Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Aye Candy: David-Class Torpedo Boat

Posted in Memory, Technology by Andy Hall on February 17, 2013

Test renders of a new work-in-progress, a Confederate David-class torpedo boat like those used at Charleston, 1863-65. (The rig that suspended the torpedo spar on the bow, in particular, is missing from this incarnation.) The model incorporates features from a variety of sources, so is intended to show the general appearance of the type, as opposed to any specific, individual craft. At some point I will provide an interior for it, but as only rudimentary diagrams of the boats’ internal layout exist, the interior of the model will be even more speculative than the exterior.



And finally, one of the torpedo boat alongside the submersible H. L. Hunley. The Davids were often used to tow Hunley in and out of the harbor, to save the strength of the hand-powered submarine’s crew:



Full-size images can be seen on Flickr.



Aye Candy: H. L. Hunley

Posted in Technology by Andy Hall on February 9, 2013



HunleyBowUpdate: Apologies for the double-posting on this. After the first versions of these images went online over the weekend, Michael contacted me and pointed out that there was a more updated version of his plans of the boat than the one I’d used. These images, then, are corrected to reflect his most recent edition of the drawings. Most of the changes are small, but the boat has lost that beautiful-but-functionally-inexplicable curve in the profile of her stem (right, in an earlier model); that was apparently caused by exposure to the current and environment after the boat’s loss in 1864.



Digital model of the Confederate submersible H. L. Hunley, as she may have appeared in mid-February 1864, about the time of her successful attack on U.S.S. Housatonic off Charleston, South Carolina. The spar torpedo is based on recent findings announced in January 2013 by archaeologists at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, which is conserving the boat and its contents. Model based on plans by Michael Crisafulli. Full-sized images available on Flickr. All rights reserved.

More after the jump:



NatGeo’s Secret Weapon of the Confederacy

Posted in Technology by Andy Hall on September 14, 2011

Update: I didn’t see the show myself, but I hear (from some highly-discerning folks) that it was pretty good.Anybody here catch it? Let me know in the comments.


On Thursday evening the National Geographic Channel will air “Secret Weapon of the Confederacy,” exploring the short, eventful life of the submersible H. L. Hunley. From the website:

It was the first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship, but after only one successful mission the H.L. Hunley vanished with its crew and lay hidden for more than a century. The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the Confederacy’s secret weapon have remained an enduring mystery since the Civil War era, but now NGC has uncovered what may have brought it down.

Hunley has always been a favorite of mine. Some old renderings of my model of the boat, based on plans by Michael Crisafulli, after the jump:


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