Thrilling Chapter [from the Richmond, Va, Dispatch, July 21, 1902.]
In the history of the Confederate States Navy. Work of submarine boats.W. A. Alexander tells the story of Captain Hunley and his brave Assistants—How the Housatonic was destroyed in Charleston Harbor.
Visitors to the Spanish Fort, says the New Orleans Picayune, may still see, half submerged in the weeds and flowers growing on the bank of bayou St. John, a rusty vessel of curious shape. It is built of iron, about twenty feet long, and besides a propeller at the stern, is adorned on either side by strangely-shaped board metal fins. This boat is, or ought to be, one of the most interesting relics of the Civil war. It was, as stated in the accompanying narrative, built during the war by Captain Hunley as a submarine torpedo-boat, and though never used in battle is the prototype of the vessel which subsequently destroyed the Federal cruiser Housatonic. Although within recent years a great deal has been written and stated about submarine war ships, the fact remains that these Confederate boats are the only ones which have ever successfully endured the test of actual combat. The narrative printed herewith is the first complete account of the building of these remarkable craft and of the experiments which were made with them.