Semmes, Raphael

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Semmes, Raphael

(sĕmz), 1809–77, American naval officer, b. Charles co., Md. He took part in the Mexican War, practiced law at Mobile, Ala., and was in the Lighthouse Service from 1856 to Feb., 1861, when he resigned his commission as commander. He soon took the same rank in the Confederate navy. His first ship, the Sumter, did considerable damage to Northern commerce before she was bottled up at Gibraltar in Jan., 1862. In Aug., 1862, Semmes, now a captain, took command of the Alabama (see Confederate cruisersConfederate cruisers,
in U.S. history, warships constituting the South's seagoing navy. At the outbreak of the Civil War the United States ranked next to Great Britain in merchant marine.
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), and a two-year cruise made him the naval hero of the Confederacy. After the Alabama was sunk by the Kearsarge, Semmes returned to the South. He was promoted to rear admiral (Feb., 1865) and charged with the naval defense of Richmond.

Bibliography

See H. A. Gosnell, Rebel Raider (1948); C. G. Summersell, The Cruise of C.S.S. Sumter (1965).

Semmes, Raphael

(1809–77) Confederate naval officer; born in Charles County, Md. He served in the U.S. Navy (1826–61) and then the Confederate navy (1861–65). He commanded the CSS Sumter which captured numerous Union vessels before being blockaded in Gibraltar. In command of the CSS Alabama (1862–64) he captured or destroyed 64 ships worth 6.5 million dollars and led his ship around the world before being defeated by the USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France (1864).
References in periodicals archive ?
In French eyes, Raphael Semmes seemed a gentleman who fought the battle like a classic duel, and the press popularized this metaphor, which the maritime prefect at Cherbourg used to describe the action as he observed it.
Music for the hors d'oeuvres and dinner hour was provided by The Raphael Semmes Jazz Ensemble of Jackson.
Raphael Semmes, Confederate seaman commanded CSS Alabama, took 69 prizes before the Alabama was sunk by USS Kersarge.
Franklin Buchanan and Raphael Semmes are the only Confederate officers seriously discussed, John N.
Mostly the book follows Raphael Semmes Cody, who grows up in the fictional Nokobee County, a place inspired by real longleaf pine forests near Mobile, Ala.
Foster, Sherman's Mississippi Campaign (University of Alabama Press); Stephen Fox, Wolf of the Deep: Raphael Semmes and the Notorious Confederate Raider CSS Alabama (Knopf); Daniel W.
Interestingly, many Civil War students would recognize the ship more than they would its chivalric commander, Capt Raphael Semmes, the subject of this biography.
Raphael Semmes of the Confederate States Navy (CSN), eluded them.
The funeral procession began at the site of the statue of Admiral Raphael Semmes, who was the commander of the Alabama.
Captained by Raphael Semmes, the CSS Alabama had been raiding Union merchant ships for the better part of two years and accounted for almost one of every four union merchant ships lost during the American Civil War to a total of more than 60 ships sunk.
Her captain, Raphael Semmes, wanted to stay for several months but the French ordered him to leave.