On August 15, Hunley Chapter #2667, South Carolina Division, UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy), celebrated its first anniversary! Despite a number of members being out of town, those members and guests still in town observed the occasion with a dinner at quaint, family-owned Rechaud’s restaurant in Greer. The chapter reserved the entire restaurant and enjoyed wonderful food and the attentive service of Rechaud’s friendly staff. A Powerpoint photo show ran continuously on a screen in the background which highlighted the many activities that chapter members were involved in during the last UDC year.
Hunley Chapter has had a very busy and successful time during its short history. Nearly half of the chapter members are docents at Greenville’s Museum and Library of Confederate History and three members received the national SCV Ladies Appreciation Award for their service to the museum. Several members have also written educational handouts for the museum, as well as helped oversee the museum’s research library. Members have provided musical and living history presentations at schools and fundraisers. They have contributed over $1500 to several Confederate museums, including the Hunley lab in Charleston. Members have also attended a number of memorial services and historical programs, including the Stephen Dill Lee Institute and the Abbeville Institute. Some members are veteran reenactors who attend a number of reenactments each year. Others participate on shooting teams with the North South Skirmish Association. Two members, the Joyful Harps duo, are recording a harp CD of vintage music that includes music from the War Between the States. Members are also assisting the local SCV camp in documenting Confederate graves in various cemeteries. Members visited approximately 50 historic sites. They have also donated 4 to 5 boxes of goods to our soldiers overseas every quarter and recently received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Army for their efforts.
The chapter chose the Hunley name because much of the Hunley’s history is unique to South Carolina. The Hunley was the world’s first submarine to successfully fulfill its mission of sinking an enemy warship (the USS Housatonic). The Hunley’s entire mission took place in Charleston Harbor. After the mission was completed on February 17, 1864, the Hunley and its crew mysteriously disappeared.
The Hunley was discovered in Charleston harbor in 1995 and currently resides in Charleston at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center. Eventually, once the Hunley is fully restored, a world-class museum will be built in Charleston to showcase this amazing submarine and the daring mission of its crew. The Hunley was a remarkable, cutting-edge invention that was built with technology many decades ahead of its time. Archeologists continue to be astounded at the level of planning and expertise that went into the design and workmanship of the machine.