OVERVIEW

Friends of the Hunley, Inc.  


Board of Directors

Mr. Samuel W. Howell, IV - Chairman
Mr. Clive Cussler
Mr. Robert Evans
Mr. Bob Peeler
Dr. Charles V. Peery
Mr. Kenneth Riley 



Ex Officio Directors

Congressman Joe Wilson
Mr. Ted Turner

 

The Hunley Commission
Hon. Glenn F. McConnell, Chairman
Mr. Christopher M. Sullivan, Vice Chairman 
Hon. Kenny Bingham
Mr. Randall B. Burbage
Hon. Daniel T. Cooper
Hon. John E. Courson
Hon. Harry B. (Chip) Limehouse, III
RADM William L. Schachte, Jr., 
USN (Ret.) Hon. Daniel Verdin, III

On the night of February 17, 1864, the H.L. Hunley embarked on a dangerous mission that would forever mark her place in history. 

Eight men, led by Lt. George Dixon, entered an experimental vessel that was to become the first successful submarine in world history, with a mission to sink an enemy ship, the USS Housatonic.  That night, the Hunley rammed her spar torpedo into the hull of the Housatonic.  She then surfaced long enough for her crew to signal their comrades on the shore of Sullivanís Island with a blue magnesium light,(or lantern) indicating a successful mission. The shore crew stoked their signal fires and anxiously awaited the Hunley's safe return. But minutes after her historic achievement, the Hunley and all hands onboard vanished into the sea without a trace.  

That night history was made.  At the same moment, a mystery was born. The Hunley became the first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship, a feat as important as the first airplane flown by the Wright brothers.  But why had she suddenly disappeared?  What caused her to sink?  And would she ever be found?

Today, well over a century after Lt. Dixon and his courageous crew vanished, the South Carolina Hunley Commission and a private, non-profit group called the Friends of the Hunley are solving the mystery of the Hunley like a puzzle that reveals new information one piece at a time.  They are engaged in the single most important underwater archaeological expedition of the century.

The Hunley Commission was created by the State of South Carolina to acquire, recover, and preserve the H.L. Hunley submarine for public display.  The Commission is made up of nine members, three of whom are appointed by the Governor, three of whom are appointed by the speaker of the House, and three of whom are appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The Hunley Commission has entered into a Programmatic Agreement with the U.S. Naval Historical Center, the primary trustee of the H.L. Hunley for the federal government, to conserve and ultimately display the H.L. Hunley submarine as well as bury the remains of the brave crew.

The Hunley Commission has created the Friends of the Hunley, Inc. as a 501(c)(3) corporation to aid in raising funds for the recovery, conservation, and ultimate exhibition of this historic vessel.  The Hunley Commission appoints members of the Friends of the Hunley.

Friends of the Hunley is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the H.L. Hunley complete her historic journey home.  The goals of the Friends of the Hunley are: to recover the remains of the brave men who gave their lives and honor them with the proper burial that they earned; to solve the mystery of that first ever submarine attack in 1864; and to conserve one of the greatest, most sought-after artifacts in the history of naval warfare.



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