Several books have been written about the Confederate ship H.L. Hunley, which sank in the waters off Charleston, S.C.in 1864, after successfully sinking the Housatonic, becoming the world’s first successful combat submarine. It was discovered in 1995 and raised five years later and taken to Clemson University’s Conservation center for research.
What doomed it? New evidence in the form of a torpedo casing, according to a Jan 20, 2013 Montgomery Advertiser article, may hold a clue. This suggests Hunley was less than 20 feet away when it exploded as remnants of the 2 foot long torpedo were found bolted in the casing.
Obviously the crew thought they were far enough away to escape harm. Were they knocked unconscious by the explosion? Was there a small leak caused by water pressure? So many questions, but this finding is a great leap toward solving the mystery of the Hunley.
South Carolina Lt. Gov. Glen McConnell, a Hunley commissioner said “It brings us to the final moments and minutes, not the final hours, as to what sealed the fate of the Hunley.”