Friday, April 6, 2001
BY SCHUYLER KROPF
Of The Post and Courier staff
Archaeologists are quickly accounting for the Confederate submarine Hunley's crew. On Thursday, two more of the vessel's sailors were uncovered in the sub's silt.
The discovery brings to six the number of crewmen found so far. Three are believed to remain.
The bones were found at the middle portion of the sub's crew compartment, lying across from each other. The pelvis and femur (thigh) bones for each man were uncovered.
Project manager Dr. Bob Neyland also said some type of clothing was found nearby. None of the remains or clothing was removed. As a protective measure, all the discoveries are covered up when the work ends for the day.
"It's all in black mud," Neyland said. "Unless it actually comes apart, we don't try to remove it. We work around it."
Scientists have been working for weeks to excavate the insides of the sub, pulling out buckets of sediment as they work their way to the bottom hunting for artifacts.
In one area, they are within 6 inches of the sub's rounded lower hull, but there is still much of the sub they haven't ventured into yet. That includes the forward area beneath the front conning tower where sub captain Lt. George Dixon is expected to be found.
Neyland estimates there are between 30 and 60 days of excavation work left on the sub, but that could change as artifacts are found.
The Hunley was recovered from the ocean bottom 4 miles off Charleston last August.