The C.S.S. Hunley



 


The Official Site for the CSS Hunley
Another On Line site dedicated to the Hunley
Another On Line site dedicated to the Hunley

Bodies of Confederate Sailors May Lie under Stadium

    Reuters
    11-MAR-99

    CHARLESTON, S.C., March 11 (Reuters) - The grave of five Confederate sailors killed when their Civil War submarine sank in Charleston harbour in 1863 may have been found under The Citadel military college's football field, officials said.

    South Carolina state Sen. Glenn McConnell, who heads a commission seeking to locate graves of the crew of the submarine Hunley, Thursday sought permission to excavate part of the end zone of Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, where archaeologists believe they have located the grave.

    "We are ready to move ahead full steam," McConnell said of plans to examine a 6-foot by 15-foot trench found earlier this week during stadium renovations. "We don't know what we will reach until we peel back that soil and look at what we've got."

    The Hunley sank in August 1863 when it was swamped by a wave while moored in Charleston harbour, drowning five sailors who volunteered to test the 40-foot submarine, which was designed to attack Union blockade ships.

    The sailors' bodies were removed and buried in a graveyard for destitute mariners on a plot of land where officials believe the Citadel stadium now stands.

    The Hunley was raised, but sank again in October 1863 while sailing up the nearby Cooper River, drowning its second crew. In February 1864, the submarine sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic near Charleston harbour, but never returned.

    Divers in 1995 found the Hunley about four miles off the South Carolina coast submerged under 30 feet of water. Efforts are underway to raise the submarine next year.

    If the bodies of its first crew are located, they will be reburied with full military honours in the nearby Magnolia Cemetery, where the Hunley's second crew also was buried.

    ROSTERS:

    Members of the crew of the Hunley who were killed when it sank:
    Lt. George E. Dixon
    Arnold Becker
    C. F. Carlson
    F. Collins
    Miller
    Ridgeway
    C. Simkins
    James A. Wicks
    And perhaps an unknown crewman named White.

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