Why the American Civil War?
The war had finished a scant 73 years before I was born.
Among my childhood friends was one whose relation had fought for the South.
While I was young the last of it's warriors were still alive. (A Confederate
Walter W. Williams, who died on 19 Dec 1959).
I came upon an intriguing piece of information
in 1999, ‘North & South’ Vol 2, No 4, April, it stated that there are still alive “Two surviving widows of civil war veterans, Mrs. Getrude Grubb Janeway, widow of a Union veteran, and Mrs. Alberta Martin, widow of a Confederate veteran.”
If you browse through many a old graveyard in England, carefully pulling aside the ivy and looking under the many years of moss on the headstones, you can read the inscriptions of many of those who fought on both sides in this foreign civil war.
At every Saturday morning matinee John Wayne, or some other western hero, rode across the silver screen of my youth. While still in my teens, if I remember correctly it was, Mitch Miller and his band who released a copy of "The Yellow Rose of Texas.' I am still unable to remember to sing the correct words always reverting to those that I had learn so long ago. And let’s not forget just about everyone in this country could sing the chorus of 'Dixie.'
Interested in all history among the books I read were those on America. These put me in touch with such Southern Hero's as Forrest, Stuart, Jackson, and Robert E. Lee. Not forgetting the 'Virginia', the 'Monitor', and 'Pook's turtles', there was also Stuart's rides around the Union army, and 'Prince' John Magruder in the Peninsular. Just to name a few.
My countries history is linked with the American first as our colony and then as our enemies in the ‘War of Independence’ and the ‘War of I812.' (We also gave the 'White House' it’s name as English troops burnt it in the ‘War of 1812.’ It had to be white washed to cover the stains). During the civil war an estimated 50,000 English and English Canadians fought, mainly on the Federal side. Some went on to become Generals, including a Confederate one.
Georgia is named after an English King. North and South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia are named after English Queens. An English Prime Minister provided the name to the state of Pennsylvania. New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York are named after an English county, island and city respectively. Finally towns and cities to numerous to mention have the same names as English towns and cities.
During the war England was a major suppliers of munitions of war to both sides, with the most prominent of the blockade-runners being English. Among the munitions carried were: P1853 cavalry sabers; he Union purchased 428,292 Enfield bayonets; Deane-Adams, Beaumont-Adams, Kerr, and William Tranter provided quantities of revolvers. The P1853 Enfield rifled musket became the standard Confederate longarm and the second most issued Federal weapon, both North and South importing about 400,000 each. In the October of 1863 the Enfield Carbine was adopted as the regulation issue longarm for Confederate cavalry. Such manufacturers as Armstrong, Blakely, and Whitworth supplied artillery. As a longarm JEB Stuart carried a Calister-Terry .56 English Breech loader.
As well as blockade-runners surface raiders were brought and built in England. The most famous surface raider of all was the 'CSS Alabama' who's crew was predominantly English. It's battle with 'USS Kearsage' was fought in the English Channel. After it's sinking many of the crew were picked up by an English yacht, the ‘Deerhound.’ These survivors landed at Southampton, England.
It's possible to visit the first English ocean going ironclad, and to my knowledge the oldest surviving ironclad, 'HMS Warrior', at Portsmouth. She was the second ironclad to be built, the French built the first, this was in 1860 before the 'Monitor' and the 'Virginia.' As the link between this country and the USA is known 'Warrior' is crewed by the ‘Southern Skirmish Association's’ 'Alabama Crew' for up to 3 times a year as a Confederate warship.
(It was known for young girls to marry war veterans of both sides, as they had a pension. So this isn't impossible that they could still be alive.)