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The Mariners' Museum - Newport News, Virginia

USS Kearsarge, CSS Alabama, and English yacht Deerhound


Unable to build or buy enough warships to contest Northern control of the seas, the South purchased several fst cruisers in Britain and sent them out with orders to raid Union shipping. The most famous of these vessels was the Alabama, commanded by Raphael Semmes. Prowling the seas from the West Indies to the Indian Ocean, the Alabama captured 63 vessels in just 22 months.


The Alabama was caught by the Kearsarge at Cherbourg, France. Although his ship was worn out by many months at sea, Semmes chose to meet the Kearsarge in battle. The Alabama was sunk within two hours. Semmes and many of his cre were rescued by the English yacht Deerhound and escaped captivity.


May 10, 2009

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