Baltimore: Kelley & Piet and Co., 1869. First Edition. Large Octavo. Item #026033
xvi, 17-833 pages,  leaves of plates: illustrations, portraits, some in color. Admiral Raphael Semmes of the Confederate States Navy produced this superb book as the best known of the Confederate naval officers and considered "the most successful practitioner of commerce raiding." In command of two vessels over three years, he captured eighty-two prizes. To the South he was a great hero, to the Union his wanton destruction of unarmed merchant ships was considered piracy and he was called the devil incarnate. In this work, he defends the right of secession and is bitter toward the Yankees who he blames for fomenting the war. As an essential firsthand account, historians still refer to this as the primary source on the role of the Confederate Navy during the Civil War. illustrated with steel engraved portraits and eight engravings from original designs, printed in chromolithographs. The frontispiece is of Raphael Semmes and engraved by H.B. Hall. Very scarce in near fine condition (two page corners torn off p. 113-116 not extending to text), still in the original dark green grain cloth, beveled edge boards, upper cover and spine blocked in gold, spine pictorial, plain dark endpapers. Bookplate of Francis H. Inge, who was longtime President of the Alabama Bar Association and U.S. Attorney who defended the right of Henry P. Ewald of the Mobile Register who exposed illegal gambling and the criminal element conspired to drive him from the paper. (Semmes also practiced law in Mobile, Alabama which made this an important acquisition to Inge). Originally gifted to Mollie R. McInyre by J.H. Graham in Frankfort, Kentucky. Bound in green pebble grained cloth lettered in gilt, pictorial gilt spine, dark brown endpapers, rubbing near head of upper board. A very nice clean copy without foxing. [Howes S286].