Queen Victoria: Britain Neutral in War

May 13, 1861/2011
Volume 2, Issue 21 (31 Issues Since 15 October 2010)

Queen Victoria: Britain To Remain Neutral in the War

May 13, 1861. Queen Victoria announced that Great Britain would remain neutral in the war.

The sympathies of the Queen and Prince Albert, political liberals, and the masses of the English people were

Queen Victoria, 1861, by Charles Clifford

Queen Victoria, 1861, by Charles Clifford

with the North, but Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg wrote that Prime Minister Palmerston and

“the officials and imperialistic cliques voiced by the London Times favored the South and in various technical rulings deviated far from strict neutrality. . . .  

Palmerston said, ‘We do not like slavery, but we want cotton, and we dislike very much your Morrill tariff.’

A queer obstacle, not easily defined yet definitely operating, known as British Public Opinion, was about all that stopped Palmerston from giving complete recognition to the Southern Confederacy and lending it the British fleet.”

SOURCE: Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years, p. 248.

Ulysses S. Grant was nicknamed Sam at West Point. Grant in June 1864.

Ulysses S. Grant was nicknamed Sam at West Point. Grant in June 1864.

May 16, 1861. The Confederate Provisional Congress [so called because it was established for only a year until a permanent legislative body could replace it] authorized the recruitment of 400,000 volunteers.

Also in May, Confederate General Richard S. Ewell informed Robert E. Lee,

“There is one West Pointer, I think in Missouri, little known, and whom I hope the northern people will not find out. I mean Sam Grant. I knew him well at the Academy and in Mexico. I should fear him more than any of their officers I have yet heard of. He is not a man of genius, but he is clear-headed, quick and daring.”

SOURCE: With My Face to the Enemy, Robert Cowley, ed., 105.

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