June 19, 1864
The CSS Alabama sank outside the harbor of Cherbourg, France during a naval battle with the USS Kearsarge. Built in England in 1862, the CSS Alabama became the most successful Confederate raiding vessel of the Civil War. The 220-foot-long ship, commanded by Cpt. Raphael Semmes and manned by an English crew, captured a total of 65 U.S. merchant vessels and sank the Union warship USS Hatteras. In 1984, the French Navy discovered the wreck of the Alabama, and several hundred artifacts from the ship are currently housed at the Washington Navy Yard, including the ship’s 7-inch Blakely cannon.
Read more at http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-973.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.