05 Sep 2002 20:54:56 -0400
Dear Mr. Penington, Thanks so much for your e-mail regarding the
funeral for the Hunley crew. We certainly appreciate your interest. The
funeral is scheduled for the Fall of 2003, and the public is urged to attend.
It will be held in Charleston, South Carolina at Magnolia Cemetery, where this
crew will be buried with the other crews. Mr. Randy Burbage is one of our
Hunley Commission members and would be the best contact person. He can be
reached at 1/800/611-2823 or 1130 John Rutledge Avenue, Hanahan, South
Carolina 29406-2018. With best regards, we are Beckie Gunter Secretary to
Senator Glenn McConnell (Chairman, Hunley Commission
Hunley crew burial may be in 2003
Thursday, October 18, 2001
BY SCHUYLER KROPF
Of The Post and Courier Staff
The burial of the Confederate submarine Hunley crew
likely will be in November 2003 and promises to be a solemn affair and
possibly America's final Civil War funeral - more than 138 years after the
Although officials are still working out a timetable,
the archaeologists and scientists leading the Hunley project say they will
need much of the next two years to examine bones for injuries that may give
clues as to why the sub sank. Also, they plan several DNA and forensics
examinations that could potentially help put a name to each of the eight or
nine sailors who took the Hunley out on her final voyage.
Those tests should also help to create near-exact
facial reconstructions of each man, enough to "let them speak and tell
the stories," project manager Bob Neyland said Wednesday during a state
Hunley Commission meeting.
At present, the men are referred to as military
Bone injuries could be very telling in re-creating
the final moments on board the sub. For example, after the Hunley's 90-pound
black powder charge exploded into the side of the USS Housatonic, the
concussion could have caused crewmen to bang into bulkheads or even break
ankles as the blast carried the length of the iron-hulled sub.
So far officials have no definitive answer as to what
caused the sub to sink. That determination could be a year or more away and
will be reached only after all the evidence on the sub is compared on the
whole, ranging from the condition of the crew to any breaches of the sub's
40-foot hull length.
"All of this information coming together ...
focusing in on a cause, a specific cause," Neyland told the commission.
The burial timetable is still undetermined and could
depend on a variety of factors. Some officials propose waiting until
Confederate Memorial Day in May 2004 for the interment, although commission
chairman Sen. Glenn McConnell said that would take away from the other
Confederate dead observed on that day.
No matter when it's held, officials are expecting
thousands of re-enactors to show up and honor the men. "These are the
last boys to come home," said re-enactor Jeff O'Cain.
Archaeologists, meanwhile, are continuing to excavate
the very bottom of the sub and the rear and forward sections of the crew
compartment where silt is still covering the sub's mechanics. They are also
hoping to get an accurate count of how many men were on board for the Feb. l7,
1864, attack; there may have been eight or nine. Excavation has also begun of
the sub's forward conning tower, which is still filled with silt.
The Hunley project has also been affected by the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, officials report. Some of the forensics experts
involved and the labs that were going to conduct DNA testing are now
preoccupied with the victims of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center,
Schuyler Kropf covers state and local politics.
Contact him at email@example.com or 937-5551.
Used with permission of The Post and
Courier and Charleston.Net