The following is an attempt to get students on the secondary level familiar with the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley.

In February of 1864, the Hunley was the first underwater vessel to sink an enemy ship in combat. In more recent times, a TNT movie has been made of the Hunley and, more importantly, the vessel has been raised from Charleston harbor and is currently undergoing extensive excavation by archaeologists and forensic scientists.

This exercise is also aimed at getting students to recognize, examine and understand primary historical documents. Teachers and professors can employ this material in a variety of ways, one of which can be an in-class discussion and debate of the events and importance surrounding the submarine and it's success.


I. Brief Overview of history and deployment

Objective: Educate class about history and development of Hunley.

Using the following resource materials, "The History of the H.L. Hunley" by Mark Ragan
, the Chronology of The Hunley, The Hunley Timeline, the Important Players of The Hunley Story and The Hunley Fact Sheet, discuss the following topics with the class:

1. Give a brief description of maritime warfare and ship design during the Civil War.

2. Introduce a few of the problems of confederate army, including the issues of the harbor blockade, shipping and trade problems.

3. Introduce the idea of The Hunley, the weapon of stealth.

4. Discuss the origins of The Hunley and its transport to Charleston.

5. Introduce and briefly discuss the crew and training, including the earlier submarine tragedies.

6. Discuss the problems in achieving the submarine solution, including issues that had to be worked out in training – such as oxygen, speed, buoyancy, currents, weather.

7. Discuss political issues/problems that surrounded the submarine project, including the two previous submersible failures.

8. Discuss the actual deployment and the strategy of attack on Housatonic.

9. Discuss the questions surrounding the possibility of no return from the missions, including the possibility of sinking, how to handle the holes in the ballast, the difficulties of dealing with the currents and the possibility of being taken out to sea.

II. Geography of Events

Objective: Teach/reinforce geography while tracking path of the Hunley through the US.

Lecture topics and discussion points:
1. Discuss the trip of The Hunley across Southeast by rail, identifying major cities that served as stopping places along the route. Use the US map to locate these cities. Discuss the importance of each city, including the trial site on the Ashley River, Charleston - the final destination, and the actual attack or battle run (including starting point, ship locale, Ft. Sumter, nearest islands, location of sunken sub.

III. Engineering Advancement

Objective: Educate the class about the engineering advancement of the Hunley.

Lecture topics and discussion points:
1. Using the diagram of a workable submarine, identify and discuss the importance of each of the following submarine parts (what purpose did each of these parts serve?):
a. Use of ballasts
b. Diving planes
c. Spar torpedo
d. Propulsion
e. Navigation
f. Breathing/oxygen

2. Briefly discuss the following engineering adversities or problems to overcome in the development of The Hunley and how the development team answered each issue.
a. How to float and sink a boat?
b. How to control depth?
c. Use of metal in wooden era.
e. How to administer a weapon - should it be a torpedo, mines, ramming, dragging, etc?
f. Propulsion (propeller, engine)
g. How to have a successful mission, meaning locate, approach ship, destroy, retreat?
h. How to keep the crew alive (oxygen, use of snorkelbox, hatches)

IV. The Hunley Today

Objective: Educate class on the recovery and conservation activities surrounding the Hunley today by reading the text and discussing the following questions:

1. How was the sunken submarine located and raised?

2. Since there was so little written record of the Hunley, its design, mission and crew, discuss the "surprises" that have been learned through the recovery and excavation phases of study.

3. Discuss the use of advanced technology in recording and evaluating the findings of the scientific team studying the Hunley.

V. Classroom Teaching Aids

Objective:
Educate about the history and development of the Hunley through interactive games for the classroom.

I. Build the Sub
Place pieces of the sub in correct location upon correct answering of questions.

Game Rules

Questions and Answers

History
Geography
Engineering
Current Information

II. Jeopardy-type Game
Answer questions from predetermined categories for points.
Game Rules

Questions and Answers

History
Geography
Engineering
Current Information


III. Trivial Pursuit--type Board Game
Answer questions from predetermined categories for points.

Game Rules

Questions and Answers

History
Geography
Engineering
Current Information