September 24, 2004

Now This Is Pretty Cool


On June 19, 1864, the U.S.S. Kearsarge caught and sank the Confederate raider C.S.S. Alabama off the coast of France near Cherbourg. The Alabama was probably the most notorious of the South's commerce raiders and had been scaring the willies out of Yankee merchants for about two years before she was stopped and sent to the bottom.

This week, the Civil War Preservation Trust named Cherbourg a Historic Civil War site. Matt Hurley over at Weapons of Mass Discussion has a nifty round up of information, including ship histories and the battle report of the Captain of the Kearsarge.

Posted by Robert at September 24, 2004 03:07 PM | TrackBack

Thanks for the Yips Robbo!

I thought it was a pretty interesting story myself. You don't normally hear a whole lot about the American Civil War being fought off the coast of France. It was certainly an eye-opener for me...

Posted by: Matt Hurley at September 24, 2004 03:23 PM

You're right. There is a big Civil War fortification at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine at a town called Popham. It was built to guard the Bath Iron Works about 20 miles upstream. I used to think it was silly until I read of Confederate raiders cutting Yankee merchant ships out of Portland Harbor. With the advent of engine-powered ships, it was much easier for the Rebs to scatter around the pond to wreak havoc. (Of course, the famous action between John Paul Jones' Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis was off the English coast, so there is some precedent for the South's strategy.)

Posted by: Robert the LB at September 24, 2004 03:51 PM

That's very interesting. I'm going to have to dig in to this more.

My co-blogger at WMD is a history teacher...I shall chastise him for not bringing this to my attention sooner. If it weren't for the BBC, I'd have never known about this. The extent of my knowledge of Civil War naval battles is limited to the Monitor, the Merrimac, and the Hundley...

Posted by: Matt Hurley at September 24, 2004 04:23 PM
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