James Dunwoody Bulloch & Modern US Naval Strategy

On the evening of March 7th at Nessmith‐Lane, Gary McKay, Georgia Southern alumnus and researcher for AIG London and Float Research UK, gave a fascinating summary, aided by PowerPoint images, of the career of “the greatest naval hero America ever forgot,” James Dunwoody Bulloch. The event was hosted by the Center for International Studies, the Center for Irish Studies and the Zach S. Henderson Library.

McKay is co‐author of the first biography on Bulloch. His fellow author is Captain Walter E. Wilson, a 28‐year career Naval Intelligence Officer and the current Vice President and a former President of the Navy League of the United States (Alamo Council). Bulloch was the great‐grandson of our namesake county’s Archibald Bulloch, a Revolutionary War leader with Scotch‐Irish and Huguenot roots. In his youth, he entered the US Navy and sailed the Atlantic and the Pacific as a lieutenant, but on the outbreak of the Civil War, he was appointed the South’s foreign naval agent. He masterminded the sailing and sometimes escape of commerce raiders for the Confederate Navy from British and French ports, giving the Confederacy some of the most advanced vessels of the day.

Excluded from pardon after the War, he lived in Liverpool and worked as a cotton merchant until his death in 1901. His concepts of naval strategy, however, contributed to US strategy in the twentieth century, as transmitted through his admiring nephew, President Theodore Roosevelt. With Roosevelt’s urging, Bulloch wrote a memoir, The Secret Service of the Confederate States in Europe. The Henderson Library owns this two-volume set. McKay’s talk cast a great deal of light on a largely‐neglected area of US history.

by Marvin Goss, Head of Special Collections

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