This Week in the Civil War - 665
On September 23, 1863 ships of the Imperial Russian Atlantic fleet arrived in New York; in mid-October ships of the Russian Pacific fleet would arrive at San Francisco. The Russians received an extremely cordial welcome on both American coasts and were honored with parades, dinners, and special programs.
In truth, the Russian visit had little to do with support for the Union. Russia feared a war with England and France over her suppression of a Polish revolt and particularly did not want her fleet tied up for the winter in the Baltic Sea.
Russia’s visit to the U.S. forced England to be more supportive of the Union; in 1866 the United States Navy visited Russia, and naval officials expressed gratitude for Russia’s alleged support of the North during the Civil War.