Today I signed a contract with Westholme Publishing for my fourth Civil War book.
The Confederacy at Flood Tide was selected as a title in order to distinguish the book from the popular notion of the Confederacy at High Tide. The latter expression is generally associated with Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, or secondarily, the Rebel attack on Starkweather’s Hill at Perryville, Kentucky. However, the June-to-December, 1862 story of the Confederacy’s most opportune period for winning independence was not an isolated surge in Maryland or Kentucky.
For example, at Prairie Grove, Arkansas in early December 1862 more Missourians fought to win their state for the South than fought to keep it in the Union. Nor was the Flood Tide limited to military elements. It also swelled within the sectors of diplomacy, politics, and espionage. For instance, on July 4, 1862 the Confederacy signed a secret contract with a leading British warship builder for two deep-water ironclads superior to anything in the US Navy and capable of crossing the Atlantic.
The Confederacy never came closer to diplomatic recognition than in the autumn of 1862. After learning of the Union rout at Second Bull Run, British Prime Minister Plamerston advocated intervention in mid-September. In a written exchange with Foreign Secretary John Russell — who held a post comparable to the US Secretary of State — Palmerston wrote: “The Federals got a very complete smashing, and it seems not altogether unlikely that still greater disasters await them, and that even Washington or Baltimore may fall … If this should happen, would it not be time for us to consider whether … England and France might not address the contending parties and recommend an arrangement upon the basis of separation?” Russell agreed and added that if mediation failed, “we ought ourselves to recognize the Southern states as an independent state.”
A valid comprehension of the Flood Tide period requires an integrated understanding of superficially unconnected elements. The book compiles such seemingly discrete components into a cohesive picture much like a never-before-assembled puzzle.
Thanks for your continued interest.