JUNE 11TH, 1864: The CSS Alabama, Captain Semmes, badly in need of repairs, arrived at Cherbourg, France. Lt. Sinclair, CSN, later wrote about entering this, her last port: "We have cruised from the day of commission. August 24, 1862, to June 11, 1864, and during this time have visited two-thirds of the globe, experiences all vicissitudes of climate and hardships attending constant cruising.
"We have had from first to last two hundred and thirteen officers and men on our pqyroll, and have lost not one by disease, and but one by accidental death."
The Confederate Commissioner in France, John Slidell, of the Slidell and Mason Affair, assured Semmes that he anticipated no difficulty in obtaining French permission for Alabama to use docking facilities.
William L. Dayton, U.S. Minister to France, immediately protested the use of a French port by a vessel with a character "so obnoxious and so notorious." Intelligence of te condition and strength of the Alabama was relayed by the American Vice-Consul at Cherbourg to Captain Winslow of the USS Kearsarge at Flushing at Flushing, England.
The stage is set.
What Would Semmes Think of What Dayton Said About Him? --Old B-Runner