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September 8, 2015

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Business and Industry, Chaney Enterprises Conference Center, Room BI-113, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Robert Neyland

... Robert Neyland, who directed the Hunley's recovery. (Courtesy of

Join us as Dr, Robert Neyland discusses his work on the recovery, restoration and conservation of the Confederate submarine, the H.L. Hunley.  The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley attacked and sank the USS Housatonic on Feb. 17, 1864.  It is historically significant as the first submarine to successfully sink a warship in combat. Hunley also was lost with all hands after the battle. The location of the missing submarine was a mystery until it was rediscovered by bestselling author Clive Cussler in 1995. In 2000, it was raised by a team of archaeologists headed by Dr. Robert Neyland and returned to the port if left 136 years previously. Over the last 15 years the submarine has been opened, excavated and the eight crewmen identified and reburied. Analysis and conservation of the artifacts and hull is ongoing, but the sub is on display at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston. This presentation discusses the processes of recovery, archaeology, identification of the crew, conservation of the artifacts and hull, and  what mysteries have been solved as well as what remains to be discovered.

Dr. Robert Neyland was project director in charge of the recovery of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which sunk in the Charleston, S.C., harbor in February 1864. Neyland is the Head of the Underwater Archaeology Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, located in the Washington Navy Yard. The Navy still retains title to its sunken military craft–approximately 3,000 shipwrecks and 14,000 aircraft. Due to its expertise in underwater archaeology and management of sunken military craft the NHHC frequently is assigned management of Confederate and other military shipwrecks. Dr. Neyland has worked on Bronze Age shipwrecks off the coast of Turkey, dove in the sunken pirate city of Port Royal, Jamaica, recovered and documented numerous wrecks in the Netherlands and throughout the United States. He was the principal archaeologist on numerous Navy shipwreck investigations and excavations including the search for the 1820s antislavery and piracy schooner USS Alligator, excavation of a Revolutionary War shipwreck in the Penobscot River in Maine, a survey of the D-Day invasion shipwrecks in Normandy, France,  Civil War shipwrecks CSS Florida and USS Cumberland, War of 1812 flagship of Commodore Joshua Barney–USS Scorpion, and the search for John Paul Jones ship Bonhomme Richard.

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table invites all to attend this lecture on one of the more fascinating moments in Civil War history.  Attendance is free for all, but membership is recommended.  For information, contact the roundtable’s president, Brad Gottfried, at bgottfried@csmd.edu or 301-934-7625.

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