Called a pirate ship, a privateer, or a Confederate commerce raider, she was the most successful ship of the Confederate States Navy in attacking the commerce of the United States on the open seas, around the world. Over her short life of only two years, she captured over sixty ships, several of which were set free for a ransom bond, others sunk, and others raided and towed to port. Commanded by Capt. Raphael Semmes, a captain who was always conscious of rescuing a crew or passengers and concerned about their safe transport, he valued the cargoes from his captures at several millions of dollars. Finally caught in the harbor off Cherbourg, France in 1864, her last battle was with the USS Kearsarge, which finally sank the Alabama. In 2000 and 2001 there was a major exploration and excavation of the wreck, which resulted in the recovery of many interesting artifacts. Next to the battle of the CSS Merrimac and the USS Monitor, (the "Battle of the Ironclads,") she is the best known and most notorious of the Civil War ships.