University of Alabama W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library
Raphael Semmes (1809-1877) of Mobile captained the Confederate Navy's most famous raiders during the Civil War, devastating
the Federal commercial sailing fleet. Semmes destroyed or ransomed 18 merchant ships aboard the CSS Sumter from 1861-62. In August 1962 he took the helm of the CSS Alabama and captured 64 Union vessels before the ship sank under the guns of the USS Kearsarge in 1864.