Charleston Harbor Map by George Penington Each map graphically shows the
ships around the harbor and their appropriate location on specified dates.
George has plotted the locations of wrecks such as the Blockade runner
"Ruby" off Folly Beach. The Housatonic and the Hunley are accurately
charted according to records and research that is available.
Charleston Harbor map. (framed) $34.99 plus 3.50 S&H (product # 1022)
WELCOME TO THE NEW HUNLEY NEWSLETTER We are now publishing our
newsletters in HTML. One of the primary highlights is that we can now
inserts images. We hope that you will like the new newsletter.
2) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Fight over opening Hunley records
COLUMBIA -The legal fight over whether the group safeguarding the
Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley should make its records open to the
public has stalled over whether a single deposition should continue.
Both sides argued in front of a judge Monday over whether Friends of the
Hunley, Inc. consultant John Hazzard should submit to further examination.
His October deposition was halted after about seven hours when his lawyer
said the questions being asked were more about causing embarrassment than
in finding case facts. Hazzard's deposition was being collected as part of
a legal suit filed months ago by Greenville construction contractor Edward
Sloan Jr. Sloan, who has a history of filing open records lawsuits against
governments, sued Friends of the Hunley, Inc, saying the nonprofit group
is a wing of the state Hunley Commission and therefore all its records
should be open to public scrutiny under the S.C. Freedom of Information
Hazzard was deposed because he has two roles in the project: as legal
counsel for the state Hunley Commission and as a consultant to FOH. He is
also a staff lawyer for Hunley Commission chairman and state Sen. Glenn
McConnell, R-Charleston, in the Legislature. "Mr. Hazzard ... seems to be
the one most intimately involved in both organizations," said Sloan's
attorney, James Carpenter of Greenville. Carpenter said he was not
badgering Hazzard at the deposition; rather, he was being thorough. He
said he needed about two more hours to finish his questions. Friends of
the Hunley, Inc lawyer Biff Sowell stopped the deposition from proceeding.
Circuit Judge James R. Barber III said he would review transcripts of the
deposition to see whether Carpenter's line of questioning was redundant,
or whether he would have Hazzard submit to a second round of questions. He
also ordered Hazzard to produce his tax returns for the judge's private
review to see if Hazzard was correctly reporting all his income from FOH.
Hazzard was not present in the courtroom in Richland County but in a later
telephone interview declined comment, saying he had not heard from Sowell
on the day's events.
Sloan first filed his case, he said his suit should not be interpreted as
"anti-salvage of the Hunley," but as an attempt to get a legal
determination of who was overseeing its conservation and restoration, and
what money was going into it. The Hunley project has received about $8
million in state and federal funding since the recovery effort began. The
money has been overseen by Friends of the Hunley, Inc in an arrangement
that has allowed the group to avoid state procurement codes.
wants a judge to determine that Friends of the Hunley, Inc is the
alter-ego of the Hunley Commission, making it susceptible to public record
laws, procurement codes and an audit by the General Assembly. FOH has
voluntarily turned over to Sloan some documents he requested even though
the group contends it is a private body. In its court response, Friends of
the Hunley, Inc argued it should be considered a private nonprofit charity
set up as caretaker and fund-raiser for the sub.
did not give an indication on when he might issue a ruling on the future
of Hazzard's deposition.
Of The Post and Courier Staff covers state and local politics. Contact him
at 937-5551 or email@example.com.
with permission from Charleston.net and the Post and Courier
on Hunley belittles its status as world-class project
Recent criticisms of the Hunley project by a reader deserve response.
First, the Hunley project is not another monument to government ineptitude
but rather a national treasure to American ingenuity, bravery and
sacrifice. It represents our legacy that people in the defense of or
pursuit of freedom, as they perceive it, will put aside the element of
fear to answer the call of duty. Additionally, her recovery is an
international technological feat and her conservation so scientifically
complex and novel that the multinational recovery, archaeology and
conservation team have set the bar worldwide in these areas. Like a gift
from the past, the Hunley, having escaped the jaws of time, comes back to
a grateful people to remind us and those that follow that freedom does not
come easy for any generation, and that freedom's continued preservation
will require that same type of sacrifice.
Contrary to the reader's assertion that we have spurned a private offer
because we wish to maintain control, we did so because they wanted to
remove the Hunley from Charleston. His entire dialogue belittles this
project and questions the wisdom and motives of those of us involved.
Hunley was recovered ahead of schedule and below budget. Hundreds of
citizens have freely volunteered their time each week to raise hundreds of
thousands of dollars to conserve her. Thousands of visitors have come to
Charleston to view her. These visitors have spent their money in our gas
stations, hotels and restaurants. In a warehouse on a closed Navy base,
only opened a day and half each week, the Hunley has proven she is a
sought-after attraction. The Hunley has been the subject of national and
international press coverage because her story interests people from
across the nation and around the world. The project has also won national
awards for conservation and preservation.
last leg of the Hunley's journey home is to a world-class facility where
visitors can view the Hunley and her crew through the eyes of those who
manned her on her historic mission, allowing people to see and understand
the sacrifice these men made. This resting place also will be a place
where people, through virtual reality, can learn the sciences of
archaeology, conservation, hydrodynamics and forensics, as well as
learning about the maritime history of our country and how the Hunley was,
in so many ways, ahead of her time. The Hunley, built like no other boat
in the 19th century, will be joined with the Peery collection, an
unparalleled 19th century maritime collection that would not even be
available today to a museum for tens of millions of dollars. This unique
and unsurpassed facility, in an emotional and educational experience, will
pass on the American legacy that honor, courage and valor endure forever.
All of this will ensure its long-term sustainability. So the Hunley is not
some "little pet project" but instead a world-class one that deserves a
vision for the future as well as our thanks to all the volunteers who have
helped to get it where it is. That is why we should not sell it short.
facility, based on expert projections, will likely cost over $30 million
and perhaps as much as $40 million, and there is nothing wrong with our
being upfront about the true costs. The public deserves frankness ó not a
gloss over. Additionally it does not take a rocket scientist to conclude
that the gracious offers of $4-1/2, $7 and $11 million will not get the
project to the finish line. No one is being greedy, just honest. What we
need is a partner that will make the Hunley Museum its No. 1 development
project and bring to the table the talent to help identify and pursue the
federal and private funds available to rightfully showcase this national
treasure in our community. We are not asking for a handout but rather a
helping hand to the finish line.
challenge will require a unified effort. However, based on the belittling
and misinformed remarks of three Charleston city councilmen, it appears
unlikely there will be unified support from the city of Charleston; and
the strange criticism of a North Charleston councilman that his city is
being held hostage, thankfully, is minimized by the statesman-like
approach of Councilman Kurt Taylor, who wanted to know what other type of
resourceful efforts we might be looking for in order to successfully
finish the project. Mount Pleasant has largely remained positive.
Hunley Maritime Museum is to be built, it should only be done in a fashion
that allows it to be self-supporting and an economic asset to the
community and not a liability to the taxpayer. Setting our goal that high
brings criticisms from those who have other objectives, but the public
benefits more when we strive for the best.
Otherwise, the public is better served by leaving the Hunley safely where
she is until we can do it right.
McConnell is president pro tempore of the S.C. Senate and chairman of the
with permission from Charleston.net and the Post and Courier
4) Hunley technology impresses Marlin
January 22, 2003
Of The Post and Courier Staff
Sterling Marlin knows a thing or two about engineering, but the NASCAR
driver was amazed at the technology used more than a century ago in
building the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley.
And he was just as amazed at the technology being employed today to
preserve the submarine, which in 1864 sank the U.S.S. Housatonic outside
Charleston Harbor and never returned from its historic voyage.
When asked, what was the most impressive thing he saw during a private
tour Wednesday, Marlin answered: "All of it. Just to look back at how they
did things 130, 135 years ago.
"The welding. The relics that came out of it, the old watches, coins,
knives and stuff like that. The bench they sat on to crank it. The paint’s
still on the bench. It looked like the boiler plate had been cut with a
shear, no jagged edges. It was real neat. The rivets. They didn't have any
electricity to drill, but they done it."
Marlin, his wife Paula and 12-year-old daughter Sutherlin along with a
family friend got a personalized tour directed by Friends of Hunley
chairman Warren Lasch, project supervisor Bob Neyland and archeologist
Harry Pecorelli, the diver who was the first person to touch the Hunley
when it was discovered in May 1995.
The submarine was recovered in July 2000 and brought to the Warren Lasch
Conservation Center at the old Navy Base where the sub and its contents
are being documented and preserved.
Marlin said history and physical education were the only subjects he was
good in as a student, but that he really began to get interested in the
Civil War about 15 years ago when people began finding Civil War artifacts
near his hometown of Columbia, Tenn.
"My great-great granddaddy, William Marlin, fought in the war. He survived
it and lived to be 94-years old," said Marlin, who noted that his
great-great grandfather had three brothers who also fought in the Civil
War and survived to live to their 90s.
Marlin said someone had furlough papers that pointed out the Civil War
soldier was 6-1, 160 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. "That's us,"
said the blonde-haired, blue-eyed driver.
Marlin said he began relic hunting about 12 years ago. He now has a Civil
War room in his home and fans contribute to his collection.
In Detroit a few months ago, a fan of Marlin's presented the driver with a
sword from the Civil War.
Used with permission from Charleston.net and the Post and Courier
5) LOOKING FOR THE "DEVIL"
April 7, 1863, the Northern iron clad fleet of nine ships was preparing to
attack Charleston and demand its surrender. Charleston was one of the few
ports still open to blockade-runners and was vital to the economy of the
General P.G.T. Beauregard, considered a military genius, devised a plan in
the new field of mine warfare. All of the inner reaches of the harbor were
sowed with various barrel, boiler and frame type torpedoes. In several
areas, barriers were erected of rope netting and empty barrels to give the
appearance of contact mines.
L Hunley had arrived in Charleston, S.C. on August 15, 1863, a new
invention in a new war in a new harbor. While the Southern inventors were
developing mines and the new torpedo boats, the Northern inventors were
developing ways to countermand these “infernal” machines and obstacles.
The North had a fear of mines and only a limited idea of what the South
would throw at them. Capt. John Ericsson designed and built the first
armored turret ship, the “Monitor,” launched on January 30, 1862. Ericsson
was dedicated to the study of torpedoes and sun motors. He invented the
ship propeller and was commissioned to build a minesweeping raft intended
to deal with confederate torpedoes, and the clearing of mine barriers. (See
newsletter #18 for more information on Ericsson)
many inventions the Northern abolitionist developed, this huge and crude
minesweeping device was an early development. A raft designed to catch
torpedoes was tailored to fit across the bow of the Weehawken, the lead
ship of the ironclad squadron and was mounted in preparation of attack.
The raft was 50 feet long and 27 feet wide, almost 1300 square feet, the
size of a small house, notched out to fit snugly and be held in place with
ropes and chains attached on each side of the mother ship. The raft had
chains and grappling hooks hanging from the front and sides designed to
explode or move any torpedo obstructions.
of these contraptions were built, two were lost at sea before reaching
Charleston, and the third one did more damage than good. One of he
“Devils” is reportedly in the Bahamas having been lost at sea.
Strapped to its bow the “Devil” continually fouled in the Weehawken’s
anchor chain holding up the advancement of the squadron. It was finally
cut loose as the lead ship rounded Cummings Point. When it washed up on
the beach after the battle, the Confederates scratched their heads over it
nicknaming it “The Devil”. No one has thought much about it since. Mike
Kochan, a civil war re-enactor mentioned it to me when I met him at his
Torpedo Display at the Hunley site. He stated that he had talked with
contacts at the Charleston Museum who confirmed it was up in the marsh
behind Fort Sumter. I researched a number of historical maps and Coastline
Surveys none of which mention the exact location. One map shows a wreck
in the area but it was unidentified. As you can imagine there is tons of
Civil War debris laying around in the bay and marsh behind Fort Sumter and
here is a damn Yankee (mudsill) from Pennsylvania telling me where to look
in my backyard to find what? The “Devil”. That was hilarious and I will
never hear the end to it. I decided that we were interested and arranged
an expedition to go out there and find it, get some pictures and possible
some verification of its existence. Mike, the Torpedo Man, Kochan was
interested in pictures of the wood or a grappling hook for his display but
couldn’t get down here before it got too cold. He did give me a few ways
to positively identify it and good directions; I also found reference to a
Merritt Dredge barge lost in the area and wanted to make sure of our
identification of the Civil War Raft was not something earlier. It took us
most of a day and an ebb tide to get behind Morris Island not counting the
time it took to snag a few bass. I marked the spot on The Charleston
Harbor Civil War Battle Map and identified the “Devil” exactly where we
email from Mike:
It's on the next creek
(Bass Creek) toward the ocean coming down it's on the left at the bend
then past the bend is the swamp angle site I’ll get back at ya
After Mike sent us better
directions and a hand drawn map from the Charleston Museum, we ventured
out to find the “Devil” What’s ironic is the “Devil” was right there
amazingly close to the “Marsh Angel” on the South side of Bass Creek We
were very surprised to find it so far up a very small creek and can only
surmise that it was moved during exceptional high water. You can see from
the pictures that there is not really much left of the Devil. I’m thinking
we may have to form a private non profit sometimes charitable organization
called “Friends of the Devil”
Another irony that I discovered while doing further research appeared when
I came across Clive Cussler's notes where he claimed to be the first to
identify the "Devil": This is his description
WEEHAWKEN'S TORPEDO RAFT
the battle of Charleston between Admiral Dahlgren's monitor fleet and the
Confederate forts, the Weehawken led the Union squadron into the harbor
with a huge wooden anti-mine raft attached to its bow. The weight and drag
made the monitor completely unmanageable and the raft was cast adrift.
Although it's been sitting in the reeds along the north bank of Bass Creek
all these years, we were the first to identify it.
32 43' 30"
79 53' 25"
First off it was not
Admiral Dahlgren's fleet it was S. F. DuPont, Rear-Admiral, Comdg. South
Atlantic Blockading Squadron that was in command. Dahlgren replaced DuPont
due to the politics of losing this major battle.
Secondly, The "Devil" is on the South Bank of Bass Creek - there is
nothing on the North Bank but pluff mud, oysters, marsh hens, saw
grass and fiddlers. Finally, there were numerous people in Charleston who
knew of and had identified the "Ericsson Raft" including Dr. E. Lee Spence
and the Charleston Museum Staff.
32 43' 40"
79 53' 18"
These coordinates are a little more accurate particularly in a creek that
was only 50' wide at high tide.
Figure I Section from Charleston Harbor Civil War Map
Additional pictures and
http://www.thehunley.com/The Devil/The Devil and the Marsh Angel.htm
Report of Major Harris, C.
S. Army. OFFICE OF CHIEF ENGINEER, Charleston, S. C., April 23, 1863.
The 'devil' floated ashore
on Morris Island; the cables by which it was attached to the turret's bow
were cut away. It is probable that the "devil" becoming unmanageable, was
the cause of the turret retiring early from the action, it being a massive
structure, consisting of two layers of white-pine timbers, 18 inches
square, strongly bolted together; a reentering angle 20 feet deep, to
receive the bow of the vessel, 50 feet long, 27 feet wide; a layer of
beveled timbers on the front, forming a bow; seven heavy iron plates,
through which passed chains directly down' and over the sides, through
hawse pipes; to these were attached grappling irons with double prongs,
suspended underneath, at the sides and bow; in the countersinks of the
plates were loose iron rollers, apparently to facilitate the drawing of
the chains through the holes over them, when the grappling took hold, to
drag up to the "devil" whatever he may catch with his hooks.
Very respectfully, your
most obedient servant, WILLIAM H. ECHOLS, Major, Engineers.
D. B. HARRIS,
Chief Engineer Department.
II Devil Mid Section
III Devil Spike Remains
FOLLOWING ARE EXCERPTS FROM NEWS REPORTS AND TELEGRAMS ABOUT THE ERICSSON
MARCH 12, 1863. Off
Charleston, S. C., March 12, '63.
Everything is quiet off Charleston, just now, but I can assure you it will
not long be so. During the past fortnight blockade runners have been very
scarce, owning, I presume, to the brightness of the moon at night. The
blockade is kept up by fifteen vessels and the New Ironsides, the latter
lying anchor at Rattlesnake and Ship Channels. Guns are planted on every
available pointed land. Torpedoes without number are already sunk, ready
to blow the Yankees-or mudsills, as the rebels term us-sky high, and all
sorts of obstructions have been placed in the channels of the harbor to
obstruct our entrance; the Sumter, Moultrie and Fort Beauregard are all
mined ready to be blown up after the rebels leave them and when we Yankees
have taken possession of them, and also that if the rebel commanding
officers find that the city likely to fall into our hands it is to be
burnt. It is possible that they may do us some injury with these
torpedoes, but great caution will be taken to cause them to explode before
our ships reach them, for which a machine has already been prepared for
that purpose. Yours truly, X. (Boston Herald, March 17, 1863
dispatch CHARLESTON, April 8--8 p.m. All quiet thus far to-day. The people
and troops are in high spirits at the results of yesterday's fight. The
Keokuk is certainly sunk. The fighting was chiefly at a distance of 900
yards. The monitors can not pass Sumter without coming within 400 yards.
The impression is very general that the enemy will renew the attack after
repairing damages. Seven monitors and the Ironsides are still off the
harbor.10 o'clock p.m.: The latest official intelligence from the bar
states that only two of the ironclads have gone south, leaving seven
remaining besides the Keokuk, which lies sunk about 1,000 yards from
Morris Island. The Yankee machine called the "Devil," designed for the
removal of torpedoes, has floated ashore and fallen into our hands. All
quiet now. The enemy is constantly signaling, but no renewal of the attack
is anticipated before tomorrow. The Yankees have been busy all day
Second dispatch CHARLESTON, April 9--a.m.
quiet this morning. The monitors are still in sight. Yesterday evening
many pieces of the Keokuk's furniture, with spyglasses, washed ashore on
Morris Island beach. Many of these articles were covered with clotted
blood. The impression prevails at our batteries that the slaughter on
board the Keokuk was terrible. We have the Richmond papers of 8th and
10th, but none of the 9th. The above extract would seem to confirm
dispatch we took from the enemy's signal yesterday.
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
FOX, Assistant Secretary Navy.
Report of Major Echols, C.
S. Army. C. S. ENGINEERS' OFFICE, Charleston, S. C., April 9, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to
make the following report of the engagement between Fort Sumter and the
enemy's ironclad fleet on 7th April, 1863, at 3 o'clock p.m., lasting two
hours and twenty-five minutes:
They steamed up main Ship
Channel toward Fort Moultrie in line of battle as follows: Four single
turrets, Ironsides, three single turrets, and Keokuk, following one after
the other at intervals of about 300 yards, the foremost one moving slowly
and carrying on her prow the "devil," or torpedo searcher, a description
and drawing of which is appended. When within 2,200 yards, Fort Moultrie
fired the first gun upon her, near buoy No. 3, then distant about 1,500
yards from Fort Sumter, which haft previously trained her battery of
barbette guns upon the buoy, and opened fire by battery when she reached
that position, at three minutes past 3 o'clock.
Detailed report of
Rear-Admiral DuPont, U. S. Navy. No. 185 FLAGSHIP WABASH, Port Royal
Harbor, S. C., April 15, 1863.
I herewith enclose (marked
No. 1) the order of battle and plan of attack, in which the Weehawken,
Captain John Rodgers, with a raft in front, was to be the leading vessel
of the line, and the Keokuk, Commander Rhind, was to be the last, The
chain of the Weehawken, the leading vessel, had, however, become entangled
in the grapnels of the pioneer raft, and the vessels were delayed in
moving until about fifteen minutes past 1, when, everything being clear,
the Weehawken moved on, followed by the Passaic and others in the regular
order of battle.
Very respectfully, your
obedient servant, S. F. DU PONT,
Rear-Admiral, Comdg. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.
Detailed report of Captain
Drayton, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Passaic.
U. S. IRONCLAD PASSAIC,
Off Morris Island, S. C., April 8, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to your
signal, I yesterday, at 12:30, got underway, prepared to follow the
Weehawken, which vessel had on the bow a raft projection for catching
torpedoes. This, however, fouling her anchor and causing some delay, I, at
12:40, signaled for permission to go ahead. The Weehawken, however, having
at length cleared her anchor, proceeded at 1:15 toward Charleston,
followed by this vessel. On the way up a number of buoys of various
descriptions were passed, strewed about in every direction, and causing
suspicion of torpedoes, one of which machines we saw burst under the bow
of the Weehawken.
Detailed report of Captain
Rodgers, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Weehawken.
U. S. S. WEEHAWKEN, Inside
Charleston Bar, S. C., April 8, 1863.SIR: I have the honor to submit the
Yesterday, April 7, one of
the grapnels of the raft attached to us became so entangled in our chain
that the Weehawken was detained about two hours in getting underway. In
obedience to given signal we succeeded, however, in arriving under the
fire of Fort Sumter at about 2:50 p.m. The raft which we had attached to
our bow did not much impede our steering, but while lying at anchor the
waves converted it into a huge battering ram. In two days it had started
the armor upon our bow; no vessel can carry it except in smooth water. Its
motions did not correspond to the movements of the Weehawken; sometimes
when she rose to the sea the raft fell, and the reverse. Thus we were
threatened with having it on our decks or under the overhang. No prudent
man would carry the torpedo attached to the raft; in a fleet an accidental
collision would blow up his own friend, and he would be more dreaded than
Abstract log of the U. S.
S. Keokuk, and additional notes by Commander Rhind, U. S. Navy,
Tuesday, April 7.--Wind
moderate, northward and eastward; weather fine. Enemy occupied in
transporting guns down Morris Island beach, having observed our troops
signaling from north point of Folly Island. At 12:30 the fleet got
underway by signal from flagship, formed line, but were delayed for about
an hour and a half by the anchor of the
Weehawken (the leading
vessel) getting foul of her raft ahead.
[Telegram.] NEW YORK, April
11, 1863. The reported loss of one of the rafts before Charleston is very
serious. Had we not better send on one of those now ready here? The
attachment of the cable under the raft had no doubt been omitted and the
upper ones shot away. J. ERICSSON.
G. V. FOX, Assistant
Report of Captain Rodgers,
U. S. Navy, regarding the Ericsson raft. U. S. S. WEEHAWKEN, Port Royal,
April 20, 1863.
SIR: In compliance with
your order of this day, I have the honor to submit the following report in
regard to the raft said to have been invented by Mr. Ericsson for the
purpose of carrying a torpedo to be used in blowing up obstructions:
Upon trial in this harbor I
found that the vessel with the simple raft steered as well, I thought, as
usual; certainly not so much worse as to render its use objectionable.
Whether she would handle as well with the resistance of the torpedo 12
feet under water added on to the raft I have not tried, and therefore can
express no opinion.
There was another trial of
the simple raft attached to this vessel in North Edisto Harbor with the
captains of the ironclads on board. They did not judge of it so favorably
as to be willing to use it. I thought that it would not be wise to carry
the torpedo into action, since in evolutions we might come into contact
with some of our own vessels and thus blow them up.
The event proves that the
anticipation was not ill founded. Two ironclads actually came into
collision with the Ironsides and she had to stop to avoid the Weehawken.
Had those vessels which actually touched her been provided with formidable
torpedoes to explode upon contact, the result might have been most
disastrous. In plain words, that folly would rise into crime which should
carry loaded torpedoes in a rapid tideway in a somewhat narrow channel,
without known buoys, under fire, and with the attention divided, among a
The proposition is so
evident that it would lose by argument. I declined, accordingly, to attach
the loaded torpedo to the Weehawken during the attack upon Fort Sumter
unless I should receive positive orders to do so. I stated, however, that
I thought the raft might be useful with grapnels hanging from it to catch
obstructions. This, accordingly, I carried into action, and this I brought
The raft was cut so as to
fit the bow of the vessel and secured by chains from ringbolts on the raft
a and c to ringbolts on the bow of the Weehawken, and further secured by
rope lashings to the same bolts and also from the ringbolts b and d, I
presume as designed by the inventor.
In crossing Charleston bar
the chains from a and c parted; all the lashings broke. This happened
twice in the short period in crossing from the outside of the bar to the
anchorage inside. When inside, it was found that the sea converted the
raft into a huge battering ram, which shook the vessel at every
It is obvious that with the
pitching which always accompanies a swell the two bodies would be brought
into collision with a power proportionate to their weight. The raft, I
think, displaces about 90 tons of water. Its motions did not at all
correspond with [the] motions of the vessel. The raft rose while the
vessel fell, and the reverse. It was a source of apprehension lest it
should get upon the deck or under the overhang.
The conclusion forced upon
me was that no vessel can carry it attached to the bow except in smooth
water. After it had started the 5-inch iron armor upon the bow I cut it
adrift. Afterwards I offered to use the one still in tow of the Ericsson
to blow up the Keokuk. It was brought in weather when confessedly I could
not carry it, and it was anchored. When the sea became smoother it was put
upon the bow, with the torpedoes all ready to be raised and lowered into
There was still some sea,
with a cross current, and Chief Engineer E. D. Robie, who, in conjunction
with Chief Engineer Stimers, was sent out from New York in special charge
of the rafts and torpedoes, found that the water was too rough, with too
much spray for him to attach the lock and fit the instrument for use. He
said that the force of the waves which came over the bow of the raft would
not permit the torpedo to be hoisted outside against their boating.
I went on board the
Ironsides to report the fact to you. On board the Ironsides he made the
same report, in the meanwhile, Chief Engineer Stimers came on board the
Weehawken, where I met him on my return. The sea had somewhat fallen, and
he said that the torpedo could now be fitted for firing, but I found that
during my absence the heavy ringbolts, a and b, had drawn out of the raft
and left it liable to swing round and bring the torpedo, when ready to
explode, against the Weehawken's side. A chain, I was told, had been
prepared to come up and under the raft from beneath the point e and robe
secured inside the anchor well. It was beneath the raft and I did not see
it. I had no faith that the chain would stand a strain which had drawn out
from solid wood two ragged bolts 24 inches long and nearly 5 inches in
circumference. All sailors know from experience that chain is less
reliable against surges than lashings.
The raft in its battering
tendencies had become unbearable. In the sea and cross currents it drew
the bolts intended to keep it pointed toward the object it was desired to
use it upon, and it was ready to turn its destructive power against those
who were to employ it. It was decided not to make the first trial of it
attached to the bow of a vessel under circumstances so adverse. Very
respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN RODGERS, Captain.
Rear-Admiral S. F. DU
Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
Newspaper clipping from the
Baltimore American of April 15, 1863. A disgraceful result. OFF
CHARLESTON BAR, April 8, 1863. Sinking of the Keokuk.
The ironclad Keokuk, as I
related in my report of yesterday's proceedings, retired from the conflict
badly pierced with shot, seventeen balls passing through her armor, five
of which were below the water line. She was with difficulty kept afloat
during the night and at 8 o'clock this morning sank near the end of Folly
Island, about 3 miles from Sumter. She lies in about 2½ fathoms of water,
and her smokestack is visible above the water line.
Mr. Stimers has made
arrangements to blow her up and destroy her to-morrow. Her pumps were kept
going through the night and hopes were entertained until a few moments
before she sank that she could be saved, but she sank very suddenly. The
officers were unable to save anything except the clothing in which they
The rebels stood on the
shore watching her sinking, and it is said this afternoon that they are
collecting fieldpieces along the shore to prevent any attempt to raise or
destroy her. But she will be destroyed by one of Ericsson's torpedoes
attached to a raft in front of the Weehawken, which will destroy her at
one explosion by coming in contact.
The Secretary of the Navy
sent down from here appliances to be used in removing obstructions in the
harbor. These rafts and torpedoes have been here nearly two months, and
the attempt to take Charleston has been abandoned without their usefulness
being considered for a moment. One of the rafts was taken in by the
Weehawken with grapnels attached to it to catch torpedoes, but they
refused to have the torpedoes connected with it. They were afraid the
torpedoes might kick backward, although they had been experimented with
and even the raft had not been injured. One of these torpedoes, containing
700 pounds of powder, would have swept away the obstructions in the harbor
and enabled the fleet yesterday afternoon to go up and bombard the city.
They were, however, not used, and this great national retribution is
abandoned. C. C. FULTON
Gen. Roswel S. Ripley, Commander of the Charleston defenses, compiled and
transmitted this report on the ironclad attack against Ft. Sumter, April
7, 1863 and its aftermath. Charleston, April 13, 1863.
morning of the 7th the enemy was inside the bar .........until about 2
o'clock p.m., when the enemy steamed directly up the channel, the
Weehawken, with a false prow for removing torpedoes attached, leading,
followed by three monitors, the Ironsides (flag-ship), three other
monitors; the Keokuk, double-turret, bringing up the rear.
each fort and battery officers and men made preparation for immediate
action, while the enemy came slowly and steadily on. At 3 o'clock Fort
Moultrie opened fire. At five minutes past 3 the leading vessel, having
arrived at 1,400 yards of Fort Sumter, opened upon it with two guns. The
eastern battery of Fort Sumter replied. Batteries Bee, Beauregard, Wagner,
and Cummings Point opened about this time and the action became general,
the four leading monitors closing up on the Weehawken, and taking position
at an average distance from the forts and batteries of about 1,500 yards.
accordance with instructions, the fire from the different points was
concentrated upon the leading vessels, and the effect was soon apparent
from the withdrawal of the leading monitor from action, her false prow
having been detached and she otherwise apparently injured. The remaining
monitors in advance of the flag-ship held their position, directing their
fire principally at Fort Sumter, but giving occasional shots at Fort
Moultrie (of which the flag-staff was shot away), Batteries Beauregard and
evening of the 9th a raft, apparently for removing torpedoes or
obstructions, was towed inside of the bar. Nothing occurred of importance
during the 10th.
the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, R. S. RIPLEY,
From: Liz Sent: Monday, January 20, 2003 9:11 PM
Subject: Not receiving Hunley newsletter, but want to
Greetings, I tried to subscribe to the Hunley newsletter but the server
told me I was already subscribed. I didn't get newsletter 25, though.
Can you check to see if I really am on the subscription list? Someone
sent me newsletter 25, so I do have it, but I'd like to subscribe. Thank
you! I really like your site. Liz
checked with several technicians about this and there can be a number of
reasons. One problem is that individuals that sign up from their offices
or work computers have settings that block this type of E-mail. You
should re-sign up from your home computer or personal email. Other
reports are that AOL and some others treat this type of mail as SPAM, even
though you have requested to receive it. Of course they let the Porno come
through and block the mail that you want. Another problem that some people
have encountered is reading the new HTML format. The Techs say that this
is due to using an outdated Internet Explorer. You can upgrade to a new
version from Microsoft.com. But don’t take that as a recommendation,
Internet Explorer 6 has its own set of problems even though I like it.
Organization: Roanoke Civil War Roundtable
Message: I will be in the Charleston area on March 2 for my honeymoon and
wish to see the Hunley. I have not seen a new schedule for viewing. Will
it be open then?
by the Warren Lasch Lab last week and didn’t realize that the Gift Shop
wasn’t open during the week days, so I called. The schedule will remain
the same. Tours and Gift Shop are only open on weekends.
Email sent to CSSHLHUNLEY CLUB in response to Article “Hunley technology
Re: [CSS H L HUNLEY] Hunley technology impresses Marlin
I wish I had had the opportunity to shake Sterling Marlin's hand. I have
been a fan of his for years. The first race car driver I ever heard of as
a child in the 1950s was Sterling Moss. So, when Sterling Marlin came
along, I paid attention to his career right from the start. By chance,
about six years ago, while I was on a business trip to London, I happened
to meet Sterling Moss and wife just as they returned from a race and I was
invited into their home.
It was a real pleasure. It would have been an honor and a pleasure to have
met Sterling Martin and to have been able to talk with him and tell him
about the Hunley. I think I should have had that opportunity. I did not.
As far as Harry Pecorelli being "the diver, who was the first person to
touch the Hunley," I had published my map showing the Hunley's correct
location prior to Harry's diving on the wreck. And. I think most of the
people on this board are aware of my claim to have first found and touched
the Hunley in 1970.
The boat captain the day I found the Hunley was Joe Porcelli who had just
gotten out of the Green Berets. Jim Batey, who then ran a commercial
diving business, and a couple of other people (I believe it was Ron Reneau
and Mike Douglas) went out the next day and/or the day after and dove on
it. Joe did likewise. In fact, I believe Joe actually dove on it twice.
Jim and Joe gave signed statements to that effect years ago. Troy Clanton,
III, who was aboard boat the day of find also gave a signed statement.
Unfortunately, Mike and Ron are long deceased. The next time I went out it
was buried. Mike Douglas and David McGeehee helped me relocated it with a
magnetometer, but it was still buried. David signed a statement about that
years ago also. Captain Jack Parker helped me relocate the Hunley in
preparation for my 1980 lawsuit claiming the Hunley. He signed two
statements relative to that. Dr. Mark Newell, who was the official
director of the Hunley Search Project (even according to NUMA), had
initiated the project and has gone on record that he used my maps, which I
had furnished to the State Archaeologist years earlier, and my other data
to have the expedition locate the target in 1994, and which was dug up and
proved to be the Hunley in 1995. Dr. Newell (firstname.lastname@example.org) has
stated that he believes I found it first and that what the 1994/95 Hunley
Project did was to "verify" that it was indeed the Hunley.
I donated my rights to the submarine to the State in 1995, but for well
over a year I didn't visit the Conservation lab because I had been told in
front of witness that I would be arrested if I ever showed up there.
When I finally did go, I was watched as though I was an unwelcome guest or
a threat to the security of the place. When I went up and talked with the
man keeping a close eye on me (who happened to be a man I had always
respected), I was told in no uncertain terms that my presence there was
making a lot of people "uncomfortable." It was a very unpleasant
experience for me and my guests. Also, I did not like the fact that when I
paid, I got what I thought was a receipt, but I had to give it back to
them before we could see the sub. I am used to getting receipts. I paid by
check, so that will have to suffice, but avoiding the obvious accounting
issues; I would like to have the receipt or ticket (even torn in half) as
So, not only have I not gotten the honors I deserve. I have been
threatened, insulted, and humiliated, while others get treatment,
privileges and honors that I believe should have gone to me for my
original discovery of the Hunley.
I have no doubt that Harry deserves credit for his work. He does. From
what I have heard he is a very competent and accomplished person. He has
unquestionably been a valuable asset and has helped save the Hunley. I do
think he deserves honors and respect, but I found the Hunley first and I
think I deserve recognition, honors and respect for both my 1970 discovery
of the wreck and my 1995 donation of the Hunley to the State.
HUNLEY NEWSLETTERS 2002 E-BOOK
ALL THOSE SUBSCRIBERS THAT HAVE SIGNED UP RECENTLY OR THOSE THAT SIGNED UP
MID YEAR AND MISSED THE EARLY ISSUES THEY ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN E BOOK FORM
ONLINE FOR $6.00. WE PUT A LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT COMPILING THESE ISSUES
IN BOOK FORM WHICH CAME OUT TO AROUND 200 PAGES OF INFORMATION.
When I looked back over the year there was a lot of good stuff that came
out in the year 2002 and I think this book is well worth it. I also
negotiated with the HUNLEYSTORE.COM so that anyone who purchases the book
also gets a $6.00 gift certificate that can be used toward the purchase of
anything they carry. But remember IF EVER YOU DO NOT GET YOUR NEWSLETTER
EVERY OTHER FRIDAY JUST LET ME KNOW AND I WILL SEND IT INDIVIDUALLY FREE.
order the Hunley 2002 E-Book click here.
8) NEW MAP AND CHART OF THE
BATTLE HISTORY AROUND CHARLESTON HARBOR.
map based around the Civil War in Charleston Harbor has expanded to
include the Stono River area. Based on Chart 11521 reduced to a manageable
size of 11 x 14, the image is scaled to fit a standard frame. The
Latitudes and Longitudes are scaled so that tracking can be accurately
done. Each map graphically shows the ships around the harbor and their
appropriate location on specified dates. I have plotted the locations of
wrecks such as the Blockade runner "Ruby" off Folly Beach. The Housatonic
and the Hunley are accurately charted according to records and research
that are publicly available.
available Naval Records and History, reports, and documents the locations
of such ships as the Canandaigua, the probable course of The Hunley, and
the location of various other blockading ships in relation to Hunley the
night of February 17, 1864 are shown.
depth of the waters around Charleston are based on soundings from 1973-96.
The map includes locations of the first and second sinking of the Hunley,
the probable route taken to sink the USS Housatonic and the location of
the USS Canandaigua. All the time and research in making this map has been
extremely interesting and gives a great perspective of the battles in and
around Charleston Harbor from 1861-1865.
FROM THE GUEST BOOK
07 Jan 2003
Comments: Your web site is very interesting. I found it to be informing.
All the Hunley men died for a good cause and deserve to be recognized by
the government, if not for what they believed in dieing for then the
achievement they made in history. These brave men deserve full military
honors and a representative from the U.S.N. to honor the memory of an
honorable foe. Respectively, H.L. Fogle, USN, Ret.