November 20, 2012 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Coffee County Historical Society would like to introduce Burnell and Jimmie Rogers for our November 20, 2012 meeting. Jimmie will appear in her Mourning dress and Burnell in his Confederate uniform complete with his soldier?s pack and other artifacts. They will be speaking about the H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship.
On a cold February night in 1864, eight men squeezed through the tiny hatches of the H.L. Hunley, a strange new warship tied up at a dock in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. They crawled or duck walked through the 4-foot-tall (1.2-meter-tall) passageway to their places on a long, low bench. Each of them sat down at a hand crank attached to the Hunley’s propeller? s.
These eight men were the living power plant for a revolutionary machine?a submarine that could attack an enemy ship from underwater. Led by Confederate Lt. George Dixon, these men would literally dive into the pages of history when the submerged Hunley attached a torpedo to the U.S.S. Housatonic and blew it up. The Union warship was helping to enforce the maritime blockade of Charleston that was slowly strangling the rebellious Confederate States of America’s ability to fight the Civil War.
But the cantankerous Hunley was as dangerous to its crew as it was to the Housatonic, and not long after the Union warship sank, the submarine slipped to the bottom of the bay and never came up.
The name of the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel became the stuff of legend. With the exception of Dixon, however, the names of most of the crewmen who propelled the Hunley to glory were obscured by the mists of time.
That’s now changed, with the discovery and finally the raising of the H. L. Hunley in 2000. After years of painstaking work, a team of archaeologists, forensic experts, and researchers at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston has dug up some interesting information?and more than a few surprises?about the submarine and the crewmen who had rested 30 feet (10 meters) below the surface of the ocean since 1864.
Everyone is invited to come and listen to Mr. & Mrs. Rogers show and tell many things about the H. L. Hunley, especially about the crew and their funeral.
Our meeting will start at 7 PM at the historic Courthouse in downtown Manchester, TN.