Shipyards along the River Mersey near Liverpool have been added to the Civil War Preservation Trust’s Civil War Discovery Trail. Weekend Edition Sunday had an interesting piece on the designation last weekend, and it provides an opportunity to hear the Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, Edwin Bearss, wax poetic about the exploits of the CSS Alabama (pictured here).
How does a shipyard in England have any relevance to America’s Civil War? Well, the Laird Brothers Shipyard at Birkenhead on the Wirral peninsula built the famed confederate raider for the Confederate Navy, which lacked the capability to outfit a navy. The distinction is a good one, but highlights I think one of the ongoing difficulties which confronts cultural policy makers, which is that our shared history and cultural heritage almost always transcends national boundaries, and is truly a global undertaking.