Week of Feb. 17 - Feb. 23
1:22 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 511

On February 21, 1863, the CSS Alabama destroyed two Union commercial vessels in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean.  An English built sloop-of-war, the Alabama was designed to raid Union commerce and to disrupt Union shipping. 

She boasted eight cannons and could be powered by either sail or steam.  She had initially seen action near the Azores Islands, before crossing the Atlantic to disrupt Union shipping from New England, all the way to the coast of Texas. 

In February, she left port at Haiti and sailed southward in the direction of Brazil, capturing or burning no fewer than 30 vessels along the way.  She then headed east to the Indian Ocean by way of the Cape of Good Hope starting in July.  In her two-year career, the Alabama never anchored at a Confederate port.

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