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Scientists Open Watch from Civil War Sub

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posted on Mar, 7 2003 @ 02:24 PM
Yahoo News Report:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - Scientists who opened a pocketwatch from the Civil War submarine Hunley found a cloudy crystal and corroded hands but the information within the ornate timepiece will take them closer to solving riddles about the hand-cranked sub, researchers said on Friday.

The 43-foot (13-meter) Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in battle, was lost until 1995 when a dive team found it off South Carolina. The Confederate sub was built to break through a Union blockade of Charleston Harbor. It plunged a spar loaded with explosives into the wooden hull of the Housatonic. The sub was raised in August 2000. Scientists found the watch, along with the remains of Hunley captain Lt. George Dixon, in blocks of sediment taken from the sub last year.

Scientists first opened the watch case and then had to open the crystal, which was opaque, in order to see the hands. The minute hand stopped at 22 minutes after the hour and the second hand at 20 seconds. The hour hand was broken but appeared to point between 6 and 9, they said.

The scientists say the position of the hands on the gold watch allowed them to narrow the time frame for when it stopped. The new information may give scholars an answer to the question of how long the Hunley survived after she torpedoed the USS Housatonic at about 8:45 p.m. on Feb. 17, 1864, researchers said at a news conference in Charleston. "We are now able to narrow the time frame down to between 6:00 and 9:00, but the question remains, is it a.m. or p.m.?" said Dr. Robert Neyland, director of the Hunley project.

While conclusions are hard to draw pending further examination, researchers said the hands could indicate that the watch kept ticking for up to 12 hours after the attack.

posted on Mar, 7 2003 @ 03:07 PM
Amazing how they are able to calculate about when the watch stopped. This is incredible news that they even found a watch, let alone that they figured out when it stopped. However, I think that it is... how to say... a glorification of the Confederacy to be so obsessed with it. Obviously, they did not succeed in breaking the Union line, but it makes it seem like a good thing that they attacked. And for someone who is strongly opposed to the Confederate ideals, I see this as being a slap in the face to the former North.

signing out,

[Edited on 3/7/03 by High_Lord_Warrior]


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