Waddell then bonded the ship James Murray and the bark Nile then placed his 336 prisoners on board for passage to San Francisco. The latter whaler was selected for this mission because her master had died, leaving a widow and two small children on board; "the poor widow had the remains of her husband in board preserved in whiskey".
Waddell stripped the vessels of supplies and recruited nine men. He noted that their enlistment was "evidence that if they had heard any report of the military failure of the South, they had considered it unreliable".
Waddell put the torch to the ships Hillman, Nassau, Brunswick, Isaac Howland and barks Waverly, Martha, Favorite, Covington and Congress and recorded in his memoirs that "the horizon was illuminated with a fiery glare presenting a picture of indescribably grandeur, while the water was covered with black smoke mingled with flakes of fire."
This field day against American commerce climaxes a very successful cruise in which the Shenandoah captured a total of 38 American vessels valued at $1,361,983.
Lighting the Skies. --Old B-Runner