JUNE 19TH, 1864:
It was a beautiful day and a must-see thing. People from all over France gathered at the heights above Cherbourg to see the anticipated battle between the famous CSS Alabama that had been spreading terror amongst Union commerce at sea and the USS Kearsarge, the ship which had "called the Alabama out."
Several French luggers (ships) were out as was an English steam yacht, the Deerhound.
The Alabama's commander, Captain Raphael Semmes wrote: "Everything being in readiness between nine and ten o'clock, we got underway, and proceeded to sea, through the western entrance to the harbor; the Couronne [French ironclad] following us.
"As we emerged from behind the mole, we discovered the Kearsarge at a distance between six and seven miles from land. She had been appraised of our intention of coming out this morning, and was waiting for us.
Sail On Alabama. --Old B-Runner