149 year anniversary of the first submarine to sink an enemy warship

Sunday marks the anniversary of the H.L. Hunley’s mission against the federal blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston.

The Hunley sank the Union ship but neither the sub nor its eight-man crew returned.

Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell speaks at a ceremony Sunday at Sunrise Presbyterian Church on Breach Inlet where the Hunley began its mission. Afterward, there’s a procession to the inlet where there will be infantry and artillery salutes.

Both the crew of the Hunley and the five Houstonic crewmen who died are being honored.

Confederate Civil War vessel H.L. Hunley, the world’s first successful combat submarine

H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War, but a large role in the history of naval warfare. The Hunley demonstrated both the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare. It was the first combat submarine to sink an enemy warship, although the Hunley was not completely submerged and was lost at some point following her successful attack. The Confederacy lost 21 crewmen in three sinkings of the Hunley during her short career. The submarine was named for her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley, shortly after it was taken into service under the control of the Confederate Army at Charleston, South Carolina.

The Hunley, nearly 40 feet (12 m) long, was built at Mobile, Alabama, and launched in July 1863. It was then shipped by rail on August 12, 1863 to Charleston, South Carolina. Hunley (then called Fish Boat) sank on August 29, 1863, during a training exercise, killing five members of her crew. It sank again on October 15, 1863, killing all eight of her second crew, including Horace Hunley himself, who was aboard at the time, even though he was not enlisted in the Confederate armed forces. Both times the Hunley was raised and returned to service. On February 17, 1864, Hunley attacked and sank the 1240-short ton (1124 metric tons) screw sloop USS Housatonic on Union blockade duty in Charleston’s outer harbor. Soon after, Hunley sank, killing all eight of her third crew. This time, the innovative ship was lost.

Finally located in 1995, the Hunley was recovered in 2000 and is on display in Charleston. Examination in 2012 of recovered Hunley artifacts suggests that the submarine was as close as 20 feet to its target, the Housatonic, when its deployed torpedo exploded, which eventually caused the sub’s own demise.

Source – Wikipedia

Source – WLTX

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