Lieutenant (later commander) James North CSN was sent to Europe to purchase ironclads for the Confederate Navy. Originally Stephen R. Mallory, confederate secretary of the navy, wanted North to purchase ironclads of the La Gloire class. Lieutenant North did not meet with much success. Part of the difficulties for North was a lack of funds. Also most British ship yards were busy building ironclads for the British Navy. This leads to my question. Was North the right person for the mission? Is it possible that another Confederate agent would have been more successful? If so, a more successful agent may have helped change the direction of the Civil War.