Fort Fisher

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Final Confederate Surrender-- Part 2: A Ship Without a Country

The CSS Shenandoah was now a ship without a country.  It returned to Liverpool and surrendered, hauling down the Confederate flag for the last time on November 6, 1865.

The ship had been purchased for use as a Confederate raider in that city in October 1864.  It was originally named the Sea King and sailed the tea lanes to Bombay.  It was taken to madeira and converted to a commerce raider under the command of Lt. James Iredel Waddell.

The ship was forced to dock in Australia for repairs on a balky propeller for there weeks before embarking on a devastating attack on the North's whaling fleet in the Pacific and Arctic oceans.  On June 10, 1865, it captured 10 whalers.

Five days before that, it had captured the Susan Abigail and found newspapers aboard reporting the fall of Richmond and Lee's surrender.  Things looked bad for their country, but they also saw an article about President Davis imploring for Southerners to carry on with the fight.  So they did.

During their cruise, they captured or sank 38 vessels, captured more than 1,000 men and caused $1.6 million in damage.

Once they found the end of the Confederacy was confirmed, they began their 130-day journey back to Liverpool where they surrendered.

The ship was turned over to the United States by the British government and eventually sold to the Sultan of Zanzibar and renaned the El Majidi before it sank in the Indian Ocean in October 1872.

--Old B-Runner


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