In 1861 the American Civil War was raging. In 1861 in Southampton the first modern docks were thriving after the arrival of the railway. In French Street, on the edge of a medieval slum within the old walled town, the Bell Inn was kept by the Day family. There were two daughters: the youngest restless, ambitious and inclined to behave badly.In December a Confederate commerce raider entered the port seeking repairs. Discovered, she was bottled up there by a Union warship. CSS Nashville's crew adopted the Bell as their favourite 'run ashore', which led to an elopement and in the end a desperate journey across war-torn America.