Like CSS Alabama & USS Kearsarge, Rebel Raiders Goes to France
150 Years Ago the CSS Alabama limped into European waters, having made what would be her final pair of captures in late April. The Rockingham and Tycoon, were the 64th and 65th prize of the storied rebel raider (whose picture graces the cover of my game, Rebel Raiders on the High Seas). Badly in need of repairs for her overworked engines and an overhaul of her befouled bottom, the Confederate warship sought refuge in the French port of Cherbourg. Within days, the Union steam frigate USS Kearsarge arrived to blockade and taunt CSS Alabama and her captain, Raphael Semmes, into coming out for what would be a fateful yet epic duel on June 24. (The two warships appear in the game as individual counters and as cards USN 14 and CSN 63, respectively.)
In the meantime, Semmes and his crew were well-received and feted by the French, who saw the Confederates as figures out of a romance or adventure story. Just as the French of 150 years were kind to and appreciative of Semmes, his crew and ship, so, too, are wargamers in France saying nice things about Rebel Raiders on the High Seas, as an article in the latest C3i magazine notes - and as the picture shown below indicates. On behalf of myself, my editor, my publisher and in memory of the gallant men of the CSS Alabama and USS Kearsarge, both of which appear in the game, a hearty "Vive La France" and a "merci" to mes amis Francais!