H.L. Hunley topic at Genealogical Society meeting


The Sumter County Genealogical Society will return to Swan Lake Presbyterian Church on Monday for a program on the H.L. Hunley.

The 7:30 p.m. meeting in the church's fellowship hall will feature a program by Camden native Stoney Hilton.

The Hunley was the first submarine to complete a combat mission successfully by sinking the USS Housatonic on Feb. 17, 1864. The submarine disappeared mysteriously upon sinking the Housatonic, to be found and recovered more than 100 years later. It was restored and is currently on display in Charleston.

Hilton is the great-grandson of four Confederate generals, a 29-year member of the Sons of the Confederacy and a past commander of the Gen. Joseph B. Kershaw Camp #82. In addition, he served for 10 years as a docent for the Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Laboratory in Charleston. He also served as a docent at the S.C. State Museum in Columbia.

A retired chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service, Hilton is a graduate of the U.S. Naval School of Nuclear Engineering and served on the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear-powered submarine.

The public is invited to attend Monday's meeting at 912 Haynsworth St. The society will observe social distancing practice and asks attendees to wear face masks. Masks will be provided for anyone needing one.

The Sumter County Genealogical Society meets monthly from September through May. Admission is free to the public, who may join at the meetings. Membership includes four newsletters during the year and free use of the Sumter County Genealogical Society Research Center. Annual dues are $30 for an individual membership and $35 for a family. Call the Society's Research Center for more information at (803) 774-3901.