Welcome to the American Civil War Round Table (UK) site

To help you navigate around the site, all articles 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.

 

- 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!

Quotation

 

"I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers ... it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated ... that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation."

 

(William Tecumseh Sherman)

 

 

The website

If you find something that needs changing, like a web link that is no longer active, please tell us.

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 all this interest in American events of the past 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 exclusively 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 perhaps not surprising that British viewpoints have been brought to bear on this all-American affair.

 

Latest news

 

18/7/2020 - Was this the Worst Regiment in the Union Army?

 

The American Civil War Round Table (UK) July 2020 meeting presents a lecture by former Round Table President and current editor of Crossfire Greg Bayne in which he tells the extraordinary story of how an entire regiment was court-martialled in the winter of 1862-63. With some participation in advance from the attendees, Greg explored what made a potentially good regiment bad. It’s a fascinating piece of original research, and you can watch a recording of the lecture here.

 

 

https://youtu.be/EzcX2jA-y0U


 

13/7/2020 - ACCOUNTS APPROVED!

 

Another first for the Round Table! The accounts have been approved by the membership using the new electronic methodology with 30 votes in favour of adopting the Accounts and none against.

Forthcoming events

 

ACWRT(UK) 2020 Programme

 

19 September - STILL UNDER REVIEW. The committee is looking at the possibility of a normal meeting and is checking availability of a venue. Alternatively, an online meeting again.

 

16-18 October - Field Trip. SEE ANNOUNCEMENT BELOW

 

14 November - AGM. VOLUNTEERS TO SPEAK NEEDED and WELCOMED!!! Being kept under review but currenty going ahead..

 

4-6 December Re-scheduled Conference at Wokefield Park. Being kept under review.

 

19 December (Saturday) - Christmas Lunch at Union Jack Club. UNDER REVIEW but currenty going ahead.


 

16/10/2020 - 2020 Field Trip Metz & Sedan

 

Field trip 16 - 19 October Franco Prussian War 1870 Metz & Sedan.

POSTPONED UNTIL 2021

 

 

Dates and other information when available.


 

4/12/2020 - 2020 Conference Has been re-scheduled for 4-6 December at the same venue - Wokefield Park

 

More detail of speakers and programme as and when available.

Preservation news

 

01/06/2020 SHENANDOAH VALLEY BATTLEFIELDS FOUNDATION - DONATION REQUEST APPROVED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In last month’s Vedette we mentioned an appeal being organised by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation to support some of the smaller historic sites who don’t get Federal or State funding to help them through the shutdown. A $500 donation has been approved by the Committee, but under our Constitution we need to formally put this to our members to have their say. In the circumstances we cannot do this at a meeting and waiting till the shutdown ends would rather defeat the object of the donation. So we are seeking deemed consent through Vedette. If anyone has objections to this use of funds please contact Mike Somerville to make your views known. If we have not heard any objections by 15 June 2020 we will make the donation.

 

Information can be found on the Foundations’s website

 

https://www.shenandoahatwar.org/

 

Book reviews

 

28/7/2020 - The Great Partnership by Christian B Keller

 

Those who attended our Conference of 2017 will remember the presentations of Christian Keller on strategy and command. He mentioned his forthcoming book and here it is!

 

 

The story of the unique friendship between Lee and Jackson, two leaders who chiselled a strategic path forward against the odds and almost triumphed. Why were Generals Lee and Jackson so successful in their military partnership during the Civil War? What was it about their styles, friendship, even their faith, that cemented them together into a fighting machine that consistently won despite often overwhelming odds against them?

 

The Great Partnership has the power to change how we think about Confederate strategic decision-making and the value of personal relationships among senior leaders responsible for organizational survival

Those relationships in the Confederate high command were particularly critical for victory, especially the one that existed between the two great Army of Northern Virginia generals.

It has been almost three decades since any author attempted a joint study of the two leaders. At the very least, the book will inspire a lively debate among the thousands of students of Civil War history; at best, it will significantly revise how we evaluate Confederate strategy during the height of the war and our understanding of why, in the end, the South lost.

 

 

“Students of strategy and tactics, as well as of the Civil War, will find this a useful look at a storied partnership.”—Kirkus Reviews.

 

“Christian B. Keller’s perceptive analysis of Jackson’s contribution to the partnership, the impact of operations in the Eastern Theater, and the degree to which personal and professional ties intersected should spark a good deal of discussion among those interested in the Confederacy’s premier army and its most famous commanders.”—Gary W. Gallagher, author of Lee and His Army in Confederate History

 

“Christian Keller explores anew this well-studied relationship in a fresh, insightful, and persuasive work. This book will kindle debate, generate controversy, and reframe old arguments. Simply put, it is good history.”—Jeffry D. Wert, author of A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee’s Triumph, 1862-1863

 

“Christian Keller cuts through the Lost Cause haze and a century of debate to give us our clearest view yet of arguably the most important and effective partnership of the American Civil War. This is an important, thoughtful book, well done.”—John Hennessy, author of Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas

Christian B. Keller is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair of National Security and Professor of History in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

 

Published by Pegasus (ISBN 978-1-64313-134-4)


 

2/3/2019 - Farragut's Captain - Percival Drayton 1861-1865 by Peter Barratt

 

British historian, Peter Barratt has produced a fine biography of Civil War naval officer and the hero of a number of its famous naval actions, Captain Percival Drayton, USN.

 

Drayton was an accomplished and experienced naval officer who was born in

Charleston, South Carolina in August 1812 into a distinguished colonial family.

In September of 1865, friends of Drayton commissioned a memorial plaque to honour him and his remarkable career in the service of his country. The memorial plaque was placed in Trinity Episcopal church near Wall Street in New York City.

 

Adorning the memorial and placed above the inscription are the words which perhaps best summarize Drayton’s character:Peter Barratt has done a great deal of research in uncovering background information on a figure of Civil War history who contributed quietly and in an unassuming way to ultimate victory for the Union. Despite the fact that he was a scion of a prominent slave holding family of Charleston, he never held a slave; and even faced his own brother in one of the earliest actions of the conflict. This was Percival Drayton– navy captain and

hero of several engagements that led to eventual Union victory. Peter Barratt used

resources and personal contacts at the Union League of Philadelphia, the personal

insight of Captain Jack Lieberman, US Navy (retired), a Drayton expert; and other

troves of primary resource materials.

 

The book is concise, but well written, well sourced and informative, telling an exciting tale of devotion to duty by Percival Drayton in spite of hardship, toil, family discord and danger.

 

In just 172 pages, Barratt was able to capture the essence of the character and

determination of a remarkable patriot and to bring his story alive for the reader. Little has been written of Percival Drayton, and Barratt, using letters, correspondence, and other primary source material gathered over many long years of research to craft a very sympathetic, but realistic portrait of a model warrior of the sea.

 

I can recommend this quick read to all who wish to augment their knowledge of the Civil War at sea and of the Navy. They will come away with a much-improved view of one of the unsung heroes in a true conflict of ‘brother against brother’, whom, I hypothesize, lost his life due to his strenuous service in war, though having obtained peace.

 

Anthony (Andy) Waskie, Ph.D.

Temple University, Philadelphia

 


 

1/3/2019 - Bull Run to Boer War: How the American Civil War Changed the British Army by Michael Somerville

 

The American Civil War is often said to have predicted the way in which later wars such as the Boer War and the First World War would be fought. As a result the British Army has been criticised for not heeding its lessons, a view that can be traced back to the 1930s.

 

This book challenges that long-held view, and demonstrates that the responses to the lessons of the war in the British Army were more complex, better informed, and of higher quality, than normally depicted.

 

Key to this new interpretation is that it takes a nineteenth century perspective rather than pre-supposing what the British should have seen based upon hindsight from the South African veldt or the Western Front trenches. It demonstrates that strategists and policy-makers reacted to the changes in the nature of warfare suggested by American experience, looks at how officers in the cavalry, infantry, artillery and engineers applied their observations in America to the technical and tactical issues of the day, and even examines the war's influence on the development of aeronautics.

 

In studying how the Civil War changed the Late Victorian British Army, the book provides insight into its learning process, and concludes that although sometimes flawed, its study of the American Civil War meant that it was better prepared for the wars of the twentieth century than previously acknowledged.

Crossfire magazine

 

1/5/2020 Latest Three Issues of Crossfire

 

 

Number 121 Contents - Spring 2020

 

The Battle of Springfield, Missouri, Jan 8 1863 - William Piston

Under a Sulphorous Sky - Manxmen and the Battle of Gettysburg - John Murray

A Postmaster in the Cavalry - Pvt George R Adderton 63rd NC - Charles Priestley

Two Scouts of the border Part 2 - Steve French

Barnacles - Alabama Crewman George Gitsinger - Maurice Rigby

Lonesome Pine - Fort Pillow - Tony Daly

We've all gone Quackers - Fake remedies - Greg Bayne

Letter from CW Alabama - Alabama at Gettysburg - Erick Bush

Buddy can you spare a dime? The CSA Tobacco tax - Greg Bayne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 120 Contents - Winter 2019

 

Railroads in the Gettysburg Campaign - Scott Mingus Sr

Two letters from Polignac - Charles Priestley

Depicting Combat: Veracity in drawings by Frank Vizetelly and Alfred Waud - Graham Whitham

Letter from CW Alabama - CSS Nashville, Selma & the Mobile Bay Squadron - Erick Bush

Two Scouts of the border Part 1 - Steve French

Barnacles - Alabama Crewman Richard Hambly - Maurice Rigby

From the White House to Gettysburg and to Arlington - Robert Tyler Jones - John Murray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 119 Contents - Summer 2019

 

Was 'Secession' taught at Westpoint? - Tony Margrave

On the Cleburne Trail in Cork and Cumbria - Charles Priestley

The Wounding of General Hood and the story of a picture - Tony Margrave

Lonesome Pine - Burning Bridges in East Tennessee - Tony Daly

Letter from CW Alabama - Cmdr. Catesby ap Roger Jones - Erick Bush

A man of the 55th Virginia - William B Hardy - Richard O'Sullivan

Wilder's Lightening Brigade at Hoover's Gap - Eric Wittenburg

James Pendlebury's Civil War - John Murray

Fakes news and hacks - the editor lets rip - Greg Bayne

All hail Farragut - the editor lets rip Part 2 - Greg Bayne

 

Established 1953