On Friday, February 15, 1861, Raphael Semmes resigned his commission in the United States Navy.
Semmes was appointed a commander in the Confederate States Navy and achieved great fame (or notoriety) as the captain of the C.S.S. Alabama. The commerce cruiser was responsible for 55 prizes captured and sunk in 22 month until it was finally sunk by the U.S.S. Kearsarge off the coast of Cherbourg, France, on June 19, 1864.