Brought from Mobile, Alabama in August 1863 to help defeat the Union navalblockade of Charleston, H.L. Hunleybecame the first submarine in historyto sink an enemy ship. Armed with a spar-mounted torpedo, it sank theFederal blockading vessel, Housatonic,the night of February 17, 1864. Althoughaccomplishing its objective, H.L. Hunleynever returned to port.
Eluding searchers for more than a century,the submarine was concidered perma-nently lost. It was not, however, forgotten in Charleston. Recognizing thevessel's pioneer place in modern undersea warfare, The CharlestonMuseum between 1967 and 1979operated a branch "Hunley Museum",which featured this full-scale model.
Built according to the limited historicaldata available at the time, the Museum'smodel differs in several details from theoriginal vessel, which was found in1955 and raised on August 8, 2000.Owned by the United States government, H.L. Hunley is under the authority of theSouth Carolina Hunley Commission.