The Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley attacked and sank the USS Housatonic off the coast of Charleston the night of February 17, 1864. She then mysteriously vanished with her crew of eight. That night, history was made and a mystery was born.
The Hunley became the first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship. But why had she suddenly disappeared? What caused her to sink? Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was located in 1995 by author Clive Cussler and raised on August 8, 2000. The innovative hand-cranked vessel was delivered to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, where an international team of scientists is at work to conserve the submarine and piece together clues to solve the mystery of her disappearance.
Visitors are now able to view the work that is being done to restore the Hunley and find out more about why she sank. The eight crewmembers’ remains were largely found at their stations, with no sign of panic. One of the two hatches was locked, the other one unlocked.
Because of the work that is ongoing, Hunley tours are only available on Saturdays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and Sundays from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. You may want to plan about an hour for the tour as it includes interactive exhibits and activities.
Click here to find out more about the Hunley, as well as information about tours.
(Image credit: Britannica)