The Civil War, fought at sea
Naval history fans may already be familiar with Randall Peffer’s “Seahawk” series of books that novelize the real-life adventures of Capt. Raphael Semmes, a skilled seaman in the Confederate Navy whose ship, the CSS Alabama, burned and seized dozens of Union Navy ships during the Civil War.
“Seahawk Burning” is the final volume in the trilogy (2012, Tyrus Books, $15.95, 320 pages, paperback). With spy games, mutinies and storms woven into the plot, the author leads Semmes — President Lincoln’s Public Enemy No. 1 — and his crew into an epic sea battle with the USS Kearsarge, captained by his old friend John A. Winslow.
Peffer is a former travel writer and mariner aboard numerous vessels — a skipjack, cargo schooner, cod longliner — and he writes with a strong sense of life aboard.
October 2012 issue.