February 17, 1864

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by Vassili Zaitzev, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Tomorrow will mark the 150th anniversary of the H.L. Hunley's fateful mission. For those who don't know, the Hunley was a privately owned submarine(though called torpedo or fish boat back then) built in the Confederacy during the war. It made it's fame in Charleston, being sent there to break the Union blockade that was part of a larger plan to strangle the Confederacy into submission.

    The submarine, while innovative, was deadly if improperly handled. The loss of five of her first crew, all eight of her second(including co-owner/designer Horace L Hunley, which the boat was renamed after his death) proved that. Nonetheless, a third crew was recruited(all volunteers) led by Confederate Army Lieutenant George Dixon. On the night of February 17th, 1864, the H.L. Hunley slipped out of Charleston harbor towards the Union blockade. Her target: the Sloop-of-War USS Housatonic. Attacking, the Confederate boat successfully struck and detonated her spar torpedo against the Federal warship. The Housatonic sank in five minutes, losing the same number of crew. The Hunley, however, never returned. She would remain lost until August of 2000, found by a expedition led by author Clive Cussler. The sub was raised, her crew recovered and interred in a Confederate cemetery.

    Some people are going to question why I'm stressing the need to remember this sub and the men who died in her, when they were on the opposite side of of our nation's bloodiest conflict. A conflict, which given the demography of my hometown, and the Victorian-era view of manliness, I would have fought and likely died for the Union. I'll answer with the same answer I have for why I have a Confederate Battle Flag in my closet: It's part of our history, for better or for worse. Ultimately, these 21 men gave their lives to protect their homes, their way of life(which is still a controversial debate, as the central reason for secession was the issue of slavery). I give them the same amount of respect that I give the five men lost on the Housatonic. They were not black hearted or murderous(I can't say the same for Nathan Bedford Forrest's men at Fort Pillow). With that, I give them a moment of silence.

    For anyone interested, here is the website of the organization that currently has the boat: Friends of the Hunley
    Note: I wrote this on my Facebook, I'm copying and pasting to save time.
    H.L. Hunley by Conrad Wise Chapman.jpg USS Housatonic.jpg H.L. Hunley torpedoes Housatonic.jpg
     
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  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    :salute:
     
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  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    what caused her to sink. Brave men in any estimation
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    If anybody has the chance to visit the museum where they are still working on her, it's well worth the trip!
     
  6. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting, would love to see it in person, the remnants of the Monitor too.
     
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