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Posted January 8, 2000
Review by James N. Vogler, Jr., Editor of Confederate Veteran. Most of us know the tale of that great Confederate raider the CSS Alabama and her illustrious Captain Raphael Semmes. The scourge of the Union merchant fleet, the Alabama sank over sixty Yankee vessels in her brief, but dramatic career. There have been countless books about the ship, including a fine account, Memoirs of Service Afloat by her captain. This volume provides an account of service on the Alabama from a slightly different angle. Beneath the Stainless Banner was written by John McIntosh Kell, the ship's executive officer, the man who ran the day to day operations of this deadly raider. The reader gets a feel for the inner workings of a sailing vessel on the high seas in search of its prey. While most of the book revolves around the Alabama and her exploits, Kell does write about his service on the CSS Sumter where he also served under Raphael Semmes. This book is actually a reproduction of the second volume of John Kell's memoir entitled Recollections of a Naval Life, Including the Cruises of the Sumter and Alabama published in 1900. R. Thomas Campbell has enhanced the work with footnotes and some photographs. This is an excellent account of life on a Confederate raider, and I recommend it to any of our readers whose interest is in the sea.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.