The President`s Confederate Kinsmen
Tribute by Richard Fielder Armstrong CSN

As printed in Confederate Veteran, Vol. XI, No. 1, January 1903.


Comrade R. F. Armstrong of Halifax, Nova Scotia, paid tribute to Captain J. D. Bulloch, who died at Liverpool, Eng., January 7, 1901.

It was for copies of the Confederate Veteran, containing that sketch that President Roosevelt wrote cordial acknowledgement.

Mr. Armstrong again writes on this subject:

In the September Veteran you describe an `Outing with the President,` in which you make illusion to his esteemed and very worthy uncle, Capt. James D. Bulloch. President Roosevelt had two uncles in the Confederate navy, both distinguished, but you mistake the one for the orher. Permit me to set you right as to the services performed by these gallant officers.

In 1861 Capt Bulloch was sent to England to purchase arms and ammunition for the army. He accomplished his mission successfully, aand with the steamship Fingal (afterwards the Ironclad Atlanta) pointed the way to that illicit commerce, blockade running, which afterwards became such a factor in our unequal struggle. Mr. Davis knew the man, and Captain Bulloch was again sent abroad, to build and equip Confederate cruisers. The Alexandria, Florida, Alabama, Shenandoah and the ironclad Stonewall, all built and equipped by him, show his indefatigable perseverance; and these ships were eminently suited for their purposes. Their successfull careers reflect great credit upon the superior abilities of this great naval officer. The most meager details of the work performed by Capt. Bulloch would occupy too much space in your magazine, but when the history of the Confederate Navy comes to be written no name shall stand higher on the roll of fame than that of James Dunwoody Bulloch.

Irvine Stephen Bulloch, a younger brother, entered the Confederate navy as midshipman, and in 1862 reported on board the Alabama as one of the junior officers. By strict attention to duty, he rose rapidly, and acted as master or navigator during most of the cruise of that ship.

After the fight off Cherbourg, and upon the fitting out of the Shenadoah, young Bulloch was commissioned master, and performed the duties of navigating officer during that eventful (and immortal) cruise. Where you make the mistake is in confounding the elder bulloch with the younger, who it was that served with Semmes on the Alabama.

About Captain Bulloch there was not a weak point, and I believe him to have been the best all round naval officer brought on by the stress of the times in either navy, and I doubt if any other officer could have accomplished so much for the Confederate cause, which he loved so well."