H.L. Hunley Traveling Exhibit


During the American Civil War, Confederate inventor Horace Lawson Hunley converted a steam boiler into a submarine.  It was first conceived in Mobile Alabama but after proving to be an effective new weapon that could be used to break the Union block-aid, it was moved by rail to Charleston, South Carolina, which was in considerably more distress than Mobile.

This Confederate submarine  could be propelled at four knots by a hand-driven screw. Unfortunately, the submarine sank twice during trials in Charleston, South Carolina. These accidental sinkings in Charleston harbor cost the lives of two crews. In the second accident the submarine was stranded on the bottom and Horace Lawson Hunley himself was asphyxiated with eight other crew members.

The Hunley

Subsequently, the submarine was raised and renamed the Hunley.  In 1864, armed with a 90-pound charge of powder on a long pole, the Hunley attacked and sank a new Federal steam sloop, USS Housatonic, at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. After her successful attack on Housatonic, the Hunley disappeared and her fate remained unknown for 131 years.

In 1995 the wreck of the Hunley was located four miles off Sullivans Island, South Carolina. Even though she sank, the Hunley proved that the submarine could be a valuable weapon in time of war.

It is in memory of Mr. H.L. Hunley and all those that served their county to the fullest extent this exhibit has been created.  It is made available to future generations to see and know the true valor and courage of those who fought for their beliefs and freedom form tyranny.

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