The American Civil War Was An International Affair – Kindly please R/T or Share #krnl_vic #ammarketing


Did you know that there were other countries involved in the American Civil War besides the Union and Confederate States of America? Though it’s true that the actual combatants were overwhelmingly Americans, there were some foreign nationals that actually fought for both the North and South. Additionally some foreign countries also supplied support, and foremost among them was the support which the Confederacy received from Great Britain.

In 1861 Queen Victoria reigned over Great Britain, which in turn was the reigning geopolitical super-power in the world. The extent of British colonialism extended so far and wide that it gave rise to the phrase, “The sun never sets on the British Empire”, but colonialism implied imperialism… militarism… nationalism… and frequently war for the European powers, and war was costly in terms of lives and treasure.

Therefore with regard to the American Civil War, Great Britain declared itself officially politically neutral, as did France and other European countries. At the time the laws governing neutrality which were internationally observed included the British Foreign Enlistment Act of 1819 and the Treaty of Paris of 1856 which ended the Crimean War.  However the laws contained sufficient ambiguity and were difficult to enforce.

The Confederacy was indeed desperate, so well before the bombardment of Fort Sumter envoys were sent to London with the primary mission of persuading the British government to recognize the Confederate States of America as a sovereign nation, and to enter the civil war as an ally of the CSA.  Of course either would have resulted in war between Britain and the United States.

So the Confederacy decided to follow a course which the fledgling United States had employed during the American Revolution, whereby the American colonies, in no less a civil war, had secured an alliance with France. However the CSA had no Benjamin Franklin, and the envoys that were sent, especially in the beginning of the war, had little success in their mission. It wasn’t until the Confederacy sent James D. Bulloch to London with the money and the mission to acquire ships to serve in the virtually nonexistent Confederate Navy. Bulloch would become the principal and most successful Confederate “agent” in England.


Bulloch grew up on his father’s plantation in Georgia in a family with a rich military history. He served for fifteen years in the US Navy before resigning his commission to join the Confederacy with the rank of commander. The Confederacy knew that they could never hope to match the US Navy’s numbers, so instead Bulloch’s mandate was to acquire ships capable of either piercing the Union blockade or designed as raiders to prey on American commercial shipping.

Shortly after his arrival in England, Bulloch soon entered into agreements with British ship builders, but there was a catch… the Foreign Enlistment Act also stated that because of England’s neutral status regarding the civil war, any contract for the construction of naval vessels in British shipyards for either North or South could not include equipment or fitting them out for war while the vessel was in England. However Bulloch shrewdly seized on the phrase “… while the vessel was in England”, and exploited this loophole by arranging to have a ship listed falsely for delivery to a foreign country with no name; the ship would be built without any cannon or shot and its use would be listed as commercial. After launch, the ship would be sailed to a clandestine port where she would rendezvous with another ship carrying all the necessary means to make war.

Bulloch’s most famous accomplishment was what became the CSS Alabama. Captained by the notoriously audacious Raphael Semmes, the Alabama was the most successful commercial raider of the civil war, having been credited with sixty-five prizes or ships sunk over a period of two years before she was sunk in battle by the USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France in 1864.


Eventually, US spies and diplomats exposed the ruse de guerre but not before the war was decided, and Bulloch continued until the eleventh hour. His last ship was launched in January 1865, just months before the end of the war. Between his arrival in England in June 1861 and stationed there until the Confederacy collapsed, Bulloch was responsible for an astonishing seventy-one ships of various types, although some went unfinished or never put to sea before the end of the war. When the war ended Bulloch was not granted amnesty by the U.S. government, which considered him a spy. Had the South won the war, he would undoubtedly have been toasted as a hero. No one did more to obtain ships in the service of the Confederate Navy. He lived out his days in Liverpool and became a successful cotton importer until his death in 1901 at the age of seventy-seven.

If you’re interested in learning more about the story of “The Colonel and the Vicar” my book has now been published worldwide on Amazon and the Ingram/Spark distribution channels. In the United States, check it out at Just search for the title, “The Colonel and the Vicar” in the “Books” category.

’til next time,


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Book Launch! “The Colonel and the Vicar” by Edward Rayner Published on Amazon – Kindly please R/T #krnl_vic #amwriting


I’m happy to announce that my book “The Colonel and the Vicar” has been published on Amazon. If you’ve been following since I started posting about the timeline of creating the story, then you already know that this is not the typical book about the Civil War. It’s a book about two of my ancestors that were on opposite sides of the war… from opposite sides of the ocean… and how there lives intertwined with the historic events of their day. It also speaks to the considerable international influence on the war, particularly from the United Kingdom, an aspect of the war that doesn’t get much attention.

For any newbies, it is the story of Henry Martyn Tremlett, my great-great-granduncle, who became a captain in the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment (eventually, a colonel in the 39th Mass.), and Francis William Tremlett, my ancestral cousin, an Anglican priest who arguably became the foremost English collaborator with the Confederacy. Henry and Francis were first cousins to one another.

So it’s part genealogy, part biography, part history, and I hope, part entertaining.

If you’re interested in stories about the Civil War, check it out on Just log in to your account and search for the title, “The Colonel and the Vicar” in the “Books” category. If you haven’t bought stuff online from Amazon, browse to and create an account in order to make purchases.

Price of Print Book and Kindle EBook is the same… $19.99.

I’d like to thank everyone who provided support and encouragement during the development of “The Colonel and the Vicar”.

Even though the book’s finished, this blog will continue with future posts.

’til next time,


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#krnl_vic Book Cover Done! Please kindly retweet. #amwriting


Hello campers! At long last the design for the cover of The Colonel and the Vicar has been finalized, and I’m happy to provide a “sneak peek” for all my followers on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The front cover, back cover, and spine is emblazoned with three flags that symbolize the story’s politics: the United States and Confederate States crossed together with the British Union Jack between them. If you’ve been following along, then you know that during the Civil War the U.K. built ships for the Confederacy, hence the Union Jack in the middle.

The front cover image is actually from a stock photo (i.e., inexpensive) that is supposed to depict Henry’s first battle experience with the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in October, 1861, near Leesburg, Virginia. 1700 Union troops squared off against about the same number of Confederates and the Rebs scored a decisive victory largely due to a problem that plagued the Union army especially in the first two years of the war: poor generalship. Over 500 Yankee troops were taken prisoner, including the Twentieth’s regimental commander,  Colonel William Raymond Lee. Henry was not only fortunate to have survived but also lead some eighty men upriver where he paid $5 to a slave for a small boat that was used to ferry the men across the Potomac River to the safety of their camp in Maryland.

The back cover image is an actual painting of the “Duel Between the Kearsarge and the Alabama”. I was lucky to find the artist, Edward D. Walker, who makes his home in Liverpool. We struck up a conversation over the painting, as I’d noticed that the painting correctly replicated the result of the Kearsarge’s opening volley, which struck Alabama’s spanker-boom sending her naval battle ensign away into the wind. When I mentioned this to Ted, he explained in an email, “There are many reputable historians behind every painting I work on, in fact I would be lost without them. In 1987 a group of historians and enthusiasts  in the Liverpool & Cheshire area set up a charity to build a replica of the “Enrica” with the help of Cammell Laird’s who retained the plans and the builders model. I was appointed the official artist for the project and relied on guidance from the historians to paint the “Alabama” story. I was told of a quote made during the battle that a volley of shots blew the Confederate emblem away and a cheer rang out from the opponents”. I knew the exact quote because I had used it in the book: Kearsarge returned fire for the first time, and the first salvo “shot away Alabama’s spanker-gaff, and the Confederate Naval Ensign came down by the run. This was immediately replaced by another at the mizzen-mast-head” (from Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States, by Raphael Semmes, captain of the Alabama).

Up until finding Ted I was having a devil of a time finding an appropriate painting involving the Alabama without running into copyright issues. There were many paths that lead to dead ends, and I started to feel like I was never going to realize the design I wanted until persistence research finally paid off. It cost 200 English pounds but it was worth it.

As a final bit of historical irony, Ted’s wife Susan and her parents lived for a time in a house situated in Cambridge Road, Waterloo, about ten miles outside Liverpool. The house is still standing, and the occupier of the house during the Civil War was one James Bulloch, the Confederate agent who arranged for construction of the Alabama. Bulloch is just one of many interesting characters that is prominently featured in The Colonel and the Vicar as a close friend and collaborator with Father Frank.

This means that I’m within striking distance of publication. The book’s materials are all in CreateSpace’s hands (the primary network publishing platform that I use). Hopefully it’ll all be clean or require only minimal modifications.

That’s it for now. Feel free to browse my earlier posts and comment if you like.

Until next time I remain, yours truly…


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#krnl_vic Inexorably Lurches Toward Publishing #amwriting


My book, “The Colonel and the Vicar”, has gotten past the significant obstacles of last month and is heading into the home stretch. Copyrights resolved, beta-readers are done, interior book file has been accepted by the book mill. Full cover should be ready in a week. Made new connections “across the pond”.

The only thing that I need to wait for is the copyright for the book from the federal government, and I’m not sure how long that’ll take because I didn’t copyright my first book. Thing is, one has to wait until the book is in final form because an electronic copy is required as part of the submission process, so one can’t arrange to get the copyright ahead of time.

Still, I must admit to a bit of excitement over a project that took more than two years in the making. I sometimes wondered if I’d ever finish. The book defies any single literary pigeonhole… the story uniquely combines historically accurate events, prose, and my personal ancestry in the persons of the main characters, Henry and Francis. Because the historical events are intertwined with their history, the story underscores the genesis and importance of those events, as well as the part that both men played on that stage of history. The scope of the Civil War is huge. Therefore in the case of Henry, the story includes descriptions of only the battles that he participated in. For Francis, though he was a non-combatant, the story includes his involvement in the espionage vis-à-vis Confederate naval operations which were greatly influenced by his collaboration with the South.

Until next time (not long I hope!) …