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2000s / Funeral for Confederate Submariners
On February 17, 1864, the small navy of the Confederate States of America could claim a military first: A submarine sank an enemy ship. The crew of the H.L. Hunley, under the command of George Dixon, achieved the feat of sinking the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor, only to mysteriously sink later that same day with the loss of its entire crew of eight sailors. The H.L. Hunley had a short, checkered history. Twice it sank during training operations, killing a total of 13 men--including its namesake inventor who was aboard for the second catastrophe. Both times the hull was raised, repaired and put back into service. The hull of the Hunley was first located in 1995 and was raised in 2000. The remains of the brave sailors were finally laid to rest on April 17, 2004. Thousands of curious but respectful onlookers, dressed in both blue and gray, turned out for the ceremony at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, SC. Scientists and military historians are still trying to discover exactly why the submarine sank.