The secrets of the Confederate State Ship Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel during the Civil War, will be the topic of a talk by Wilton resident Joseph Zarzynski on January 18 at 2 p.m. at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs.
Zarzynski, the Executive Director of Bateaux Below, Inc., a group specializing on underwater archeology in Lake George, the is the author of two books on underwater archeology and the co-producer three documentary films about underwater archeology including "The Lost Radeau: North America's Oldest Intact Warship".
The CSS Hunley was built in Mobile, Alabama and then shipped Charleston South Carolina in 1863. The goal was to use this manpowered submarine to sink Union warships which were blockading the port and choking southern commerce. The crew consisted of eight men; seven cranking the propeller, and a captain. An explosive charge held in front of the submarine by a long iron spar was to be exploded against a Union ship.
The submarine killed 13 of the first 16 sailors who volunteered to crew it during test missions; including its inventor Charles Hunley . On February 17 the Hunley left Charleston and managed to sink the USS Housatonic, but the submarine was lost and never returned to port.
The remains of the Hunley were discovered in 1995 and the wreckage was recovered in 2000 and is being examined and preserved .
One of those involved in salvaging the Hunley was underwater thriller write Clive Cussler.
Zarzyniski's talk will focus on what has been learned about the Hunley as well as the CSS David another Confederate secret weapon that was designed to attack Union ships .
The talk is sponsored by the Friends of the New York State Military Museum, a non-profit that supports the Military Museum and is hosted by the museum.
The 2 p.m. January 18 program is free.