Exploring History magazine by National Geographic
There is a strange and secret weapon just off the harbor of South Carolina in 1864. Its name is H. L. Hunley after Horace Lawson Hunley, a Louisiana lawyer. The Hunley is the granddaddy of the modern submarine, well beyond its time in the 1860s.
The H. L. Hunley had quite an adventure. It was to break the hold that the Union had on the harbor before the city’s supplies would be gone. The first attempts were by the Hunley’s builders, with no luck. Then the Confederate military commandeered the submarine and ended up sinking here. It was 2 weeks before they could bring her up from the bottom and what a site that was, bodies and all. Horace Hunley took back the sub and manned it himself. What a mistake that was. Once more it sunk and “The spectacle was indescribably ghastly,” wrote Beauregard years later.
The H. L. Hunley had taken on a nick name by this time. Can you guess what it would have been? George Dixon now took charge of the sub. He was one of the builders. After many attempts the H. L. Hunley had finally hit its target, the U.S.S. Housatonic. But what happened after it hit its target? No one ever saw the submarine or the men again. As a matter of fact no one really knew exactly where it sunk or what exactly happened.
In 1995 the H. L. Hunley was finally discovered. Now maybe some of the questions that have been asked for over 100 years would finally have answers but some questions will never have any answers.
What do you think?
Question: Did the Hunley crew starve for air or did they sit and wait for the water to cover them?
In this article “The First Submarine to Sink a Warship” on page 86 of the new Exploring History magazine by the National Geographic you can learn more about the granddaddy of all submarines and a legend about Queenie Bennett. It’s really a fascinating article. I have read several articles on the Hunley but again like I said in my review of Born Radical, you get drawn right up into the story.
You will also see Horace L. Hunley’s grave stone, an 1863-64 map of the Charleston Harbor and actual pictures of the Hunley itself after it was brought up and opened for the first time.
After you read the article, think on this: Here you are setting in very close quarters, back is bent forward, and arms are constantly pumping, up…down…up…down. Your arms are now acing but you can’t stop. Sweat is pouring down your face. It’s like an inferno!
Exploring History magazine by National Geographic is now on sale at your local newsstand.