A Novel of the Civil War at Sea
This final volume in the Raphael Semmes trilogy of Civil War naval thrillers, Seahawk Burning, follows the real-life adventures of Confederate Captain Raphael Semmes and his ship, the C.S.S. Alabama, on the final legs of their reign of terror on the high seas. The novel chronicles Semmes's rise to mythic stature as he becomes Lincoln's public enemy number one, seizing and burning scores of Yankee ships in the Caribbean Sea, the south Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea before heading to France for sanctuary...all the while dodging scores of federal Navy ships pursuing him.
Enemy vessels, spy games, mutinies, storms, and loneliness stock Semmes's cruise during 1863-64. Meanwhile, back in the Lincoln White House, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles tries to marshal his warships to catch Semmes and simultaneously protect his president from spies and assassins, one of whom is Semmes's mistress.
In addition to the main characters, the cast of Seahawk Burning includes historical figures from the governments and navies of the North and South as well as the Black Moses Harriet Tubman, John Wilkes Booth, and his fellow conspirators.
All of the threads in this saga come together in a final showdown off Cherbourg, France, when Semmes decides to take the Alabama into battle against the U.S.S. Kearsarge, captained by his old friend John A. Winslow. It is one of the greatest naval battles in history.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A good Civil War naval story as the ships from the north try to track confederate ships, both trying to destroy the other and all ships they find while searching. The locales stretch from the United States coast, inland waters, South America, Africa, Europe, and points in between. You have to remember in those days there was no way to search for a ship except by word of mouth or accidentally finding that ship while transcending the globe. Also in those days the sailors, as well as their captain, were very rough and crude men that were very likely to kill captured crews from ships, burn the ships after looting all the goods aboard, and turn the few of the captured crew members over to the first possible place on land or sea. Raphael Semmes was captain of the confederate ship, The USS Alabama. The Alabama was a strong and powerful ship. Semmes would take no quarter from any opposing ship and would kill and/or destroy almost any other ship along with its crew just to get a “worse” reputation. Seahawk Burning takes you mostly by sea to many areas of the earth to fight others, get provisions, have ship repairs made, unload crew members who’s time was up and find new crew members, while making those stops. Most of all the ships officers and crews in those days were not very healthy, some from not eating correctly, drinking far too much alcohol, associating with wild women that gave them more than they bargained for, and of course the normal sailors brawls. The many areas traversed by the USS Alabama took them through many a bad storm that damaged ships and their crews quite bad. Weather; another item they knew little about and had no idea what lies ahead. Meanwhile back in Washington, DC, President Lincoln, the various government leaders including the Secretary of the Navy, the Yankee leaders, and all of their cohorts, schemed as to how to capture and destroy this Confederate ship that was wreaking havoc on their ships. So far Semmes has eluded them but the word of mouth was starting to narrow his travel path. The ship that was closest on his trail now was the USS Kearsarge Captained by an ex shipmate of Semmes, John Winslow, who wanted his former friend and opponent very much. Winslow was not in good health, having only one eye and it pained him much of the time. Semmes had his gal, Maude, constantly on his mind. The Yankee government to obtain information about Semmes was also tracking her. Maude had two babies with her, one white and one black. She loved them both, as did Semmes. She had to keep on the run throughout the eastern United States and through Canada to avoid capture. The action is great as are the characters, some of which were actually involved in the war and in the leading of our nation. You will learn history and some facts about some of these men and women as the author brings them in and out of the story. If you like sea adventure stories intertwined with history, you will love this book, as I did.
Announcer starts off after commercial break."It's surprising to say but San Fransisco has pulled a miracle. After a 92 yard punt return with a touchdown makes it 24-22. Yes 24-22 thry went for a 2 point conversian. The kickoff is good and it looks like the punt returner is only going to the 3 yd line. Nitro Ultima on his rookie year. From Duke. 1st and 10 Snapped the ball to Marshawn lynch which will make it 2nd and 7 with 5:24 on the clock to go Ultima looking to throw.... SACKED IN THE BACK FIELD AUTOMATIC SAFETY 24-24!!!!!" [Nitro POV] I ripped off my chin strap knowing that the Offensive line can't hold them. Luckily I was able to score a touchdown with a 25 yd run winning the game. I need to rest. And I need to get ready to lead this team.