1864: “That’s The Alabama”

June 19th: 1864: Battle

Off the land twelve miles. The morning is thick and hazy. The shore is scarcely distinguishable. There is all the preparations being made for our Sabbath Day devotions. Inspection at quarters at ten o’clock after which we are all waiting to hear the Church bell till. At ten minutes after ten the fore top man at the mast head sang out – Steamer under the land! Standing out! That’s the Alabama, said the quarter master. We were all anxious to catch a glimpse of her before going into battle. The bell sounded fire quarters and the boys were to be seen tumbling down the forecastle ladders – fore rigging Jacob’s Ladders & c trying who could be first at their quarters. She was coming straight out for us and we were all ready for the conflict in just three minutes. Decks sanded down. Batteries cast loose and manned. Magazines opened & all reported ready. Go ahead fast, said the Captain. The Alabama was now about two miles distant and coming on fast. Lay down! Every man, said the Captain, and down we all lay flat on the deck. And now as I lay down not knowing how soon I might be killed or maimed for life I thought of home and how I had been neglected by those who should have been all in all to me…

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10 Things To Know About Europe During The American Civil War

Here are ten things you’ll want to know about Europe and European rulers and their roles during the American Civil War. The facts we’re briefly presenting tie to the blockade runner situation, and it’s not a comprehensive list. Europe and the American Civil War is a complicated topic, and today is a cliff-note version.

(My apologies for missing the maritime post last week. You’ll get an extra post soon!) Continue reading

Cruisers & Blockade Runners: A Simplified Comparison

I used to get very confused about Blockade Runners and Confederate Cruisers during the American Civil War. Were they the same or not?

Since we’re launching into our discussion of the Union blockade and Southern blockade runners, I thought it might be good to clarify the difference. Runners and Cruisers are the not the same, though there were a few similarities. Continue reading

1862: “A Confederate War Vessel”


Liverpool, July 9, 1862.

Sir: In accordance with the suggestion of Earl Russell, in a communication to Mr. Adams, the American minister in London, I beg to lay before you the information and circumstances which have come to my knowledge relative to the gunboat being fitted out by Messrs. Laird, at Birkenhead, for the confederates of the southern United States of American, and intended to be used as a privateer against the United States. Continue reading