Civil War submarine highlights historic battles

Civil War submarine highlights historic battles
Sons of the Confederacy, Kirby Smith Camp 1209: John Ruff, Frank Marjenjoff, John Carson, Chris Bunton and Kim Hoffecker

Drawing interest from many local residents, a quarter-scale replica of the CSS H.L. Hunley submarine was on display June 16 at the Museum of Southern History, 4304 Herschel St.

Among the visitors were Florida Congress-man Jay Fant and his son, Jack, who dropped by to check out the exhibit, tour the museum and enjoy barbecue. Fishweir Park resident Monica Schramer brought her sons, Evan and Brendan, to what she said is one of their favorite local museums.

In addition to the submarine on display, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Kirby-Smith Camp 1209 and the United Daughters of the Confederacy Martha Reid 19 wore period attire and provided oral history about The War Between the States.

The original Hunley was built in Mobile, Alabama by Horace Lawson Hunley to fight the Union blockade of Charleston’s harbor in 1863. The crew hand-cranked a propeller to power the 40-foot-long craft, which had only a candle and a compass to guide them. The craft sank during its test run in August 1863, killing five crew members. It sank again in October 1863, killing all eight crew, including Hunley. After the Feb. 17, 1864 attack on the USS Housatonic, the Hunley sank for the third time, along with all eight crewmen.

The barbecue sale, along with a bake sale and book sale, raised nearly $1,500 to finance expansion and renovation, according to Evelyn Wright, a museum volunteer who organized the event with board member Ben Willingham.

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