Welcome to our new site!

Visitor! We hope you like our new site! Users of our old one will notice we have changed how we categorise features. Most articles now fall under one of 4 headings: Battles & Campaigns, Preservation, Profiles and UK Heritage.


We can now highlight articles on our front page, where we will give priority to forthcoming meetings, events and special announcements.


Moving the existing pages into our new site (and onto our new domain address: acwrt.org.uk) has been a challenge! I would like to thank our web designer - Simon at Pythononline for this.


If you find something that needs changing, like a web link that is no longer active, please tell us.


- Webmaster

Our invitation to you

Our Round Table comprises people from all walks of life who are interested in any or all aspects of the war, but who also care enough to contribute to the growing number of initiatives to preserve this heritage for future generations.


If after browsing our site you would like to join us we’d be very happy to enrol you, whatever colour you prefer!


"Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an army; they are making, it appears, a navy; and they have made what is more than either; they have made a nation"


W.E. Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer, October 1862

Featured article

The London Confederates

by John D. Bennett


Called a "legend" by Amanda Foreman when she met him at her recent talk to the RT in November, it is worth a fresh look.


See full article.

Welcome to the website of the American Civil War Round Table (UK)

American Civil War Round Table UK

We’re a growing group of mostly British-based members, who get together and share information about all aspects of one of the greatest conflicts of the 19th century. You will also find here articles taken from our thrice yearly magazine ‘Crossfire’, that is free to members. If after browsing our site you would like to join us we’d be very happy to enrol you, whatever colour you prefer!


Our Round Table comprises people from all walks of life who are interested in any or all aspects of the war, but who also care enough to contribute to the growing number of initiatives to preserve this heritage for future generations. We meet frequently, mostly in London, to hear a wide variety of presentations on the war. Our speakers have included such published historians as Ed Bearss, Amanda Foreman and Gary Gallagher.


Why, you may wonder, with so much history of our own? Surprisingly, we are the first in the line of Civil War Round Tables set up in the 1950s - almost exlusively in the United States. We have maintained a natural affinity with events of the Civil War. With many of its participants hailing from these islands it is unsurprising that British viewpoints settled over this all-American affair. And both North and South - the Blue and the Grey - looked hopefully to Britain and its empire for signs of support: and warily for signs of hostility. The war sparked heated debate in a Britain that had set its moral face against slavery while supporting a new industrial age that included a cotton industry dependent upon Southern slaves.


Latest news


President's Report - Summer 2014


From Crossfire Magazine - Summer 2014


By Greg Bayne


Well we did it again. A brilliant annual conference weekend at Ascot with Frank O'Reilly and Steve Davis very ably supported by our very own team. I was worried about it of course, but it came together quite nicely. What I really appreciate is the depth of enthusiasm and knowledge that you all have. I sat back on the Friday night in the bar contemplating the few days ahead. In one corner were a few members discussing Sherman's total war concepts, in another (no prizes here!) worrying whether West Ham were going to stay up and another were doing their utmost (and succeeding) to make Steve Davis welcome. Everything was set fair for a great weekend.




See full article

Forthcoming events


Meeting Dates for 2014


2014 Meeting Dates
January 18thSteven Foulston - The Civil War in Florida
March 1st Charles Rees- Gettysburg Day 3: A Reconsideration
April 4 - 6thAnnual Conference 2014 – 1864-Bullets & Ballots
May 31stDavid Gleeson - Irish Confederates in 1864
June 20 - 23rdField Trip - Cherbourg and St Lo
September 20thGail Stephens - Jubal Early's Raid
November 15thMember Presentations/Mini-lectures


15 November 2014 - Missouri Guerrillas | Lincoln Makes A Speech | John Buford at Gettysburg


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Following our AGM, we will return to the main event with our traditional mini-lectures. This year we bring two new speakers from our ranks and by popular request a member who never fails to bring a smile to our face with his particular twist on Civil War history.


John Buford at Gettysburg


Speaker: Ray Wilkinson


Ray Wilkinson is a new member to the Round Table He is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides. His talk will look at the actions of Buford (picture) at Gettysburg. Was he in the right place at the right time? Or was Heth just inept? Ray will link together the facts to see if we can agree.



Missouri Guerrillas


Speaker: Phil Alderton


Why did Missouri tear itself to pieces? How did the Union Army try to restore order among a hostile populace? How successfully did it deal with guerrilla activities?


Phil Alderton has been a member of the Round Table since 2007. His main interest is the political aspects of the American Civil War, but he is fascinated by all aspects of the war with a particular focus on the western campaign, especially Shiloh. He has tramped many battlefields in the US, the first being Fort Sumter when he was 9. He also re-enacts with the 18th Missouri Volunteer Infantry and has shouldered a musket on many occasions both here and in the US.


Lincoln Makes A Speech


Speaker: Roger Blake


This short presentation will try and sort the truth from the legends. How did the citizens of Gettysburg cope with the debris of war left behind? Roger will mention the personalities who organised the Gettysburg dedication. What was the press reaction North and South and why was Edward Everett more reviled in the South than Lincoln? Roger will try and include some human interest stories that historians are inclined to leave out. Finally Lincoln was fond of telling a story so he will conclude by telling of two internationally renowned thespians (sadly no longer with us) who for different reasons gave what can only be described as highly individual interpretations of the Gettysburg Address.


Roger Blake needs no introduction to our members, bon viveur, one time auctioneer and ex-bus driver. Roger never fails to find a new slant on an existing story.







See full article

Battles and campaigns


Jubal Early in the Valley, 1864


James Falkner described Grant's intentions to attack on various fronts with Hunter in the Shenandoah Valley and Butler approaching Richmond from due east. After the battles of the Overland Campaign Grant was "off balance". This led to the ill-fated attempt by Sheridan to link with Hunter, which culminated in the battle at Trevillian's Station. Hunter took Staunton before approaching Lynchburg. During the battle of Cold Harbor, Lee detached Breckinridge to hold Lynchburg. Then on 12 June 1864 Lee called Jubal Early and detached one-third of the Army of Northern Virginia to save both Lynchburg and the Shenandoah Valley. Lee was confident that this could be done.




See full article



Bob Dylan and the American Civil War


By John Murray


This article originally appeared in 'Crossfire' magazine, August 2013 (No 102)


In his review of the film "Gods and Generals" in the October 2003 issue of "Crossfire" (No. 72), the magazine of the ACWRT(UK), Brian Moriarty commented that the soundtrack, apart from Mary Fahl's "Going Home", was "disappointing". This was in contrast to Tony Arundell who, in his review of "Gods and Generals" in the April 2004 issue of "Crossfire" (No. 74), expressed the view that the film's Edelmann/ Frizzel score was one "to die for". Brian went on to state that "Bob Dylan's tuneless (emphasis added) "Cross (sic) the Green Mountain" is crying out for someone to sing who has some melodic appreciation (emphasis added)". I suspect that this somewhat negative appraisal has been the only mention of Bob Dylan in the pages of "Crossfire". To this writer, it was an inspired and most appropriate choice for Dylan to have been asked to write and perform the song played over the closing credits of the film. Dylan, it is worth remembering, was already an Academy Award Winner (for best song, in the film "Wonder Boys" (2000)) and, of course, he wrote and performed the soundtrack on Sam Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid".


See full article


The European Diary of William L Yancey, March-June, 1861


Edited by Charles Priestley


This article originally appeared in Crossfire, the magazine of the ACWRT(UK) - Summer 2014


Among the William Lowndes Yancey Papers in the Alabama Department of Archives and History is a brief diary of Yancey’s visit to Europe as the first Confederate States Commissioner to Great Britain. Some ten years ago, I was able to obtain from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa a photocopy of this diary, together with a typed transcription clearly made some years before. I quickly saw that the typescript had a large number of inaccuracies, some probably because the writer was not familiar with the various British or French references, others because he or she had simply failed to read the manuscript correctly. For example, in describing his visit to Paris from London, Yancey states that he travelled “via Boulogne”; in the typescript, this appears as “in a Bourogue”.


The photocopy of the manuscript is very faint in places, as indeed is that of the typescript, but by comparing manuscript and typescript I was eventually able to produce what I felt was a reasonably accurate version of the diary, although I was unable to identify a number of the Americans mentioned.



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Lord Lyons and Civil War Diplomacy 1859-1865


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Speaker: Scott T Cairns


Scott,, a U.S academic at the London School of Economics, is currently researching the career of Lord Lyons.


It was evident that the influence of a skilled diplomat, whose hands were not directly on the levers of power, significantly affected the attitude of the British Government.




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UK Heritage


The Confederate Bazaar at Liverpool


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by John Bennett


(This Article originally appeared in 'Crossfire - The Magazine of the American Civil War Round Table (UK)' Issue No. 61 - December 1999)


Liverpool during the American Civil War was probably the most pro-Confederate city in Britain. The birthplace of the commerce raider CSS Florida, a major port for blockade running, and the scene of frantic speculation in cotton brought out of the beleaguered Confederacy, the fortunes of its large and wealthy merchant class were closely bound up with those of the Southern States. 'Does anyone... who knows Liverpool doubt that the overwhelming balance of sympathy is on the side of the South?' asked the Liverpool Albion in May 1862 (1), while prominent Liverpool businessman James Spence, one of the Confederacy's most active sympathisers, described it as 'the headquarters of Southern sentiment.'




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