Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Alabama, The

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ALABAMA, THE, a Confederate cruiser which devastated American shipping during the Civil War. She was a bark-rigged steamer of 1,040 tons, built under secret instruction at Birkenhead, England. Her destination was suspected by the United States minister, but when orders for her detention were finally obtained, she had departed (July 31, 1862). She made for the Azores, where she was equipped and manned by an English crew, under the command of Capt. Raphael Semmes, of Maryland. She then proceeded to capture and burn vessels bearing the American flag, and the destruction wrought in less than two years amounted to 65 vessels, and about $4,000,000 in property. In June, 1864, she put into Cherbourg, France, for repairs. Here she was intercepted by the Federal corvette “Kearsarge,” Captain Winslow, and, after an hour's battle, Semmes surrendered. An account of her history is given in “Two Years on the Alabama,” by Arthur Sinclair (1895).