Fort Fisher

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Shenandoah's Most Successful Single Day-- Part 1: Eleven Whalers

JUNE 28TH, 1865:  This date marked the most successful single day the CSS Shenandoah enjoyed as a commerce raider during her long cruise that spanned 13 months and 58,000 miles, and during which Waddell often successfully followed his conviction that "nothing is to be gained if risk is not taken."  Near the narrows of the Bering Strait, Lt. Waddell fell in with a rendezvous of eleven American whalers.

The ship Brunswick of New Bedford had been stove in by an ice floe and the others had gathered either to render assistance or to bid on supplies and oil in the event the master decided to abandon ship and offer bargains.  To insure that none escaped, Waddell entered the bay under the American flag and while five boats were quickly being armed and manned, he maneuvered his ship to a position in which the raider's guns commanded the whalers.

A soon as the armed boats were away, he lowered the American flag and ran up the Stars and Bars.  Ten of the whalers immediately surrendered. The single exception was the Favorite of New Haven whose flag remained on the gaff defended by her drunken master flourishing a harpoon gun.

The resistance was short lived as the whaler was boarded without bloodshed.

A Good Day in the Biz.  --Old B-Runner

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