No vessel of the Civil War attracted so much attention or excited more fear than the Confederate commerce raider, CSS Alabama. Its seemingly unopposed depredations around the globe sent panic through the Union's merchant fleet and provided a morale boost to those at home in the South. On board, unfortunately, Captain Raphael Semmes did not run the tightest of ships, largely because many of his crew were not from the Confederacy at all, but adventurers from many other nations, including Britain; a factor that was to gravely effect the Alabama's battle effectiveness in her final fight with USS Kearsarge. Still, he maintained discipline well enough and insisted that all his men be properly dressed. C.S.N, regulations called for gray cloth jackets and trousers in the fashion of the US Navy, or else a gray wool "frock" or shirt with a white duck collar and cuffs. Other articles such as hats, silk neckerchiefs, and shoes or boots were to be all black.
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