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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Volume 4., chapter 12.91 (search)
Cruise and combats of the Alabama. by her executive officer, John McIntosh Kell. Sailor. The Confederate cruiser Alabama was built by the Lairds, of Birkenhead, England, for the Confederate States Government. In the House of Commons the senior partner of the constructors stated that she left Liverpool a perfectly legitimate transaction. Captain James D. Bulloch, as agent for the Confederacy, superintended her construction. As a ruse she was sent on a trial trip, with a large party of ladies and gentlemen. A tug met the ship in the channel and took off the guests, while the two hundred and ninetieth ship built in the Laird yard proceeded on her voyage to the island of Terceira, one of the Azores, whither a transport had preceded her with war material. Captain Raphael Semmes, with his officers, carried by the Bahama, met her there. Under the lee of the island, outside the marine league, we lashed our ships together, and made the transfer of armament and stores. Ar
of her conflagrations. If it be gravely held that Great Britain was nowise responsible for the ravages of these marauders, then it must be confessed that the letter of existing international law does no justice to its spirit and purpose, but stands in need of prompt and thorough revision. The career of the Sumter, Capt. Raphael Semmes, came to an early and inglorious end, as has already been narrated. Vol. I., pp. 602-3. But another and superior cruiser was promptly constructed at Birkenhead to replace her; which our Embassador, Hon. Charles F. Adams, tried earnestly, but in vain, to have seized and detained at the outset by the British Government. Escaping from Liverpool under the name of Oreto, she was twice seized at Nassau, but to no purpose: that island being the focus of blockade-running, and, of course, violently sympathetic with the Rebellion — as was, in fact, nearly every officer in the British naval or military service. Released from duress, she put to sea, and so
to Tupelo, 72; allusion to, 89; relinquishes command in Virginia, 112; in chief command at Charleston, 471; urges execution of prisoners, 523. Belgian Consul at St. Louis, arrested by Rosecrans as a conspirator, 557. Benedict, Col. Lewis, of N. Y., mortally wounded at Pleasant Hill, 544. Benteen, Gen., charges near Little Osage, 561. Bentonville, N. C., Jo. Johnston attacks at, 707. Bidwell, Gen., killed at Cedar Creek, 615. Big Black, Gen. Grant crosses the, 309. Birkenhead (Eng.), Southern war cruisers built by English merchants at, 648. Birney, Gen., charges the enemy near Chantilly, 188; at Fredericksburg, 347; at Chancellorsville. 357; his report, 889; services in Florida, 532; at the Wilderness, 568. Black, Col., 5th Ga., killed at Stone River, 282. Black soldiers in the Revolutionary War, 511; in the War of 1812, 514; in the Rebellion, 515. Black, Col. Samuel W., 62d Pa., killed at Gaines's Mill, 157. Blair, Gen. F. P., at Vicksburg, 310; w
the Deerhound,) and with some of the Alabama's officers, and from information gleaned in other quarters, I am enabled to furnish you with some interesting particulars connected with the fight between the Alabama and the Kearsarge. The Deerhound is a yacht of one hundred and ninety tons and seventy-horse power, and her owner is a member of the Royal Yacht squadron, at Cowes, and of the Royal Mersey Yacht Club. By a somewhat singular coincidence, she was built by Messrs. Laird & Son, of Birkenhead, and proof of her fleetness is furnished by the fact that she steamed home from the scene of action yesterday at the rate of thirteen knots an hour. On arriving at Cherbourg, at ten o'clock on Saturday night, by railway from Caen, Mr. Lancaster was informed by the captain of his yacht, which was lying in harbor awaiting his arrival, that it was reported that the Alabama and the Kearsarge were going out to fight each other in the morning. Mr. Lancaster, whose wife, niece, and family were
James Barnes, author of David G. Farragut, Naval Actions of 1812, Yank ee Ships and Yankee Sailors, Commodore Bainbridge , The Blockaders, and other naval and historical works, The Photographic History of The Civil War: in ten volumes, Thousands of Scenes Photographed 1861-65, with Text by many Special Authorities, Volume 6: The Navy. (ed. Francis Trevelyan Miller), Introduction — the Federal Navy and the blockade (search)
in the Federal statute-books. After the destruction of the Merrimac, it was not until the very end of the war that there appeared an iron-clad Confederate vessel which could give the North real concern as to what might happen at sea. This ship was the Stonewall, built in France. Before she could act on this side of the Atlantic, the war was over. Under the able and energetic Confederate naval agent in England, Captain Bulloch, two more of like character had been built by the Lairds at Birkenhead, but England by this time had become wiser than at the time of the advent of the Alabama, and they never flew the Confederate flag. Such damage as the Confederate cruisers which earlier got to sea caused, never decided a war. The blockade of the Southern coast, south of North Carolina (this State and Virginia not having yet seceded), was declared April 19, 1861; eight days later it was extended to that of North Carolina and Virginia. The force with which Caught by her own kind T
James Barnes, author of David G. Farragut, Naval Actions of 1812, Yank ee Ships and Yankee Sailors, Commodore Bainbridge , The Blockaders, and other naval and historical works, The Photographic History of The Civil War: in ten volumes, Thousands of Scenes Photographed 1861-65, with Text by many Special Authorities, Volume 6: The Navy. (ed. Francis Trevelyan Miller), The Confederate cruisers and the Alabama : the Confederate destroyers of commerce (search)
to and captured the Florida, which got him a court martial (and in course of time, promotion). The Florida was brought up to Chesapeake Bay, and after much international confabulation her prisoners were released, and she was ordered to be turned over to the Brazilian Government. But a blundering ferryboat ran her down, and Brazil received only an apology, for this time the Florida went to the bottom. While the Florida was building, Captain Bulloch visited the shipyard of John Laird, at Birkenhead, and arranged to build a wooden screw despatch-vessel. This ship, when it finally went into commission on the 24th of August, 1862, was the famous Alabama, and she was under the charge of Commander Semmes of the dismantled Florida. In a month's cruise in the North Atlantic twenty American vessels were destroyed. Then she went south, swept the Gulf, and among her captures was the Federal war vessel Hatteras. The At Antwerp — U. S. S. Niagara and the fight that was not fought No soo
officer of the old navy, of high ability as a seaman, and of an integrity which stood the test under which a less stern character might have given way, was our naval agent at Liverpool. In his office he disbursed millions, and when there was no one to whom he could be required to render an account, paid out the last shilling in his hands, and confronted poverty without prospect of other reward than that which he might find in a clear conscience. He contracted with the Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead, to buld a strong steam merchant-ship—the same which was afterward christened the Alabama when, in a foreign port, she had received her armament crew. So much of puerile denunciation has been directed against the builder and the ship, which, in the virulent language of the day, our enemies denominated a pirate, that the case claims at my hands a somewhat extended notice. The senior Mr. Laird was a member of the British Parliament, and, because of the complaints made by the United Stat
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Steam navigation. (search)
ite. She sails from Savannah, Ga.May 24, 1819 First sea-going steam-vessel of iron, the Aaron Manby, is constructed at the Horsley Iron Works, England1821 First steam voyage to India made by the Enterprise, Captain Johnson, from London to Calcutta in 113 days, leaving FalmouthAug. 16, 1825 Fulton the First accidentally blown up at New YorkJune 4, 1829 Steamboat Royal William crosses the ocean from Quebec1831 John Randolph, first iron vessel in American waters, built by John Laird, of Birkenhead, and shipped in pieces at Liverpool, built in the Savannah River as a tugboat1834 Great Western Steamship Company formed, and keel of the Great Western (1,340 tons) laid at Bristol, England1836 Peninsular Steamship Company founded1837 Captain Ericsson's screw steamer, Francis B. Ogden, makes 10 miles per hour on the ThamesApril, 1837 First voyage of the steamship Great Western, launched July 19, 1837, from Bristol to New YorkApril 8-23, 1838 Sirius, built at London, crosses the Atlant
the society of the English capital, and soon became satisfied that Mr. Davis could not have intrusted the affairs of the Confederacy, to better hands. English hearts had warmed toward him, and his name was the sesame to open all English doors. I soon learned from him the status of Confederate States' naval affairs, on the European side of the Atlantic. The gun-boat Oreto, afterward the Florida, had sailed for Nassau, in the Bahamas, and the new ship being built by the Messrs. Laird at Birkenhead, was well on her way to completion. Other contracts were in hand, but nothing tangible had as yet been accomplished under them. I had also interviews with Commander North, and Commander Bullock, agents of the Confederate States Navy Department, for the building and equipping of ships, in these waters. It being evident that there was nothing available for me, I determined to lose no time in returning to the Confederacy, and it was soon arranged that I should depart in the steamer Melit
labama was not regarded as a rebel vessel of war, but as a British pirate, or rather, perhaps, as an English man-of-war, sent forth under the veil of the rebel flag, to sink and destroy our merchantmen. It is thus seen, that this history repeats the stale newspaper slander. Of such stuff the Yankee histories of the war, generally, are made, especially such of them as are written by amateur parsons. The fact is, as the reader has seen, that the Alabama was built by the Messrs. Laird of Birkenhead, under a contract with the Confederate States, and was paid for out of the Confederate Treasury. She happened to be the 290th ship built by those gentlemen, and hence the name. The Alabama had been built in perfect good faith by the Lairds. When she was contracted for, no question had been raised as to the right of a neutral to build, and sell to a belligerent such a ship. The reader has seen that the Federal Secretary of the Navy himself had endeavored, not only to build an Alabama,
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