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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

H. L. Hunley Submarine

Conservation at work

Warren Lasch Conservation Center

North Charleston, South Carolina

On February 17, 1864 the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley embarked on a mission that would forever mark its place in American history. Seven men led by Lt. George Dixon entered the experimental vessel, which became the first successful submarine in combat. That night, the H. L. Hunley rammed its spar torpedo into the hull of the Federal blockade ship USS Housatonic and sank it. Minutes after its historic achievement, the Hunley and its crew vanished into the sea without a trace. On August 8, 2000, the submarine was recovered and brought to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center. With help from a $98,611 Save America’s Treasures grant, the Hunley will be preserved for future generations. As of 2011, the vessel is housed in a specially designed 90,000 gallon tank while the conservation efforts continue.

Photo: Conservation at work
– Courtesy Friends of the Hunley

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