On board the Alabama, 1863

old photograph taken on board a ship

A view of the gun-room skylight and of the binnacle placed before the wheel. The figure standing to the right of the image is probably Captain Semmes. Leaning on the framework of the hoist above the gun-room skylight is possibly Second Lieutenant Richard Armstrong, who had served with Semmes in his previous command, the cruiser Sumter.

However, new research carried out by author Andrew Bowcock, supported by evidence from the Illustrated London News dated 10 October 1863, indicates that the figure to the right is W Breedlove Smith, Captain's Secretary, and the leaning figure to the left is Sailing Master, Irving Bulloch.

A group of approximately eight seamen can be seen at the stern by the flag-locker.

No other copy of this image is known.

Accession number PR.469.3

detail of photo, showing men on the deck of the ship

Detail showing the figure leaning on the gun-room skylight with the group of about eight seamen behind him