Feb 05 2019

Hunley: Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

By Susan Middaugh for The Island Eye News

The fate of the H.L. Hunley continues to be a mystery.
(Photo courtesy of The Friends of the Hunley).

The Confederate submarine, H. L. Hunley, is an essential part of Sullivan’s Island history that is remembered each February, for it was on the night of February 17, 1864, that the Hunley departed Sullivan’s Island and sank the USS Housatonic, a Union warship Charleston Harbor. The Hunley then vanished with her crew of eight, leaving behind a mystery: Why did the Hunley sink? Where was it? Would it ever be found?

 Lost for over a century, the Hunley was located in 1995 by author Clive Cussler and raised on Aug. 8, 2000.

What has been learned in the 18 years since the Hunley was recovered? What do we know at present about why it sank?

To find out, plan to attend what promises to be an exceptionally interesting talk on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Stella Maris Parish Hall.

Frank Johnson, the Programs and Outreach Manager for Friends of the Hunley will present discoveries about the H.L. Hunley’s design and clues that have been pieced together in the effort to solve the mystery of its sinking.

 In these 18 years, an international team of scientists at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston have worked to transform a mud-filled, barnacle-encrusted shell back to the maritime marvel-of-its-time that the submarine was designed to be. What has been achieved to date? What is the current status of the Hunley? What is the plan for its future?

Frank Johnson is an Airforce veteran and Charleston resident who has worked with the Hunley Project for 5 years including 3 years as a volunteer for the archeology team and as a weekend tour guide. As the Program and Outreach Manager, Frank oversees the volunteer program, schools education programs, group tours and public outreach.

This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the National Park Service and Battery Gadsden Cultural Center. More information online at BatteryGadsden.com or email batterygadsden@gmail.com, or call 843.906.0091.

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