Saturday, August 1, 2015

Raphael Semmes and the Confederate Navy

 semmes 2

On October 17, 1862 William E. Gladstone, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered a speech at New Castle concerning the widening conflict in America. He said:

“We may have our opinions about slavery; we may be for or against the South; but there is no doubt that Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an army. They are making, it appears, a navy and they have made what is more than either – they have made a nation…” at which point he was interrupted by loud and protracted cheering.”

Was Gladstone’s remark concerning the fledgling Confederate States Navy accurate or convenient hyperbole useful in advancing his party’s interests in the next round of elections for Parliament by catering to the substantial Pro-Southern block of British voters?