On January 11, 1863, the Confederate vessel Alabama squared off against the Union’s Hatterasa* in the vicinity of the Galveston Lighthouse. The Hatteras had initially given chase and overtaken the Confederate raider.
When Union Captain Homer Blake demanded that the Alabama’s crew identify themselves, they instead opened fire. The thirteen minute exchange of cannon fire ended with the Hatteras sinking, and with most of its crew taken prisoner.
Built in Great Britain in 1862, the Alabama wreaked havoc on Union commerce for two years, never docking at a Confederate port. On June 19, 1864, the Alabama was cornered by the Union sloop-of-war Kearsage after she had docked in France for repairs. Attempting to fight its way out, the Alabama finally met its end.