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OT: Hunley news: Monday, May 7, 2001

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  • lilsteve68@aol.com
    Number of sailors cranking revised Archaeologists still think there were nine sailors on submarine Saturday, May 5, 2001 BY SCHUYLER KROPF Of The Post and
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6 11:53 PM
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      Number of sailors cranking revised
      Archaeologists still think there were nine sailors on submarine
      Saturday, May 5, 2001

      BY SCHUYLER KROPF
      Of The Post and Courier staff

      The manpower that drove the Hunley apparently was not as strong as originally
      thought.     Instead of eight cranking Confederates, there were seven.    
      Archaeologists still believe nine sailors were on board the sub, but there
      appear to be only seven hand positions for the Hunley's hand-turned propeller
      shaft.
      And in another design enlightenment, the propeller shaft doesn't run the
      length of the crew compartment, as previously thought. The shaft stops at an
      area near the forward hatch.

      The remaining space is taken up by an air bellows, a leather and wood bag
      that, when pumped, circulated breathable air through the sub via two snorkel
      pipes protruding from the top deck. The eighth man was apparently assigned to
      the air pump full time.  "We were greatly surprised that the crank ended at
      Grid Two (near the front hatch)," project manager Bob Neyland said at a press
      conference Friday.

      The shaft is connected to the starboard (right) wall of the sub's interior by
      a series of brackets. The crew, meanwhile, apparently all sat on the left
      side while they cranked the sub. The shaft apparently is connected to
      cranking gears at the rear of the sub that bring the momentum back to center
      and to the propeller. The sub's speed probably didn't suffer as a result of
      having only seven men to power it, Neyland said, adding that historical
      records show the sub made a speed of 4-5 knots.

      Hunley Commission Chairman Glenn McConnell said the bellows could play a key
      role in determining how the sub sank, which still remains a mystery. About
      three-quarters of the sub has been excavated so far, but not the area forward
      of the front hatch where sub commander Lt. George Dixon would have been
      stationed.

      More insight about life aboard the sub was also disclosed Friday.
      Archaeologists have found another canteen inside, the bottom base of a wax
      candle and a second pencil.  The excavation is still weeks from completion.
      The excavation team now is looking for ways to remove the bellows so they can
      get to the forward section where Dixon's remains are believed to be. The team
      spent Friday afternoon X-raying the area.  The remains of eight Hunley
      sailors have been discovered so far.
          



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