Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The CSS Shenandoah Has Another Great Day Chasing and Burning Whalers

JUNE 23RD, 1865:  This day was also June 22nd as the Shenandoah had crossed the International Date Line as noted in the ship's log.  Waddell continued to light the Arctic skies with the flaming hulks of burning American whalers.

He first captured the ship Milo of New Bedford.  It was from this vessel that Waddell first heard rumors that the South had surrendered and the war had ended.  He sought documentary evidence to authenticate the story, but the ship's captain had none, but believed the war was over.  Waddell replied, "...that was not satisfactory...."

Waddell bonded the Milo, took most of its crew to insure against escape, and gave chase to two other whalers in the vicinity.  They entered the ice floe attempting to escape, but he soon cut out the bark Sophia Thornton, placed a prize crew on board with orders to keep company with the Milo, and continued in pursuit of Jerah Swift.

Waddell recorded in his memoirs:  "We chased her for three hours before getting within shelling distance of her, but Captain Williams, who made every effort to save his bark, saw the folly of exposing the crew to a destructive fire and yielded his misfortune with a manly and becoming dignity."

The Shenandoah burned the two barks and transferred all prisoners to the Milo for passage to San Francisco."

Still Ticking.  --Old B-Runner

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