John Low CSN
C.S.S. Alabama


Grave of John Low CSN

John Low seated with beard


Grave of John Low

The Grave of Captain John Low C.S.N

Tended by John Collier SCV

  The grave in Lancashire, England

John Low was born in Aberdeen 24th January 1836. His parents died soon after his birth and he was raised by relatives in England. He joined the Merchant Navy at 16, settled in Savannah in 1856 and opened a merchant - supply business and this is what he was involved with at the start of the war.

He first enlisted as a Private in the Georgia Hussars on the 19th January 1861 but soon left to take up an appointment in the Confederate Navy as a Lieutenant. Commander James Bulloch the Confederacy representative in Liverpool asked for Low's services as his assistant to acquire ships for the cause. Low sailed as an officer with Bulloch in the 'Fingal' * later to become the CSS 'Atlanta', converted her to a warship at sea and arrived in Savannah on the 12th November 1861 with a cargo of 15,000 Enfield Rifles and 4 cannon.

Low returned to Liverpool in March 1862 and then delivered the 'Oreto' renamed CSS 'Florida' to Lt John N. Maffit in Nassau. Next he sailed with the 'Enrica' renamed CSS 'Alabama' as 4th Lieutenant under Captain Rapheal Semmes and 1st Lieutenant John MacIntosh Kell. When the 'Alabama' captured the 'Conrad' on the 21st June 1863, Semmes renamed her the CSS 'Tuscaloosa' and appointed Low in command.

In the 'Tuscaloosa'' he captured an American ship 'Santee' which had a British owned cargo which he ransomed for $150,000. He made a few other captures but the British seized his ship in Simon's Bay, South Africa on the 26th December 1863.

In February 1864 after his return to Liverpool he was promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant dating from 6th January and he continued as Bullochs assistant. He tried to sail the CSS 'Ajax' back to the Confederacy in 1865 but was detained in Bermuda and when learning of the defeat of the Confederacy he sailed her back to Liverpool.

Widowed during the war he and his son settled in England. He appears to have been prosperous and worked first as a Manager in Cotton Mills then as a Commission Agent for Naval Stores and a representative for Marine Insurance Companies. He died in Liverpool 6th September 1906.

information from

'The Civil War Years'  'The Naval War'  'The Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War'


Forwarded to me by Sandy Christie

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