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24 September 2014
BBC Liverpool - Local History

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The Alabama - an introduction

Dave Robert's (shipping historian) gives an overview to the CSS Alabama, Liverpool's Confederate connections and some facts you'd never hear anywhere else!
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What was the Alabama?
The Alabama was a warship commissioned by the American Confederate Navy during the Civil War.

Why was it built?

The ship was built to aid the Confederates in the Civil War. Britain as a neutral country was not permitted to supply warring factions with ships fitted for war purposes, therefore vessel 290 was taken to the Azores, where it was fitted out as a Confederate raider.

In the first month of her service, the Alabama took 10 vessels at a total value of 437,000 dollars.

What is its connection to Liverpool?
The Alabama was built at Cammell Lairds ship yard and steamed up and down the Mersey with local dignitaries on its maiden voyage. After the vessel's sinking in 1864, its crew were rescued by the captain of another Laird's ship, the Deerhound.

Why is it so infamous?
The building of a raider ship on the shores of the Mersey, her escape and the havoc she wrecked on American ships, caused indescribable bitterness and remained a running sore in Anglo-American relations.

This Section
Alabama Introduction
Liverpool's Confederate connections

The building of the Alabama
Alabama timeline
James Dunwoody Bulloch

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