A British Volunteer That Joined The Fight In America’s Civil War- The Battle Of Chancellorsville
One man caught up in the carnage was Henry George Hore, an ordinary bank clerk from Sussex who had sailed to the U.S. in April to join the Northern army. He was appalled as he watched the mounting fatalities.
‘Good God, my dear girl, it was awful,’ he wrote to his cousin, Olivia, back home in England. ‘The dead seemed piled heaps upon heaps.’
That day Hore killed a man for the first time. It was a Southerner whom he had seen plunge a sword into the chest of one of his close friends.
‘Killing him did not take 30 seconds. I sighted him along the barrel of my revolver and if I had not killed him the first time would have shot him again.’
Why Would The English Want To Fight In An American War? $
There were more than three million British immigrants living in the U.S. at the time — despite the fact that a bitter Anglophobia rooted in British colonial rule almost 100 years earlier was still widespread.
And at home, not only was slavery a deeply emotive political topic since being abolished in England three decades earlier, but so, too, was cotton. The livelihoods of 900,000 workers — nearly one in five of the entire national workforce — depended in one way or another on cotton from the Southern states.
The result was that thousands of Britons disobeyed the Government’s neutrality injunction to volunteer for either the Federal or Confederate army — anti-slavery protesters and mercenaries, in the main, joined the North. Idealists who saw the ‘plucky’ Southern states as the underdog fighting for justifiable independence, along with soldiers of fortune, signed up with the South.
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