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Civil War Submarine Crew Found
By BRUCE SMITH
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Archeologists digging beneath a college football stadium have found the remains of 27 Confederate soldiers, including four believed to be crew members on the first submarine to sink an enemy ship.
The H.L. Hunley, a hand-cranked submarine made of old locomotive boilers, made history in February 1864, when it sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic. It never returned, sinking with its nine-man crew.
The previous year, two other crews were lost, one when the sub sank at its moorings. Five members of that first Hunley crew were buried in a sailors' cemetery over which Johnson Hagood Stadium was later built at The Citadel.
``The mission is accomplished,'' state Sen. Glenn McConnell said Tuesday. ``We have the Hunley crew.''
When the stadium was built in the 1940s, a clerical error resulted in headstones being removed but the remains being left behind.
Last month, archaeologists and volunteers began working to recover the remains from 5 feet under the stands and a room used by a booster club for the state military college. At times they had to dig by hand, out of fear that tools would damage the brittle remains.
``I don't think there is any question that what we have here ... are the remains of the first crew of the H.L. Hunley,'' said Jon Leader, deputy state archaeologist.
McConnell said the whereabouts of the remains of the fifth crewman is still a mystery.
The original Hunley crew will be reburied next spring following a period military procession through Charleston's historic district, McConnell said.
He also said the target date for raising the Hunley from water just offshore in Charleston is January 2001.