Tag Archives: Raphael Semmes

The Contextualized Statue of Raphael Semmes

Until June 2020, Raphael Semmes stood on a traffic median along Government Street in Mobile, Alabama—at least his bronze statue did. On the far side of the intersection, the Bankhead Tunnel plunges below the city street and beneath the empty … Continue reading

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Shellbacks, Polliwogs, and Crossing the Equator Amid Civil War

Anyone watching a movie about sailing ships can quickly become confused with the overwhelming distinct terminology. There are much more than words that signify a sailor, however. Spending months at a time at sea, sailors have developed their own vocabulary, … Continue reading

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Unpublished — The International War: Alabama Claims Documentation

This source is not exactly unpublished, but close. It was printed once—long ago—by the U. S. government. Until recently, it was scarce and mostly unknown. And it is a treasure trove of primary source material for the international and naval … Continue reading

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On the March to Sailor’s Creek with Tucker’s Naval Battalion

One thousand Confederate sailors and Marines defended Richmond by April 1865. Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes commanded the James River Squadron’s ironclads, wooden steamers, and torpedo boats. The Confederate Naval Academy, officers in training, operated CSS Patrick Henry. Captain John R. … Continue reading

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January 2022 Maine at War blog posts

In January 2022, my Maine at War blog examined topics ranging from soldiers and their pets to the infantry captain who suddenly discovered two recruits now listed on the company rolls. January 5, 2022: Soldier’s pet A young combat veteran … Continue reading

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Maine at War: January 2021

Here’s what our friend Brian Swartz was up to in January at his blog, Maine at War: January 6, 2021: Maine naval officer fights on the Mississippi Acting Volunteer Master John F. Harden of Rockland chases Raphael Semmes in the … Continue reading

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Home Libraries: A Salty Civil War Library

Back in the 90’s, Judi and I loved cruising beautiful Virginia country byways and rural towns always seeking that musty little used-book store. She headed for the garden section and I, of course, made a beeline for the Civil War … Continue reading

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A Most Peculiar Target of Naval Gunnery

ECW welcomes Neil Chatelain The USS Rhode Island was operating in the Caribbean Sea on July 30, 1863, part of Acting Rear Admiral Charles Wilkes’ West India Squadron, having just completed a convoy of the Panama steamer Ocean Queen through … Continue reading

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Sailors, Diplomats, Tycoons and the Campaign to Control California’s Gold in the Civil War

Today, we are pleased to welcome back guest author Neil Chatelain As massive operations spread across the United States during the Civil War, a secret and ever-important campaign was being waged at sea. This was not ironclad warships battling one … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War Events, Navies | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Favorite Historical Person: Eugene Matthew O’Brien

Eugene Matthew O’Brien is among those obscure Civil War multitudes whose collective stories inspire for their courage, dedication, and sacrifice even if we know little about them individually—although his story is a bit unusual. O’Brien was a steam engineer who … Continue reading

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