Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

150 Years Ago this Evening. . .

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on February 17, 2014

Hunley with Torpedo 720

. . . the Confederate submersible H. L. Hunley sank the Federal warship Housatonic in the Atlantic Ocean off Charleston.

HunleyCutawayWhite01 720


Update, February 17, 3 p.m.: My colleagues Craig Swain and Robert Moore both have reflections on this day. Craig shares some thoughts on the the sinking of Housatonic, and its place in the Charleston campaign and the larger war effort. He closes with this:


Another point, and this is more a personal rub, is how we frame this event for interpretation.  The headlines are “Hunley-centric” as if the Housatonic was just a hulk out there on the waters.  There were men on board the Housatonic that night.  These were not nameless, faceless entities.  Rather men serving for cause and country.  Five those men did not see the next day.  And they are still out there.  Should we not mention Ensign Edward Hazeltine, Clerk Charles Muzzey, Quartermaster John Williams, Second Class Fireman John Walsh, and Landsman Theodore Parker on this day?


And as it happens, Robert Moore was thinking exactly along those lines.



6 Responses

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  1. pycarecen said, on February 17, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Andy, I just wanted to thank you for the great articles you have put up on the Hunley over the years I have been reading you. I linked to your article on the fate of the Hunley on The Immigrants’ Civil War facebook page with this recommendation “For the best blogging on the 150th Anniversary of the only battle fought by the Confederate sub Hunley, I direct you to naval historian Andy Hall’s web site Dead Confederates.”

    • Andy Hall said, on February 17, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Thanks, Pat. I probably should do more on Hunley today, this being the 150th, but I’m all Hunley-ed out at the moment. It remains an amazing story.

  2. Duane Whitlock said, on February 17, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Andy, nice model! What are your thoughts on the “Blue Light” signal. Was it a lantern or a flair?

  3. Duane Whitlock said, on February 18, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Thanks Andy. I was thinking of Chris when I asked that question and just wanted to know your take on the subject. I tend to agree with you.

    • Andy Hall said, on February 18, 2014 at 10:42 am

      There are times when it’s necessary to say, “enough already! Knock it off!”

      Rucker’s piece does that.

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