The Final Shots Fired In The Civil War Happened In Russian Territory

CSS Shenandoah

When most people talk about the Civil War in history class or on a historical program, they gloss over much of the naval forrays. It’s almost like only ground battles happened, except nothing could be further from the truth.

One ship, the CSS Shenandoah, did many amazing things throughout the Civil War. She went after Union ships on shipping routes to Africa, India, and Russia. She even chased them down in international waters and attacked and looted them. In all, she captured over 1,000 prisoners and 38 prizes.

Shenandoah History

The British built the ship for the Confederates. The steam-powered ship was fast. Capt. James Waddell took her over from the British off the African coast.

The pickup location set her up for her mission. American ships were all around the Cape of Good Hope, the Pacific, and the Bering Sea, and she went after them all.

But, Alaska was not a part of the United States during the Civil War. So when the Shenandoah went after whaling ships off the coast of Alaska, the Russian Czar was not happy.

The Shenandoah was the last confederate ship to lower the flag, and she continued to attack ships in the Pacific after Lee had surrendered. The skipper did not think the surrender was real, even though multiple whaling captains told him about it.

Running For Cover

The skipper made his way toward San Francisco but ran into a British ship that told him the war was over. He also told them the crew was set for trial and hanging.

Captain Waddell had to figure out what his next move was. Every ship on the sea looked for them, and he had a rather sizeable bounty. So he hid the ship’s weapons and changed the ship’s look.

He set sail for Great Britain. There was awful weather along the way. They sped along for 27,000 miles until they landed in Liverpool, where they surrendered to the Royal Navy.

Ultimately, Waddell got a ship named after him, a guided missile destroyer, the USS Waddell. It was the only ship named after a captain who caused harm to the American shipping industry.

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