Confederate Submarine H L Hunley
Scientist are removing the subs compass
Photo's from the CSS H L HUNLEY CLUB
H. L. Hunley model 1/72 :Special Price: 29.95
The Hunley store now has models. The kit was created from first hand observations and archeological measurements to create a truly accurate and magnificent finished piece for display. Only a small amount of modeling experience & a few tools are recommended to complete the kit. Simple instructions included indicate what tools are necessary. (Glue and paint are not included.) Scale is 1/72. Length 11.50". Kit number #72-001. $29.95 each. www.hunleystore.com
2) SINKING THEORIES POLL RESULTS
The Bonnie Blue Flag - the unofficial first flag of the Confederacy
Newsletter # 33 we asked everyone to
vote on their favorite, most logical or acceptable theory on
the sinking of the Hunley. The final result are in and we have
had a great response. The tallies are a not scientific because
people had to vote more than once if they thought that it was a
combination of things, which it probably was. I think voters
didn't want to say that Dixon miscalculated, but admitted it
could be in combination with other factors. I was surprised that
number (IX) "Tether fouled the propeller" received 20%, and was
the number 2 choice that was a late entry by club member AH aka
HERE IS ANDREWS RESPONSE:
(I) Dixon miscalculated..
(II) RUNNING SUBMERGED WAITING IT OUT
(III) EQUIPMENT MALFUNCTION
(V) Single-bullet theory (Lucky Shot)
(VI) The Hunley was destroyed by the same explosion that sank the Housatonic?
(VII) SANK IN A GALE:
(IX) DETONATING TETHER FOULED THE PROPELLER
(X) TELL US WHAT YOU THINK
Hi: My name is Jim McClinton. I'm a retired Coast Guard Commander and was
on scene (I work for the Sheriff Cannon) when Hunley was raised. I've had
two lengthy articles published in the Confederate Veteran and was a tour guide
(on the platform) at the Warren Lasch facility.
Based on my high-seas experiences in the Coast Guard, I've always maintained
that Lt. Dixon did in fact open the hatch in order to give give the famous
"blue light signal."
A powerless vessel - especially one that may be damaged and with rudder
problems - is at the complete mercy of the sea...and the wind. When (not
if) the Hunley drifted into the trough, she would have found herself in the
worst possible position of taking on the seas broadside (perpendicularly).
This would have caused Hunley to roll like a pig in the mud.
Given the weight of the hatch cover (as I remember, it was about 150 lbs.),
the low freeboard of the vessel, any possible injuries Dixon may have
experienced and the resultant difficulty he would have had trying to handle
the hatch (while making his signal), I'm convinced that he was hit broadside
by a swell which poured down the open hatch.
Because of the heavy rolling (on the surface and in the trough), the weight
of the hatch and other factors, I believe he was unable to respond quickly
It seems likely that seams and rivets would have been jarred loose by the
black powder explosion (greatly amplified in the water), and some number of
Dixon's crew may have been dead or disabled and unable to react as the water
poured down the open hatch (and seeped in through any number leaky rivets or
A related possibility (though less likely) is that one of the vessels
responding to Housatonic simply steered on the blue light (or didn't see it)
and either hit the Hunley or sank it with it's resultant wake.
As I put myself in Dixon's shoes and try to imagine what was going on at
that critical moment, I can see no other logical reason for the Hunley to
drop like a rock.
Thanks for your interest and all your work. It's obvious that you care
enough about our heritage (both Southern and American) to keep the Hunley
James L. McClinton, Ph.D
Jim...nice to hear from you. You sent me some pictures back in
1996 or right after the Hunley was raised will have to
check...They are still on the site. http://www.thehunley.com/sheriff_pictures.htm
I think your theory is right on target. I am putting the results
of the Sinking Theory Poll in Fridays newsletter. Of course the
outcome to me will be that it was a solid combination of things
that caused the sinking. As we both know – when you are on the
water – if anything can go wrong on a boat – it will. Thanks
for staying in touch. Hope to meet you soon in person.
FORT JOHNSON - AREA WHERE THE HUNLEY SANK
James Island played a major role in the defense of Charleston and the saga of the Confederate Submarine H L Hunley during the Civil War. This is a footnote follow-up from one of our subscribers:
From: carl gibson
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2003 3:43 PM
If Fort Johnson was the "key" to the
defense of Charleston. The Hunley Newsletter should have made
note of the "Tower Battery." Located southwest of Fort Johnson
on James Island, it was their gallant defense against
overwhelming odds that prevented Federal troops from reaching
Fort Johnson from the interior of James Island. The Tower
Battery, later named Fort Lamar for Confederate Colonel in
charge of the Tower Battery, was the sight of the Battle of
Secessionville on June 16, 1862. Two hundred Confederate
defenders in an earthen fort with four cannon were attacked by
over 7000 Federals. Hand to hand combat was underway as Federals
got inside the fort. Three hundred Confederate reinforcements
arrived and the Federals were driven from the fort with heavy
losses. The Tower Battery was never taken by assault. The
outnumbered defenders saved Fort Johnson "the key to Charleston"
. If they had failed, Fort Johnson would have been very
vulnerable to an over land attack from the interior of James
Island. The hugely outnumbered defenders of the Tower Battery
have been overlooked by history.
That's great Carl...Thanks. Since these newsletters are a voluntary effort and something I enjoy immensely, I can use all the fodder I can get. .It keeps me on my toes with no pun intended. I mean that in a good way. Thanks again. George W. Penington
George, you are welcome to use the information I sent on Fort Lamar. An informative book on the Tower Battery, Fort Lamar, is "Secessionville, Assault on Charleston" , by Patrick Brennan. My opinion of the book is the basic historical information is correct, but some of the details are questionable. I think some liberties have been taken by the author. The book was first published in 1996. I am interested in the Fort Johnson area because my great great grandfather James W. Gibson, from Orangeburg S.C. enlisted at Fort Johnson, South Carolina in 1862, was a private in Lamar's South Carolina Artillery at the Tower Battery during the Battle of Secessionville and was one of the Confederates killed during the battle. His privates uniform was donated to the Charleston Museum by the family where it is housed today along with a letter he wrote his wife and children a few days before the battle. Your Friend, Carl Gibson
A Design feature may not of caused the sinking of the Hunley but was certainly a factor.
On the night of February 17, 1864 the Confederate Submarine H L Hunley rammed a 135 lb. barrel shaped charge into the U.S.S. Housatonic. This charge was mounted on a hollow harpoon
From Mike "The Torpedo Man" Kochan
designed to penetrate the hull of an enemy
ship and disengage from the spar as the submarine backed away
feeding out a lanyard.
Once the Hunley reached a reasonably safe distance of 150' the lanyard was pulled setting off a triggering device. Of the many things that went wrong that night one serious malfunction occurred -the torpedo did not disengage but instead broke off. The design feature was to bolt the torpedo harpoon to a middle hollow shaft of iron. A lead wrap was used at the joint to eliminate warble but yet be pliable enough to give under force. I have to assume that the backing motion of the Housatonic and the rip tide effect on the Hunley's position after the harpoon was rammed home, caused a lateral pressure on the shaft joints that would not allow the two sections to disengage. We know that when the spar was found that it was bent possibly due to this wrenching action. The pressure finally caused the harpoon to break off but not before a serious delay in the attack/retreat plan. In the timeline of events there were only minutes left before the tremendous explosion of the Housatonic's hull and the delay of breaking loose had to have been devastating.
Photo posted in the CSS HUNLEY CLUB - NOT SURE WHO THE ARTIST IS
LOWER SPAR MOUNTING
Hunley Memorial at the end of Meeting Street where the Re-burial procession will begin.
THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO THE THREE CREWS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES ABOARD THE "HUNLEY"
GIFT FROM THE DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY IN 1889
2004 IS THE PROJECTED DATE FOR THE REINTERMENT OF THE LAST CREW
FROM THE CONFEDERATE SUBMARINE H.L. HUNLEY.
WITH THE PASSING OF THE 21 HUNLEY CREWMEN IN CHARLESTON HARBOR MAYBE THE "LOST CAUSE" WILL INCLUDE THIS AS A DIGNIFIED END.
next newsletter I will publish a map of the route to be used
with a preliminary timeline, locations of some of the hotels and
as much useful information as I can.
Remember we will make every effort to keep you up to date as information becomes available.
"Soon as I finish this weeks newsletter I will get on helping track
and coordinate the re-burial plans. I will make some calls and meet
with some people, get us some rate ideas for lodging and build a map
to show everyone where things are happening. One of the ladies at the Friends of the Hunley said she was going to build a tree house in one of the big Oak trees at Magnolia Cemetery, so I think I will join her there, lol George www.thehunley.com"
Organization: The South Carolina Historical Society
Street1: 100 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
I am searching for biographical information on a member of the second crew of the Hunley, Joe Patterson. Any clues you can give me would be helpful or where I might go to find out that kind of information.
Carey Lucas Nikonchuk
FROM: mdsgville 5/22/03
This statement was in your most recent newsletter: NOTE:
"We now know that the 5th crewman was Absolum Williams - the only Afro-American crewman to die associated with the Hunley." Questions: Is this confirmed? How did he become associated with the Hunley? Was he a member of the Confederate Military? If so, how long had he been in service? Thanks much.
Please tell me how to get the Hunley newsletter.
You can post your e-mail address in the box right here when you are online, or you can e-mail me and I will do it. Thanks for your interest.
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Thursday, May 22, 2003 9:01 PM
working on how I think the Hunley went down and I'll send it in
as soon as I get it done. I think you will be surprised at what
I've come up with on this subject.
I'm very interested in The Hunley and reburial of the
crew. Please post story and photos of the reburial when it
occurs. It's not often we get to be a part of history. I'm so
glad the crew will be laid to rest with honor.
Janice Cowden Graham
Athens, AL USA - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 12:43:00 (PDT)
Will visit the Hunley the weekend of June7. Can hardly
Longview, TX USA - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 08:54:14 (PDT)
your site is great with information. thank you to all.
shambhu dutta joshi
kathamandu, bag nepal - Friday, May 23, 2003 at 04:20:29 (PDT)
Trying to keep up with the progress of the Hunley and Her
Crew. Like any information you can give me when it will be
possible to get a chance to see the Hunley. THANK-YOU
Williamston, SC USA - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 18:56:15 (PDT)
Great site. As a CW reenactor I would LOVE to be a part of
the funeral procession. Please let me know how to "enlist" for
Winchester, KY USA - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 12:06:59 (PDT)
I came to your site through searching for the lyrics of
John Huff's song "The Ballad of the CSS H.L. Hunley". I guess
I'll just have to transcribe them myself from the CD ("At High
Tide" by Clam Chowder; see
http://members.aol.com/sirharper/chowder/ ). [I'm not associated
with them except by enjoying their music. See also
Mark A. Mandel
Philadelphia, Pa USA - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 14:28:33 (PDT)
You have a great site. Love Civil War History
Brownwood, TX USA - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 22:58:10 (PDT)
I HEY I FIND THIS PAGE VERY INTERESTING BECAUSE I LEARNED
OF THE HUNLEY IN 8TH GRADE I REALLY FEEL SORRY FOR DICKSON AND
los angeles , ca USA - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 21:25:23 (PDT)
, - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 02:55:21 (PDT)
What a truly amazing craft. What effect did the ideas of
Jules Verne have upon the design, I wonder.
Portland , OR USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 23:47:03 (PDT)
Jules Verne did not come out with his submarine in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea until eight years after the Hunley.
This is one of the most interesting sites on the entire
internet. The truth of the struggle should be told and this is
one of the more truthful sites I've seen. You have my vote for
site of the century!!
Billy Lee Brown
Parsons, TN USA/CSA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 17:12:15 (PDT)
This is a fantastic historical find for our country's
history. Being a U.S. Civil War student or buff, the whole story
of the Hunley is amazing. Thanks for this website.
O'Fallon, MO USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 16:31:34 (PDT)
Fantastic ! I am interested in Dixons watch fob, it has
the shape of a Royal Arch Masonic charm. This is a outstanding
William D. Robertson
Napa, Ca USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 15:22:55 (PDT)
TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE PROGRESS OF THE HUNLEY AND HER
WEST SENECA, NY USA - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 07:10:23 (PDT)
As a submariner (qualified July 4, 1968) I hope to visit
the Hunley the summer 2003.
Conyers, Ga USA - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 19:24:21 (PDT)
I am very interested in this because we are related to
someone who died in hunley. I am not sure who but I am curious
who it would be. Dyar,Smith,Mississippi,Moncks cornor.
stephen a smith
Seneca, S.C. USA - Saturday, May 17, 2003 at 09:44:00 (PDT)
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.
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