Home News Crosby News

Campaigners want to restore US Civil War graves in Merseyside

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to restore two American Civil War graves in Liverpool said they are within sight of their goal.

The two graves contain the remains of Americans from both sides in the Civil War. But so far the restoration fund is around £300 short of the £2,000 total needed.

James Daniel Sefton, who died in 1923 and fought on the Union (or North) side, is buried at Bootle Cemetery, in Lineker Lane. The body of Allan Stuart Hanckel, a deputy of Confederate Navy purchasing agent James Dunwoody Bulloch, lies at Holy Trinity, Church Road, Wavertree.

Mysteriously, every Easter flowers are put on Hanckel’s grave. But so far campaigners John Hussey, Bob Jones and Fred O’Brien have been unable to find out who they are from.

Sefton came from St Helena, in the Atlantic Ocean, and served in the Union Navy for the duration of the Civil War from 1861-5. Afterwards, he came to the UK and worked on the railways. A cousin faked his identity to steal his pension and wartime bonus, forcing him into poverty.

Mr Jones, of Crosby, said: “Sefton’s grave is in a fairly good state. But Hanckel’s is in a parlous condition.

“We’ve left notes asking for information about the person who leaves flowers on Hanckel’s grave. But they are taken with no answer in return. We need £1,887 to restore Hanckel’s grave. But we’re keen this is even-handed.”

Mr Hussey said: “Hanckel was aboard the British mail ship, Trent, when it was stopped by a Union warship and Confederate diplomats were seized. This could have led to a world war in 1861, had President Lincoln not released them after British complaints.”

A descendant of Hanckel’s, the US Civil War Round Table UK, the 290 Foundation and Mr Jones have donated to the restoration.

Related stories

From around the web

Share