18 November 2015: About a year ago, we posted a story regarding the CSS Hunley, the world's first successful submarine - successful in that it actually sunk an enemy ship, though it wound up on the bottom itself with its entire crew dead.
You may recall it was discovered in Charleston harbor by Clive Cussler's NUMA group and raised by the Navy in conjunction with civilian contractors. The hulk, remarkably intact and with the remains of the crew inside, was taken to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston where an international team began the painstaking task of a: removing all the debris and mud that had filled the hull, b: removing the remains and identifying them, and c: stabilizing the ship for future examination. This latter included leaching out the salt from the metal and removing the concretion of larine life that had actually protected the hull. Now that's all done.
Terra Mare Conservation, the outfit running the show on Hunley, has just announced a collaboration with Clemson University to critically examine the original surface and the interior in detail. This should bring us closer to a realization of just what happened on the night of 17 February 1864, when Hunley, first, sank the USS Housatonic, and then itself sank, killing all hands. More detailed information, discoveries, and results will likely be forthcoming in the near future. Stay tuned!
Until next time,