Sunday, July 29, 2007
A Civil War-era sailor's remains recovered several years ago from a shipwreck at the bottom of the English Channel were buried Saturday in a ceremony in Alabama. The unidentified sailor's skeletal remains were found encrusted on the underside of a cannon that was raised from the wreck of the CSS Alabama in some 200 feet (60 meters) of water. The Confederate warship was sunk in the channel off the coast of France on June 19, 1864, by the Union warship USS Kearsarge. More than 400 artifacts have been recovered from the site by American and French divers. The CSS Alabama had a crew of about 120 members, most of whom were rescued by boaters in the area, but about a dozen crew members drowned or were never heard from again, said Robert Edington, a Mobile attorney who is president of the CSS Alabama Association.
CSS AlabamaThe ship was known for preying on merchant ships from the union north around the world. The Confederacy was the 11 southern slave-owning states whose secession from the union in part began the 1861-1865 Civil War between the North and South. Saturday's funeral procession began downtown at the site of the statue of Adm. Raphael Semmes, who was the commanding officer of the CSS Alabama, and ended at Magnolia Cemetery where the sailor was buried. The sailor's remains were in a handmade wooden coffin pulled by a horse-drawn caisson, accompanied by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.