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Rare Confederate Captain Rafael Semmes Carte View

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Out of stock

Item No. CV9112MF Category


Exceptional mint carte view of Confederate naval captain, Rafael Semmes seated with arm resting on draped first pattern Confederate Naval Flag. One of at least three views from the same sitting, this is an early photograph of the flamboyant Semmes, probably taken on January 21, 1863 when the raider Alabama shipped at Port Royal, Kingston, Jamaica to make minor repairs, take on coal and land Federal prisoners taken in the recent “encounter with the USS Hatteras.”  The Alabama’s short stay at Port Royal was marked by crew rowdiness and the quick court martial of Purser Clarence R. Yonge who had gone ashore on official business, but ended up drunk in a local waterfront tavern “talking with the enemy.” With the evening tide Alabama weighed anchor and slipped out to sea on January 25th bound for the Brazilian coast, prizes and infamy before her. This carte is encountered significantly less often than views of Semmes taken at Southampton following the epic engagement off Cherbourg on June 19, 1864. This example has an old pencil inscription on the reverse reading “Capt Syms Command Alabama”. Exceptionally hard to find view and this one is better than most with nice deep tones.

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