The Hunley: The Civil War’s Secret Weapon

Written by Larry C. Kerr
Review by John Manhold

In this fictional account of the building and use of the Confederate ‘submarine,’ Kerr portrays the South as dying as a result of the Union stranglehold on their life-blood: shipping. A group of Southern businessmen meet to attempt to ease that hold, and ultimately they learn of a rumored submersible craft devised during the American Revolution. Following the lead, they obtain plans of a crude vessel and construct a prototype.

The story continues along an interesting plotline involving the construction and deployment of the submersible against tremendous odds ranging from tricky shakedowns to governmental indifference. On the plot level the tale is well-written and engaging, including a romantic theme, and the history is fascinating.