Our Man in Charleston

Our Man in Charleston

Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South

Book - 2015
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"The little-known story of a British diplomat who serves as a spy in South Carolina at the dawn of the Civil War, posing as a friend to slave-owning aristocrats when he was actually telling Britain not to support the Confederacy"--
Publisher: New York :, Crown Publishers,, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780307887276
Branch Call Number: 973.786092 B9421D
Characteristics: 388 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm


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Oct 30, 2019

Rec by Sue Lawless

Jul 04, 2016

This is a very good book about the diplomatic and political intrigues in Charleston, South Carolina, and the whole South in general in their relationship with the British. The author does an excellent job of providing details of the story of the British Console, and the changes taking place in the South before and in the early parts of the Civil War. This is an excellent book for explaining how the British thought and perceived the South during the American Civil War.

inthestacks Nov 09, 2015

Robert Bunch served as the British Consul in Charleston, SC from 1853 until 1861. He managed to insinuate himself into the ruling class of Charleston society and was treated as a friend and confidante by many of the State’s most ardent pro-slavery secessionists. Despite this, Bunch was as equally opposed to slavery as those who he knew were in favour. He gathered information about secessionists’ activities including the smuggling of African slaves into the South, despite the slave trade being outlawed in 1807. He reported the information he gathered to Lord Lyons, the British minister in Washington and to the government in London. He was so successful at concealing his true motives that William Seward, Lincoln’s Secretary of State, suspected him of being a secessionist and forced the British minister to relieve Bunch of his post and remove his diplomatic credentials. He remained in Charleston, relaying information to his government until 1863, leaving when it seemed imminent that Union forces would take Charleston. In this peripheral slice of Civil War history, author Dickey details how intransigent the South was when it came to slavery, particularly South Carolina, the first state to secede from the union.


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