“The original citation was written in late 1990 – early 1991, nine to ten years before the Hunley submarine was recovered. At which time all names were not known, J. Miller not being listed and C. Lumpkin listed as C. Simpkins. I made these two corrections here.”
“Attack of the CSS H. L. Hunley on the USS Housatonic
Outside Charleston Harbor, South Carolina
17 February 1864”
“With full confidence in the Hunley’s value as an attack submarine capable of breaking the enemy blockade, Lieutenant Dixon persuaded the Commander-in-Chief to rescind a directive banning further use of the vessel. Despite the tragic loss of two previous crews and the prevailing opinion that service aboard the Hunley courted death, Corporal C. F. Carlsen of the German Artillery and five seamen from the CSS Indian Chief – Becker, Collins, Ridgeway, Lumpkin, Wicks and Pvt. Miller-volunteered for duty aboard the vessel. Under Lieutenant Dixon’s exhaustive training, the crew became proficient in the submarine’s operation, yet found that protective measures by the enemy-night lights and chain booms-and the prevailing winds and bad weather, thwarted their plans. Finally, abandoning the relative calm waters of Charleston Harbor for the hazards of the open sea, Dixon and his crew – under cover of night with nothing to guide them but ship lights and dead reckoning – surprised, attacked, and sank the USS Housatonic with an improvised torpedo as the warship lay anchored more than two miles off shore. Despite sending a signal notifying shore batteries of their return, the crew of the Hunley was never seen again. Their mysterious fate remains an ironic twist to their enduring triumph as the world’s first submariners.”
In 1995 the Hunley was located, and recovered in 2000. In 2004 the eight man crew was laid to rest with the first two crews of the CSS H. L. Hunley submarine in Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, South Carolina.
The third crew of the H.L. Hunley has received the medal twice. The first on March 3, 1991 when a single medal was awarded to them. This was the early design and is on display at the Museum of Mobile, in Alabama. They were sponsored by the Raphael Semmes Camp 11, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Mobile. Then, on August 3, 2000, in Charleston, SC, the eight crewmen of the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley received the first eight of the newly designed medals. These medals are numbered and Lieutenant Dixon received number one. These eight medals are now on display at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where the Hunley submarine is housed, in North Charleston, SC. This was just days before the Hunley submarine was raised from the bottom of Charleston harbor. The presenter of these medals was the highest decorated living veteran in America, Rear Admiral Eugene Fluckey. Having received four Navy Crosses and the Congressional Medal of Honor himself for his actions on board the WWII submarine USS Barb, Admiral Fluckey was humbled to present the crew of the first submarine in history to sink an enemy vessel during time of war with their Confederate Medals of Honor.