cover image Seahawk Burning: 
A Novel of the Civil War at Sea

Seahawk Burning: A Novel of the Civil War at Sea

Randall Peffer. Tyrus (, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4405-3315-

The gripping final volume of Peffer’s Civil War at Sea trilogy (after 2010’s Seahawk Hunting) follows three entwined stories: the exploits of Capt. Raphael Semmes aboard the CSS Alabama from January 1863 to June 1864; the political intrigues confounding the efforts of President Lincoln and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to win the war; and the danger-filled adventures of Semmes’s Irish lover, Maude Galway. Rather than dwell on battle details, Peffer provides insights into such matters as the perils of seamanship and weather, the vagaries of sailing versus steaming, finding hospitable ports amid shifting allegiances, and keeping stores of food and ammunition usable. Maud, in her guise of spy, nurse, and fugitive, covers a trail from the Deep South to Canada as she lives through war’s horrors. Peffer’s heady mix of history and fiction brings to life a neglected segment of the Civil War. (Apr.)