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Civil War Sub Now Has Web Site

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley was carefully lifted from the ocean floor two months ago. Civil war and nautical fans are thrilled the Hunley is now on display in Charleston. But the famed boat may also be visited on the Web -- and you can even launch an underwater attack.

After 136 years on the bottom of Charleston Harbor, the submarine Hunley was raised -- with her crew of nine still aboard.

The Hunley was the first sub to sink an enemy ship -- the Union Navy's Housatonic.

Music and lots of interactive features make the Hunley organization's Web site a "must" visit.

Leading the search for the Confederate sub was author Clive Cussler.

The history of the boat, which sank twice before her final plunge to the bottom, is shown with lots of pictures.

A panoramic view shows the Hunley now resting in her cradle in a state-of-the-art conservation laboratory.

A Quicktime movie shows how the sub was raised from the bottom using foam-filled bags slung under her.

The Hunley Web site also offers a simulator that lets you try to sink the Housatonic. Not an easy task.

A briefing about the submarine's controls helps. Follow the compass to try to find the enemy ship. Submerge and order the men to crank the propeller at full speed.

The idea is to ram a 135-pound barrel of explosives attached to a spear into the hull of the target.

Visiting the H.L. Hunley on line is a great history lesson, one you might want to take with your children.

Many Hunley fans the world over are interested in going to Charleston to view the boat for themselves.

A Raleigh-based Web site that sells printable tickets online was swamped a few days ago when it offered Hunley display tickets.

E-tix says tickets are available for the last weekend in October, and the first two weekends in November.

One historical note: H.L. Hunley, the man who created the sub, also died on it during its second dive Oct. 15, 1863.


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