From the November 27, 2015, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) "Civil War raider sinks off Newport news" by Mark St. John Erickson.
The captured CSS Florida, Confederate commerce raider, steamed into Hampton Roads in November 1864. For two years this ship had savaged the American merchant marine fleet, seizing and burning dozens of them.
The ship's very questionable capture by the Union Navy caused huge foreign diplomatic problems, especially with Brazil, where it was captured. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, France and Britain denounced the capture in Brazilian waters.
Hampton Roads Naval museum curator Joe Judge said, "As far as the North was concerned, the CSS Florida had been built by a foreign country under the shadiest of circumstances-- skirting international law and a full diplomatic outcry-- then unchivalously preyed upon the weakest of vessels while never standing up to a Union warship in a fair fight."
The CSS Florida was at sea even before the CSS Alabama.