The CSS Hunley – 155 Years On

 

The Hunley

On the 17th of February, 1864, the CSS Hunley struck the USS Housatonic. Using a spar torpedo, the little Confederate craft successfully sunk the Union warship of Charleston’s  blockading flotilla.

The Hunley would become the first submarine to sink a ship in the history of the world. The eight men who crewed her paid the ultimate price for this honour, however, as the craft sank under unknown circumstances.

The USS Housatonic was a steam-powered screw sloop of 11 guns and 160 men. It was launched only three years prior in 1861. In the ensuing destruction of the ship, 5 men perished, including two officers.

The CSS Hunley was constructed in Mobile, Alabama. Her commanding officer at the time of the attack on the USS Housatonic was Lt George E Dixon of Mobile. He was a former member of the 21st Alabama Inf Reg which saw service at Shiloh. There, a gold piece he carried for good luck famously saved his life by deflecting a minie ball. The coin was recovered in 2002 after the wreck was raised. Inscribed upon it were the words, “Shiloh April 6, 1862 My life Preserver G. E. D.”

Read More about the history of the legend HERE.

Read More about the particular crewmen and restoration activities HERE

Hunley1999
Hunley (1999) – A very good film on the subject

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s