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“History of the Civil War”
Review of H. L. Hunley

H. L. Hunley
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Hunley became the world's first successful combat submarine in 1864 with the sinking of the USS Housatonic. After making world history, she mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, she was finally found in 1995 and then raised from the ocean floor in 2000. Since then, scientists have been at work to conserve the legendary submarine and solve the mystery of her disappearance. Tours of the Hunley include viewing the Hunley in her 75,000 conservation tank, facial reconstructions of the crew, and interactive exhibits that tell the submarine's fascinating tale throughout the centuries.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Charleston, SC
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“History of the Civil War”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

Not a history buff, this little funky to find museum gives it's best into the history of how this submarine came into existence, its' members, and it's purpous. This is not walking distance around downtown.

Thank jennybuttah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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577 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Laguna Niguel, California
Level 6 Contributor
342 reviews
175 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
“Maritime Archaeological Treasure”
Reviewed November 19, 2012 via mobile

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!

Thank Diverdad1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matawan, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“Well worth it.”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

My husband and I spent a couple of hours at the exhibit after we visited the Hunley's crew at Magnolia Cemetery.
The exhibit was incredible. It was organized wonderfully and it simply amazed me.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank sugarmag13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Platte, Nebraska
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Very moving”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Staff was helpful and informative. Great displays, souvenir shop. Interactive things to do. Informative videos. Only thing was we had trouble finding it and drove around quite a while looking for it.

Visited May 2012
Thank Cormick026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Bern, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Really worth your time!”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I am a history nut, and I have been wanting to see this for a long time. It is amazing to look at this hunk of metal in a tank, and realize it's history. Our guide for the 45 min tour was very well versed in her history, and gave some real insight into what happened, how they found out the crew members, and thoughts about what went wrong. (My idea is that they just ran out of oxygen and went to sleep = carbon monoxide poisoning.) There is a "mock up" that you can sit in to get the feel for what these guys were dealing with, and a gift shop to buy some Hunley stuff. It is a little hard to find, and if you use GPS, make sure to put North Charleston as your city!

Visited November 2012
1 Thank gocoastl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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