James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
restored.1 The news of Hookers disaster at Chancellorsville strengthened this belief. Then came the intelligence of Lees invasion of Pennsylvania, fostering the rumors which were abroad that England and France would decide on intervention. Attempts were now made by assemblies of the people to stimulate and extend that phase of sentiment which favored recognition of the Southern Confederacy. Meetings were held in Manchester, Preston, Sheffield and some other places which recommended this policy and were answered by other gatherings that protested against any interference.
On April 5, 1863, Earl Russell stopped the Alexandra, a gun-boat which was building at Birkenhead for the Southern Confederacy. His action was contested and although the decision in the Court of Exchequer was against the English government, the case remained for a long while in the Courts on one legal point and another, with the result that the vessel never got into Confederate hands to be used against American commerce.
The fluctuations of ministerial and House of Commons discussions during the spring and summer of 1863 need not here be reviewed; it should, however, be stated that a distinct line of demarcation is to be discerned between English sentiment and action before and after the victories of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the news of which reached Europe soon after the middle of July.
In the meantime, work was proceeding on two steam iron-clad rams which the Lairds were building at Birkenhead for the Confederates. Adams was diligent in calling Earl Russells attention to the transaction, and in furnishing him the evidence supplied by Dudley, our consul at Liverpool, which showed the character and destination of
Note 1. Review of Buckles Disraeli, IV, Nation, July 27, 1916. [back]