I am fascinated in the development of underwater technology and the building of submarines such as the H.L. Hunley in Mobile during the Civil War. In this regard I would love to share some really interesting information with you.

You can download a copy of a recent article I wrote about the Hunley and Bethel Church for the Gulf South Historical Review by clicking on the icon below.


The Seaman’s Bethel Church is now located on the campus of the University of South Alabama. Although there is a conflicting account, two contemporary eyewitnesses stated that this church was the assembly site of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, that on February 17, 1864 detonated an explosive device under the hull of the U.S.S. Housatonic in Charleston Harbor to become the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat.



Obelisk marking the grave site of Michael Hines in the Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, AL.

Michael Hines (1822-1864) was a blacksmith, a city alderman, a foundry owner, and he served for 18 years as the foreman of the Torrent Volunteer Fire Company (Company #5). He was born in France and may have been the “Frenchman” who purportedly attempted an unsuccessful attack on the Union blockading fleet in a submarine of his own invention.

(See Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series I, vol XIX, p. 628)

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