The CS H.L. HUNLEY, the first submarine to sink an enemy warship, left from a point near here on the evening of February 17, 1864, and proceeded out Breach Inlet toward the USS HOUSATONIC, anchored nearby. The HUNLEY rammed a fixed torpedo into the HOUSATONIC's hull below the waterline, sinking it within an hour with a loss of 5 Union sailors. The HUNLEY itself sank as well about 3.5 mi. offshore with its entire 9-man crew of Confederate volunteers.
The HUNLEY, named for Horace L. Hunley (1823-1963), an early promoter of Confederate submarines, had already lost a 5-man crew in August 1863 and an 8-man crew, including Hunley, in October 1863 during trial runs in Charleston Harbor.Its last crew, commanded by Lt. George E. Dixon of the 21st Alabama, included Fred Collins, James A Wicks, C. Simkins, Arnold Becker, and __ Ridgeway of the Navy, C.F. Carlson of Wagner's Co., S.C. Arty., __ white, and __ Miller.