The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81820   Message #3910275
Posted By: Lighter
09-Mar-18 - 07:01 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Roll, Alabama Roll
Subject: RE: Origins: Roll, Alabama Roll
Note for singers:

All prisoners taken by Semmes and the Alabama were released to neutral ships or in neutral ports - as was prescribed by the law of war in the nineteenth century.

That included over 100 Union sailors captured from USS Hatteras at Galveston, the only warship sunk by the Alabama. These were "paroled," as legal language had it, in Jamaica. That is, they were released on their solemn oath not to rejoin the war. Noncombatant prisoners were released without an oath.

After the war, the Government of the United States found no legal basis to try Semmes or any member of his crew for any crime. In the view of the U.S. Government, they had not violated the laws of war.