|In April 1861 the steamer "HAVANA" which formerly made semi-monthly trips to Cuba, was purchased by the Confederate government and in a shipyard in Algiers was converted into a cruiser called “Sumpter.” The city during the remainder of the year became headquarters for many military organizations.
On May 11, 1861 the "Habana" was fitted out and put into service as the Confederate States Steamer "Sumter" and after being placed under the command of Captain Raphael Semmes. February 1862, after putting in a month earlier to carry out repairs to her boilers and engines. With the "Sumter" laid up at Gibraltar, Brooks and the other officers were order to London to await further orders and on April 9th took passage aboard the English steamer Euphrosyne bound for London.
However a few days after leaving Gibraltar, she encountered strong head winds and heavy seas and during the next few hours hardly made any progress at all, so its Captain decided to turn his ship around and set course for Vigo Bay, Spain. On April 15th after taking on more coal the Euphrosyne left Vigo Bay for open sea but again she met with strong winds and turbulent seas which caused the steamer to strike a submerged rock, hitting it three times which fractured her hull and leaving the captain with no other option but to order the lease of the life boats. All the passengers and crew of the Euphrosyne, numbering about fifty (50), were eventually picked up from the life boats by two fishing boats which had come out from Vigo to offer some assistance, and finally returned to that port a little after midnight, when all had been rescued. After a short convalescence at Vigo, Brooks and the other officers booked passage on another steamer and arrived in London on or about April 28th where they immediately reported to the Confederate envoy, the Honorable John M Mason on their arrival
. This crew would then be assigned to the Famous Alabama.