The Alabama


Furtiveness and secrecy surrounded the building one of the most infamous ships ever to be built on Merseyside - which started life under the anonymous tag, Vessel number 290.

The ship with no name was constructed at the Birkenhead yard of John Laird and Son, forerunners of the illustrious Cammell Laird shipbuilders. Commissioned by James Dunwoody Bulloch, the purpose and destination of the ship was shrouded in mystery as far as shipyard workers were concerned. However John Laird, as well as the British Government and, of course, Bulloch, were aware that it was actually being built as a blockade runner for the Confederate faction in the American Civil War; Bulloch, the southern states’ representative in Liverpool, was responsible for buying and building ships during the Civil War and arranged the largest single delivery of arms to the Confederates in October 1861.

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