Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/121

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of' flu Sln-iiilililuilh. 117

blockade runiKT, commanded by Captain Ramsey, a young English- man ol energy and resources.


When the authorities at Funchal objected to our presence in the harbor, and seriously and persistently insisted that the Laurel should proceed at once to sea, Ramsey was ready with a broken piece of machinery, without which he insisted that his engines could not be made to move. The delicate and tedious work of repair was en- trusted by the authorities to their own workmen on shore, so anxious \vere they to get rid of us. While they were still hammering away the Sea King arrived and signalled, and the Laurel steamed out to join her.

Not far from Madeira, and of the same group, is the Desertas, and under the lee of that uninhabited rock both vessels anchored, and all guns, supplies, etc., were transferred from the Laurel to the Sea King; whereupon the first entry in the log of the Shenandoah was made as follows:

"AT SEA, October 19, 1864.

" Having received everything from the steamer Laurel at sea, put ship in commission as Confederate States steamer Shenandoah, and shipped twenty-three men, as petty officers, seamen, firemen and coal heavers. Weighed anchor at 2 P. M., and at 6 o'clock parted company with the Laurel, when, we hoisted the Confederate ensign for the first time. At 6.15 stood under steam to the southward and westward. Pleasant weather, with heavy swell from northward. Wind northeast. IRVINE S. BULLOCH."


We were now the only Confederate cruiser afloat, and as we con- tinued our course around the world, passing from ocean to ocean, meeting in turn ships of various nationalities, I always felt that when- ever our nationality was known to neutral ships the greetings we re- ceived rarely warmed up beyond that of a more or less interested curiosity, and while we had many friends ashore who were most lavish and generous in welcoming us to port, underlying it all there appeared to exist a wish of the authorities to have us " move on." And yet the right of self government, as I understood it, was the only principle involved in that war. The issue was not the libera- tion of the slaves, but the enforcement of a union, and only when