Detail of letter from Major Caleb Huse to Charles K Prioleau, c 8 November 1862 Archives reference B/FT/BOX 1/27
The American Civil War began on 12 April 1861 and ended in Liverpool on 6 November 1865, when the last Confederate warship 'CSS Shenandoah' surrendered in the Mersey. It resulted in the abolition of slavery in the United States.
This display of letters from the Maritime Archives and Library was part of the Liverpool and the American Civil War programme running from 2011 to 2015, which includes displays and a museum trail (pdf) to mark the 150th anniversary.
Image: The detail shown is from a letter from Major Caleb Huse, arms procurement agent, Confederate States Army, to Charles K. Prioleau, circa 8 November 1862.
In 1861 Caleb Huse resigned his commission in the US Army and joined the Confederate States Army with a mission to travel to Europe to procure arms. This he did with great success, providing the South with the weapons it needed to fight the war. In this letter he refers to vessels being built for the Confederacy at Birkenhead and highlights their importance as blockade runners.
The detail is taken from this line in the letter:
"If we can have a six months armistice and meantime those life preservers at Birkenhead can be finished - so far as getting supplies in or cotton out is concerned, we shall be quite independent of the three great powers."