Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/130

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126 Svtitht rn lli.*l<n-iriil Society Papers.

to 1864, inclusive, 715 American vessels of 480,882 tons were trans- ferred to the British flag to escape capture.


The Alabama, Shenandoah and Florida were the only vessels rec- ognized by the Geneva Tribunal in the adjustment of the losses. While the commanders of Confederate cruisers have stated that the destruction of private property and the diversion of legitimate com- merce was not a pleasant duty, " in their wars the United States had always practiced this mode of harassing an enemy, and had indeed been the most conspicuous exemplars of it that the world ever saw."

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, January 2, 1898.]



The agents of the Navy Department who are engaged in the compi- lation of the official records of the Union and Confederate navies in the late war have recently brought to light, from Southern sources, a mass of hitherto unpublished information of curious interest and value, relative to the operations of the Confederate privateer Shen- andoah. In destructiveness to Union property, the work of the Shenandoah was second only to that of the Alabama, and the former enjoyed the peculiar distinction of having far outstripped the records of all other cruisers in the length of her voyage, and the fact that she never met with the slightest opposition from Union arms in her path of destruction, and continued her depredations many months after the conclusion of the war.

It is worthy of remark that the Navy Department at Washington was in possession of information relative to her outfit and plans early in the summer of 1864, but no active search was instituted until Jan- uary, 1865; and though the United States ships Sanlee, Wachusett, Iroquois, Wyoming, and the European and Pacific squadrons at large were successively ordered in pursuit of her, none of them ever succeeded in coming up with her, much less in engaging her in com- bat. In the fall of 1865 her commander gained conclusive informa- tion that the war had gone against the South, and he leisurely and uninterruptedly made his way to England, where he gave himself and his ship into the hands of the British government.