There were at least three United States ironclads that were sunk off Charleston, South Carolina, during the Civil War. They were the Keokuk, Weehawken and Patapsco. The following information has been adapted from the book “Shipwrecks of South Carolina & Georgia 1523-1865” by Dr. E. Lee Spence, (Sea Research Society, 1984). © 1984, 2010. All rights reserved.
The Civil War submarine “H.L. Hunley” is important because it was the first submarine in the history of the entire world to sink an enemy ship. Who discovered it is important because the discovery of the “Hunley” has been described by government officials as the most important underwater archaeological discovery of the 20th century. I (E. Lee Spence) discovered the “Hunley” in 1970 (and I have lots of documentation to prove it). Unfortunately, there are some others, for reasons that they should explain, who claim that fiction writer Clive Cussler and NUMA found the wreck in 1995. I don’t dispute that an expedition funded in part by NUMA and/or Cussler dug it up in 1995, but I absolutely disagree that what they did was discovery. I disagree because I had already published the wreck’s correct location and it was no longer lost to be discovered.