The truth isn’t always pretty. If truth bothers you – move along.
During the Civil War, the Union fielded an average of about 80 military ships with anywhere between 84 to 6 cannons, looming over a Confederate fleet of about 10 warships and a number of merchantmen. Accordingly, a major element of Northern strategy was to strangle the Confederacy by blockading all of its seaports. Desperate to break the blockade, the Confederacy was offering privateering licenses to civilian entrepreneurs and rewards of $50,000 ($1,330,000 today adjusted for inflation) or more for sinking union ships. It was the allure of such reward and his support of secession from the U.S. that sent New Orleans businessman Horace Lawson Hunley on a project that ended with the first sinking of a ship by a submarine.