The Alabama, British Neutrality, and the American Civil War

The Alabama, British Neutrality, and the American Civil War

Frank Merli, David Fahey
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/17/2004
Format: Hardback 8 b&w photos, 1 color photo
ISBN: 978-0-253-34473-1
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When Frank J. Merli died in December 2000, he left many manuscripts related to Great Britain and the American Civil War. At the request of Merli’s widow, David M. Fahey has edited this volume for publication. It offers a spirited critique of the way historians have presented the international dimension of the American Civil War. The book offers a fresh account of the escape of the CSS Alabama from British territorial waters in 1862, the decision of its captain, Raphael Semmes, to fight a Union gunboat off the coast of France in 1864, and the curious story of a British-built Chinese flotilla that could have become a small Confederate fleet had negotiations with the Chinese not broken down. The book will appeal to naval and diplomatic historians and to all Civil War buffs.

Author Bio

Frank J. Merli (1929–2000) was Professor of History at Queens College in the City University of New York. At the time of his death he was writing what amounted to a multi-volume sequel to Great Britain and the Confederate Navy, 1861–1865, portions of which are published under the title The Alabama, British Neutrality, and the American Civil War (Indiana University Press 2004).

David M. Fahey is Professor of History at Miami University of Ohio and author of Temperance and Racism: John Bull, Johnny Reb, and the Good Templars and co-editor of Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History: An International Encyclopedia. He lives in Oxford, Ohio.


“. . . intriguing . . . Merli’s depth of understanding of the British Foreign Office gives the reader real, and for the first time, an accurate chronology and information about the Alabama affair. . . ”
 — Net November 2006

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Frank J. Merli (1929<N>2000)
1. The International Dimension of the American Civil War
2. Toward the CSS Alabama
3. The Law of the Alabama
4. E. D. Adams, Roundell Palmer, and the Escape of the Alabama
5. Captain Butcher's Memoir of the Alabama's Escape Edited with Renata Eley Long
6. Raphael Semmes and the Challenge at Cherbourg
7. The Confederacy's Chinese Fleet, 1861<N>1867
Appendix: Publications of Frank J. Merli
Works Cited