Described as a remarkable experience, a weekend tour of the Hunley is a must for visitors to the area. During the Civil War, eight men entered an experimental vessel that was to become the first submarine in world history to successfully sink an enemy ship. On the night of February 17th, 1864, the Hunley rammed her spar torpedo into the hull of the USS Housatonic causing the ship to sink within minutes. The Hunley signaled to shore that she had completed the attack and was on the way home, but instead, the Hunley and all hands onboard mysteriously 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. But why had she suddenly disappeared? What caused her to sink? And would she ever be found?
After being lost at sea for over 130 years, the Hunley was located in 1995 and raised on August 8, 2000. The submarine was brought to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston, where scientists continue to work to unlock the mysteries of the Hunley. During excavation of the crew compartment, the submarine proved to also be a time capsule, holding a wide array of artifacts from the nineteenth century.
Come visit the Hunley and be part of this historic event! Tours include actually seeing the Hunley in her conservation tank, artifacts found on board, including Lt. Dixon’s legendary gold coin that saved his life in battle, official Hunley gift store, and new interactive exhibits that are fun for all ages. Tours are available exclusively on the weekends, on Saturdays from 10am-5pm and Sundays from 12- 5pm.
Walk-up tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis, and advance reservations can be made at www.HUNLEY.org or by calling 877-4HUNLEY (877-448-6539).