Historical Marker: The Hunley
This marker indicates the location of one of the more important sites in the history of naval warfare. It was here that the Hunley—the first submarine to sink an enemy ship—was built. Under the direction of Confederate engineers Lts. W.A. Alexander and G.E. Dixon, the machine shop Park and Lyons built the the vessel in July 1863. They used a ship's steam boiler which was 25ft. long and 4ft. in diameter. It was not powered by machinery but by hand cranking. It could hold a crew of up to eight men and the only light was a candle, which also indicated how much oxygen was left if the flame was becoming more dim. On February 17, 1864, the Hunley made its way towards the USS Housatonic and embedded a torpedo into its hull which was supposed to go off in 5 minutes. For some reason, tragically the vessel was too close to the explosion and all of the crew were killed. The Hunley was recovered in 2000 and is still being restored and conserved the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston, South Carolina. The Hunley is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
"The Hunley." The Historical Marker Database. Accessed January 5, 2017. http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=86244.