The Hunley.com

 

1) Welcome to the new Hunley Newsletter
2) The battle between the Hunley and the Housatonic
3) Introduction to Chart Navigation – Co-ordinates of the Hunley and Housatonic
4) The Hunley newsletter 2002 e-book
5) Email
6) From the guest book
7) New map and chart of the civil war battle history around  Charleston harbor
8) Our purpose and goals

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Charleston Harbor Map ( unframed) by George Penington and the book The Civil War at Charleston for only  $ 20.00 

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1) 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) The Battle Between the Hunley and the Housatonic

 

 

The month of February, 1864 was critical to the survival of Charleston. The shelling of the City was increasing. The Blockade by the Union Forces was getting more effective. On the night of February 17th a battle was about to occur that would forever affect Naval Warfare. The Confederate Submarine H L HUNLEY left its dock at Breech Inlet at 7:00 PM and an hour and 45 minutes later at about 8:45 p.m. the officer of the deck of the USS HOUSATONIC, Acting Master J. K. Crosby, discovered something in the water about 100 yards from and moving toward the ship. An explosion occurred about three minutes after the first discovery of the object, which blew up the after part of the ship, causing her to sink immediately after to the bottom, with her spar deck submerged. It took between 5 and 7 minutes for the Housatonic to sink. At 9:35 the USS Canandaigua arrived at the Housatonic and found her sunk. During this time what was the Hunley going through?

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS VARIOUS LETTERS AND TELEGRAMS THAT WERE BEING EXCHANGED BY NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN FORCES AROUND THIS HISTORIC EVENT

Specifications of the two ships involved:

U. S. S. HOUSATONIC.

Acquisition.-- Built by Government contract; hull at Boston Navy Yard; machinery, by Globe Works (Jabez Coney et al.), Boston, Mass. Launched, November 20, 1861, at Boston, Mass.

Cost.--$231,526.71.

Description.--Screw steamer; sloop-of-war.

Tonnage.--1,240.

Dimensions.--Length, 207'; beam, 38'; depth, 16' 10".

Draft.--Loaded, forward, 7' 7"; aft, 9' 7".

Engines.--Two; horizontal, direct action. Diameter of cylinder, 42"; stroke, 30"; 1 Sewell's surface condenser.

Boilers.--Two main; one auxiliary; all Martin's tubular patent.

Battery.--September 2, 1862, 1 100-pdr. Parrott rifle, 3 30-pdr. Parrott rifles, 1 XI-inch Dahlgren S. B., 2 32-pdr. 33 cwt., 2 24-pdr. howitzers, 1 12-pdr. howitzer, 1 12-pdr. rifle; April 30, 1863, add 2 32,-pdrs. 33 cwt.; June 2, 1863, remove howitzers; Nov. 27, 1863, similar to that of April 80, 1863.

Disposition.--Sunk, February 17, 1864, outside bar of Charleston, S.C., by Confederate torpedo beat.

C. S. S. HUNLEY.

Acquisition.--Built at Mobile, Ala., in 1863, in the shops of Park & Lyons, by her designer, Hunley, McClintock, and Watson.

Cost--$15,000.00 1/3 share owned by Singer Submarine Corps leader E.C. Singer, 1/3 share owned by Horace Hunley, 1/3 owned by R.W. Dunn, Gus Whitney and J.D. Breaman. Equivalent to about $300,000 today.

Description.--Submarine torpedo boat.

Dimensions.--Internal, height 5'; breadth 4'. 3.5’ beam. 39’5” length, Hatches 2’ long 1’3” wide

Speed.--In smooth water and light current, 4 miles an hour.

Disposition.--Sunk with the U. S. S. Housatonic, which vessel she torpedoed, February 17, 1864, off Charleston, S.C.

Remarks.--Motive power, a hand propeller, worked by eight men.

Crew: Lt. George E. Dixon, C.F. Carlson, James Wicks, Arnold Becker, Fred Collins C. Simpkins,, Joseph Ridgeway, , , , and unknown

THE HUNLEY CREW

Lt. George E. Dixon, CSA, Commanding Lieutenant George E. Dixon, commander of the submarine, H.L. Hunley during it's final expedition against the USS Housatonic, was never commissioned in the Confederate Navy, and remained a member of company E of the 21st Alabama Volunteers. He was a Kentuckian by birth (although a resident of Mobile), and an engineer by profession. This engineering knowledge served him well when he volunteered for command of the Hunley. Although one source indicates that his crew in the final expedition of the Hunley were also members of his company, the Naval Official Records indicates that five of these men were actually sailors from the Confederate States Navy, and one from Confederate artillery service.

Cpl. C.F. Carlson, CSA newly assigned second in command, member of the German Light Artillery, Captain Wagener's (South Carolina) company of artillery.

James A. Wicks, CSN,boatswain's mate

Arnold Becker, CSN, seaman

Fred Collins, CSN aka Seaman Frank J. Collins

C. F. Simpkins, CSN -C. Simkins, CSS H.L. Hunley, died February 17, 1864, when that vessel attacked the USS Housatonic, off Charleston, South Carolina. [ORN 1, 15, 337.]

Seaman Joseph Ridgeway, CSN, seaman, CSS H.L. Hunley, died February 17, 1864, when that vessel attacked the USS Housatonic, off Charleston, South Carolina. [ORN 1, 15, 337.]

The following are unknown names that will be solved when completion of the identification process by forensic scientist.

___ White

___ Miller (Miller or White could be James Hayes or crewman wearing Chamberlin medallion)

Second in command Lt. William Alexander was no longer in the Charleston Area

_________________________________________________________

Letter from Captain Gray, C. S. Army, to Major-General Maury, C. S. Army, regarding the loss of the H. L. Hunley and her crew.

OFFICE SUBMARINE DEFENSES,

Charleston, S. C., April 29, 1864.

GENERAL: In answer to a communication of yours, received through headquarters, relative to Lieutenant Dixon and crew, I beg leave to state that I was not informed as to the service in which Lieutenant Dixon was engaged or under what orders he was acting. I am informed that he requested Commodore Tucker to furnish him some men, which he did. Their names are as follows, viz: Arnold Becker, C. Simkins, James A. Wicks, F. Collins, and ---- Ridgeway, all of the Navy, and Corporal C. F. Carlsen, of Captain Wagener's company of artillery.

The United States sloop of war was attacked and destroyed on the night of the 17th of February. Since that time no information has been received of either the boat or crew. I am of the opinion that, the torpedoes being placed at the bow of the boat, she went into the hole made in the Housatonic by explosion of torpedoes and did not have sufficient power to back out, consequently sunk with her.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. M. GRAY,

Captain in Charge of Torpedoes.

Major-General DABNEY H. MAURY,

Mobile, Ala.

_________________________________________________________________

Report of Lieutenant Higginson, U. S. Navy, of the U. S. S. Canandaigua.

U. S. S. CANANDAIGUA,

Off Charleston, S. C., February 18, 1864.

Sir: I have the honor to make the following report of the sinking of the U. S. S. Housatonic, by a rebel torpedo off Charleston, S. C., on the evening of the 17th instant:

About 8:45 p.m. the officer of the deck, Acting Master J. K. Crosby, discovered something in the water about 100 yards from and moving toward the ship. It had the appearance of a plank moving in the water. It came directly toward the ship, the time from when it was first seen till it was close alongside being about two minutes.

During this time the chain was slipped, engine backed, and all hands called to quarters.

The torpedo struck the ship forward of the mizzenmast, on the starboard side, in a line with the magazine. Having the after pivot gun pivoted to port we were unable to bring a gun to bear upon her.

About one minute after she was close alongside the explosion took place, the ship sinking stern first and heeling to port as she sank.

Most of the crew saved themselves by going into the rigging, while a boat was dispatched to the Canandaigua. This vessel came gallantly to our assistance and succeeded in rescuing all but the following-named officers and men, viz, Ensign E. C. Hazeltine, Captain's Clerk C. O. Muzzey, Quartermaster John Williams, Landsman Theodore Parker, Second-Class Fireman John Walsh.

The above officers and men are missing and are supposed to have been drowned.

Captain Pickering was seriously bruised by the explosion and is at present unable to make a report of the disaster.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. J. HIGGINSON,

Lieutenant.

Rear-Admiral JOHN A. DAHLGREN,

Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

________________________________________________________

A court of enquiry was held to determine what happened that night.

. Proceedings of a court of enquiry convened on board the U. S. S. Wabash, February 26, 1864.

U. S. STEAM FRIGATE WABASH, March 7, 1864.

The testimony having been closed, the court was cleared for deliberation, and after maturely considering the evidence adduced, find the following facts established:

First. That the U. S. S. Housatonic was blown up and sunk by a rebel torpedo craft on the night of February 17 last, about 9 o'clock p.m., while lying at an anchor in 27 feet of water off Charleston, S. C., bearing E. S. E., and distant from Fort Sumter about 5½ miles. The weather at the time of the occurrence was clear, the night bright and moonlight, wind moderate from the northward and westward, sea smooth and tide half ebb, the ship's head about W. N. W.

Second. That between 8:45 and 9 o'clock p.m. on said night an object in the water was discovered almost simultaneously by the officer of the deck and the lookout stationed at the starboard cathead, On the starboard bow of the ship, about 75 or 100 yards distant, having the appearance of a log. That on further and closer observation it presented a suspicious appearance, moved apparently with a speed of 3 or 4 knots in the direction of the starboard quarter of the ship, exhibiting two protuberances above and making a slight ripple in the water.

Third. That the strange object approached the ship with a rapidity precluding a gun of the battery being brought to bear upon it, and finally came in contact with the ship on her starboard quarter.

Fourth. That about one and a half minutes after the first discovery of the strange object the crew were called to quarters, the cable slipped, and the engine backed.

Fifth. That an explosion occurred about three minutes after the first discovery of the object, which blew up the after part of the ship, causing her to sink immediately after to the bottom, with her spar deck submerged.

Sixth. That several shots from small arms were fired at the object while it was alongside or near the ship before the explosion occurred.

Seventh. That the watch on deck, ship, and ship's battery were in all respects prepared for a sudden offensive or defensive movement; that lookouts were properly stationed and vigilance observed, and that officers and crew promptly assembled at their quarters.

Eighth. That order was preserved on board, and orders promptly obeyed by officers and crew up to the time of the sinking of the ship.

In view of the above facts the court have to express the opinion that no further military proceedings are necessary.

J. F. GREEN,

Captain and President.

JAS. B. YOUNG,

Second Lieutenant, U. S. Marines, Judge-Advocate.

Forwarded for the information of the Navy Department by,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. C. ROWAN,

Captain, Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

________________________________________________

Names of the 5 Crewman lost on the USS Housatonic

Report of Captain Green, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Canandaigua.

U. S. S. CANANDAIGUA,

Off Charleston, S. C., February 18, 1864.

SIR: I have respectfully to report that a boat belonging to the Housatonic reached this ship last night at about 9:20, giving me information that that vessel had been sunk at 8:45 p.m. by a rebel torpedo craft.

I immediately slipped our cable and started for her anchorage, and on arriving near it, at 9:35, discovered her sunk with her hammock nettings under water; dispatched all boats and rescued from the wreck 21 officers and 129 men.

There are missing, and supposed to be drowned, the following-named officers and men:

Ensign Edward C. Hazeltine, Captain's Clerk Charles O. Muzzey, Quartermaster John Williams, Second-Class Fireman John Walsh, Landsman Theodore Parker.

Captain Pickering is very much, but not dangerously, bruised, and one man is slightly bruised.

I have transferred to the Wabash 8 of her officers and 49 men, on the account of the limited accommodations on board of this vessel.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. F. GREEN,

Captain.

Commodore S. C. ROWAN,

Commanding Officer off Charleston, S. C.

Report of Captain Rowan, U. S. Navy, transmitting report of Captain Green, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Canandaigua.

U. S. S. NEW IRONSIDES,

Off Morris Island, February 18, 1864.

SIR: I dispatch the Paul Jones with information of the loss of the U. S. S. Housatonic, which was sunk by a "David" torpedo last night about 9:30 o'clock.

As soon as the signal was made from the Canandaigua, "Assistance, in want of," Lieutenant-Commander Belknap went out in a tug.

I enclose Captain Green's report.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. C. ROWAN,

Captain and Senior Officer, off Charleston.

Rear-Admiral JNO. A. DAHLGREN,

Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

______________________________________________________

Report of Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, U. S. Navy.

No. 69.]

FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA,

Port Royal Harbor, S., C. February 19, 1864.

SIR: I much regret to inform the Department that the U. S. S. Housatonic, on the blockade off Charleston, S. C., was torpedoed by a rebel "David' and sunk on the night of the 17th February about 9 o'clock.

From the time the "David" was seen until the vessel was on the bottom a very brief period must have elapsed; so far as the executive officer (Lieutenant Higginson) can judge, and he is the only officer of the Housatonic whom I have seen, it did not exceed five or seven minutes.

The officer of the deck perceived a moving object on the water quite near and ordered the chain to be slipped; the captain and executive officer went on deck, saw the object and each fired at it with a small arm. In an instant the ship was struck on the starboard side, between the main and mizzen masts; those on deck near were stunned, the vessel begun to sink, and went down almost immediately. Happily the loss of life was small: Ensign E. C. Hazeltine, Captain's Clerk C. O. Muzzey, and three of the crew, Quartermaster John Williams, Second-Class Fireman John Walsh, and Landsman Theodore Parker.

Two boats of the Housatonic were lowered and received all they could hold; the Canandaigua, which knew nothing of the catastrophe, sent her boats immediately on hearing of it, and took off the crew, who had ascended into the rigging.

JNO. A. DAHLGREN,

Rear-Admiral, Comdg. South Atlantic Blockdg. Squadron.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

_______________________________________________

-----

Report of Captain Green, U. S. Navy, regarding an examination of the wreck of the sunken vessel.

U. S. S. CANANDAIGUA,

Off Charleston, S. C., February 20, 1864.

SIR: I have examined the wreck of the Housatonic this morning and find her spar deck about 15 feet below the surface of the water. The after part of her spar deck appears to have been entirely blown off.

Her guns, etc., on the spar deck, and probably a good many articles below deck, can, in my opinion, be recovered by the employment for the purpose of the derrick boat and divers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. F. GREEN,

Captain.

Commodore S. C. ROWAN,

Commanding Officer Present off Charleston, S. C.

_________________________________________________

[Telegram.]

BALTIMORE, March 2, 1864.

The torpedo boat "David," that sunk the Housatonic, undoubtedly sank at the time of the concussion, with all hands. How the Housatonic was sunk was not known at Charleston until the 27th, when the prisoners, captured in a picket boat, divulged them the facts.

C. C. FULTON.

Hon. G. V. FOX,

Navy Department.

_________________________________________________

Abstract log of the U. S. S. Canandaigua, Captain Green, U. S. Navy, commanding.

February 17, 1864.--Bearings of vessels at sundown: Wabash, S. E.; Mary Sanford, N. N. E.; Housatonic, N. N. E. ¾ E.; Paul Jones, N. N. E. At 9:20 p.m. discovered a boat pulling toward us. Hailed her and found her to be from the Housatonic. She reported the Housatonic sunk by a torpedo. Immediately slipped our chain and started for the scene of danger, with the Housatonic's boat in tow. At the same time sent up three rockets and burned Coston signals No. 82 and soon after burned 82 again. At 9:30 p.m. picked up another boat from the Housatonic, with Captain Pickering on board. At 9:35 arrived at the Housatonic and found her sunk. Lowered all boats, sent them alongside, and rescued the officers and crew, clinging to the rigging. At 10:30 all were brought from the wreck. Brought on board of this ship, belonging to the Housatonic, 21 officers and 137 men. At 11:30 stood toward the Wabash, to the southward and westward. Made signal to the Mary Sanford. The tug Daffodil, from inside the bar, communicated with us, Lieutenant-Commander Belknap on board. At 12 communicated with the Wabash and sent on board of her 8 officers and 49 men belonging to the Housatonic.

February 18.--At 12:40 a.m. Lieutenant-Commander Belknap left the ship and went inside the bar in the tug Daffodil. Clear and moonlight till 3:30 a.m., when the moon went down. At 6 a.m. picked up one of the Housatonic's launches, sent it inside the bar in tow of the tug. At 7:45 steamed by the Housatonic and at 8 a.m. let go our anchor near our old station in 5 fathoms water, Sumter bearing N. W. W. and Breach Inlet N. N. W.

February 20.--At 8:15 a.m. came to with the port anchor near the Housatonic's wreck, in 5 fathoms. Sent boats to the Housatonic to wreck her.

February 22.--At 1 p.m. sent on board the tug Jonquil to take to the John Adams 40 men lately belonging to the Housatonic.

________________________________________________

Report of Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, U. S. Navy, transmitting report regarding the condition of the wrecks.

No. 581.]

FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA,

Port Royal Harbor, November 28, 1864.

SIR: I transmit herewith a report of the squadron diver in relation to the wrecks of the Housatonic and some blockade runners which were driven ashore at different times by the vessels of the blockade.

It is to be presumed that all perishable articles are now valueless; the metallic parts will be recovered whenever the services of the divers can be spared from the vessels in service.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. A. DAHLGREN,

Rear-Admiral, Comdg. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy.

____________________________________________________

U. S. SCHOONER G. W. BLUNT,

Port Royal Harbor, S. C., November 27, 1864.

SIR: After a careful examination of the wrecks of the sunken blockade runners and Housatonic, I have the honor to make the following report:

I find that the wrecks of the blockade runners are so badly broken up as to be worthless. The Housatonic is very much worm-eaten, as I find from pieces which have been brought up. She is in an upright position; has settled in the sand about 5 feet, forming a bank of mud and sand around her bed; the mud has collected in her in small quantities. The cabin is completely demolished, as are also all the bulkheads abaft the mainmast; the coal is scattered about her lower decks in heaps, as well as muskets, small arms, and quantities of rubbish.

I tried to find the magazine, but the weather has been so unfavorable and the swell so great that it was not safe to keep a diver in the wreck. I took advantage of all the good weather that I had, and examined as much as was possible.

The propeller is in an upright position; the shaft appears to be broken. The rudderpost and rudder have been partly blown off; the upper parts of both are in their proper places, while the lower parts have been forced aft. The stern frame rests upon the rudderpost and propeller; any part of it can be easily slung with chain slings, and a powerful steamer can detach each part.

I have also caused the bottom to be dragged for an area of 500 yards around the wreck, finding nothing of the torpedo boat. On the 24th the drag ropes caught something heavy (as I reported). On sending a diver down to examine it, proved to be a quantity of rubbish. The examination being completed, I could accomplish nothing further, unless it is the intention to raise the wreck or propeller, in which case it will be necessary to have more machinery.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. CHURCHILL,

Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding.

Rear-Admiral J. A. DAHLGREN,

Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

_____________________________________________________

The Southern forces in Charleston were not fully aware of what had happened the night of February 17, 1864.

_____________________________________________________

Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Dantzler, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS BATTERY MARSHALL,

Sullivan's Island, February 19, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that the torpedo boat stationed at this post went out on the night of the 17th instant (Wednesday) and has not yet returned. The signals agreed upon to be given in case the boat wished a light to be exposed at this post as a guide for its return were observed and answered. An earlier report would have been made of this matter, but the officer of the day for yesterday was under the impression that the boat had returned, and so informed me. As soon as I became apprised of the fact I sent a telegram to Captain Nance, assistant adjutant-general, notifying him of it.

Very respectfully,

O. M. DANTZLER,

Lieutenant-Colonel.

Lieutenant JOHN A. WILSON,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

____________________________________________________

[Telegram.]

CHARLESTON, S. C., February 21, 1864.

GENERAL: A gunboat sunken off Battery Marshall. Supposed to have been done by Mobile torpedo boat, under Lieutenant George E. Dixon, Company E, Twenty-first Alabama Volunteers, which went out for that purpose, and which I regret to say has not been heard of since.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

_____________________________________________________

[Telegram.]

CHARLESTON, S. C., February 27, 1864.

Prisoners report that it was the U. S. ship of war Housatonic, 12 guns, which was sunk on night 17th instant by the submarine torpedo boat, Lieutenant Dixon, of Alabama, commanding. There is little hope of safety of that brave man and his associates, however, as they were not captured.

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector-General, U. S. Army, Richmond, Va.

____________________________________________________________

[Extract from Charleston Daily Courier, February 29, 1864.]

On Friday night about half past 9 o'clock one of our naval picket boats, under command of Boatswain J. M. Smith, captured a Yankee picket boat off Fort Sumter containing 1 commissioned officer and 5 men. A large barge, which was in company with the captured boat, managed to escape. The officer taken prisoner is Midshipman William H. Kitching, acting master's mate of the United States blockading steamer Nipsic. The rest of the prisoners are landsmen.

By the prisoners we learn that the blockader sunk by our torpedo boat on the night of the 16th instant was the United States steam sloop of war Housatonic, carrying 12 guns and a crew of 300 men. They state that the torpedo boat, cigar shape, was first seen approaching by the watch on board the Housatonic. The alarm was given, and immediately all hands beat to quarters. A rapid musketry fire was opened upon the boat, but without effect. Being unable to depress their guns, the order was given to slip the cable. In doing this, the Housatonic backed some distance and came in collision with the cigar boat. The torpedo exploded almost immediately, carrying away the whole stern of the vessel. The steamer sunk in three minutes' time, the officers and crew barely escaping to the rigging. Everything else on board--guns, stores, ammunition, etc., together with the small boats--went down with her. The explosion made no noise and the affair was not known among the fleet until daybreak, when the crew was discovered and released from their uneasy positions. They had remained there all night. Two officers and three men are reported missing and supposed to be drowned. The loss of the Housatonic caused great consternation in the fleet. All the wooden vessels are ordered to keep up steam and go out to sea every night, not being allowed to anchor inside. The picket boats have been doubled and the force in each boat, increased.

This glorious success of our little torpedo boat, under the command of Lieutenant Dixon, of Mobile, has raised the hopes of our people, and the most sanguine expectations are now entertained of our being able to raise the siege in a way little dreamed of by the enemy. The capture of the picket boat reflects great credit on the gallant boatswain in charge of our barge, as well as on the unceasing vigilance and energy of Lieutenant J. H. Rochelle, commanding the naval picket detachment on board the Indian Chief. He has watched the operations of these picket intruders for some time past, and planned the movements for taking some of them in out of the wet.

Letter from General Beauregard, C. S. Army, to Mr. Leary, announcing the probable loss of the torpedo boat H. L. Hunley and her commanding officer.

HEADQUARTERS, ETC., March 10, 1864.

SIR: I am directed by the commanding general to inform you that it was the torpedo boat H. L. Hunley that destroyed the Federal man-of-war Housatonic, and that Lieutenant Dixon commanded the expedition, but I regret to say that nothing since has been heard either of Lieutenant Dixon or the torpedo boat. It is therefore feared that that gallant officer and his brave companions have perished.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. FELDEN,

Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

H. J. LEARY, Esq.,

Marietta, Ga.

3) Introduction to Chart Navigation – Co-ordinates of the Hunley and Housatonic

There has been much discussion on what happened to the Confederate Submarine H L Hunley on the night of February 17, 1864. The positioning of the USS Canandaigua, the USS Housatonic and the Hunley is crucial to help in solving the mysteries. We know from witness testimony before a board of Inquiry 9 days after the sinking of the Housatonic convened on board the U. S. S. Wabash, February 26, 1864 brought out certain facts. The “blue light” signal was seen by Seaman Flemming who stated “When the ‘Canandaigua’ got astern, and was lying athwart, of the ‘Housatonic’, about four ship lengths off, while I was in the fore rigging, I saw a blue light on the water just ahead of the “Canandaigua’ and on the starboard quarter of the ‘Housatonic’”. Headquarters at Battery Marshall stated “The signals agreed upon to be given in case the boat wished a light to be exposed at this post as a guide for its return were observed and answered.” We know that the Housatonic was 207’ long so Fleming estimated seeing the blue light about 4 ship lengths or 260 yards off toward Breech Inlet. Two boats of the Housatonic drifted free and crew members were able to board them. From the log book of the USS Canandaigua we know that a life boat was seen coming toward them at 9:20 and another one was picked up at 9:30. The Canandaigua says they arrived near the Housatonic at 9:35. So we know that the HUNLEY only traveled somewhere between 250 and 350 yards. The Canandaigua, which knew nothing of the catastrophe, sent her boats immediately on hearing of it, and took off the crew, who had ascended into the rigging. JNO. A. DAHLGREN,

Rear-Admiral, Comdg. South Atlantic Blockdg. Squadron.

 

Latitude and Longitude

Introduction to Chart Navigation for

“THE CHARLESTON HARBOR CIVIL WAR BATTLE MAP”

The available navigational information and data used to develop this graphical chart, to position shipwrecks and general battle areas is far more accurately presented than the navigational means available to the subject matter of the chart.

All locations on Planet Earth can be described by two numbers--its latitude and its longitude. If a ship's captain wants to specify a position on a map, these are the "coordinates" they would use. Knowledge of the harbor and its history with its unchanging landmarks and recent verifications of facts assisted by the availability of information on the internet made this map possible.

The technical aspects go back to the basics. There are two angles, measured in degrees, "minutes of arc" and "seconds of arc." These are denoted by the symbols (°,',") e.g. 32° 43' 9"N " means an angle of 32 degrees, 43 minutes and 9 seconds (do not confuse this with the notation (', ") for feet and inches!). A degree contains 60 minutes of arc and a minute contains 60 seconds of arc.

DEFINITIONS:

Latitude - Measurement of distance in degrees north or south of the Equator; from the Latin latus, meaning "wide". Lateral

Longitude - Measurement of distance in degrees east or west of the prime meridian; from the Latin longus, meaning "length". Long

Symbols: ° Degrees ' Minutes "Seconds

How To Convert a Decimal to Sexagesimal (Based on the number 60)

You'll often find degrees given in decimal degrees (121.135°) instead of the more common degrees, minutes, and seconds (121°8'6"). However, it's easy to convert from a decimal to the sexagesimal system.

Here's How:

1. The whole units of degrees will remain the same (i.e. in 121.135° longitude, start with 121°).

2. Multiply the decimal by 60 (i.e. .135 * 60 = 8.1).

3. The whole number becomes the minutes (8').

4. Take the remaining decimal and multiply by 60. (i.e. .1 * 60 = 6).

5. The resulting number becomes the seconds (6"). Seconds can remain as a decimal.

6. Take your three sets of numbers and put them together, using the symbols for degrees (°), minutes (‘), and seconds (") (i.e. 121°8'6" longitude)

longitude and latitudes have been divided into degrees, minutes (') and seconds (").

There are 60 minutes in each degree. Each minute is divided into 60 seconds. Seconds can be further divided into tenths, hundredths, or even thousandths.

Latitude Longitude Conversion

The number a NORTH latitude. So 32.71909722° = 32.71909722° N.

Break up the 32.71909722° into 32° + 0. 71909722°. So the number of whole degrees is 32°.

Multiply the remaining 0. 71909722° by 60 to get the number of minutes: 0. 71909722 x 60 =43.145832 minutes (43.145832 ').

Break up the 43.145832 ' into 43' + 0.145832 '. So the number of whole minutes is 43'.

Multiply the remaining 0.145832' by 60 to get the number of seconds: 0.145832 x 60 = 8.74992 seconds (8.74992").

Round off: 8.74992 seconds becomes 08.75 seconds.

So, the latitude is 32° 43' 08.75" NORTH latitude.

 

 

Degrees, Minutes and Seconds - DD° MM' SS.S"

32° 43' 08.75"N This is the most common format used to mark maps. It's a lot like telling time…

There are sixty seconds in a minute (60" = 1') and

There are sixty minutes in a degree (60' = 1°).

The Charleston Harbor Civil War Battle map is taken from the format used by Navigational charts. The minutes are divided into tenths of a minute giving each mark a value of 6 seconds.

Keeping in mind a few easy conversions between seconds and decimal minutes will help when working with maps that use degrees, minutes and seconds.

15 seconds is one quarter of a minute or 0.25 minutes

30 seconds is one half of a minute or 0.5 minutes

45 seconds is three quarters of a minute or 0.75 minutes

 

 

Degrees and Decimal Minutes - DD° MM.MMM' 32° 18.385' N 122° 36.875' W

This is the format most commonly used when working with electronic navigation equipment.

 

 

Decimal Degrees the format most computer based mapping systems display

DD.DDDDD° 32.30642° N 122.61458° W or +32.30642, -122.61458

 

 

The basic unit of latitude and longitude is the degree and subdivisions of a degree. NOAA will also use a decimal point, such as 32.789°N referred to as decimal degrees on their Chart of Obstructions. Decimal degrees are an option on Global Position Systems (GPS) or with online topographic maps, but decimal degrees are not used on printed maps. On these topographic maps the latitude and longitude units are expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Each degree is subdivided into 60 minutes('). Each minute is divided into 60 seconds(''). The Seconds are tick marked and divide the minutes into 10 parts giving each mark a value of 6 seconds (“)

Charleston Harbor Civil War Battle map

The numbers across the top (North) and bottom (South) of the map are longitudes, the side numbers designate latitudes.

The cut-out section of the map below shows the Longitude in minutes at the top of the map, the Degrees run from 79°43’ 30” to 80° (not shown)

on the right of the map is 32°, latitude (not shown) only the minutes are showing.

Note: that latitude and longitude is only shown on the full version of the map. Along the edges of the map excerpt only the minutes are written.

The map reader must realize that 43' latitude on this map is actually 32° 43', because 43' lies in between 32° and 33°.

 

Remember: Latitude and Longitude is used to give the location of points on the map.

The cut-out map covers the latitudes between 32° 42’ to 32° 47’. CUT OUT SECTION OF “CHARLESTON HARBOR CIVIL WAR BATTLE MAP”

 

SAMPLE PLOTTINGS AND COORDINATES

POINT

Latitude

 

Longitude

 

Explanation for Plotting Locations

 

USS HOUSATONIC

 

 

 

 

Housatonic is actually shown further south
 for clarity and was actually much closer to the Hunley.

NOAA –

32° 43' 08.75"N

79° 46' 34.74"W

Record #515

Guide to Sunken Ships – 1865

32° 43.1' N

79° 46.5' W

*(Several Hundred yards off due to error
 in time differential between celestial time and Greenwich time)

NUMA

32° 43' 08”N

79° 46' 43”W

Record #515

**Cussler Notes - 1987

32 43' 07" N

 

79 48' 17" W

 

**This is almost 2 miles off course

HUNLEY

32° 43' 12"N

79° 46' 30"W

Position scaled from “Charleston Harbor Civil War Battle Map”

Some reports state that Housatonic was well within 650 feet of the Housatonic.  Map Excerpt is the upper right corner of the Charleston Harbor Civil War Battle Map so its coordinates are shown only in minutes. You can determine where you are approximately by which direction the numbers for latitude and longitude increase.  Latitude increase going north on this map so we are in the northern hemisphere.  Longitude increases going to the west, so this map is located west of the Prime Meridian.

*Treasures of the Confederate Coast: The “Real Rhett Butler” & Other Revelations by E. Lee Spence  **www.numa.net/history/projects1-4/project4.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) THE HUNLEY NEWSLETTERS 2002 E-BOOK

FOR 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.

To order the Hunley 2002 E-Book click here.

 

5) EMAIL

____________________________________________________________________

-----Original Message-----

From: GSKsoftballMom@

Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 11:20 PM

To: George@thehunley.com

Subject: Re: Hunley newsletter #26

My husband & I are interested in seeing the Hunley. Can you send me info. on how and where to go from Tuscaloosa, Alabama?

 

These two links should give you what you need…..just remember the tours are only open on the weekends. If more information is needed just give the Friends of the Hunley, Inc. a call direct or write me back. Thanks for your interest and stay in touch.

http://www.thehunley.com/New%20Tours%202002.htm

http://www.thehunley.com/Lab%20map.htm

George W. Penington

_____________________________________________________________________

Sent: Saturday, February 01, 2003 6:52 PM

To: George W Penington

Subject: FW: The "Devil" Article Re: Hunley newsletter #26

Thank you for a well researched and written newsletter. I enjoyed very much your article regarding the "Devil" and anti-torpedo rafts from this issue. Approximately 10 years ago, strong winds and tides uncovered such a raft as detailed in this article on Mustang Island, near Corpus Christi, TX. I was involved, along with the local historical society in digging to uncover this and document it. The remains here look exactly like those photographs shown in your newsletter. Unfortunately, funds were not available for recovery and more research here. I believe that this was one of the three "rafts" that your article described being found (one in Bermuda, one in Charleston, and the other here in Corpus Christi?). Anyway, wanted to contribute this bit of information.

Thanks again for a great website.

Best Regards,

Tom

Corpus Christi, TX

From: George W. Penington

To: tmorris@

Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 10:27 PM

Subject: RE: The "Devil" Article Re: Hunley newsletter #26

Thanks for writing

- Ya’ll have a lot of great history down there. If you are ever in Charleston let me know and I will take you out to meet “The Devil” in person. I will include this in the coming newsletter. I am always looking for contributions to the letter so if you come up with anything else send it on. Sincerely

George W. Penington

6) FROM THE GUEST BOOK

 

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Date: 23 Jan 2003

Comments: A toast to those heroic men. No matter what side of the conflict you favor, one cannot deny their place on history, nor can you deny their courage.

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Date: 25 Jan 2003

Comments: I am unable to get the photos in the newsletter that is emailed to me. Why?

Most of the time you just have to wait for the pictures to load, depending on your mail service. Once it is loaded, go to File and save as , click on the small manila folder with the star next to it and make a new folder named newsletters, open the folder and click save. Now you can put all your newsletters in one place. When you get offline go to My Documents open Newsletter folder, double click newsletter.html and it will open in Internet Explorer. That way you can read it offline at your leisure just by clicking on it.. Because of the pictures the newsletter is sometimes slow to download. Patience. SEND ME AN EMAIL AND I WILL TRY TO FIGURE IT OUT if this doesn't work. George@thehunley.com

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Date: 27 Jan 2003

Comments: I visited the Hunley exhibit last summer and have been receiving the newsletter since then. As a novice historian and former CSA re-enactor, I have an abiding respect for the Hunley, what it meant to the men that served on her and the effort to preserve her for future generations. However, it appears that the newsletter is and has been for some time, a forum for whining and complaining about who's suing who and who should have the rights to what recognition. It appears that if it weren't for all the whining and moaning about these issues, there wouldn't be much to print in the newsletter at all. Now some Greenville contractor wants to get into the act with a lawsuit of his own. Contractors need to concentrate on their clients. Have you tried to get a contractor to actually do anything lately? I enjoy the historical information presented in the newsletter but the political posturing is absurd. The general public (i.e. the common newsletter reader) doesn't want to hear it. We're sick of who's feeling cheated this week and who's suing because they feel they deserve more information than everyone else. My feelings are that if the entities involved with this preservation project can't handle the problems, maybe they should put the Hunley back where they found it. After all, you never heard a complaint from the Hunley's proprietors before living humans showed back up on board. Regards, Wayne

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Date: 28 Jan 2003

Comments: Good site. The crews of the Hunley are all indeed Heroes. I look forward to honoring them by attending the 3rd Crew's funeral in Nov. '03. May God Bless them all, and I hope they will approve of this final ceremony to lay them at rest with their fellow compatriots. Stephen D. Forman Cmdr. Granbury's Texas Brigade Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1479 Conroe, Texas

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Date: 01 Feb 2003

Comments: I just wanted to say that I was onboard USS Hunley As-31, the Submarine tender out of Norfolk, Va. in 1994 for its decommission and I wanted to just say that it was a wonderful command named after a innovated man and it should have remained in service. Gennea Klima, USN

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Date: 04 Feb 2003

Comments: Great up to date site! Pete Toomey

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Date: 04 Feb 2003

Comments: Hello! I'm Mike, also from Charleston SC. I work in Periodicals at the downtown library. Very interested in the goings on of the Hunley and look forward to your newsletter.

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Date: 05 Feb 2003

Comments: Very helpful with my project

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Date: 06 Feb 2003

Comments This is great! Very interesting & informative .I 'm glad it's on the net for everyone to find out about. THANKS, Glendon Dixon

 

7) NEW MAP AND CHART OF THE CIVIL WAR BATTLE HISTORY AROUND CHARLESTON HARBOR.

The 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.

Using 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.

The 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.

8) OUR PURPOSE AND GOALS

Is to provide specialized information to those who are interested in the recovery efforts and history of the Confederate Submarine H L Hunley. It is available free to anyone who might benefit from the information it contains, for example, students and history buffs. Our mailing list will always be kept private and will never be sold.

Feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends or associates

 

Comments and questions may be directed to webmaster: mistergwp
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