The H. L. Hunley was an early man powered submarine built in Mobile, AL during the Civil War. It held a crew of 8 in very tight quarters. It's sole purpose was to sink Union blockade ships. It finally became the first sub to do so when it sunk the 160 crew Housatonic in Charleston Harbor in Feb 1864. The sub mysteriously disappeared after that mission but was finally located in 1995 and raised in 2000. It now sits in a fresh water tank in the Navy Yard in North Charleston and is being meticulously preserved. Besides seeing the sub itself, you can see artifacts recovered including a famous gold coin that the sub commander kept as a "good luck charm" after it took a bullet and saved his life at Shiloh earlier in the war. You can also learn about the men who died on this fateful mission and two earlier ones. Early submarine warfare was the most dangerous of military jobs, and this exhibit brings that to life. Only open to public Sat and Sun. About 30 mins. from downtown Charleston. A highlight of our trip and a "must see" for Civil War and naval historians!
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