By Mark Lardas
By the point of yankee Civil warfare issues had replaced from the Age of combating Sail - steam energy and explosive shells have been reworking naval battle. Iron used to be starting to supplant wooden. Britain had simply comprehensive HMS Warrior, an iron-hulled warship and coastal ironclads ruled the waters off the USA. The adjustments intended that ships sank, in the course of battles rather than afterwards. The fights have been no much less bloody, but additionally to flying splinters, a number of alternative hazards have been extra - burst steam boilers, fireplace because of exploding shells, and the burst from the shells themselves. yet, simply as within the age of sail, warship captains that gained one-on-one battles with one other warship turned as recognized as smooth activities stars.
During the process the yank Civil conflict, 3 unmarried send activities have been fought among Union cruisers and accomplice raiders: CSS Florida vs. USS Wachusett, CSS Alabama vs. USS Hatteras, and CSS Alabama vs. USS Kearsarge. This booklet will current these, with an emphasis at the most renowned conflict: Alabama's struggle with Kearsarge. subsequent to the conflict among USS display screen and CSS Virginia, no different naval duel of the yankee Civil warfare drew as a lot curiosity. That tale is informed from the eyes of the contributors filtered throughout the lens of ancient research to be had because the battles have been fought. This contains archeological experiences of wrecks of a few of those ships, making this publication an indispensible consultant for a person drawn to Civil battle and naval historical past.
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Additional info for CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsarge: Cherbourg 1864 (Duel, Volume 40)
He and his command proceeded to run the Union blockade, and began a six-month cruise in which Sumter captured 18 Yankee merchant ships. By then Sumter’s steam engines required replacement. Unable to effect repairs, Semmes paid off the ship in Gibraltar. He was then given command of the newly completed Alabama, which he commanded on a cruise that lasted nearly two years. Before being defeated by Kearsarge off Cherbourg, Semmes and Alabama captured 64 Union merchant vessels and defeated USS Hatteras.
On paper the ships were evenly matched: they were the same size, and had almost the same number of guns and virtually the same broadside. Kearsarge was in better shape mechanically than Alabama, having just had its engines overhauled, but Alabama’s steam plant was up to the demand of a few hours of battle. Secondly, if Alabama lost a single-ship duel, the overall situation for the Confederacy would not be significantly changed. It certainly would be no different than if Alabama lay idle in Cherbourg for the rest of the war – the most likely situation if Semmes waited and additional Union cruisers joined the blockade.
Soon after being evacuated, Hatteras settled to the shallow Gulf bottom. The flashes of gunfire could be seen from Galveston roofs during the fight. While Bell’s squadron heard gunfire, they were fogbound, unable to move until dawn. By the time they reached the site of the battle, Alabama had long since departed. The only things greeting them were Hatteras’s masts, sticking up from the water, and the boat lowered by Hatteras, with its seven-man crew. FIGHTING TO CONTINUE THE MISSION: ALABAMA vs K…ARSARG… When CSS Alabama reached Cherbourg in June 1864, it was a significantly different ship than the one that had defeated Hatteras.