Alabama-based reporter Ben Raines had been looking for a particular shipwreck for several months; a notorious vessel which had been scuppered and burned in 1860. Indeed, this was a ship that came with a shocking history attached. Then, on New Year’s Day 2018, Raines found some charred and rotting timbers in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, just inland from the Alabama coastline. It looked like the 48-year-old from Fairhope, AL, might have stumbled across the relic that he had been looking for. And, furthermore, it appeared that he had uncovered a direct link with a wicked and troubled past
Ben Raines is an investigative environmental journalist for Al.com, a current affairs website which reports on all things Alabama. But the reporter is also a boat captain, and that was obviously a big help when he was searching for his 19th-century wreck. Raines was more than familiar with the meandering creeks and lazy bayous that drain into the Mobile River just north of the city with the same name.