Junior History Press

The Confederate Torpedo Boat  CSS David

    In 1970 the city of Charleston, South Carolina celebrated the 300th anniversary of its founding. This Tricentennial celebration also involved the counties surrounding Charleston. Berkeley County established a Tricentennial Committee to determine how the County would celebrate the event. The Committee decided to honor the Confederate Torpedo Boat David which had been built in the County at Stony landing on the Cooper River. They wanted to build a full size replica of the David to be used in the Charleston Tricentennial parade and to have on display afterwards. The Committee knew that the Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Technical Education Center (TEC) had built a full size replica of the Confederate submarine Hunley for the Charleston Museum only a couple of years earlier, in 1967.

    The Committee contacted Captain Howard H. Hoffberg, the TEC Director about building the David replica and he agreed. The same approach was done with the David replica as had been done with the Hunley. The Mechanical Engineering Technology students and instructor did the research and prepared the construction drawings. The replica was built by Mr. Clay Cabiness and his welding students. Click on button for photograph of the mechanical engineering students of the Class of 1970 and the replica.

    After completion, the replica was taken to the Charleston Naval Shipyard to have its picture taken with a modern nuclear submarine, the USS Seahorse, SSN669. The replica was one of the main floats in the Charleston Tricentennial parade in April of 1970. Since that time, the replica has been on display at various locations in Berkeley County. Its present home is on the grounds of the Berkeley County Museum at the Old Santee Canal Park at Stony Landing. Its display location is only about 200 yards from where the original David was built. Click on button for picture of the replica and the USS Seahorse.

    The replica has recently had a complete renovation by members of the US Submarine Veterans Inc., Charleston Base, (USSVCB). Further information about this group, along with photos of the renovation, is available at their web site at (http://www.ussvicb.org/members.htm). These men, all former submarine sailors, did the work. Thirty years of being outside in the Lowcountry weather had taken its toll on the replica and considerable work had to be done. The submariners also installed wooden planks to the exterior of the replica to make it more closely resemble the original David. To see more photos of the replica, click on the button below.

    There is also a magnificent large scale wooden model of the CSS David on display at the Interpretive Center at the Old Santee Canal Park. Click on the button below for photos of this model.

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