Thrice sunk and once successful in battle, the H.L. Hunley submarine fought during the Civil War to protect Confederate Charleston. Launched in 1863, the submarine effectively sunk a warship in Charleston Harbor, the first to do so. However, the Hunley had a tumultuous history, losing a great many lives of her own crew. Over her life, the Hunley sunk three times, twice being restored to duty, and in total lost 21 Confederate lives during her service. Her successes include the USS Housatanic, a Union warship known as a screw sloop, which was the Hunley's last successful attack. The submarine was recovered from Charleston Harbor in 2000, and has since been on display at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston.
The touring public may visit the center to see the wreckage. However, what is on the central display is a perfect replica of the submarine as the original is preserved in a tank of water, also on display. Visitors may enter the replica to see what it was like on the interior of the submarine. The Conservation Center also has informational exhibits on artifacts found in the Hunley, displays about the submarine's life and duties, and also shows an introductory video on the Hunley during her reign in the Civil War.