February 17, 1864
The H. L. Hunley becomes the first submarine to engage and sink a warship, the USS Housatonic.
The Hunley by George S. Cook.
The Sinking of USS Housatonic on February 17, 1864 during the American Civil War was an important turning point in naval warfare. On this night the Confederate States Navy submarine, H.L. Hunley made her first and only attack on a Union Navy warship. The Hunley became the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel, the USS Housatonic, in combat, thus beginning the era of submarine warfare.