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Confederate sub, the first in the world to sink an enemy warship, made history 150 years ago

  • 80dd2564c55915064c0f6a706700a542.jpg

    FILE - The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sits in a conservation tank after a steel truss that had surrounded it was removed in this Jan. 12, 2012, file photo, taken at a conservation lab in North Charleston, S.C. Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, is the 150th anniversary of the attack in which the Hunley sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston, S.C., during the Civil War becoming the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File) (The Associated Press)

  • e394da05c55815064c0f6a7067008c37.jpg

    FILE - The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sits in a conservation tank after a steel truss that had surrounded it was removed in this Jan. 12, 2012, file photo, taken at a conservation lab in North Charleston, S.C. Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, is the 150th anniversary of the attack in which the Hunley sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston, S.C., during the Civil War, becoming the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised from a barge by a crane at the former Charleston Naval Base in North Charleston, S.C., in this Aug. 8, 2000, file photo. Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, is the 150th anniversary of the attack in which the Hunley sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston, S.C., during the Civil War, becoming the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship. (AP Photo/Paula Illingworth, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - Flags adorn the grave of Confederate Lt. George Dixon, the commander of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, in Charleston, S.C., in this Feb. 17, 2012, file photo. Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, is the 150th anniversary of the attack in which the Hunley sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston, S.C., during the Civil War, becoming the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this April 19, 2012, file photo, the lantern used on the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is seen after conservation in a lab in North Charleston, S.C. The picture to the left shows what the lantern looked like after the sub was raised off the South Carolina coast. Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 is the 150th anniversary of the attack in which the Hunley sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Charleston, S.C., during the Civil War, becoming the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File) (The Associated Press)

It's an historic day in the annals of submarine warfare.

Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the attack by the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley on the Union blockade ship Housatonic, which sank off Charleston during the Civil War. Although the Hunley never returned, it became the first submarine to sink an enemy warship.

Re-enactors are to gather Monday evening on the coast from where the Hunley departed. A memorial service is th honor both the Hunley crew and the Union crewmen who died.

The hand-cranked Hunley is being conserved at a lab in North Charleston.

Just why the Hunley sank is still unclear. But scientists now say it was so close to the Housatonic the crew may have been knocked out by the explosion that sank the blockade ship.

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