Welcome to the website of the 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.
President's Report - August 2013
I knew it would work. I am still not sure why I had any doubts. From that first moment of the conference to the last we were mesmerised by the events of 1864. Yes we were pretty sure what Joe Whitehorne, Jeremy Mindell and John D-Z would deliver. But Parker Hills? Who he? Well he certainly is a man who knows his stuff and through his unique style and presentation he kept us all on our toes. Absolutely brilliant stuff. The bar gets set higher and higher and it was a shame that it had to end because he could have kept going into Sunday night. Thanks to the team; Peter, Derek, lain and Sandra for the behind the scenes work. These events do not just happen, it involves months of preparation. Mark 4-6 April 2014 in your diary now. Also mark June 20-23 2014 which will be the annual field trip. We took little persuading in going for Cherbourg to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Alabama V Kearsarge battle. We will also include some WW2 as we renew our on-going interest in the "Blue and Grey" division as we cover the battles in and around the Cotentin peninsula and St Lo. I was pleased with the amount of "well done" and "thank you" notes from the conference, particularly from newer members. I had never noticed my transition from "raw recruit" to "veteran" and it is comforting to see how some of our newer members are finding their voice. This was also clearly seen in the "Person of the Year" debate with John Coski. Fact, figures, and opinions fly around the room and it is all taken in good spirit and humour If only we could bottle it, we would make a fortune. Until next time
Meeting Dates for 2014
2014 Meeting Dates
|January 18th||Steven Foulston - The Civil War in Florida|
|March 1st ||Charles Rees- Gettysburg Day Three Reassessed|
|April 4 - 6th||Annual Conference - 1864: Bullets and Ballots|
|June 20 - 23rd||Field Trip - Cherbourg and St Lo|
|September 20th||Gail Stephens - Jubal Early's Raid|
James D Bulloch: Secret Agent and Mastermind of the Confederate Navy
By Walter E Wilson & Gary L McKay
Review By Len Ellison
The authors have spent many hours meticulously researching this book and have completed a wonderful job. The book is a must have for anyone interested in the American Civil War. It not only describes Bulloch's connection with the Confederate Navy but his important connection with the 26th US President Theodore Roosevelt, (who called him Uncle Jimmy).
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Commanding Boston's Irish Ninth
The Civil War Letters of Colonel Patric R Guiney, Ninth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Edited by Christian G Samito
(ISBN 0-8232-1813-9 Published by Fordham University Press New York 263 pages)
Reviewed By Rees Taylor
This is the sixth in the series of books published by Fordham entitled 'The Irish in the Civil War', and the first I have read. In relation to the subject of the Irish volunteer in the Civil war this book offers a different perspective to the normal portrayal of the social and political background of the Irish ex-pat. At the outset of the war Guiney had been a Democrat supporter, as most of the Irish community in the United States were and remained. The book is very strong on the reasons and logic behind this communal stance. However, unlike his community, Guiney moved from being a staunch Democrat to a Republican supporter in the early war years and he suffered for it, both in the community of the regiment and in the regiment's home town of Boston.
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Battles and campaigns
Burnside's 'Mud March'
click image to zoom
by Greg Bayne
(From his article 'A Wild Walpurgus Night', which appeared in Crossfire No 92, Spring 2010)
The Christmas of 1862 would not have been full of cheer for Ambrose Burnside. His grand strategy of outflanking Lee at Fredericksburg was in tatters and the flower of the Army of the Potomac lay dead on the fields below Mayres Heights. 1 The mood of the Army was not difficult to gauge. Union soldiers in Hancock's division used a Christmas Eve review to show their displeasure. Burnside and Sumner joined the parade at 5:00PM. As the Irish Brigade paraded by, they hailed Sumner enthusiastically but "not so with Genl. Burnside." They met him with stony silence. An embarrassed Sumner appealed to the brigade to cheer - for his own sake.
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Barnacles – Alabama Crewman
By Maurice Rigby
Robert Egan was born in Standish Street, Chorley, on September 20 1846, the eldest son of a builder's labourer James and Elizabeth Egan nee Snape, and was baptised at Saint Gregory's Roman Catholic Church one week later.
The public health conditions in Chorley were in a terrible state during the late 1840's and early 1850's, with the local River Chor carrying most of the sewerage. What water supplies that were around came from very old wells and springs, with the odd private water pump like the one situated in Standish Street with a charge of a 1d (one penny) a week to use it.
This photo shows Captain Semmes with two of the five boys who were on the ship. We are pretty certain that the boy on the left is Thomas Parker and we would like to think that the “grumpy” one is Robert Egan
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