Why this book?
Former Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes, commander of infamous Rebel commerce raiders Sumter and Alabama, presents a picturesque portrait of nineteenth-century war at sea and foreign lands with salty terminology well calibrated for landlubbers. He composes not only as a preeminent seaman, but as an accomplished international lawyer and superb narrator. He also is an unapologetic, unreconstructed Rebel. Semmes interprets his ships and men as personifying the conflict—its causes, progression, and outcome—discoursing over seamanship, meteorology, oceanography, geography, naval technology, strategy, diplomacy, international law, and constitutional theory. I found Memoirs of Service Afloat to be an erudite, compelling portrait of the Confederate mind well worth studying for its own sake as well as a great sea story. It ranks among the best Civil War memoirs.
Why should I read it?
1 author picked Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.