Civil War Institute
By the spring of 1863, American ambassador to England Charles Francis Adams had a much bigger problem than the activities of British-built Confederate raiders on his hands: the construction of two 230-foot long ironclad rams in the Laird shipyard at Birkenhead that evidence suggested were destined for the Confederacy. At 230 feet long and 40 feet wide, with 6-7 foot iron spears at the front, rotating turret batteries, full iron plating, and a top speed of 10 knots, these ships were the Americans’ worst nightmare. Lincoln’s cabinet even considered blatantly ignoring Britain’s “neutrality” and sending a U.S. Navy squadron to destroy the rams, which had been under construction since the previous summer.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Christensen, Hannah M., "“This Is War”: The Construction of the Laird Rams" (2017). The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History. 225.