Friday, July 30, 2010

Northeast Brigade Workshop


     The Northeast Brigade will hold a workshop on August 14th at the Boaz public library. The meeting will begin with registration at 8:30 am and will officially begin at 8:45 with opening remarks. The workshop is open to all members of the SCV. Our topics are varied and will last approximately 30 minutes for each plus some time for questions. Our goal is to be finished by 1 pm. For those that want to eat lunch afterwards, we have a room at Ryans a few blocks from the library.

     Please encourage your members to come, especially your camp officers. We hope to provide some useful information to help grow your camp.

     The agenda is attached. The library is located at 404 Thomas Avenue in Boaz. Use this link to get a map.

If you would like a copy of the agenda please email Jimmy Hill at

Jimmy Hill
NE Brigade

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CSS Hunley, celebrating the submariner legacy

©The Dolphin

By: MC1(AW) Peter D. Blair

GROTON, Conn. - In American history and in the submarine community, the date February 17, 1864, marks a tremendous milestone.

On that day, 146 years ago, the CSS Hunley sank the USS Housatonic and became the first submarine to sink an enemy ship. After sinking the sloop-of-war the crew signaled the Confederate forces ashore and then disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean, creating a mystery that would last for more than a century.

As the Civil War raged on and Union vessels tightened the blockades of the confederate ports, ways to break through and deliver much needed supplies were being devised.

Horace Hunley, a planter, lawyer and inventor conceived, designed and built a vessel for that very purpose.

Built from a cylindrical boiler with iron straps and rivets, the Hunley was revolutionary. The crew could submerge or raise the vessel simply by opening ballast tanks located on either end of the sub. The spar torpedo on the front of the sub was designed to punch through the hull of an enemy vessel, planting the explosive charge and then allowing the sub to back away and detonate the charge from a safe distance.

As the crew of the Hunley approached the Housatonic, Union forces fired upon the sub with small arms fire, but the crew successfully planted their torpedo and destroyed the vessel. The Housatonic burned for three minutes before sinking into Charleston Harbor. The Hunley crew was never heard from again. Rewards were offered to anyone who could find the sub, and even P.T. Barnum offered 100,000 dollars to whoever found it.

In 1995, author and adventurer Clive Cussler found the Hunley resting on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Intact and remarkably well preserved, the Hunley was found buried deep within the sand and silt just outside of Charleston Harbor.

On August 8, 2000, Hunley breached the surface of the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in over 100 years as a crane lifted the legendary sub from the ocean floor.

On April 17, 2004, the remains of the crew of H. L. Hunley were interred in Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery with full military honors. A crowd estimated at between 35,000 and 50,000, including 10,000 period military and civilian reenactors, were present for what some called the "Last Confederate Funeral."

Today conservation continues on the Hunley, as researchers hope to one day put the sub on display.

For more information about the Hunley, visit

©The Dolphin 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

CSS Alabama cannon makes Mobile its home

Author: Fox 10 Television, Mobile, Alabama

One of the guns of the confederate raider, CSS Alabama has returned to the home of its captain, Admiral Raphael Semmes. The CSS Alabama sank in about 200 feet of water off Cherbourg, France, after an engagement with the Union's USS Kearsage on June 11, 1864. The recovered artifacts, many of them already on display at The Museum of Mobile, provide information about the CSS Alabama’s construction, her technologies, armaments and the lives of those who served on her. Through archaeological projects such as the CSS Alabama excavation we share the story of our past.

“The City of Mobile carpenters are constructing a cannon carriage for its eventual display in the Museum of Mobile. The exhibit will open once the gallery renovation is complete. Summer is the projected opening date,” said Jacob Laurence, curator of exhibits. “You never know what may happen with a gun that size if you are not careful and plan accordingly.”

The cannon will be a welcome addition to those items the Museum of Mobile already has on loan from the US Navy. It will become the centerpiece in the 700 square foot exhibit funded by the Mobile Museum Board. The gun is one of eight guns that were originally on the deck of the CSS Alabama. Six were 32-pounder cannon, which means they shot a 32-pound round cannon ball and were stationed at the edges of the deck facing starboard or port. The other two were larger pivot guns that were located in the middle of the deck and fired conical shot by contrast to the gun the Museum will display. The gun is black in color, approximately 10 feet long, and weighs 5000 pounds (2 1/2 tons). The cannon is one of only three recovered of the original six of that size. One is at the Navy Yard in Washington, the other in Charleston, SC. This cannon will be on a long-term loan from the US Navy Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington D.C.

“The Museum of Mobile is very pleased that one of the deck guns raised from the CSS Alabama has arrived in our city and will be included in our permanent exhibits gallery,” stated David Alsobrook, director. “Since Admiral Raphael Semmes’s postwar residence and his gravesite are in Mobile, I think our Museum is a logical home for this artifact. Many people have helped bring this project to fruition. I want to thank attorney Robert Edington for his extraordinary efforts in leading this acquisition project from the very beginning to its final stages. I think it’s safe to say that the Museum of Mobile wouldn’t have obtained this artifact without the gifted leadership of Mr. Edington. We also deeply appreciate the technical expertise of Dr. Paul Mardikian and the Hunley conservators in Charleston, SC, and the collegial assistance of Dr. Robert Neyland of the US Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, DC. I also wish to point out that the Museum of Mobile’s Board, under the leadership of our chair, Tony Kendall, underwrote the cost for the renovation of our new exhibits gallery which will include the gun and for other expenses associated with the shipment of the gun, along with strong support from the Friends of the Museum of Mobile and the CSS Alabama Association. We are all looking forward to the movement of the gun into the Museum of Mobile and the fabrication of this new exhibits gallery, which will occur in the coming months. We have not established a date for the opening of the new exhibits gallery, and that announcement will be forthcoming.”

Tony Kendall, chairman, Museum Board said, "We at the Museum of Mobile are pleased that months of diligent efforts have brought a cannon from the CSS Alabama to Mobile, the city Admiral Semmes called home. This along with the ship's bell, already on display, is yet another reason to visit the city's museum of history downtown."

The Museum of Mobile is located at 111 South Royal Street. For more information on the CSS Alabama cannon or other exhibits, please call 208-7569.