This is a story of the courage, honor, and valor of the crew
of submariners who became the first to destroy an enemy ship
in combat. It is also the story of how these Americans and
Europeans came together to develop and explore the
unknown that was undersea adventure at that time. This
story is rooted in fact, and is meant to provide one, but
clearly not the only, plausible convergence of events that
defined the Confederate submersible H. L. Hunley and her crew.

This story is not meant to condone any position associated
with the War Between the States. It is not a Southern story,
even though it takes place in the South. It is not a Northern
story about the South, nor is it a European’s viewpoint of the
conflict. It is a story of how people from all three of these
backgrounds came together to defend their homeland, their
homeland by either birth or acclamation.

This trio of viewpoints may not be unique in American history,
but in weaving this fictionalized version of the story, I
certainly felt it was. Born as the son of European immigrants
in the North and now living in the South, I felt it was
important to focus on the facts, insights, and essence of the
people as they might have been. With all three of the
backgrounds represented in my life and on the Hunley, I
claimed the privilege of honoring these brave explorers with
a reflection of this historic and critical juncture in time.

The investigation of the facts of this story began as an
intriguing venture to tell the story of the Hunley and her
men. While some historical references brimmed with
information on places and events, others were frustratingly
silent. In many cases, the “facts” were contradictory,
probably since they were drawn solely from recollections
and interviews of the few eyewitnesses who survived and
provided their views in the years following the actual events.

What were clearly missing from the references were the
recollections of the crews, most notably the third and final
crew, who faced the unknown as pioneer submariners. Also
absent were the men’s motivations even while knowing their
ultimate sacrifice could be imminent. Forensics can provide us
physical details of what these men looked like or what they
may have experienced before their fateful voyage. Forensics
cannot provide us the details of their hearts, minds, and

These are the threads I have woven
together for this story.
copyright 2006  GGGoncarovs  

historical fiction by GGGoncarovs
Preface to
    Convergence of Valor