Our speaker for this month will be Mr. Ross J. Cox, Sr., of San Saba, who will present a film presentation and lecture concerning the Confederate States Ship Alabama which will include a scale model of the famous ship.
During the War for Southern Independence (1861-1865) the Confederate States of America began the conflict with virtually no navy. However, under the direction of James D. Bulloch, who was the Confederacy’s chief foreign agent in Great Britain, the CSA managed to have several blockade runners and commerce raiders built in secret. This provided the Confederacy with its only source of taking the war to the North. The most famous of these ships was the CSS Alabama commanded by Rafael Semmes.
The Alabama was launched to capture and harass US merchant shipping across the oceans of the world. During her career, the Alabama traveled 75,000 miles and took 2,000 prisoners. Remarkably, the captured ships’ crews and passengers were never harmed, only detained until they could be placed aboard a neutral ship or placed ashore in a friendly or neutral port.
In June 1864, the Alabama was sunk after a fierce battle with the union cruiser Kersarge just off the coast of Cherbourg, France. In November of 1984 the wreck site was discovered by the French Navy.
Since then, the French have recovered about 200 artifacts from the CSS Alabama in the 1990s. About 200 more were recovered after the Americans took over the project with French cooperation. Most of the artifacts have been turned over to the U.S. Department of the Navy and restored. A number of them, including the ship’s bell, are on display at the Museum of Mobile.
Directions: Take CR126 (at Twin Isles between Granite Shoals and Kingsland) off 1431; There is a small sign - LUAS - to the first right and another LUAS sign to the left toward river, 201 Circle Drive. For more information, please call Chuck Hixson at 325/423-0379.