Privateers, the “militia of the sea,” initiated by Jefferson Davis alone, jolted the entire world to attention and forced Uncle Sam and John Bull to make instant policy decisions which impacted literally every industrialized nation. Davis’s private sea wolves proved that a real war had started. Their unleashing was the first offensive strategy in the war and the real reason Lincoln declared the blockade. They cleared the way for CS Navy Captains Raphael Semmes, John Maffitt, and others to plunder worldwide legally and spared American-born soldiers and sailors from the gallows. Their work essentially done by early 1862, these experienced Confederate seafarers quickly adapted to blockade running which helped to arm the South well enough to continue fighting. By their precedent-setting action, Queen Victoria’s subjects became blockade runners with virtual immunity from prison. Meanwhile, British shipbuilders and sailors happily sailed high-tech cruisers through the loopholes in British law to put a fearsome fleet into Confederate hands. Not bad work for a little irregular navy.
Kent Wright is a veteran of the nuclear navy and a mechanical engineering graduate of Iowa State University. He combines his lifetime experiences with his passion for history by focusing on the naval operations on river and sea, in home waters and abroad, during the War for Southern Independence. He has, through years of research, uncovered many startling facts which may change your mind about everything you have ever heard about Civil War naval history and a great deal of military history too. Prepare to be surprised as he shares fascinating discoveries and weaves British history into his topic.