Britain Views the American Civil War

Report by Eric Heslop On 15 November, Dr Duncan Anderson, a Head of Department at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, gave a stimulating address on some of the diplomatic cross currents that infused the early stages of the War between the States. His early introduction to the ACW stemmed from an errant reading of mid-nineteenth century periodicals as an alternative to more energetic action on the sports field during his student days. The cartoons from many of these provided an amusing and informative commentary on many of the features that took up, in a less entertaining manner, many pages in the scholarly tomes that later were written. Not only were these illustrations educational in a jocular manner, but also served to indicate the great interest that was taken in the ACW from the other side of the Atlantic, and perhaps, more pertinent from a historical perspective, provided an insight on how contemporary opinion, in Britain, viewed the conflict. He was fortunate that, in his early academic career, he devilled as research assistant to professor Paul Crooks during the time when the professor was writing his seminal work on the diplomacy of the ACW "The North the South and the Powers".