With the Hunley's arrival in Charleston on the morning of August 12, 1863, a suitable mooring from which to strike out at the ever-growing enemy fleet was sought. Horace Hunley arrived shortly after his namesake submarine and soon filed for a requisition for nine uniforms to be worn by the Singer crew during their nocturnal patrols.
"August 21,1863. Special Requisition: For nine gray jackets, three to be trimmed in gold braid. Circumstances: That the men for whom they are ordered are on special secret service and that it is necessary that they be clothed in the Confederate Army uniform. H.L. Hunley."
One day after Captain Hunley received the Confederate jackets he had ordered for his crew to wear, the Union forces on Morris Island fired the first shots into the city of Charleston from a huge siege cannon nicknamed "The Swamp Angel." Charleston was now under heavy fire, and the Confederate forces attempting to protect the city were desperately in need of a strategic advantage.
Sketch of Union shells exploding
in the city of Charleston.
They turned their hopes to the small, but lethal "torpedo fish" from Mobile: the Hunley.
As the Union hammered Charleston with cannons, Confederate defenders became more and more anxious for a naval victory. Why hadn't the small submarine made an attack?
Some in the Confederate military viewed Horace Hunley and the Singer Corps as engineers and prominent businessmen, with not enough military or naval experience to be in control of a weapon of massive potential that could very well save Charleston from the Union attack.
This may be why the Confederate military seized the Hunley submarine and turned it over to the Navy.
Besieged Charleston remained hopeful that the curious torpedo boat would be able to break the blockade of ships that were choking the city...
The Civil War
The First Crew
The Second Crew
The Third Crew
The Historic Mission
Complete The Journey