The night of February 17th, 1864,

the submarine H. L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic off the coast of Charleston. The Hunley signaled to shore that she was on the way home, but instead, mysteriously vanished with her crew of eight. That night, history was made and a mystery was born. The Hunley became the first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship. But why had she suddenly disappeared? And would she ever be found?

Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was finally located in 1995 by author Clive Cussler and was raised from the ocean floor in 2000.

Technology of the Past and Future

The Hunley was brought to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, a high-tech laboratory designed to excavate and conserve the submarine. Scientists are now at work to conserve the Hunley and unlock the mysteries of the her disappearance.

Where It All Happens!

The Warren Lasch Conservation Center, home to the H. L. Hunley submarine, in Charleston, South Carolina offers an exciting opportunity for students to learn about a wide array of academic fields, including history, archaeology, forensics, and preservation science. The Hunley Project team invites you and your students to enjoy this unique educational experience during our weekday, private tours for school groups. Students can see the world’s first successful combat submarine in her 90,000 gallon conservation tank, learn through interactive kiosks, and enjoy many exhibits featuring artifacts found onboard the Hunley during excavation as well as facial reconstructions of the crew.

School groups are given a special discounted price of $7.00 per person. In advance of your visit, our staff will work with you to ensure the docent-guided tour is geared toward your classroom’s specific area of focus. We can also provide starter curriculums and a list of supplementary resources for a variety of age groups.

We hope to see you soon and have your students take part in this amazing modern day voyage of discovery surrounding the Hunley.

A visit to the Hunley explores a wide array of exciting areas of study that can be incorporated into your classroom environment.

History: The American Civil War was a turning point in maritime history, and the Hunley represents perhaps one of the most important discoveries in naval warfare in the 19th century. Students will learn about the Civil War, the wartime South and how the Union’s blockade of the ports led to technological breakthroughs.

Conservation: The Hunley was lost for over 130 years. During that time, salts infiltrated the Hunley’s iron skin, which caused the structure to become unstable and threaten its survival. To ensure the world’s first successful combat submarine is preserved for future generations, conservators are embarking on the difficult task to preserve the Hunley and the hundreds of artifacts found onboard.

Archaeology: The Hunley was in essence a time capsule, holding the remains of her eight-man crew and a wide array of items from the 19th century. The ongoing excavation of the Hunley offers a wonderful introduction to archaeology and the process of discovering the past through careful study of artifacts. Currently, archaeologists are studying the submarine using cutting-edge scanning equipment, documenting the placement of remains and artifacts within the crew compartment, and analyzing historical documents to discover the Hunley’s true history and the events that led to the her disappearance.

Science: Working with experts from around the world, the Hunley Project uses many scientific fields to preserve and discover the past. An in-depth forensic investigation is underway that uses studies on the remains of the crew, DNA analysis, and genealogical research with the goal of identifying the men who served onboard the Hunley over a century ago.

There are a variety of educational resources to help prepare for your school group’s visit to the Hunley lab and to develop post-educational curriculums. Websites to Explore: • Hunley On-line Education Center • National Underwater & Marine Agency • Naval Historical Center Books and Magazines: Raising the Hunley, by Brian Hicks and Schuyler Kropf • National Geographic Magazine, July 2002 • Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley, Sally Walker Videos to Watch: • National Geographic’s Raising the Hunley Rebel Beneath the Waves • TNT Movie The Hunley • The History Channel’s Hunley: New Revelations