The American Civil War Through British Eyes Dispatches from British Diplomats: November 1860-April 1862
James J. Barnes, Patience P. Barnes, Prudence P.. Barnes
Kent State University Press, 2003 - 336 halaman
From November 1860 to April 1862 there was only one British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Washington, D.C.--Richard Bickerton Pemell Lyons, Second Baron. Lord Lyons was the highest-ranked British diplomat in Washington, appointed to this post in December 1858 and serving until February 1865.
The dispatches included in Volume 1 of The American Civil War through British Eyes offer insight into contemporary Anglo-American relations. This period witnessed the election of Abraham Lincoln, the secession crisis, the formation of the Confederacy, and the first military confrontations of the war. It also raised a host of problems for Great Britain's relationships with both the Union and the Confederacy, such as how the war would affect British nationals residing in the United States, what course official British policy should take regarding diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy, and the effect that the likely interruption of exports might have on British manufacturing.
One of Lord Lyon's tasks was to keep London informed of the shifting mood in America. He reported on the country's morale and relayed his impressions of the way in which the press and the politicians influenced public opinion and inflamed patriotic fervor. Lyons was especially struck by how slowly each side geared up for combat. His dispatches show the defensive Southern strategy and explains why the North felt it must take the struggle across Confederate lines. He also related how successful the North was in raising funds, speculated about the role slaves would play, and recognized that a major disruption of Southern life might provoke a slave uprising.
The issues raised by these dispatches are crucial ones for the study of the Civil War, and this volume, the first of a three-volume collection, fills an important void for students and scholars of the war. Lyons's dispatches offer a perspective on America during its first test of national unity. Through them the Civil War unfolds not in retrospect but through the eyes of a contemporary observer.
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Dispatch 603. Lyons to Russell , 26 October 1861.97 Telegraphic wires now
extend without interruption from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast of the United
States . Congratulatory telegrams were received yesterday from San Francisco
by the ...
Dispatch 790. Lyons to Russell , 23 December 1861.61 In conformity with the
understanding to which I came with Mr. Seward on the 19th instant , I waited
upon him the day before yesterday for the purpose of reading to him Your
Dispatch 216. Lyons to Russell , 31 March 1862.81 With reference to my dispatch
no . 164of the 10th instant , I have the honour to transmit to Your Lordship a
further dispatch from Mr. Consul Molyneux relative to the blockade of the coast of