H. L. Hunley (submarine)

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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. She 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 she was taken into service under the control of the Confederate Army at Charleston, South Carolina.

H. L. Hunley, nearly 40 feet (12 m) long, was built at Mobile, Alabama, and launched in July 1863. She 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. She sank again on October 15, 1863, killing all eight of her second crew, including H. L. Hunley himself, who was aboard at the time, even through 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)[1] screw sloop USS Housatonic on Union blockade duty in Charleston's outer harbor. Soon after, Hunley sank for unknown reasons, killing all eight of her third crew. This time, the innovative ship was lost.

Contents

History

Hunley and two earlier submarines were privately developed and paid for by Horace Lawson Hunley, James McClintock, and Baxter Watson.

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