The Civil War may have been a distinctly American affair, but the guns that rocked America shook the world. In England and on the continent, the war touched close to home as vested interests clashed, bonds of friendship frayed, and business ties were torn asunder.    

What Jefferson Davis’s foreign policies meant for Southern independence and ties to Europe, and, conversely, what Lincoln’s policies meant in preventing Southern independence and keeping Europeans at bay is one of the least understood and potentially most consequential aspects of the war. Because the navies were the primary instruments for projecting power in the nineteenth century, international conflict often played out on the high seas.

Come join us Tuesday, Feb. 13 as naval historian Kent Wright addresses the British “X” factor in the war. Backed by 30 years of research, Kent will discuss how British interests were tied to the war from start to finish and how these interests affected major policy decisions and the handling of one crisis after another on both sides of the Atlantic.  

Kent Wright, Huntsville, AL

Nebraskan turned Alabamian Kent Wright is a veteran of the nuclear navy and a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In civilian life, he was a nuclear plant startup engineer and senior reactor operations training specialist for the General Electric Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

He and his wife Elizabeth, from Vicksburg, MS, are now living in Huntsville, Alabama, where they moved in 1986. During his five years in Vicksburg, he reignited his lifelong interest in Civil War history while merging it with his knowledge of steam plant engineering and propulsion. While there, he made many visits to the raised Union gunboat, USS Cairo, which started his course of learning on Civil War naval history.

After moving to Huntsville in 1993, Kent joined the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table (TVCWRT) and became an active member as the program chairman. Throughout the years, he has published articles and given talks to Civil War Round Tables and various other interest groups concerning the role of the US and CS Navies in the Civil War. He is currently working on two manuscripts which he hopes to get published.