Facts to know about the Hunley submarine

Drawing of H.L. Hunley submarine
1. Her last and fateful mission was on February 17, 1864.

2. Eight crew members were aboard on February 17th, all perished.

3. The Hunley was in the ocean, in Charleston Harbor, 136 years before it was raised.

4. The Hunley sank the USS Housatonic, the first successful use of a submarine sinking an enemy vessel in battle.

5. Five Union soldiers aboard the Housatonic died as a result of the sinking; while 150 survived.

6. The Hunley was finally discovered in 1995.

7. The original Hunley was funded and sponsored by a New Orleans lawyer, Horace Lawson Hunley, who perished aboard his namesake vessel during her second mission.

8. She was about 40 feet long, 4 1/2 feet high and 4 feet across.

9. The Hunley was powered by a hand-cranked propeller.

10. The Housatonic sank in about 30 feet of water.

11. Why the crew of the Hunley died aboard is a mystery.

12. P.T. Barnum, at one time, offered a $100,000 reward for the discovery of the Hunley.

13. American author Clive Cussler determined to find the Hunley in 1980. It took him 15 years.

14. The Hunley sank the Housatonic by sticking a long spar into the ships side and then backing away thereby debtonating about 100 pounds of explosive.

15. The Hunley had a surface speed of 4.6 mph (4 knots).

To learn more about the Hunley or to help in preserving the submarine please visit the Friends of the Hunley organization.


  1. Thank you so much! My teacher assigned so much homework over the weekend and I was freaking out! Thank you for saving my grade! And I am only eleven… 🙂

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