Comments and Facts Regarding The Article about a Virginian being aboard The Hunley made in the CSS H L Hunley Group.
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In csshlhunley@y..., yello_armadillo wrote:
> <<McConnell said that if Hayes was aboard the Hunley, he could have been a spy for the Confederate government assigned to the sub to make sure the crew didn't defect and turn the secret weapon over to the Union Navy.>>
> This seems to be a pretty nutty idea to me -- kind of a slap to
> the crew to even suggest such a thing. Men who knew how deadly the sub had been, and would still get in that thing in the middle of winter at night were not the type to defect/mutiny en masse.
> --Mike Mc
I agree with you Mike, When you look at the crew names, the only two it seems in question is White and Miller. One of them wore Chamberlain's Dog Tag. And if that person was a spy either Miller or White must be Hayes. Perfectly convoluted if you ask me.. ;>} George
--- In csshlhunley@y..., Andrew and Rebecca Hall <tigone@w...> wrote:
> > McConnell said that if Hayes was aboard the
> > Hunley, he could have been a spy for the
> > Confederate government assigned to the sub
> > to make sure the crew didn't defect and turn
> > the secret weapon over to the Union Navy.
> What is McConnell's fixation with spies? First
> he spun off all sorts of ludicrous speculation that the Chamberlain ID tag suggested the presence of a Union spy on board, now he thinks there might have been a Confederate spy. What next, Klingons?
Actually, there's some justification to that view.
A lot of spying took place in the Civil War. Both sides shared a language and a cultural heritage, making it extremely easy to impersonate a member of the other side. Mark Ragan asserts that one of the Hunley's former crewmembers was a mysterious Henry Dillingham*, probably a Confederate intelligence officer (spy).
Also consider that Confederate deserters gave Admiral Dahlgren, Commander of the fleet blockading Charleston, pretty good descriptions of the Hunley and the David. (The war was going very badly for the South at that time and there were many deserters.) One reportedly built a model of the Hunley. Those descriptions resulted in Dahlgren's Jan 7 1864 order to protect the ironclads in Charleston Harbor with chain booms.
* My own efforts to track down Dillingham have been mostly futile.
However, I did turn up this obituary:
"Hannah Veronica Doble, born July 04, 1850 in Dixfield, Oxford Co.,ME; died Unknown; Stepchild. She married Henry Dillingham March 31,1872; died Unknown."
Was it the same Henry Dillingham? We'll probably never know.
> Actually, there's some justification to that view.
But apparently, no actual *evidence* of it whatever.
All I know, as Will Rogers used to say, is what I
read in the papers -- in this case the Post & Courier article posted to the list on Thursday. The only concrete information I get from it is that there is documentation of a previously unknown person allegedly aboard the boat when she sank. While it's interesting, and should open another avenue of research, the information as reported in the story is so limited that spinning off *any* speculation from it is premature at best. McConnell's musings for the press seem clearly
intended to generate column-inches for the project.
That's not a bad thing, necessarily, but it bothers me that he's doing it by (to all appearances) making up dramatic scenarios out of whole cloth.
If there actually *is* evidence to support McConnell's "spy" theory, I'd like to know what it is. Further,I would argue, FotH has an obligation to make it public along with their interpretation of it. Unless there really is evidence that supports McConnell's suggestion, it looks to me like he's just spinning the same sort of unsubstantiated BS that has muddled up the true history of the boat for over 130 years.