H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War, but a large role in naval warfare. The Confederate States Ship (CSS) Hunley demonstrated both the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare. The CSS Hunley was the first submarine to sink an enemy warship, although the vessel was also lost following the successful attack. The Confederates lost 32 crewmen in CSS Hunley’s career. The submarine was renamed after the death of her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley, and some time after she had been taken into the Confederate forces at Charleston, South Carolina.
H. L. Hunley, almost 40 feet (12 meters) long, was built at Mobile, Alabama, launched in July 1863, and shipped by rail to Charleston, South Carolina on August 12, 1863. On February 17, 1864, Hunley attacked and sank the 1240-short ton (1124 metric tons) screw sloop USS Housatonic in Charleston harbor, but soon after, Hunley also apparently sank, drowning all eight crewmen. Over 136 years later, on August 8, 2000, the wreck was recovered, and on April 17, 2004, the DNA-identified remains of the eight Hunley crewmen were interred in Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery with full military honors.