American Confederate Navy

Waterways
9th February 2007, 22:57
The Confederate navy's unofficial home port was Liverpool - in England.
The most successful man-o-war in history was the CCS Alabama, sinking more vessels than any other.
Alabama had predominantly American officers (not all, some British) and a predominantly Liverpool crew.
Alabama was built at Lairds at Birkenhead, was American owned, fought an American war, had a mainly British crew and not once berthed in an American port.

The first shots of the US civil war were fired by guns made in Lydia Ann St, Liverpool and the last official lowering of the Confederate flag was in the River Mersey between Tranmere and Toxteth. The last act of the war was when Captain Warddell walked up the steps of Liverpool Town Hall surrendering his vessel.

CSS Alabama was sunk off Cherbourg in France by guns made in Lydia Ann St, Liverpool.

http://www.csa-dixie.com/liverpool_dixie/index.htm

OLD STRAWBERRY
10th February 2007, 10:52
You were talking about the first shots fired in the American Civil War. That would have been on Fort Sumter at Charleston?.

Waterways
10th February 2007, 11:17
You were talking about the first shots fired in the American Civil War. That would have been on Fort Sumter at Charleston?.

There is always a debate by US Civil War buffs about the first shots. It is generally accepted a cannon made by Fawcett Preston in Liverpool fired the first shot that meant the war was fully under way.

North and South both used Fawcett Preston canons and steam engines. Lairds shipyard was making ships for the north and south at the same time. Other yards made men-o-war for the south too. However the city of Liverpool was overwhelmingly pro Confederate, with the Stars and Bars flying on many buildings. This disturbed the North who set up an intricate spy ring to detect ships and arms destined for the South, who would then protest to Westminster.

The city ignored London's rulings that no one should supply arms to an enemy of a friend, supplying ships, their crews and arms to the south. Lairds building the iron twin turreted rams prompted Lincoln to threaten war on the UK if they were delivered (they would have wiped most of the Norths fleet away) - the RN reluctantly took them into the navy - they made every warship instantly obsolete, yet the RN didn't want them because they never designed them.

Bill Lambert
15th February 2007, 06:03
Well, I once shook the hand of the granddaughter of Raphael Semmes.

p44
15th October 2007, 15:58
I'm an enthusiast of the American Civil War and I highly recommend this book, it tells the complete story of the CS Navy:

http://www.amazon.com/History-Confederate-Navy-Raimondo-Luraghi/dp/1557505276/ref=sr_1_1/002-4747349-3917663?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192456531&sr=1-1

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41M3HZAJF2L._BO2,204,203,200_PIlitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg

History of the Confederate Navy is probably the only important book on the U.S. Civil War that was first written in Italian and then translated into English. Nonetheless, historian Raimondo Luraghi offers the fullest account to date of the South's naval activity. He challenges the popular notion that the Confederate navy was a failure because it did not break the North's blockade. Busting the blockade was not its main goal, Luraghi argues. Instead, the Confederate navy primarily wanted to prevent an amphibious invasion of the South--a mission in which it mostly succeeded. This particular interpretation is disputable, but the facts and figures of Luraghi's history are not. He shows how an agrarian people built a navy that managed to continue fighting several months after Lee's surrender at Appomattox, and on the whole made a good showing on the seas against an industrial superpower.

Chouan
15th October 2007, 21:12
"they made every warship instantly obsolete, yet the RN didn't want them because they never designed them."

The RN didn't want them because they had no purpose for them, more like. They weren't particularly good seaboats, as far as I'm aware, either.

Waterways
5th December 2016, 00:57
Liverpool - The Home of the Confederate Fleet:
https://localwiki.org/liverpool/Liverpool_-_The_Home_of_the_Confederate_Fleet

Waterways
5th December 2016, 01:04
"they made every warship instantly obsolete, yet the RN didn't want them because they never designed them."

The RN didn't want them because they had no purpose for them, more like. They weren't particularly good seaboats, as far as I'm aware, either.More like the RN did not like the fact that a mainly merchant shipyard outdesigned them.
The Laird Rams were excellent sea ships. Look at the Huáscar iron ram which was built for Peru and built by Lairds with a rotating turret. It was also used by the Chileans. It single handedly mauled a RN detachment in the Pacific. The ship is now a museum ship.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huáscar_(ironclad)

5036
5th December 2016, 02:15
Many Liverpool and Clyde built blockade runners and their fascinating stories here:

http://users.wowway.com/~jenkins/ironclads/famous.htm

There was also a commercial element to these vessels, the owners and crews were paid handsomely to run in ammunition and supplies and returned with cargoes of cotton, tobacco, turpentine and other commodities.

The fast Scottish paddlers Iona and Iona ii were both purchased by the confederates but neither made it out if UK waters. Iona sank in a collision off Gourock on her delivery trip and Iona ii was wrecked off Lundy Island. Both wrecks are now protected sites.

kypros
5th December 2016, 11:39
Nav very interesting research you have done,not sure if you may have the answer to this query but I was listening to local radio a couple of years ago the discussion was about a extra large siege gun built at the Mersey Forge and iron works on the corner of Harlowe st and Mill st in the south end of Liverpool,they said it was shipped down the steep hill in that area to the south docks by teams of chain horses and an embankment was built onto the dock road which part of this remains to this day and called Horsefall st.I recall the historian who,s name I cannot recall saying that gun because of its power and range started the American civil war by opening fire on Fort Sumter have you heard of this he also said there was a print in existence of the gun being shipped down the hill by teams of horses and men.? KYPROS

chadburn
5th December 2016, 12:19
One of the more famous blockade runners was the "Bermuda" built at Thornaby on Tees, both on the Stockton and Thornaby sides of the river numerous blockade runners were built under great secrecy as to their true purpose.
This meant that over a period Stockton had more Unionist spies per head of population than any other town in G.B.
It is not well known that numerous blockade runners were built on the East Coast especially on the Tees.

Waterways
5th December 2016, 12:36
Kypros, in 1845 a huge gun, the Horsefall cannon, was forged for the United States steam frigate Princeton at the Mersey Forge. The length from breech to muzzle was 12 ft and the diameter 12 inches. The weight of shot 219 lbs. The gun never started the US Civil war.

The Forge was not at Mill St, it was further down to the river at Caryl St and Grafton Street. The Forge closed down in the late 1890s. The site was there derelict for most of the 20th century with chimney stacks still there in the 1960s. Parts of the site were there, vacant, only a few years ago with the new houses of Bewey Close and Cooperage Close built, after being vacant for well over 100 years. Bewey Close and Cooperage Close's are separated by an old brick wall that was a part of the Forge - it was kept for historical reasons. The new flats on Caryl St are also on parts on the site. The site was large covering many blocks. You are right about Horsfall Street. It went over the railway right onto the Docks Road. The ramps up to the newish Brunswick Merseyrail station were the access ramps onto Horsefall St.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Princeton_(1843)

Waterways
5th December 2016, 18:32
Kypros, Here is the Mersey Forge site. Taken in the 1920-30s. Vacant with derelict buildings and chimney stacks.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kV0wxWfzFa0/UslObdX95rI/AAAAAAAAtl0/XtnbRtbCErM/s1600/An+aerial+view+from+the+1920s+or+30s.+Toxteth+and+ the+South+Docks.jpg