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Corp Johan Fredrik Carlsen

Corp Johan Fredrik Carlsen

Death 17 Feb 1864 (aged 22)
Sullivans Island, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Burial Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 85230778 · View Source
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Confederate Submariner and recipient of the Confederate Medal of Honor. Carlsen became a mariner in the early days of the Civil War aboard the privateer "Jeff Davis". The ship arrived in the port of Charleston in late 1861 and the ship remained in port due to legal matters, including some issues of mutiny. As a results Carlsen looked for duty elsewhere and subsequently joined the German artillery company commanded by Captain John Wagener. For the next couple of years he remained with Wagener's company then patrolling the coast of South Carolina. He learned of the Hunley and it's upcoming missions and it's need for an additional hand when one of it's officers was called back to Alabama. Captain Hunley looked to Wagener's ranks for a replacement and found Carlsen. He would become the last member of the crew of the Hunley. As the last crewman he was assigned to the seat at the crank position of the vessel which was at the center of the Hunley. The seat was called the "death seat" as it was at the position in the boat that the occupant would be the least likely to be able to escape an incident. The rest is history as the Hunley left through Breach inlet to seek out enemy vessels. He would become part of the crew that would be the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel.

Corporal C. F. Carlsen CSS H. L. Hunley
February 17, 1864 ~ Attack on USS Housatonic outside Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

The crew members of the H.L. Hunley were given a Confederate burial.

On December 5, 2007, 143 years later, the eight crew men when buried with full military honors burial.
The funeral was attended by thousands of Civil War re-enactors, both gray and blue.
The funeral procession was a mile and a half long which had the remains of the sailors in coffins draped with the Confederate flag.
The men where buried in Magnolia Cemetery in a common grave and laid to rest in the same order in which they stationed on the sub.
Many might say "why honor some damn Rebels? They ripped our nation apart!"
To some extent they are right but not these men. These men did something so great, it overshadows the Civil War.
These men changed the world. They did something that was never thought possible by military leaders of their time and even after.
Rebecca Farence, the great-grandniece of Frank Collins said "These are just extraordinary men- brave and strong who did a marvelous thing."
And that is exactly what they did, at the time they might not have realized it, but these men changed the course of history under the waves outside of Charleston Harbor.

Furnished by Judy Richards.

  • Created by: Saratoga
  • Added: 20 Feb 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 85230778
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  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Corp Johan Fredrik Carlsen (9 Apr 1841–17 Feb 1864), Find A Grave Memorial no. 85230778, citing Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Saratoga (contributor 46965279) .