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Week of Feb. 9 - Feb. 15
Tue February 11, 2014
This Week in the Civil War - 764
On Wednesday, February 10, 1864 the Confederate raider Florida left Brest, France after being birthed at a French government dock since August 1863 and successfully eluded the U.S.S. Kearsarge which had been watching for her.
The Florida, the first commerce raider purchased from English shipbuilders in 1862 and originally known as the Oreto, eventually would capture thirty-seven ships of the United States before being captured by the U.S. Navy while in the neutral port of Bahia, Brazil in October 1864.
Towed to the United States over the protests of the Brazilian government, the Florida would be sunk while at the U.S. naval facility at Newport News, Virginia, conveniently preventing her return to Brazil after a federal court decision that determined her capture at Bahia had been in violation of international law.