This Week in the Civil War - 645

Aug 28, 2013

On Wednesday, August 26, 1863 President Jefferson Davis contacted South Carolina’s commander, General Pierre Beauregard.  Davis was justifiably concerned about the Union assault against Charlestown’s defenses and constantly questioned Beauregard about his troop strength, possible reinforcements, and potential strategies for defending the city. 

Beauregard apparently intended to wage naval war against the Union fleet opposing Charlestown.  Transported by railroad from Mobile, Alabama, the submarine C.S.S.Hunley—destined to be the first submarine to sink an enemy warship in 1864—arrived at Charlestown and immediately commenced training exercises. 

However, on Saturday, August 29, the Hunley sank, killing five of her crew.  She would be raised, only to sink a second time before being raised yet again, so she could successfully attack the Union fleet and bring honor to the Confederate navy.