Semmes, Raphael (1809–1877), a United States and Confederate naval officer. His daring as commander of the Sumter and Alabama, Confederate raiders that preyed on Union shipping, made him the naval hero of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
Semmes was born in Charles County, Maryland. He was commissioned a midshipman in the U.S. Navy in 1826. During the Mexican War he served with distinction and rose to the rank of commander. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Semmes resigned and joined the Confederate navy. He was promoted to rear admiral in 1864. After the war he practiced law in Mobile, Alabama, and wrote about his wartime exploits.