Skip to comments.The Confederate Submarine
Posted on 02/18/2014 3:58:30 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee
The moonlit sea was unusually calm on the bitterly cold night of Feb. 17, 1864, when a watchman spotted a strange, partially submerged shape gliding steadily toward the side of the Union sloop-of-war Housatonic. The steam-powered warship was serving blockade duty outside Charleston Harbor, and was one of the Unions biggest, best-armed vessels. Its men had heard reports of a new Confederate weapon, a sub-torpedo; still, it took a few minutes for the officer of the deck, John Crosby, to comprehend what he was seeing. By the time he did, it was too late.
The swiftly moving craft had passed under the Housatonics guns, and the small-arms fire now directed at it by the men on deck bounced harmlessly off its iron hull. The men onboard heard a muffled thud as the vessel planted an explosive charge in the Housatonics wooden side, below the waterline. Moments later, the charge detonated, lighting up the sky and sending the Yankee warship to the bottom, along with five of its sailors. The Housatonic had achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the first ship to be sunk by a submarine in combat and the only vessel destined to be destroyed by the H.L. Hunley.
In the wake of the explosion, the Hunleys commander signaled to the rebel lookouts on shore with a blue magnesium light, indicating that the mission had succeeded. The shore party obligingly built huge signal fires, to guide the Hunley home. But as the submarines crew back-powered furiously, something went terribly wrong. Perhaps the concussion from the blast compromised one or more of the seals that kept the ocean out. But shortly after the Housatonic went down, the Hunley and its eight-man crew joined her on the ocean floor. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ...
It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I learned about this story. Pretty amazing they had submarine warfare during the Civil War. But they did.
the wrong side won in 1865
Both sides were wrong in several ways....
I’ve seen the Hunley in person at the Warran Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston, before the interior was even fully excavated.
I saw it years ago in the preservation tank. I had no idea it was that tiny.
I do not have a single male relative who served in Union Blue. Many, many served in the Grey. Two of them entered politics after the war, one of them a Member of Congress and Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee. The other State Governor and United States Senator. Both lost their fortunes during the war, but both have written that the war was tragic and that the preservation of the Union was a good thing.
Another, a 3d generation descendant of President Thomas Jefferson's family was killed in action in 1863. His family were all loyal to the Lost Cause, but firmly supported the decision ratified by the blood of so many Americans.
I know that these people would not support your view. They learned many bitter lessons and they worked to heal the nation, not divide it in the years following. Let Obama be the America hater, he plays that role so well.
6’4, 250ish me would have no prayer of even getting in the hatch so no worries for me. I wouldn’t have been in the Confederate Submarine Service.
“They do not teach this in high school American history class.”
If I’m teaching it, I do. :)
true. I wouldn’t fit in there either.
Years ago when I played ARNG (misguided idea) and went to Ft. Stewart, I saw some of the soviet era stuff that came back from the middle east fun and games.
I was surprised at how small soviet armor, pc’s, and the like were compared to our stuff. I’d be way too big for armor crew in Ivan’s armor corps. They look like deathtraps and from what I have gathered were.
I find it odd you feel compelled to speak for all your relatives, who were evidently Confederates.
“The Lost Cause,” “In Grey,” “Ratified by the blood...”
All of this is very saccharine Victor’s language but I strongly suspect you misunderstand the reasons for secession and the secession itself, as well as the level of understanding men who might well be brighter than you had of their situation, of the state of the Union, and of their cause.
Finally to refer to Confederate sympathizers as ‘un-American’ marks you as, perhaps someone who would do well to read any number of excellent pieces on the subject of the Constitution, State’s rights, powers of the Federal government, etc., all of which changed drastically and permanently after Appomatox.
A weapon of desperation only. It show Confederate Courage and daring if nothing else. They would have been smarter to invest in fast “david” torpedo boats.
SPOT ON! There were many, MANY, southern military that said the very same thing.
My grt gramps gave acreage to southern soldiers that came up north to find work after they were pardoned at Vicksburg. They stayed and prospered.
Joe Johnston went to Shermans funeral and died a few days later. Lee said that in all history, he could not find a general like that of Grant. And that from Lee. These four men, held the union together after it was over since there were those in the administration, after Lincoln was killed, who wanted blood. I believe Grant would have instigated a coup if they persisted. He said it was over, end of story.
A couple of years after the Hunley, Spain built what could be called a much more modern sub
I have to give credit where its due in the courage and daring department.
First I’d heard of this one. Thanks for sharing.
The M1A1 vs the T-72
The Soviet designed tank looks like a little toy. lol
Thanks for the chart. Saved that one.
“They look like deathtraps and from what I have gathered were.”
Tankski go boom!:
I was talking to one TC during my summer vacation to Ft. Stewart that had been there and opposition armor was being engaged way beyond what their (Iraqi) guns could do and watching shells hit the sand. Then Abrams tanks would sit there, acquire and fire with hatches open and there would go turret and all up in the air when the 120mm connected.
There’s so much effective anti-tank stuff flying around these days, armor is the last place I’d want to be.
My dad was an armor jockey way back in the 60s before I was born and as a kid watching war movies, especially the great Kelly’s Heroes, he called tanks “armored coffins”.
If I had to be in any of them, Abrams is where I want to be but you are right about the wide world of anti-tank weapons. I’d rather be on the anti-tank side of the equation.
I thought I would mention the two submarines that I have visited in the United States. They were happy times as myself and wife from England, took full advantage of being at the border in Canada.
At Muskegon, Michigan lying at dock is the USS Silversides. The submarine was said to be 75% operative. People can go aboard. If anyone saw the film with the late Alan Hale, it told of a crew member with appendicitis. This in WW2. From a text book, the cook prepared his knives for an impromptu operation. The man survived.
Next to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It was the U505, a German submarine that surrendered to US naval personnel, at the surrender of Germany. They were taken off and went aboard a US naval vessel. The last crewman tried to scuttle the sub, by taking out the filter device. The American sailors jumped aboard and fixed it. The whole thing is in Chicago.
So long ago, I hope my information is still pertinent.
I have a movie in my collection - The Hunley. - about the creation and deployment of The Hunley. It took some big brass ones to go down in that thing!
Armor M.O.S. had the highest death rate by far during the
Vietnam affair. 27% of all armor mos were killed.
People are just bigger now apparently
From the viewpoint of 1864 this vessel must have looked like an interplanetary vehicle.
Silver sides is still in Michigan, now one can do sleep over for a fee.
U505 is still in Chicago at science and industry museum
After the war Joe Johnston worked as both an insurance and railroad executive and served a term in Congress. He became close friends with both Grant and Sherman—his main antagonists in the war. Johnston was a pallbearer at Sherman's funeral which took place in the rain. As the story goes, Johnston removed his hat at the graveside despite the rain saying Sherman would have shown him the same respect had their roles been reversed. Within a few days he contracted pneumonia and died.
centurion316: "I know that these people would not support your view.
They learned many bitter lessons and they worked to heal the nation, not divide it in the years following."
golux: "Finally to refer to Confederate sympathizers as un-American marks you as, perhaps someone..."
In fact, golux, centurion316 did not use the term "un-American".
That is strictly a figment of your own fertile imagination.
golux: "I strongly suspect you misunderstand the reasons for secession and the secession itself, as well as the level of understanding men who might well be brighter than you had of their situation, of the state of the Union, and of their cause."
In fact, there was only one reason for secession: to protect the South's "peculiar institution" against the perceived threat from "Ape" Lincoln's "Black Republicans".
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out, but Lost Causers have long attempted to conceal the truth.
golux: "...the Constitution, States rights, powers of the Federal government, etc., all of which changed drastically and permanently after Appomatox."
No, only a "state's right" to unilaterally declare secession, then provoke, start and declare war on the United States, then send military forces into Union states -- those "states rights" were defeated, unconditionally.
Oh, and slavery was abolished.
Otherwise, the Union remained as it had been, for another 50 years, until the Progressivism of Southern Democrats like President Woodrow Wilson.
Yes. It is the accepted view, promulgated by your Federal government, that the War was all about slavery and racism. You are encouraged to believe it, and you believe it. You should especially thank Lincoln for freeing the slaves of the Northern states - the last, very reluctantly, in New Jersey. But really there is no use. Watch another Hollywood movie on the subject, perhaps with Oprah starring. It will bolster your views.
Sorry, but there are facts of history, and despite your intense desire to deny them, they remain facts.
Those facts include:
So Civil War came because the Confederacy started it.
In the beginning then, freeing slaves (aka "contraband") was just a military tactic to weaken secessionists' manpower.
Like them or not, those are facts.
U-505 was captured by an anti-submarine hunter/killer group led by USS Guadalcanal. She was captured in June of 1944. U-505 was the first enemy warship captured,on the high seas,by the U.S. Navy since the war of 1812.
Like Willy said to Joe, “that moving fox hole attracts the eye”
Amazing that a sub existed in 1865. I was even more amazed that the first trans-Atlantic cable was laid at about the same time.
The Democrat Slaver Party South of old is dead - long live the new Christian Conservative South of the free!
The Democrat Slaver Party of the 1800's has migrated North, South, East and West has had and still has this evil Slavery mentality in which it has not turned away from even before the Civil War. It has changed for the worse - it is worse now than before. We would do better to remind people of the Democrat Slaver Partys history of not only Slavery, but of their racism, their KKK, their Progressivism to Socialism, their Communism, their hatred for god and Bible, their holocaust of babies, etc. They may now claim that they abhor the likes of the Slavery of old, but in reality they just use different methods for the same means; some more ruthless then that of the 1800s. The Democrat Slaver Party as a whole is evil and indefensible, the whole being how they were and how they are (worse) today.
And before those of you who try to justify the slaver Democrats of the Confederacy by saying that the Republicans have also done evil, let me remind you that The Democrat Slaver Party has historically been the Party of Progressivism and the Republicans the Party of (in the modern US definition) Conservatism.
Sure, the Republican Party has had its ebbs and flows; but has never held long a position that is so abominable that the Party should be abandoned. Plus, we have the Tea Party making progress within the Republican Party. On the other hand, the Democrat Party has had many, and held on to many, evil ideals as their foundation. Furthermore; having a right to do evil does not justify an evil as the Democrat Slaver Party has and is still doing.
For these reasons; the Democrat Party should be abandoned and never be defend and/or justified past or present. No one should want to defend the Democrat Slavers of then and now!
How they kept getting a crew for the darned thing certainly surpasses my understanding. If I were a Confederate soldier and someone came up to me and said “We’ve got this new thing called a submarine that we need a crew for. It’s killed its last two crews but we think we may have worked the bugs out. The way it works is you go out and ram a ship with a bomb and then try to get away. Who’s in?” I think I would have said “No thanks. I think I’d rather find a hill to charge up somewhere.”
Not 'racism' but most defiantly it was all about slavery, or more specifically the expansion of slavery. That is not a history promulgated by the Federal government, but by the documented history of that era.