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Civil War submarine Hunley to be topic at York CWRT meeting

Conrad Wise Chapman – Submarine Torpedo Boat H.L. Hunley, Dec. 6, 1863. (Library of Congress)

On March 15, 2017, please join the York Civil War Round Table in its 20th Anniversary Year, welcoming historical reenactor and lecturer Michael Jesberger to our meeting for his presentation on “The H.L. Hunley – Confederate Submarine.” The monthly meeting is at 7 p.m. at the York County History Center, 250 E. Market Street in York. Admission and parking are both free, and the meeting is open to the public.

Mr. Jesberger will be discussing the saga, loss and recovery of the H.L. Hunley, the world’s first successful attack submarine. On February 17, 1864, during the Civil War, the Confederate sub left the Charleston, South Carolina harbor, attacked and sank a blockading Union warship. Soon after sending the USS Housatonic to the bottom, the submarine also sank. All eight of her crew were lost, along with the Hunley.

The sunken sub’s location was a mystery until 1995 when a team of divers sponsored by writer Clive Cussler discovered the nearly intact Hunley. It was raised and carefully excavated. The skeletons of all eight crew members were removed and studied. On April 17, 2004 the remains of the crew were laid to rest at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina. Tens of thousands attended the internment including some 6,000 reenactors and 4,000 civilians wearing period clothing.

Civil War lecturer Michael Jesberger (submitted)

Michael S. Jesberger is an independent military historian who specializes in the American Revolutionary and Civil War time periods. He is renowned for his engaging and passionate presentation style, whether providing formal lectures, living history presentations or tours of historic sites.

After years of independent study and research, in 1996 he joined a Civil War Historical Association, the recreated Company C, 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. That same year he also joined the Anna M. Ross Camp #1, Department of Pennsylvania, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

In 2000 he became a member of the recreated 1st New Jersey Regiment of the Continental Line, a Revolutionary War reenacting unit and serves as current President of the organization. In 2002 he was appointed to the Langhorne Revolutionary War Burial Site Committee and serves as a current board member. Still active in the reenacting community, he participates in dozens of battle reenactments, living history programs and ceremonies to honor veterans.

A lifelong resident of the Philadelphia region, Mr. Jesberger is a native of Northeast Philadelphia and currently resides in Lansdale, Montgomery County, PA with his wife Amy, son Erik and two daughters, Erin and Emma.