Century Magazine, vol. 31 (April 1886), p. 912.
From a photograph taken shortly after the Alabama sunk.

       Captain Raphael Semmes
       C.S. Navy, C.S.S. Alabama

   Raphael Semmes was born in 1809 in Maryland. He entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman in 1823. During the Mexican War he commanded the USS Somers. He wrote a book about his experience: Service Afloat and Ashore during the Mexican War (1851). He resigned his commission and entered the C.S. Navy in 1861. He was give command of the CSS Sumter. In six months he captured 18 merchant vessels. He was next given command of the CSS Alabama, in which he captured 66 ships, between August 1862 and June 1864. That ship was sunk by the USS Kearsarge in June 1864. He published three books about his war service: The Cruise of the Alabama and Sumter (1864),  The Log of the Alabama and Sumter (1865), and Memoirs of Service Afloat, During the War Between the States (1869). After the Civil War he engaged in a law practice in Mobile, AL, where he died in 1877.

Created and maintained by Lisle Brown, Curator Special Collections
2007, Special Collections, Marshall University