Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The End of the CSS Alabama-- Part 4: The End

Southern casualties were heavy and mounting as both ships fought valiantly.  Semmes wrote: "After the lapse of about an hour and ten minutes, our ship was ascertained to be in a sinking condition, the enemy's shells having exploded in our side, and between decks, opening large apertures through which the water rushed with great rapidity.

"For some few minutes I had hopes of being able to reach the French coast, for which purpose I gave the ship all steam, and set such of the fore and aft sails as were available.

"The ship filled so rapidly, however,that before we had made much progress, the fires were extinguished in the furnaces, and we were evidently at tne point of sinking.  I now hauled down my colors to prevent further destruction of life and dispatched a boat to inform the enemy of our condition."

The Alabama settled stern first and her bow raised high in the air.  Boats from the Kearsarge and French boats rescued the survivors.  The English yacht Deerhound, owned by John Lancaster, picked up Captain Semmes with 13 of his officers and 27 crew members and carried them to Southampton.

All Over Now.  --Old B-R'er

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