Courtesy of W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, The University of Alabama Libraries
Raphael Semmes (1809-1877) of Mobile captained the Confederate Navy's most famous raiders during the Civil War, sending panic
through the Federal commercial sailing fleet. Semmes destroyed or ransomed 18 merchant ships aboard the CSS Sumter from 1861-62. In August 1862, 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.