H. L. Hunley (submarine)
Drawing of H. L. Hunley. Based on a photograph taken in 1863 by George S. Cook
|Name:||H. L. Hunley|
|Laid down:||early 1863|
|In service:||February 17, 1864|
|Out of service:||February 17, 1864|
|Displacement:||7.5 short tons (6.8 metric tons)|
|Length:||39.5 ft (12.0 m) Unconfirmed.|
|Beam:||3.83 ft (1.17 m)|
|Speed:||4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) (surface)|
|Complement:||1 officer, 7 enlisted|
|Armament:||1 spar torpedo|
H. L. HUNLEY (submarine)
|Nearest city||Charleston, South Carolina|
|Area||0 acres (0 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||78003412|
|Added to NRHP||December 29, 1978|
H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War. Hunley demonstrated the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare. She was the first combat submarine to sink a warship, although Hunley was not completely submerged and, following her successful attack, was lost along with her crew before she could return to her base. The Confederacy lost 21 crewmen in three sinkings of Hunley during her short career. The submarine was named for her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley, shortly after she was taken into service under the control of the Confederate Army at Charleston, South Carolina.
Hunley, nearly 40 feet (12 m) long, was built at Mobile, Alabama, and launched in July 1863. She was then shipped by rail on August 12, 1863 to Charleston, South Carolina. Hunley (then called Fish Boat) sank on August 29, 1863, during a training exercise, killing five members of her crew. She sank again on October 15, 1863, killing all eight of her second crew, including Horace Hunley himself, who was aboard at the time, even though he was not enlisted in the Confederate armed forces. Both times Hunley was raised and returned to service. On February 17, 1864, Hunley attacked and sank the 1240-short ton (1124 metric tons) screw sloop USS Housatonic on Union blockade duty in Charleston's outer harbor. Soon after, Hunley sank, killing all eight of her third crew. This time, the innovative ship was lost.
Finally located in 1995, Hunley was recovered in 2000 and is on display in Charleston. Examination in 2012 of recovered Hunley artifacts suggests that the submarine was as close as 20 feet to her target, Housatonic, when her deployed torpedo exploded, which eventually caused the sub's own demise.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
While the United States Navy was constructing its first submarine in late 1861, the USS Alligator, the Confederacy were doing so as well. Hunley, McClintock, and Watson first built a small submarine named Pioneer in New Orleans, Louisiana. Pioneer was tested in February 1862 in the Mississippi River and was later towed to Lake Pontchartrain for additional trials. But the Union advance towards New Orleans caused the men to abandon development and scuttle Pioneer the following month. The poorly documented Bayou St. John Confederate submarine may have been constructed about the same time as Pioneer.
The three inventors moved to Mobile and joined with machinists Thomas Park and Thomas Lyons. They soon began development of a second submarine, American Diver. Their efforts were supported by the Confederate States Army; Lieutenant William Alexander of the 21st Alabama Infantry Regiment was assigned oversight duty for the project. The men experimented with electromagnetic and steam propulsion for the new submarine, before falling back on a simpler hand-cranked propulsion system. American Diver was ready for harbor trials by January 1863, but it proved too slow to be practical. One attempted attack on the Union blockade was made in February 1863 but was unsuccessful. The submarine sank in the mouth of Mobile Bay during a storm later the same month and was not recovered.
Construction and testing
Construction of Hunley began soon after the loss of American Diver. At this stage, Hunley was variously referred to as the "fish boat," the "fish torpedo boat," or the "porpoise." Legend long held Hunley was made from a cast-off steam boiler—perhaps because a cutaway drawing by William Alexander, who had seen the real boat, showed a short and stubby machine. In fact, Hunley was purpose-designed and built for her role, and the sleek, modern-looking craft shown in R.G. Skerrett's 1902 drawing is an accurate representation. Hunley was designed for a crew of eight: seven to turn the hand-cranked propeller and one to steer and direct the boat. Each end was equipped with ballast tanks that could be flooded by valves or pumped dry by hand pumps. Extra ballast was added through the use of iron weights bolted to the underside of the hull. In the event the submarine needed additional buoyancy to rise in an emergency, the iron weight could be removed by unscrewing the heads of the bolts from inside the vessel.
Hunley was equipped with two watertight hatches, one forward and one aft, atop two short conning towers equipped with small portholes and slender, triangular cutwaters. The hatches, bigger than original estimates, measure about 16.5 inches wide and nearly 21 long (42 by 53 centimeters), making entrance to and egress from the hull difficult. The height of the ship's hull was 4 feet 3 inches (1.2 m).
Hunley was ready for a demonstration by July 1863. Supervised by Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan, Hunley successfully attacked a coal flatboat in Mobile Bay. Following this demonstration, the submarine was shipped to Charleston, South Carolina, by rail, arriving August 12, 1863.
The military seized the vessel from its private builders and owners shortly after its arrival in Charleston, turning it over to the Confederate Army. Hunley would operate as a Confederate Army vessel from this point forward, although Horace Hunley and his partners remained involved in the submarine's further testing and operation. While sometimes referred to as CSS Hunley, the Confederate government never officially commissioned the vessel into service.
Confederate Navy Lieutenant John A. Payne of CSS Chicora volunteered to be Hunley's skipper, and a volunteer crew of seven men from CSS Chicora and CSS Palmetto State was assembled to operate the submarine. On August 29, 1863, Hunley's new crew was preparing to make a test dive to learn the operation of the submarine when Lieutenant Payne accidentally stepped on the lever controlling the sub's diving planes while the boat was running. This caused Hunley to dive with her hatches still open, flooding the submarine. Payne and two others escaped, while the remaining five crewmen drowned.
On October 15, 1863 Hunley failed to surface during a mock attack, killing Hunley and seven other crewmen. In both cases, the Confederate Navy salvaged the vessel and returned her to service.
Hunley was originally intended to attack by means of a floating explosive charge with a contact fuse (a torpedo in Civil War terminology) towed behind it at the end of a long rope. Hunley would approach an enemy vessel, dive under it, and surface beyond. As it continued to move away from the target, the torpedo would be pulled against the side of the target and explode. However, this plan was discarded as impractical due to the danger of the tow line fouling Hunley's screw or drifting into Hunley herself.
The floating explosive charge was replaced with a spar torpedo, a copper cylinder containing 90 pounds (41 kilograms) of black powder attached to a 22-foot (6.7 m)-long wooden spar, as seen in illustrations of the submarine made at this time. The spar was mounted on Hunley's bow and was designed to be used when the submarine was some 6 feet (1.8 m) or more below the surface. The spar torpedo had a barbed point, and would be stuck in the target vessel's side by ramming. The spar torpedo as originally designed used a mechanical trigger attached to the attacking vessel by a cord, so that as the attacker backed away from her victim, the torpedo would explode. However, archaeologists working on Hunley have discovered evidence, including a spool of copper wire and components of a battery, that it may have been electrically detonated. Following Horace Hunley's death, General Beauregard issued an order that the submarine was no longer to attack her target underwater. In response to this order, an iron pipe was attached to the bow of the submarine and angled downwards so the explosive charge would still be delivered under sufficient depth of water to make it effective. This was the same method developed for the earlier "David" type surface craft so successful against the USS New Ironsides. The Confederate Veteran of 1902 printed a reminiscence authored by an engineer stationed at Battery Marshall who, with another engineer, made adjustments to the iron pipe mechanism before Hunley left on her last mission on the night of February 17, 1864. A drawing of the iron pipe spar, confirming its "David" type configuration, was published in several early histories of submarine warfare.
Attack on Housatonic
Hunley made her first and only attack against a live target on the night of February 17, 1864. The vessel was the USS Housatonic. Housatonic, a 1,240 long tons (1,260 t) steam-powered sloop-of-war with 12 large cannons, was stationed at the entrance to Charleston, South Carolina harbor, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) out to sea.
In an effort to break the naval blockade of the city, Lieutenant George E. Dixon and a crew of seven volunteers attacked Housatonic, successfully embedding the barbed spar torpedo into her hull. The torpedo was detonated as the submarine backed away, sending Housatonic and five of her crew to the bottom in five minutes.
Years later, when the area around the wreck of the Housatonic was surveyed, the sunken Hunley was finally found on the seaward side of the sloop's wreck, where no one before had ever considered looking. This later indicated that the ocean current was going out following the attack on the Housatonic, taking Hunley with it to where its wreck was eventually found and later recovered.
After the attack, H.L. Hunley failed to return to her base. There is evidence that Hunley survived as long as one hour following the attack - at about 8:45 p.m. The commander of "Battery Marshall" reported on the day after the attack that he had received "the signals" from the submarine indicating it was returning to her base. The report did not state what manner of signals were observed. A postwar correspondent stated that "two blue lights" were the prearranged signals, and a lookout on Housatonic reported that he saw a "blue light" on the water after his ship sank. "Blue light" in 1864 referred to a pyrotechnic signal in long use by the U.S. Navy. It has been falsely represented in published works as a blue lantern, even though the lantern found on the recovered H.L. Hunley had a clear, not a blue, lens. Pyrotechnic "blue light" can be seen easily over the four mile distance between Battery Marshall and the site of the Hunley's attack on the Housatonic.
After signaling, Dixon would have taken his submarine underwater to attempt to return to Sullivan's Island. What happened next is unclear. The finders of Hunley suggested that she was unintentionally rammed by the USS Canandaigua when that warship was going to the aid of the crew of Housatonic.
One possibility is that the torpedo was not detonated on command, but rather it malfunctioned because of some damage suffered during the underwater attack. The intention was that the torpedo would be detonated when the Hunley had retreated to about 150 feet (46 meters) away. However, witnesses aboard the Housatonic stated that the submarine was no more than about 100 feet (30 meters) away when her torpedo detonated.
In October 2008, scientists reported that they had found that the crew of Hunley had not set her pump to remove water from the crew's compartment, and this might indicate that it was not being flooded. "It now really starts to point to a lack of oxygen making [the crew] unconscious," the chairman of the South Carolina Hunley Commission said. "They may have been cranking and moving and it was a miscalculation as to how much oxygen they had."
Although there is no conclusive evidence as to the cause of the sinking of H. L. Hunley, the head archeologist of Clemson University, Maria Jacobsen, and George Wunderlich, the executive director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, conducted experiments with modern castings of the forward conning tower of H. L. Hunley. The original one had shown damage at one viewing port. The experiments used replica U.S. Navy firearms, and they showed that a .58 caliber Minie ball, fired from Housatonic, could have penetrated at the viewing ports, hence producing a breach to let water enter. This result corresponds with the findings of Jaime Downs, an FBI forensic pathologist, which show variations in the preserved brain tissue from the forward crewmen to the aft crewmen of Hunley. It has been conjectured that a ramming by the U.S.S. Canandaigua could have caused damage to Hunley, but no such damage was found when Hunley was raised from the bottom of the harbor.
In January 2013, it was announced that conservator Paul Mardikian had found evidence of a copper sleeve at the end of Hunley's spar. This indicated that the torpedo had been attached directly to the spar, meaning the submarine may have been less than 20 feet from Housatonic when the torpedo exploded. The Hunley crew may therefore have been knocked unconscious by the explosion and died without awakening.
Her crew perished, but H.L. Hunley had earned a place in the history of undersea warfare by being the first submarine to sink any ship.
Recovery of wreckage
The Hunley discovery was described by Dr. William Dudley, Director of Naval History at the Naval Historical Center as "probably the most important find of the century." The tiny sub and its contents have been valued at more than $40 million, making its discovery and subsequent donation one of the most important and valuable contributions ever to South Carolina.
The Hunley discovery is claimed by two different individuals. Underwater Archaeologist E. Lee Spence, president, Sea Research Society, reportedly discovered Hunley in 1970. and has a collection of evidence claiming to validate this, including a 1980 Civil Admiralty Case.
On September 13, 1976, the National Park Service submitted Sea Research Society's (Spence's) location for H. L. Hunley for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Spence's location for Hunley became a matter of public record when H. L. Hunley's placement on that list was officially approved on December 29, 1978. Spence's book Treasures of the Confederate Coast, which had a chapter on his discovery of Hunley and included a map complete with an "X" showing the wreck's location, was published in January 1995.
Diver Ralph Wilbanks found the wreck in April 1995 while leading a NUMA dive team led by novelist Clive Cussler, who announced the find as a new discovery and first claimed that it was in about 18 feet (5 m) of water over a mile inshore of Housatonic, but later admitted to a reporter that that was false. The wreck was actually 100 yards away from and on the seaward side of Housatonic in 27 feet (8 m) of water. The submarine was buried under several feet of silt, which had both concealed and protected the vessel for more than a hundred years. The divers exposed the forward hatch and the ventilator box (the air box for the attachment of her twin snorkels) in order to identify her. The submarine was resting on her starboard side, at about a 45-degree angle, and was covered in a ¼- to ¾-inch (0.6- to 1.9-centimeter) encrustation of rust bonded with sand and seashell particles. Archaeologists exposed part of the ship's port side and uncovered the bow dive plane. More probing revealed an approximate length of 37 feet (11 m), with all of the vessel preserved under the sediment.
On September 14, 1995, at the official request of Senator Glenn F. McConnell, Chairman, South Carolina Hunley Commission, E. Lee Spence, with South Carolina Attorney General Charles M. Condon signing, donated Hunley to the State of South Carolina. Shortly thereafter NUMA disclosed to government officials Wilbank's location for the wreck, which, when finally made public in October 2000, matched Spence's 1970s plot of the wreck's location well within standard mapping tolerances. Spence avows that he not only discovered Hunley in 1970 he revisited and mapped the site in 1971 and again in 1979, and that after he published his location in his 1995 book that he expected NUMA (which was actually part of a SCIAA expedition directed by Dr. Mark M. Newell and not Cussler) to independently verify the wreck as the Hunley, not to claim that NUMA had discovered it. Interestingly, Dr. Newell has sworn under oath that he used Spence's maps to direct the joint SCIAA/NUMA expedition and credits Spence with the original discovery and credits his expedition only with the official verification.
The in situ underwater archaeological investigation and excavation culminated with the raising of Hunley on August 8, 2000. A large team of professionals from the Naval Historical Center's Underwater Archaeology Branch, National Park Service, the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, and various other individuals investigated the vessel, measuring and documenting it prior to removal. Once the on-site investigation was complete, harnesses were slipped underneath the sub and attached to a truss designed by Oceaneering International. After the last harness had been secured, the crane from the recovery barge Karlissa B hoisted the submarine from the sea floor. It was raised from the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, just over 3.5 nautical miles (6.5 km) from Sullivan's Island outside the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Despite having used a sextant and hand-held compass, thirty years earlier, to plot the wreck's location, Dr. Spence's 52 meters accuracy turned out to be well within the length of the recovery barge, which was 64 meters long. On August 8, 2000, at 8:37 a.m., the sub broke the surface for the first time in more than 136 years, greeted by a cheering crowd on shore and in surrounding watercraft, including author Clive Cussler. Once safely on her transporting barge, Hunley was shipped back to Charleston. The removal operation concluded when the submarine was secured inside the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, at the former Charleston Navy Yard in North Charleston, in a specially designed tank of fresh water to await conservation.
The exploits of Hunley and her final recovery were the subject of an episode of the television series The Sea Hunters, called Hunley: First Kill. This program was based on a section ("Part 6") in Clive Cussler's 1996 non-fiction book of the same name (which was accepted by the Board of Governors of the Maritime College of the State University of New York in lieu of his Ph.D. thesis).
In June 2011, a conservation lab rotated the sub upright for the first time since she sank.
The crew was composed of Lieutenant George E. Dixon (Commander), Frank Collins, Joseph F. Ridgaway, James A. Wicks, Arnold Becker, Corporal C. F. Carlsen, C. Lumpkin, and Augustus Miller.
Apart from the commander of the submarine, Lieutenant George E. Dixon, the identities of the volunteer crewmen of Hunley had long remained a mystery. Douglas Owsley, a physical anthropologist working for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, examined the remains and determined that four of the men were American born, while the four others were European born, based on the chemical signatures left on the men's teeth and bones by the predominant components of their diet. Four of the men had eaten plenty of corn, an American diet, while the remainder ate mostly wheat and rye, a mainly European one. By examining Civil War records and conducting DNA testing with possible relatives, forensic genealogist Linda Abrams was able to identify the remains of Dixon and the three other Americans: Frank G. Collins of Fredericksburg, Va., Joseph Ridgaway, and James A. Wicks. Identifying the European crewmen has been more problematic, but was apparently solved in late 2004. The position of the remains indicated that the men died at their stations and were not trying to escape from the sinking submarine.
On April 17, 2004 the remains of the crew were laid to rest at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina. Tens of thousands of people attended including some 6,000 reenactors and 4,000 civilians wearing period clothing. Color guards from all five branches of the U.S. armed forces—wearing modern uniforms—were also in the procession. Even though only two of the crew were from Confederate States all were buried with full Confederate honors, including being buried with the 2nd Confederate national flag, known as the Stainless Banner.
Another surprise occurred in 2002, when a researcher examining the area close to Lieutenant Dixon found a misshapen $20 gold piece, minted in 1860, with the inscription "Shiloh April 6, 1862 My life Preserver G. E. D." on a sanded-smooth area of the coin's reverse side, and a forensic anthropologist found a healed injury to Lt. Dixon's hip bone. The findings matched a legend, passed down in the family, that Dixon's sweetheart, Queenie Bennett, had given him the coin to protect him. However, the supposed relationship between Bennett and Dixon has not been supported by archaeological investigation of the legend. Dixon had the coin with him at the Battle of Shiloh, where he was wounded in the thigh on April 6, 1862. The bullet struck the coin in his pocket, saving his leg and possibly his life. He had the gold coin engraved and carried it as a lucky charm.
Visitors can obtain tickets for guided tours of the conservation laboratory that houses Hunley at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center on weekends. The actual Hunley is preserved and on display in a tank of water, while a replica can be entered by the public. The Center includes artifacts found inside Hunley, exhibits about the submarine and a video.
In popular culture
- The first episode of the 1963 CBS television series, The Great Adventure, featured a dramatization loosely based on the events leading up to and including Hunley's last mission. It starred Jackie Cooper as Lt. "Dickson". 
- The original TNT Network made-for-cable movie "The Hunley" (1999) tells the story of H. L. Hunley's final mission while on station in Charleston, SC. It stars Armand Assante as Lt. Dixon and Donald Sutherland as General Beauregard, Dixon's direct superior on the Hunley project. 
- Hunley is the inspiration of the Sons of Confederate Veterans H. L. Hunley JROTC Award presented to cadets on the basis of strong corps values, honor, courage and commitment to their unit during the school year.
- Hunley is mentioned by fictional protagonist Leo Valdez in the novel The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan.
- "Blaze of Glory," a 2013 short story published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, by Doug Allyn provides a fictionalized account of H. L. Hunley's final mission, and the legacy of Lt. Dixon.
- In the novel Love and War by John Jakes, the fictional character Cooper Main works on the Hunley project.
- USS Alligator – U. S. Navy submarine launched a year before the Hunley
- French submarine Plongeur – launched a few months before Hunley
- Peral Submarine – 1888 submarine from Spain, the first to be powered by electric batteries
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Smith, Bruce (January 28, 2013). "Experts find new evidence in submarine mystery". Associated Press. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- Hunley Newsletter #66 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2006, http://www.hunleystore.com/Newsletter_66-notes/Newletter_66.htm
- The Torpedo
- The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion; Series I – Vol. 15, p. 335.
- Jacob N. Cardozo, Reminiscences of Charleston (Charleston, 1866) p. 124
- Proceedings of the Naval Court of Inquiry on the Sinking of the Housatonic NARA Microfilm Publication M 273, reel 169, Records of the Judge Advocate General (Navy) Record Group 125
- Noah Webster, International Dictionary of the English Language Comprising the issues of 1864, 1879 and 1884, ed. Noah Porter, p. 137.
- George Marshall, Marshall’s Practical Marine Gunnery: Containing a View of the Magnitude, Weight, Description and Use of Every Article Used in the Sea Gunner’s Department in the Navy of the United States (Norfolk, 1822), pp. 22 and 24.
- Tom Chaffin, The Hunley The Secret Hope of The Confederacy ( New York, 2008), p. 242.
- Capt. J.G. Benton, A Course of Instruction in Ordnance and Gunnery Compiled for the Use of the Cadets of the United States Military Academy second ed., 1862, p. 369
- H. L. Hunley Limited 24 Inch - Civil War Replicas, Civil War Frigate Models - Wooden Model Ships
- Friends of the Hunley
- "Scientists have new clue to mystery of sunken sub". Associated Press. October 18, 2008.(Defunct as of 4/09)[dead link]
- National Geographic channel television program, September 17, 2011
- Cover Story: Time Capsule From The Sea - U.S. News & World Report, July 2-9, 2007
- 'Ghosts from the Coast, "Dr. E. Lee Spence, The Man Who Found the Hunley" by Nancy Roberts, UNC Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-8078-2665-2, pp. 89-94
- Attachments to Spence's sworn Affidavit of Discovery
- United States District Court, District of Charleston, Case #80-1303-8, Filed July 8, 1980
- Yasko, Karel (February 1976). "H. L. Hunley (Submarine)" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form - Inventory. National Park Service. Retrieved 28 Arptil 2012.
- Treasures of the Confederate Coast: The "Real Rhett Butler" & Other Revelations by Dr. E. Lee Spence, Narwhal Press, Charleston/Miami, © 1995, p.54
- Raising the Hunley: The Remarkable History and Recovery of the Lost Confederate Submarine by B. Hicks and S. Kropf, Ballantine Publishing, NY, © 2002, p. 131
- NUMA News release, Austin, Texas, May 11, 1995
- "Salvaging Hunley clues: Cussler fibs about sub's depth" by Schuyler Kropf, The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC, May 11, 1996
- H.L. Hunley Site Assessment, NPS, NHC and SCIAA, edited by Larry Murphy (SCRU), 1998, pp. 6-13, 63-66
- Minutes of the Hunley Commission Meeting of September 14, 1995
- "Assignment of Interest," September 14, 1995, signed by E. Lee Spence and Charles Molony Condon, Attorney General State of South Carolina
- "Hunley claimant signs over rights to state" by Sid Gaulden, The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC, September 15, 1995
- 'Whose X marks the spot?' by W. Thomas Smith Jr., Charleston City Paper, Charleston, SC, October 4, 2000, p. 16
- "News," official press release by NUMA, listing Clive Cussler as a contact, Austin, Texas, May 11, 1995
- The Hunley: Submarines, Sacrifice & Success in the Civil War by Mark Ragan, Narwhal Press Inc., ISBN 1-886391-04-1, p. 186
- The Andy Thomas Show, live radio interview by Andy Thomas with Dr. Newell, Dr. Spence and Claude Petrone, Columbia, SC, August, 2001
- Neyland, Robert S (2005). "Underwater Archaeology and the Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley.". In: Godfrey, JM; Shumway, SE. Diving For Science 2005. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences Symposium on March 10–12, 2005 at the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, Groton, Connecticut. (American Academy of Underwater Sciences). Retrieved 2011-01-09.
- Karlissa B Crane
- Annotated section of November 24, 1979, edition of NOAA chart 11523 with Spence's 1980 claim area and showing sites marked "it" which is the wreck of the Civil War submarine H...
- The Arizona Republic newspaper, May 18, 1997; page unknown, dated cut-out article
- [dead link]
- Friends of the Hunley
- "Last Funeral of the Civil War" to Put Hunley Crew to Rest
- "Last Funeral of the Civil War" to Put Hunley Crew to Rest
- Ron Franscell (November 18, 2002). "Civil War legends surface with sub Fort Collins expert studies exhumed sailors". The Denver Post. p. A1.
- The Legend of the gold coin
- The H. L. Hunley: The Secret Hope of the Confederacy by Tom Chaffin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), ISBN 0-8090-9512-2
- The Hunley: Submarines, Sacrifice & Success in the Civil War by Mark Ragan (Narwhal Press, Charleston/Miami, 1995), ISBN 1-886391-43-2
- Ghosts from the Coast, "The Man Who Found the Hunley" by Nancy Roberts, UNC Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-8078-2665-2
- Treasures of the Confederate Coast: the "real Rhett Butler" & Other Revelations by Dr. E. Lee Spence, (Narwhal Press, Charleston/Miami, 1995), ISBN 1-886391-00-9
- Civil War Sub ISBN 0-448-42597-1
- The Voyage of the Hunley, ISBN 1-58080-094-7
- Raising the Hunley, ISBN 0-345-44772-7
- The CSS H. L. Hunley, ISBN 1-57249-175-2
- The CSS Hunley, ISBN 0-87833-219-7
- Shipwreck Encyclopedia of the Civil War: South Carolina & Georgia, 1861-1865 by Edward Lee Spence (Sullivan's Island, S. C., Shipwreck Press, 1991) OCLC: 24420089
- Shipwrecks of South Carolina and Georgia : (includes Spence's List, 1520-1865) Sullivan's Island, S. C. (Sullivan's Island 29482, Sea Research Society, 1984) OCLC 10593079
- Shipwrecks of the Civil War : Charleston, South Carolina, 1861-1865 map by E. Lee Spence (Sullivan's Island, S. C., 1984) OCLC 11214217
- Robert F. Burgess (1975). Ships Beneath the Sea: A History of Subs and Submersibles. United States of America: McGraw Hill. p. 238.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to H. L. Hunley.|
- US Navy
- Friends of the Hunley - includes visiting information
- Sea Research Society links to Hunley
- "H. L. Hunley, Confederate Submarine" at the U.S. Naval Historical Center
- Pre-Hunley - Confederate Submarines
- The Hunley (TV movie)
- Hunley - Archaeological Interpretation and 3D Reconstruction
- Hunley Related Items
- HNSA Web Page: H.L. Hunley
- H.L. Hunley article, Encyclopedia of Alabama
- Find A graves on the CSS Hunley crew
- An Interview with Dr. Lee Spence - Discoverer of the Confederate Submarine HL Hunley