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ONLINE Book Talk: Rachel Lance, Author of "In the Waves," on Solving the Mystery of a Civil War Submarine

Rachel Lance author photo and book cover image
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Thursday, April 09, 2020
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7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Dr. Rachel Lance

On the night of February 17, 1864, the tiny Confederate submarine HL Hunley made its way toward the USS Housatonic outside Charleston harbor. Within a matter of hours, the Union ship's stern was blown open in a spray of wood planks. The explosion sank the ship, killing many of its crew. And the submarine, the first ever to be successful in combat, disappeared without a trace.

For 131 years the eight-man crew of the Hunley lay in their watery graves, undiscovered. When finally raised, the narrow metal vessel revealed a puzzling sight. There was no indication the blast had breached the hull, and all eight men were still seated at their stations-frozen in time after more than a century. Why did the sub sink? How did the crew die? Archaeologists and conservationists have been trying to answer those questions for years. Now a Duke biomedical engineer and blast-injury specialist has solved the mystery.

Join the Duke University Libraries for a virtual book talk with Rachel Lance, author of "In the Waves." In the new book, Lance brings readers inside her incredible three-year investigation into the mysterious fate of the Hunley, which took her from Duke's Hyperbaric Medicine facility to the archives and museums around the country. Her research has been featured in Smithsonian, Scientific Americam, Nature, and CNN, among other news outlets.

Click "More Event Information" for details on how to join the book talk online.

Contact: Aaron Welborn