Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hunley's Hull Now Restored: "No Smoking Gun"

From the September 17, 2015, Fox News, AP "Hull of Confederate sub, first in history to sink enemy warship, revealed."

The H.L. Hunley's hull has now been completely cleaned and revealed in its entirety for the first time in over 150 years.  The encrusted sand, sediments and rust have been cleared off and it looks much like it did when it went out on that mission that changed the history of naval warfare.

The cleaning revealed some dents on the hull, but it is not known when or where they occurred.    It sank twice before its famous 1864 mission.  Of course, they might have come from when it sank the USS Housatonic.

However, the hull revealed no "smoking gun."  This being the answer to how the submarine came to sink.

The hull does reveal that the wooden boon that held the explosive device attached to the front of it ship was damaged as it appears that it was pushed back into it by the force of the explosion.  Possibly this sank the Hunley.

The Hunley was discovered in Charleston Harbor in 1995 and raised and brought to the conservation laboratory in North Charleston in 2010.  The crew's bodies were found at their stations.  The next step is the cleaning of the Hunley's interior.  This is expected to take another year.  This will be even harder that the hull cleaning as conservators will be working in the cramped 4-foot diameter interior.

Looking Forward to Seeing It.  --Old B-Runner

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