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Friends of the Hunley

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

1250 Supply St, North Charleston, SC 29405, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

USD 12

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Consider visiting the H.L. Hunley Submarine in Charleston during one of the off-peak times, usually weekday afternoons, to avoid large crowds and get a more intimate view. Also, don't miss the small but fascinating exhibit on maritime archaeology in the adjacent museum; it offers deeper context about the submarine's history and preservation efforts that many visitors overlook."

What is H.L. Hunley Submarine?

The H.L. Hunley Submarine is a Confederate submarine and a significant piece of maritime history nestled in Charleston, South Carolina. This vessel is known for being the first combat submarine to successfully sink an enemy ship, the USS Housatonic, during the American Civil War. Resting for over a century on the ocean floor, the Hunley was raised in 2000 and is now housed in the Warren Lasch Conservation Center where it is undergoing conservation and is available for public viewing.

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History of H.L. Hunley Submarine

Named after its initial investor, Horace Lawson Hunley, the H.L. Hunley submarine has a history as deep as the waters it once traversed. The Hunley was built in 1863 and represented a pioneering design in submarine technology during the Civil War era. It had a brief yet impactful service life, famously sinking the USS Housatonic in February 1864. Tragically, in that same mission, the Hunley also disappeared, claiming the lives of its eight-man crew. It would remain lost at sea until 1995, when it was discovered off the coast of Charleston, and ultimately raised in 2000 for preservation and study.

The recovery of the Hunley was a historic event, and the ongoing conservation efforts have provided critical insights into underwater archaeology and Civil War-era naval warfare.

Why is H.L. Hunley Submarine Important?

The importance of the H.L. Hunley Submarine lies not only in its innovation as a combat vessel but also in the window it provides into the past. It challenges previous understandings of naval technology and warfare in the mid-19th century. Its successful but ill-fated attack marked a significant milestone in naval history. The submarine's eventual discovery and recovery also highlighted advancements in underwater archaeology and preservation, leading to improved techniques and methodologies in these fields.

Moreover, the Hunley serves as a tangible connection to the complexities and tragedies of the American Civil War, encapsulating stories of bravery, innovation, and the human cost of war. Its preservation allows us to honor and remember the crew who perished, ensuring that their sacrifice is not forgotten in the annals of history.

Things to Do & See at H.L. Hunley Submarine

At the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of the Hunley. You can behold the submarine in its conservation tank, observe artifacts found within the vessel, including the famous gold coin carried by Lieutenant George Dixon, and learn about the science behind its preservation. The Center offers guided tours that explain the Hunley's story and showcase the intricate process of conserving this iron relic.

Besides the Hunley itself, the exhibit includes interactive displays, life-sized models demonstrating how the crew operated in such confined quarters, and personal items that belonged to the submariners. By visiting, you're not just seeing an old submarine; you're stepping back into a pivotal moment in history, and you're feeling the weight of a story that bridges over a century of silence and mystery beneath the waves.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the H.L. Hunley Submarine?

The H.L. Hunley Submarine is a historically significant Confederate submarine that was the first to successfully sink an enemy ship during the Civil War. It is located in Charleston, South Carolina, and is known for its innovative design and tragic history.

Where can I visit the H.L. Hunley Submarine?

The H.L. Hunley Submarine can be visited at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, where it is preserved and displayed for the public.

What is the historical significance of the H.L. Hunley Submarine?

The H.L. Hunley played a pivotal role in naval warfare history as the first combat submarine to sink an enemy warship, the USS Housatonic, in 1864.

How was the H.L. Hunley Submarine recovered?

The H.L. Hunley was recovered from the ocean floor off the coast of Charleston in 2000 in a joint effort by the South Carolina Hunley Commission and various governmental and private organizations.

Are there guided tours available to see the H.L. Hunley Submarine?

Yes, guided tours are available at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center where the submarine is housed. These tours offer insights into the history, recovery, and conservation of the H.L. Hunley.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

1250 Supply St, North Charleston, SC 29405, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

USD 12

Find it on google maps