The H.L. Hunley and Her Crews

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Before and after it made military history, becoming the first submarine to sink an enemy warship, the Confederate-flagged H.L. Hunley was beset by tragedy. Historian James L. Speicher tells her story.
James L. Speicher
Thursday, April 17, 2014
6:30pm @ Central Library

What was termed the last Confederate funeral took place exactly 10 years ago — the burial of eight crew members of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley. The 25-foot underwater craft was raised from the sea floor outside Charleston, South Carolina, a little more than 136 years after becoming the first sub to sink an enemy warship and then mysteriously going down itself.

The Hunley had exacted a heavy toll before that, seeing 13 crew members perish during training exercises and acquiring the nickname the Peripatetic Coffin.

Historian James L. Speicher, formerly a military science professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, recounts the alternately fascinating and tragic stories of the historic vessel and the lost souls who served her.

Watch the video