The new title image for this blog is a 1864 oil painting titled Battle of the U.S.S. Kearsarge and the C.S.S. Alabama, by Belgian artist Jean Baptist Durand-Brager. In contrast to the more famous Manet painting of the battle, Brager's painting is more straight forward and action oritented.
To me, the Kearsarge/Alabama battle is the most epic naval battle of the Civil War. Unlike Monitor/Virginia, both ships and captains went into the contest with the attutiude that one of the two vessels was not coming out of the fight alive. Both captains, Raphel Semmes of Alabama and John Winslow of Kearsarge, had also served with each other on USS Cumberland during the Mexican-American War, adding to the symbolism of the fight.
In this respect, Durand-Brager's painting captures the true essence of the battle.