Friday, October 31, 2008


We are the Co-Producers of a documentary in production at Alabama Public Television about the Confederate Civil War ship The CSS Alabama and her Captain, Raphael Semmes. We started on this path in 2007 when we received a review copy of the most recent of many books about the man and the ship: Wolf of The Deep: Raphael Semmes and the Notorious Confederate Raider CSS Alabama, by Stephen Fox.

At the time, Tim was hosting an interview program on APT, so he booked the author as a guest during Fox's scheduled publicity trip through Montgomery that Fall and set about to read the book. "I've lived in Alabama since 1976, but I didn't grow up here, and my knowledge of the Civil War was rudimentary to say the least. Stephen's book was amazing! I was now greatly looking forward to the interview, which was taped on August 2nd and aired on August 5th.
Bob has always been a History Buff, and he too read the book and found the subject fascinating." Late in the year, Stephen e-mailed us and suggested a documentary...and we were off.

Wolf of The Deep was recently released in paperback.

We have already interviewed Fox, as well as the head of the CSS Alabama Association, Robert Edington, Admiral Semmes Great-Great Grandson Oliver J. Semmes III, Phillip Nassar, the Mobile attorney instrumental in preserving U.S. interests in the remains of the ship, and the chief conservator at the Museum of Mobile Shea McLean, who has worked extensively on preserving artifacts from and of the ship and her crew.

As of this first posting on this brand new blog, we are knee deep in planning the out-of-state-and-country journeys we'll have to make to tell the full story, for The CSS Alabama was born and died far from the Confederate State whose name she bore. She was built by a British company in Liverpool, and sunk on June 19, 1864 off the coast of France in the last battle between sailing ships in history.

Raphael Semmes 200th Birthday will fall on September 27th next year, and while we would like to have the documentary air on that date, it probably won't be quite ready. But the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War is in the Spring of 2011, and we anticipate growing interest in all things related to it as we approach that anniversary year.

This blog is very much a work in progress! We hope you will stop by often and offer advice!

Bob Corley and Tim Lennox

Montgomery, Alabama