but because of the lack of materials they were never completed.  Many of them simply rusted away at the docks in Charleston. At the end of the War there were six DAVIDS  found in various stages of construction just laying in the mud of the Ashley River. That was all that were built.



You have only to complete this by extending it so as to form a cigar 50 feet long and 5 to 6 feet in diameter, about 2 feet being above water.  There is a long hatch, with a coaming, through which rises the pipe.  The crew stand in the space opened by the coaming, and my informant, who is a short man, says, that when standing on the iron ballast, he could just see over the coaming.

The torpedo is said to project about 10 feet, which I am unable to reconcile with the length of the craft that is immersed. The “David” moved so rapidly that but a few moments intervened between getting sight of her and the blow.


The mysterious part is that after the explosion it was thought that two monitors saw and fired at the vessel.  The captain affects to believe that it went down, but of the precise fact nothing is actually known.

October 8.—The foregoing was written last night.  This morning I am at Port Royal to see if the monitors here under repair can not receive some arrangement to stave off these torpedoes.  I left Rowan in command at Charleston and will probably get back tomorrow.

By all means let us have a quantity of the torpedoes, and thus turn them against the enemy.  We can make them faster than they can. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, John A Dahlgren to Assistant Secretary Fox.

A vessel of this kind about 50 feet long, 8 feet wide by 6 feet and elliptical form would, immersed awash, displace about 24 tons as a paraboloid; the greatest cross-section would be 38 square feet; if made of full one-eighth-inch plate iron the weight would be nearly 5 tons, and there would thus be 18 to 19 tons for machinery, coal, and ballast. 

For permanent stability the vessel would require some 2 tons of iron ballast, as, from the shape, the machinery would necessarily be light.  For creeping up very little speed would be required, and only when within about 180 yards, a five minutes run, will the whole speed be required.  A high pressure engine would be the lightest kind; about 10 to 13 tons can be allowed for the engine and 3 to 6 tons for the coal and men.  A vessel to be used und water must be elliptical in every direction, so that the water may pass over as under it.

I should also like to have one or more torpedo boats built following the plan of those used the rebels, which, from description, are 40 or 560 feet long, 5 or 6 in diameter amidships and tapering to both ends like a cigar; the engines high pressure, and capable of driving the boat 5 knots the hour.

The upper portion of the hull is alone above the water, and has a hatch, the upper edge of which is 18 inches or 2 feet above the water line.

Four persons are to  be accommodated in the open space marked by the hatch, and here the fires are fed and engine worked.  At the fore end is a bar for a torpedo, at the other the propeller.  I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, J.A. Dahlgren.  Rear-Admiral, Comdg. South Atlantic Blockdg. Squadron. To: John Lenthall, Esq., Chief of Bureau of Construction, Navy Department





The Crew of the DAVID:
Lieutenant W. T. Glassell, Confederate Navy, in charge of the propeller "David" (a small submerged steamer), Glassell was formerly a Lt. in the Union Navy. He was picked up by a Northern Coal Schooner after abandoning ship. Sent by Dahlgren to Fortress Monroe on October 12.
James H. Tomb, acting first assistant engineer; Abandoned ship but returned to DAVID to make one more effort to save the ship and helped Cannon in escaping.
Walker Cannon, pilot; (The Hero of the Day) Never gave up or abandoned ship.
Seaman James Sullivan, second fireman -  "fearing the explosion, he jumped overboard just as the torpedo was hailed" He abandoned the DAVID. Captured by the enemy. Dahlgren described him as a "frightened wretch" -described

“my informant, who is a short man, says, that when standing on the iron ballast, he could just see over the coaming.”- Dahlgren

 - gave a full statement.


U.S.S. New Ironsides - Casualties - Ensign C. W. Howard - Officer of the Deck with rank of Acting Ensign was promoted to Acting Master- died October 10, 1863 - single buckshot to chest, was to be promoted to Master - Dahlgren considered it as murder.  Also reported that damage from torpedo very serious.
William L. Knox, ordinary seaman, leg broken;
Thomas Little, master at arms, several severe contusions from the shock of the explosion.

Damage to the New Ironsides   “The ship is very seriously injured, and ought to be sent home for repairs as soon as it is possible to spare her services here.” -  Captain Rowan




DAMAGE REPORT TO THE “NEW IRONSIDES” The result of a 60 pound explosion 6 1/2 feet below the waterline where the hull of the ship was nearly 5 feet thick.

Off Morris Island, South Carolina, November 24, 1863.

SIR: In obedience to your order, I have examined the injuries discovered in the coal bunkers, resulting from the attack made on this ship by the rebel torpedo boat "David" on the night of the 5th ultimo, [and find them] to be as follows:

One hanging knee abreast the engine room started off 10 inches from the clamps and ceiling; two strake clamps and five strakes ceiling broken in two in a perpendicular line; the hanging knee is started entirely from the beam and the beam badly smashed; the fore-and-aft piece that forms the engine room is split for about a space of 4 feet and likewise started from the ends of the spur beams from 3 to 4 inches. Six of the lap knees are also started. The stanchions that support the fore-and-aft piece, of the engine room and likewise from the coal bunkers are entirely gone at the head. The ceiling is started off from the frame of the ship for a space of 10 feet, both forward and aft of the hanging knee; forward of the knee, where the ceiling forms a butt, it has started 10 inches from the ship's frame, and the side of the ship is sprung in from 4 to 5 inches for a space of some 40 feet. When the ship was examined outside by the divers, they reported the planking abreast the engine room shattered for a space of 6 feet in depth, 10 to 12 feet in length, and about 1½ inches in the face of the planking. The oakum is also started in the seams. In examining the gun and berth decks I find the spirketing and waterway on berth deck started in 3 inches for a space of 20 feet. The bulkheads and shelving of three store rooms abreast the engine room were entirely knocked down. The stanchions that support the fore-and-aft piece that forms the engine room on gun deck were carried away at the heel, carrying the joiner work with them. The stanchions that support the spar deck around the engine room were jumped out of the iron sockets by the shock. The waterway on the gun deck abreast the engine room is started from the deck three-quarters of an inch for a space of 30 feet, causing the deck to leak badly. The above injuries were all caused by the explosion of the torpedo. In my opinion this ship ought to be docked as soon as she can possibly be spared from this harbor.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

T. H. BISHOP,            
Carpenter, U. S. Navy





Posted on Thu, Jun. 26, 2003                                                             
Ports Authority worker back at work after probe

Staff Writer

An employee with the S.C. Ports Authority has returned to work after an investigation into claims that he sought a loan from the head of a company that did business with the port.

The agency took an unspecified disciplinary action against the midlevel manager after a five-week investigation, Ports Authority spokesman Byron Miller said.

In a 2001 e-mail, the Ports Authority employee asked for a $150,000 to $175,000 loan from Warren Lasch, head of Charleston International Ports LLC.

Charleston International was under contract with the Ports Authority to run a terminal on the former Charleston Naval Base. The Ports Authority and the company are involved in a legal dispute over the terminal.

The employee did not receive a loan, but the Ports Authority learned of the incident last month and put the employee on leave.

The agency cannot discuss specific personnel matters, but it took disciplinary action, Miller said. The Ports Authority does not condone the conduct, he said.

"It was not the most appropriate request to make," Miller said. "But there was never any evidence that an economic benefit was received for the request."

The Ports Authority learned of the incident after being forwarded a copy of the e-mail by The State.

Charleston International did not file a complaint or cooperate with the investigation, according to the Ports Authority.

The company did not want to make an issue of the loan request, said Richard Quinn Sr., a spokesman for Charleston International. The incident, though, is part of a pattern of problems at the Ports Authority, he said.

The relationship between the two groups remains strained.

In April, the Ports Authority ended a long-term contract with Charleston International to run the terminal on the former Charleston Naval Base.

An audit conducted for the Ports Authority said the company did not obtain proper approval for some transactions and used company money for Lasch's benefit.

Charleston International says the contract was improperly cut short and that neither the company nor Lasch did anything wrong.

The Ports Authority controls the facility, but Charleston International says it should continue running the site until an arbitration panel rules on the conflict.

Reach Collier at (803) 771-8307 or




Hi there, any info needed on historical sites let me know. I live right here in charleston and can get you info or help ya find places.
Chris <>
Charleston , SC USA - Thursday, June 26, 2003 at 12:28:20 (PDT)

The Hunley should be at Patriots Point with all the other Historic Ships.
Jim Gillgam <>
Gainesville, VA USA - Thursday, June 26, 2003 at 07:16:45 (PDT)

Pratt and Whitney Rifling Machine Number l l/2.
Howard Frank Glazer <>
Downingtown, PA United States - Wednesday, June 25, 2003 at 06:47:54 (PDT)

cant wait until April 17,2004
robert e. moorer <>
north charleston, sc USA - Tuesday, June 24, 2003 at 12:26:42 (PDT)

Love the website. Keep up the good work and interesting information.
Kathy Crew <>
Surrey, BC Canada - Sunday, June 22, 2003 at 20:19:38 (PDT)

Sir I will be attending a meeting with several SLU university student and faculty groups on Monday June 23, 2003 at 10: 30 AM. The topic of the meeting is the building of a full scale replica of the CSS Pioneer. We have a lot of conflicting data from our search as to smaller details. From what I have read both were fabricated by the same two persons. We have some drawings and details but I would like to verify that we are as historically correct as possible. My plans for next week will put me in Charleston on Wednesday through Friday. If you would not mind reviewing our plans for the replica I will make sure that I set a little time aside to show you what the students have in mind. I would like to have the fabrication details as close as possible to the original construction. The main group that I will be working with is that of the AWS student chapter from Southeastern Louisiana University and several faculty members from the Industrial Technology Group. We have several local fabricators that are going to donate and roll the materials. I should be at my office number on Monday until around 9:30 AM. After that the office can get in touch with me or you can use the number listed below during my travel. The phone number for our meeting location is 225-673-1951. I hope that you will be interested in working with me on this project or at least putting me in contact with any one who would like to advise us on our project direction. George Fairbanks Senior Welding Inspector Gonzales Industrial X-Ray Inc. PO Box 481 Prairieville LA 70769 Phone 225-673-6600 Fax 225-673-6600 Email Home email I am the out going Chairman for AWS Baton Rouge section and the Educational Chairman PS I shall start my travel to Charleston on Monday around 1:PM after our meeting. My Pager number is 225-327-4765 My Cell number is 225-931-4904
George Fairbanks <>
St Amant, LA USA - Saturday, June 21, 2003 at 12:59:35 (PDT)

I really enjoyed my first visit to Charleston and I am happy to announce that I will be the guest, again, of the Mystery Club at Barnes & Nobles, Rittenburg Boulevard on September 10, 2003. I am planning to spend a few days in the city to visit some of the sites I missed on my last visit.
Cliff Chandler <>
Macon, GA USA - Thursday, June 19, 2003 at 19:56:04 (PDT)

I could not find map to the Hunley and data location. DVH
Rev. Dr. Daniel V. Horn <>
Spring Hill, FL USA - Thursday, June 19, 2003 at 11:49:28 (PDT)

Great site! Thank you for all the info! We hope to visit Charleston next April for "the last Confederate burial."
Barbara M. Updike <>
Richmond, VA USA - Wednesday, June 18, 2003 at 18:37:55 (PDT)

Great Site!
John C Schatte <>
Houston, TX USA - Monday, June 16, 2003 at 16:07:09 (PDT)

can we see the hunley in Charleston? i am going to Charleston in two weeks and i recently bought the hunley tag for my car
dr alex garrett <>
myrtle beach, sc USA - Monday, June 16, 2003 at 14:33:08 (PDT)

I am enjoying the info you present on the Hunley sub. Horace Hunley's Grandfather, William Hunley, born 1744, was my GGG Grandfather. I descended from him and also from two of Horace Hunley's Aunts, Lucretia Hunley and her sister Martha Hunley, both from Sumner County Tennessee , where H L Hunley was also born. I have in my possession an old Hunley family bible almost 200 years old which has the records of H L Hunley's birth and some of his ancestors births, deaths, etc. I am happy and so pleased with all the research being done on the famed sub. I have followed this Hunley history since my childhood days. Best wishes, Jim Peyton, west KY
Jim Peyton <>
Murray, KY USA - Sunday, June 15, 2003 at 19:18:49 (PDT)

i have been studying the hunley and i am obsessed with what happened back in 1863. it is terrible and when the crew members of the hunley are buried i am going to the grave sites of the members. and i am going to leave 1 red rose on the grave stones. they are TRUE heroes. and they will never be forgotten.
Breezi <>
East peoria, IL USA - Saturday, June 14, 2003 at 16:22:57 (PDT)

nekky <>
lome, utah USA - Saturday, June 14, 2003 at 14:50:37 (PDT)

I an very intereste in cival war history, I watched on MSNBC
Marianne Vargo <>
Souderton, Pa USA - Saturday, June 14, 2003 at 06:09:29 (PDT)

Congratulations for Mardikians´team. Keep up the good work! Amities, Teresa
Teresa Bosques <>
Mexico, DF Mexico - Friday, June 13, 2003 at 20:08:48 (PDT)

Great site!, The Hunley is a magnificent piece of history and a remarkable achievement in the history of the civil war.
Adam Basketfield <>
Milton Keynes, UK - Friday, June 13, 2003 at 16:48:54 (PDT)

I was wondering if the Navy had anything to do with with this?
Lettie M. Lee <>
Ft. Meade, Fl USA - Friday, June 13, 2003 at 15:42:19 (PDT)

You've done a fantastic job, presenting the Hunley and its' crew in a dignified manner, and given them both the respect and honor they deserve.
Buddy Cousins <>
Ashland, VA USA - Wednesday, June 11, 2003 at 17:56:16 (PDT)

I need this page for my social studdies project
Liz <>
New york, NY USA - Wednesday, June 11, 2003 at 17:36:48 (PDT)

Looks like you are doing a great job preserving history. I plan to visit 10/03.
Thomas J Shively <>
LasVegas, NV USA - Sunday, June 08, 2003 at 11:14:34 (PDT)

I am a tour guide for Stately Oaks Plantation in Jonesboro and love history from the civil war era. I believe the Hunley is so unique. I visited Fort Sumter a few years ago and was amazed at the condition. I would love to attend the memorial service for the brave sailors of the Hunley.
Pat Padgett <>


George Fairbanks

Hello Mr. Fairbanks, I will be honored to offer anything I can on the building of a full-scale replica of the CSS Pioneer.  As a former staff engineer at the Medical University of South Carolina, Chief Building Codes Analyst, and patent holder for a stair climbing device which entitles me to being called an inventor, my expertise is in the field of Building Construction.  Whether that qualifies me to review your plans for building a replica would be debatable, but I imagine there are not a lot of Civil War Engineers or boat building experts around and still alive.

I did a fair amount of research on the Pioneer and wrote several articles about them.  You are always welcome to anything on my site to use freely as needed.  With your permission, I will post your letter in this weekend’s newsletter and see if we can stir up any experts out there willing to contribute.  I will also call you Monday when you get to town.

George W. Penington

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 10:08 AM
Subject: thank you from a Horace Hunley relative

Dear Mr. Pennington,

I want to express my appreciation to you for the fine job you do in informing the public about the Hunley submarine!  I have within my possession a wonderful family treasure- the Hunley family bible.  We have had this old bible in our family for almost 200 years now. 

 Back in 1965, when I was only 7 years old,  Mrs. Ruth Duncan wrote the first book on Horace Hunley and the famed submarine.  The genealogical information in her book was derived from my Grandmother's old bible, which was given to my mother.  I descended from Horace's Grandfather, William Hunley, and also from two of his Aunts, Martha Hunley and Lucretia Hunley.  Lucretia, my GGG Grandmother, recorded in beautiful penmanship the members of the Hunley family.  

 I hope to be in Charleston next year for the burial of Dixon and his crew and I would enjoy meeting you and showing you this old Hunley bible.  I have also wanted to write Senator McConnell, but have just procrastinated.  I have kept up with this Hunley story all my life and never dreamed the sub would even be found. 

I have not been to Charleston and have not traveled much in my life.  I have been a Methodist minister since 1983, and my schedule has always been very demanding.  When the sub was found by Cussler, my mother, now 85 years old, called me and excitedly said, "They found our submarine!"  I laughed at the way she said this, but after reading one of your comments in the e mails you sent to questioners you made the statement that there may be only a few surviving "owners" of the submarine that can "claim ownership."  I thought a lot about that statement. 

The sub was privately owned and used  by privateers, so you make an interesting legal observation.  But I am sure the US Government would find it laughable if I attempted to claim even partial "ownership."  But in actuality, I have always felt it was our family's sub!  I was raised on stories of the Civil War and I feel I almost know Horace.  I know that sounds strange, but it's true.  My Great Grandfather, William Hunley Winn, was his first cousin, born (1812) along the same creek in Sumner County Tennessee where Horace was born.  I have a photo of my Great Grandfather, and the facial similarities between Horace and William are amazing;  I see it also in my Grandfather's face, Willis Hunley Winn.  He died in 1943. 

 I noticed on the Internet that you had included some genealogical info on the Hunley's from Bobbie Wright.  She is a dear cousin of mine and also a descendant of William Hunley.  I am wondering how you got her address, since she does not own a computer.  Maybe she wrote you or called?  I am sorry to send such a long e mail, but I just wanted to thank you for your fine work and introduce myself to you.  I hope to hear from you!  Best wishes,  Jim Peyton, 270-753-3181, 1715 Ridgewood Dr., Murray, KY 42071

Thank you for the great letter…Sure would like your permission to use it in the next newsletter.  I will check to see where that Bobbie Wright info came from…she may have signed the guest book or emailed me…don’t remember. It would also be good if you had a seat of honor at the Re-burial. I have McConnell’s email address in one of the newsletters, will do a search and get back to you later.

And as far as ownership…I have some research on that…will get it to you…just for jollies if nothing else.  Might be you need to let them fix it up and then we can take a cruise around the harbor.  Lol.


Thanks again for writing…will get back to you later.

George W. Penington



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.

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