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November 14, 2011 4:31 PM

Trent Affair Threatened An International Incident with Great Britain

On Nov. 8, 1861, Capt. Charles Wilkes, commanding the USS San Jacinto, captured two “contraband of war” from the British mail packet RMS Trent. While initially hailed as a great victory for the Union on the high seas, Wilkes’ actions eventually caused an international incident and even threatened a war with Great Britain.

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