This excellent painting is a fitting artistic tribute to the penultimate naval battle of the American Civil War by Julian O. Davidson, as well a rare depiction of deck action in a 19TH Century naval scene. KEARSARGE's Union Navy crew is obscured behind the smoke of their cannons, and the Confederates have begun to flee their vessel as damage begins to take its toll on the most successful of the Confederate Raiders, a fast screw sloop-of-war, ALABAMA.
The historic June 19, 1864 duel between two American ships off the coast of France resulted in the sinking of the ALABAMA. Blockaded in the port of Cherbourg while making needed repairs, Captain Ralph Semmes notified Captain John A. Winslow, in command of the Union Sloop KEARSARGE, that he would come out to battle.
Semmes intended to allow his crew, just slightly outnumbered and outgunned, to fire first at a range of 1500', and then steam close and try to board with the enemy. KEARSARGE held to 1000' and instead of closing with the Confederate, circled closer to throw devastating broadside attacks. ALABAMA, hampered with old, deteriorating powder from her two-year world cruise against the North's shipping interests, knew her fate would soon be found at the bottom of the Atlantic. After one hour and ten minutes, and 173 shots fired from KEARSARGE, ALABAMA was lost with 127 men out of 149 rescued. Davidson worked a variation of this epic battle on more than one canvas, and it proved to be a popular print subject as well for him.
Provenance: Private West Virginia Collection.
first name :