The principles are a worthier topic.
Map showing the Southern states and the order of secession.
The Northern States denied the right of secession, claiming that the union was a "federal" one and the attempt at separation was rebellion. The Southern States claimed that the Union was a "confederation" from which any member is entitled to separate itself. The British Government under Henry John Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston) declined to judge between them.
Popular sentiment in England was passionately divided, not quite as much as in their former colonies, but a violent feeling against slavery met an equally vehement advocacy of the South for the right of self-government. Since the South fought against heavy odds, the sporting British people were drawn to the underdog (the Confederacy).
Palmerston’s government was determined to maintain a strict neutrality. This, to most intents and purposes, it succeeded in doing though their cotton industry suffered direly. The blockades of the Southern ports cut off supplies of raw cotton upon which the Lancashire cotton industry was dependent. The cotton famine deprived many Lancashire operatives of their means of livelihood, putting more pressure on the government to aid the South.
The Trent Affair increased sympathy with the South in England and very nearly involved Great Britain in the war. The Southerners dispatched two commissioners, one to England and one to France. The commissioners reached a neutral port and embarked on a British vessel, the Trent. A Union warship boarded The Trent and the commissioners were carried off. A declaration of war was only averted when President Lincoln gave way to the demands of the British Government and released the commissioners.
If Britain had entered the war on the side of the South, history might have been quite different, but the worthier topic of principles would not have been as well served perhaps.
The Union had its own cause for complaint against England. Ships built and fitted out in British docks, sailed from British ports apparently harmless intent, were employed by the Confederacy as cruisers. The most notorious instance was the Alabama. The British Government repudiated the Union’s charge that the English had not displayed due diligence in preventing such actions. When the war ended with the Union the victor, claims for damages were brought against the British for the Confederates’ use of the cruisers.
Her General in Gray was inspired by the Ghost & Mrs. Muir, not by the Civil War. Here is the blurb and a short excerpt. See what you think of this Confederate General.
BLURB: Autumn Hartley purchases Allen Hall at a steal, but the northern lass gets far more than a beautiful plantation in the South Carolina Low Country. The house comes complete with its own ghost, a handsome and charming Civil War General—for the Confederacy. The stage is set for another civil conflict.
John Sibley Allen died in battle from a wound in the back, the bullet fired by the turncoat, Beauregard Dudley. The traitor’s reincarnation is Autumn the Interloper’s first dinner guest. Sib bedevils her date and annoys her with fleeting, phantom touches, certain he can frighten her away as he did previous purchasers. As time marches on, her resident ghost becomes more appealing while her suitor, Beau, pales in comparison. Autumn finds her ability to love didn’t perish in the divorce that sent her south seeking a fresh start.
After over a century in the hereafter, Sib discovers he is falling for none other than the feisty Yankee girl, but what future could a modern woman and an old-fashioned ghost possibly hope for?
“You are not there.” Autumn dropped her book and leapt to her feet, shaking her fist at the apparition standing beside the fireplace.
The frolicking blaze shone through the whatever-he-was lounging by the hearth, his arm stretched along the mantel. A ceramic clock beside his hand chimed the hour—seven golden notes. Tall candles in brass candlesticks flickered in an eerie fire dance. He appeared to be a Civil War soldier of the South, his opaque uniform gray with a nasty red-stained hole near the heart. Double rows of gold buttons decorated the coat. Three gold stars and a wreath on the collar glittered in the firelight. No blood spilled from the apparition. Except for his wound, he looked perfectly healthy—for a dead man! He nodded and bowed elegantly...as much so as his lost society had been, regardless of the strong backs supporting that way of life.
“Oh, but I am, Miss Hartley.” He straightened, longish hair gently curling over his face.
A chill raced over her, but she suppressed the tremor of apprehension. Autumn swallowed hard and adjusted her white cotton blouse. “I don’t believe in ghosts. You’re not welcome here. I bought this house and am struggling to pay for it. Get your Halloween self out of my living room.”
He smiled. “It’s not Halloween, and we share this house. It was mine, you know, and still is. I’m willing to share it with you—even if you are a Yankee. After all, the conflict is over, and I’ll hold no grudge against the Northern aggressors. Even though the South will never surrender.”
“Northern aggressors?” She inhaled sharply, the vanilla scent of the candles on the dining room table drifting into the living room. Everything about Allen Hall was beautiful. She loved the house. But this conversation with an arrogant spirit solidified defiance. “And, for your information, the South did surrender.”
“A point of history.” He shrugged and gave her a condescending glance. “No more.”
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Linda Nightingale - Author
Out of the Ordinary..Into Extraordinary Realms