World War: One War at a Time

In November 1861, when the U. S. Civil War was just getting going. Captain Charles Wilkes of the Union Navy, commanding the screw sloop San Jacinto, fired a shot across the bows of the British Royal Mail packet Trent as she steamed along the Bahama Channel. The Trent hove to and, under the San Jacinto's guns, surrendered to a U. S. boarding party the persons of James Murray Mason and John Slidell, commissioners on their way to represent the Confederacy in Great Britain and France, respectively.

Queen Victoria's Government (Prime Minister: Lord Palmerston) was...

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