Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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H.L. Hunley

(Courtesy Friends of the Hunley)

The famed Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, the first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship, has finally been unveiled in its entirety. Discovered in 1995 and raised in 2000, the 40-foot-long wreck had been supported by a steel framework while archaeologists and conservators studied and stabilized it. The sub was finally rotated so the structure was no longer needed to support it. This is the first time it has been seen by anyone, complete and unobstructed, since it mysteriously went down with its eight-man crew in 1864, just minutes after sinking the USS Housatonic in Charleston Bay. The next step is a special bath that will remove the salts and concretions that still cover the vessel.