Lowcountry remembers the H.L. Hunley - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Lowcountry remembers the H.L. Hunley

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Crews fire off guns to remember the Hunley. Crews fire off guns to remember the Hunley.
SULLIVANS ISLAND, SC -

A big piece of Charleston's Civil War history had its 150th anniversary Monday night.

Back in 1864, the H.L. Hunley and the crew of eight aboard the submarine left Breach Inlet on a mission to destroy a Union ship, The Housatonic.

After signaling its success with the destruction of the ship, the Hunley mysteriously disappeared. It was not until 1995, when researchers discovered the sunken hull off the coast of Sullivan's Island. It was raised in 2000.

Monday night, many dressed in Civil War uniforms and mourning clothes to hold a memorial service for the eight men of the Hunley and five men of the Housatonic who died that night.

It was also a chance to remember just how advanced the Hunley was.

"The Hunley was a technological wonder for this time period," Randy Burbage said. "It had a lot of innovative things on it that people nowadays don't realize it had."

Burbage is the Vice Chairman of the Hunley Commission. He was one of the many speakers who talked to participants about the importance of honoring the submarine.

"It was one of those Charleston mysteries, and we still don't know exactly what happened to it," Burbage said. "We think the blast column knocked the crew out, and there's one hole in the forward hatch that probably contributed to it sinking that night."

As a bell rung out, Civil War re-enactors gave a rose to 13 women, who were dressed as the widows of the crew. Outside on Breach Inlet, the very spot from where the crew left, a tradition gun and cannon salute filled the air as wreaths and flowers were placed into the water.

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