Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reward Given for the Capture of the CSS Alabama

CSS Alabama
150 years ago today the United States Navy Department offered a $500,000 reward for the capture of the CSS Alabama or $300,000 if she was destroyed. This was a very large amount of money, about $9,000,000 and $5,400,000 in today's dollars. This was because of the incredible success the raider was having. Having been launched from England back in May and commissioned a Confederate warship in August, her captain Raphael Semmes had already made her name feared among the Northern merchants. Cruising the East Atlantic she had captured and burnt ten prizes, mostly whalers, in August and September, and in October and November would continue by capturing 13 more, burning ten and releasing the other three with prisoners aboard. She would continue to cruise for many months, putting in at neutral ports when necessary to refit, and although she did not bring the Confederate to victory, her efforts, along with the other commerce raiders, put a dent in the New England shipping that would be felt for years to come.


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