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If you find something that needs changing, like a web link that is no longer active, please tell us.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


23/11/2014 - ACWRT UK Conference 2015


The ACWRT conference in 2015 will take place on the evening of Friday 17th April 2015 and finish at lunchtime on Sunday 19th April 2015 at the:


De Vere Conference Centre, Sunningdale Park, Larch Avenue, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0QE.


Both the days commence at 08:45 and there will be an informal discussion on the Friday night, 17th April 2015.


There will be two main speakers, Michael W Kauffman and Nelson D. Lankford and you can learn more about these speakers by clicking on their respective names.


The conference package includes:


  • Entrance to the conference with tea & coffee on both days
  • Two night’s bed and breakfast accommodation
  • Dinner on Friday night
  • Lunch on Saturday
  • A three-course dinner on the Saturday night

You can make your reservation by downloading the reservation form and sending the completed form with a small deposit. Details of how to do this are on the reservation form itself.


Following the success of the 2014 conference, this new venue promises to host a very interesting and varied programme of presentations and discussion. In order to secure your place at the conference, please send in your reservation as soon as possible.


To see the quality of the venue, have a look here. and you can get directions by clicking here.



President's Report - Winter 2014


By Charles Rees


Firstly I would like to thank the members for electing me President of the ACWRTUK at the AGM. It is a great honour and a hard act to follow. Greg Bayne has been a fine President for six years and has left the Round Table in a better state than he found it. However I have asked him to stay on as acting President until the Conference in April for several reasons. The meeting dates for next year have already been set and I will be away for the first one. Greg always wanted to be President for the 150th anniversaries of the whole Civil War. It will be a good time to give him a proper send off. It will give me time to organise a new committee. Lastly it will give me time to facilitate the Conference which I am glad to say is now taking shape.




See full article

Forthcoming events


Meeting Dates for 2015


2015 Meeting Dates
17th JanuaryMurray Neil - Ranald MacKenzie – “Bad Hand”
28th FebruaryTBA
17th-19th AprilMichael Kauffman/Nelson Lankford - Annual Conference - '1865: The End of Dreams'
30th MayTBA
25th JulyTBA
5th-6th September Field Trip to Waterloo
26th SeptemberDamien Shiels - Irish Pensioners
28th NovemberEric Graham - Clyde Built

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.



See full article


Lord Lyons and Civil War Diplomacy 1859-1865


click image to zoom

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.




See full article

UK Heritage


The Confederate Bazaar at Liverpool


click image to zoom

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.'




See full article

Established 1953