Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Memoirs of Service Afloat, During the War Between the States   By: (1809-1877)

Book cover

First Page:

MEMOIRS OF SERVICE AFLOAT, DURING THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES.

by

ADMIRAL RAPHAEL SEMMES, Of the Late Confederate States Navy, Author of "Service Afloat and Ashore, during the Mexican War."

Illustrated with Steel Engraved Portraits and Six Engravings from Original Designs printed in Chromo Tints.

Baltimore: Kelly, Piet & Co., 174 Baltimore Street.

New York, L. P. Levy; Louisville, Ky., F. I. Dibble & Co.; St. Louis, Mo., J. Hart & Co.; Richmond, Va., R. T. Taylor; New Orleans, La., C. W. Jarratt; San Francisco, Cal., H. H. Bancroft & Co.

London: Richard Bentley.

1869.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by Kelly, Piet & Co. in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District of Maryland.

PRESS OF KELLY, PIET & CO.

TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE Sailors and Soldiers of the Southern States, WHO LOST THEIR LIVES, IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES IN DEFENCE OF THE LIBERTIES WHICH HAD BEEN BEQUEATHED TO THEM BY THEIR FATHERS, THIS VOLUME IS RESPECTFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE.

A number of publications have appeared, first and last, concerning the author and his career, as was naturally to have been expected. The Alabama was the first steamship in the history of the world the defective little Sumter excepted that was let loose against the commerce of a great commercial people. The destruction which she caused was enormous. She not only alarmed the enemy, but she alarmed all the other nations of the earth which had commerce afloat, as they could not be sure that a similar scourge, at some future time, might not be let loose against themselves. The Alabama , in consequence, became famous. It was the fame of steam. As a matter of course, she attracted the attention of the book makers those cormorants ever on the lookout for a "speculation." A number of ambitious literateurs entered the seductive field. But it was easier, as they soon found, to enter the field than to explore it, and these penny a liners all made miserable failures, not even excepting the London house of Saunders, Otley & Co., to whom the author was induced to loan his journals, in the hope that something worthy of his career might be produced. To those who have chanced to see the "Log of the Sumter and Alabama ," produced by that house, it will be unnecessary to say that the author had no hand in its preparation. He did not write a line for it, nor had he any interest whatever in the sale of it, as the loan of his journals had been entirely gratuitous. So far as his own career was concerned, the author would gladly have devolved the labor of the historian on other shoulders, if this had been possible. But it did not seem to be possible, after the experiments that had been made. With all the facilities afforded the London house referred to, a meagre and barren record was the result. The cause is sufficiently obvious. The cruise of a ship is a biography. The ship becomes a personification. She not only

"Walks the waters like a thing of life,"

but she speaks in moving accents to those capable of interpreting her. But her interpreter must be a seaman, and not a landsman. He must not only be a seaman, he must have made the identical cruise which he undertakes to describe. It will be seen, hence, that the career of the author was a sealed book to all but himself. A landsman could not even interpret his journals, written frequently in the hieroglyphics of the sea. A line, or a bare mark made by himself, which to other eyes would be meaningless would for him be fraught with the inspiration of whole pages.

Besides, the Alabama had an inside as well as an outside life. She was a microcosm. If it required a seaman to interpret her as to her outside life, much more did it require one to give an intelligible view of the little world that she carried in her bosom. No one but an eye witness, and that witness himself a sailor, could unveil to an outside world the domestic mysteries of the every day life of Jack, and portray him in his natural colors, as he worked and as he played... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books