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116 Souther ii ///>//*//< v// Society Papers.

[From the Sunday AVwj, Charleston, S. C., February 3, 1895.]


The Terror of the Arctic Seas Captured Thirty-Eight

Whalers, and Destroyed Shipping Valued at

Nearly $7,000,000.

A Graphic Account of the Cruise of the Great Commerce Destroyer,

from the Time of her Fitting; out near Funchal, Madeira, October,

1864, to her Surrender to the British at Liverpool,

November, 1865.

By Lieutenant JOHN GRIMBALL, C. S. Navy.


On the 6th October, 1864, the Confederate steamer Florida was captured at Bahia, a neutral port, in violation of an agreement which, to all intents and purposes, amounted to a flag of truce. This loss of the Florida, not known to us for weeks after, left the Confederacy without a cruiser afloat; but on the yth, the very next day, the Sea King sailed from London to assume her place on the high seas, as the Confederate steamer Shenandoah, with instructions to visit the whaling grounds and destroy the American whaling fleets. These vessels were owned principally in the New England States, and at one time had been a source of great revenue and at all times an ele- ment of much pride to that section of country. The officers were brave and experienced men, exceptionally good sailors and naviga- tors, and they carried their ships without hesitation anywhere and everywhere in pursuit of their game, and often as fast as they filled up with oil the cargo would be transferred to an empty ship and sent home, and then the hunt would be resumed by the same ship, and so on for years.

From London, the Sea King went direct to Funchal, Madeira, where her purchase was to be completed by her transfer to the Con- federate government. There she signalled the steamer Laurel, at anchor in the harbor, waiting with officers and munitions of war, she having arrived two days before from Liverpool. The Laurel was a