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24 September 2014
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The commissioner of the CSS Alabama - James Dunwoody Bulloch

Personal Life:

James Dunwoody Bulloch was born on the 25th June 1823 near Savannah, Georgia, the only child of Major James Stephens Bulloch and Esther Amarintha Elliot.

He married Elizabeth Caskie in 1851. After her death he married Hariott Cross Foster and had his five children.

Bulloch Family Tree

James Bulloch died on the 7th of January 1901 at 76 Canning Street in Liverpool aged 77. He died from cancer and cardiac failure.

He was buried in Toxteth, and on his grave is inscribed:

"an American by birth, an Englishman by choice."

The Death Certificate of James Bulloch


At 16 James joined the U.S. Navy and quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant but soon he hit a ceiling and needing money for his family he resigned his commission and took service with the Cromwell Steam Company.

At the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861 he was in command of a passenger mail ship, Bienville, which he was asked to sell to the Confederates. He refused but promised to resign his commission and join in their campaign.

When he arrived at his next destination, New York, and saw that his passengers were Union soldiers who were travelling to the south to put down the rebellion he resigned immediately and reported to the Confederate States Navy department to sign up.

His task: To procure ships from Europe for use in the battles.

Bulloch was sent by Stephen Malloy (Secretary of the Confederate States Navy Department) to Liverpool to purchase and / or build ships for use by the navy. Under English law it was illegal for UK companies to supply armed war vessels to warring fractions - Bulloch was sent to acquire ships without being caught breaking the laws.

Bulloch arrived in Liverpool on 4th June 1861.

He enlisted the help of a number of people in his attempt to purchase vessels:

George Alfred Trenholme acted as a banker for the Confederate and enabled James to circumvent certain paperwork which may have linked the purchases to the confederate.

Mr. F. Hull, solicitor who advised him that he could purchase ships as a private individual without infringing the 'British Enlistment Act', providing they weren't equipped for war.

Bulloch was investigated by a number of men who tried to prove he was purchasing war ships but he managed to stay ahead of them.

However Bulloch really wanted to return to commanding ships but he proved too valuable in his current role and was beaten to the command of the Enrica (renamed the Alabama) by Captain Raphael Semmes.

Bulloch was never pardoned for his role in the war and became a British citizen. He remained here, as a cotton trader. He died at the home of his son-in-law Alderman Maxwell Hyslop Maxwell (76 Canning Street) in Liverpool on 7th January 1901 and is buried in Toxteth cemetery.

This Section
Alabama Introduction
Liverpool's Confederate connections

The building of the Alabama
Alabama timeline
James Dunwoody Bulloch

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