Since the end of the War Between the States, explorers and treasure seekers have scoured the sea around the site of the fallen Housatonic, hoping to discover the Hunley and her crew. In the years following the Civil War, a reward of $100,000 was even offered by the great showman, P.T. Barnum, to encourage mercenaries to find the lost vessel. But as the years passed by, the story of the Hunley remained shrouded in mystery with her secrets hidden and her resting place unknown for well over a century.
The world would have to wait until the tools of modern technology could begin to unlock the secrets of the Hunley. In 1995, author and adventurer Clive Cussler found the Hunley resting on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Intact and remarkably well preserved, the Hunley was found buried deep within the sand and silt just outside of Charleston Harbor.
The recovery of the Hunley has turned out to be one of the most important single events in the history of South Carolina. After being lost at sea for 137 years, the Hunley was revealed on August 8, 2000, seen for the first time in her entirety, from bow to stern and top to bottom. It was indeed a remarkable moment in history.
Today, well over a century after Lt. Dixon and his courageous crew vanished, the South Carolina Hunley Commission and a private, non-profit group called the Friends of the Hunley are solving the mystery of the Hunley like a puzzle that reveals new information one piece at a time. They are engaged in the single most important archaeological investigations of the century and are everyday coming closer to solving the mystery of why the Hunley never came home.
Friends of the Hunley is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the H.L. Hunley complete her historic journey home. The goals of the Friends of the Hunley are: to recover the remains of the brave men who gave their lives and honor them with the proper burial that they earned; to solve the mystery of that first ever submarine attack in 1864; and to conserve one of the greatest, most sought-after artifacts in the history of naval warfare.