Raphael Semmes
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States (Confederate States, 1861-1865)
Date of Birth: 1809
Date of Death: 1877
Cause of Death: Food poisoning from tainted shrimp
Occupation: Lawyer, educator, Author of Non-Fiction, Judge, journalist, sailor
Parents: Richard Semmes,
Catherine Middleton
Spouse: Anne Spencer
Children: Six
Military Branch: United States Navy (Mexican-American War),
Confederate States Navy,
Fictional Appearances:
The Guns of the South
POD: January 17, 1864
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Nationality: Confederate States
Military Branch: CS Navy (Second American Revolution)

Raphael Semmes (September 27, 1809 – August 30, 1877) was an officer in the United States Navy from 1826 to 1860 and the Confederate States Navy starting in 1861. He served during the Mexican-American War, but his ship was lost during a storm in the Gulf of Mexico. During the American Civil War he was captain of the famous commerce raider CSS Alabama, taking several prizes.

Late in the war, he was promoted to rear admiral and also acted briefly as a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army. His appointment, or arrangement to act, as a temporary brigadier general from April 5 to April 26, 1865 was never submitted to or officially confirmed by the Confederate Senate.

After the Civil War, Semmes faced treason charges by the Union, but these were dismissed in 1866. He became a professor, a judge, a newspaper editor, and an attorney. He also became a staunch "Lost Cause" advocate.

Raphael Semmes in The Guns of the South[]

Raphael Semmes was the captain of the CSS Alabama during the Second American Revolution. The ship was saved from a deadly confrontation with the USS Kearsarge by the timely arrival of news that peace had been reached in Washington City.[1]

See also[]