Seahawk Burning

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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.

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“Seahawk Burning” is the final volume in the trilogy (Tyrus Books, $15.95, 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.

April 2013 issue