During the American Civil War, Raphael Semmes was captain of the cruiser CSS Alabama, the most successful commerce raider in maritime history. Semmes was later denounced by Abraham Lincoln as a ‘pirate’, with a bounty on his head by the US Navy Department. A combination of documentary and dramatization from multiple viewpoints, the story of the CSS Alabama – and Semmes himself – is a cautionary tale of bravado and rebellion.
Evading British neutrality in the Civil War, the Alabama was built secretly in Liverpool using the latest technology.
Many Britons - though anti-slavery - favored the South and regarded Semmes as a type of Robin Hood character.
Made possible through the generous support of:
Ben May Charitable Trust
Alabama Humanities Alliance
Betty McGowin Charitable Trust
Paul & Alma Fischer Education Endowment
Produced in partnership with:
Alabama Department of Archives and History
City of Birmingham