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Date:      Thu, 05 Sep 2002 20:54:56 -0400
Hunley Funeral

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

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 fighting ended.
     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 unknowns.
     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, Neyland said.
     Schuyler Kropf covers state and local politics. Contact him at skropf@postandcourier.com or 937-5551.

Used with permission of The Post and Courier and Charleston.Net



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