After being lost at sea for over a century, the H. L. Hunley was finally located in 1995 and then raised on August 8, 2000. She was transported to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center and immediately placed in a large, 75,000-gallon steel tank filled with chilled, fresh water. Since then an unprecedented and delicate scientific process has unfolded to excavate and conserve the submarine.
The excavation and analysis of the Hunley continues to provide many clues for archaeologists, conservators, anthropologists, and historians as they seek to understand the events leading to the loss of the submarine and her crew, an event that also marked the beginnings of submarine naval combat.
During excavation, the Hunley proved to be a truly unique time capsule, holding the remains of the eight-man crew and a wide array of fascinating artifacts from the 19th century. At the same time, conservators began an unprecedented and challenging preservation process that is still underway today.