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Sat, 18 Feb



Bluejackets: The Men Who Made The US Navy

It is estimated that over 30 percent of the sailors in the US Navy during the Civil War were British or Irish immigrants, while another 15 percent were African American. Professor David Gleeson of the Civil War Bluejackets Project is looking into their experiences.

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Bluejackets: The Men Who Made The US Navy
Bluejackets: The Men Who Made The US Navy

Time & Location

18 Feb 2023, 13:00 – 16:00 GMT

London, Civil Service Club, Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ, UK

About the Event

Over 30 per cent of the men who served in the Union Navy during the Civil War had been born in the United Kingdom. Their story is less well-known than those who fought in the army as their duty did not provide many opportunities for glorious bravery. Serving on a blockading ship off the Confederate coast just did not have the cachet of a charge on a battlefield. Yet, the US Navy has very extensive digitized records for the Civil War Era. including all its muster rolls, listing the service of its c.118,000 sailors. Through the new Civil War Bluejackets Project, of which Gleeson is the principal investigator, a transcription and linking of these records can help us tell the full story of the common sailor in the Union Navy, both at the micro and macro levels. This talk focuses on the stories of British and Irish sailors who served in the Union Navy and their contribution to war effort at sea, and on America's rivers. These sailors' lives in the War also tell us a lot about immigrant life in the nineteenth-century United States.

Those interested in finding out more about the project can visit the  website which the ACWRT(UK) is pleased to sponsor.

About the Speaker

David T. Gleeson is Professor of American History at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is the author of The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America and the co-editor of The Civil War as Global Conflict: Transnational Meanings of the American Civil War.  A native of Ireland he taught in universities in the United States for twelve years before coming to Northumbria in 2009.

Discounted tickets are available to Full Time Students, please contact us for further details.


  • VENUE TICKET - Bluejackets

    This ticket is for people attending the meeting in person at the Civil Service club. Space is limited, so while we will admit 'walk-ins' if possible, anyone not purchasing a ticket in advance may be turned away if the venue is full. Tea, coffee and biscuits are included. Also includes access to the CSC bar before and after the event. A 50% refund will be given on the day to Full Time Students on presentation of a Student Card.

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  • ONLINE TICKET - Bluejackets

    This is a hybrid physical and online event (via Zoom). A small fee is charged for online access to hybrid events to cover costs. Zoom attendees cannot participate in the raffle. The online link will be sent to you on your email receipt. FullTime Students are eligible to attend free by Zoom - please contact us for a discount code

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    We welcome voluntary donations to enable us to continue our education and conservation projects on both sides of the Atlantic.

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