LAST SHOT OF THE CIVIL WAR WAS A BLANK

July 27, 2016

 

Last Confederate Raider Ship
Last Confederate Raider Ship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last shot fired in the Civil War was at sea in the Bering Strait. The CSS Shenandoah, a Confederate Raider vessel, arriving late in the war (1864) fired a blank cannon shot at a US whaler ship. The Confederates took her cargo, despite the fact the whaler’s captain almost wanted to fight the Shenandoah. HIs crew fortunately took him below decks for his and their safety. After the booty of the ship was removed, eight of the whalers joined the Shenandoah crew.

The event took place on June 28, 1865, eleven weeks after Lee’s surrender. Of course, Johnston had surrendered, the other minor Confederate armies had surrendered, and the last battle had been fought in May at Pamlico Ranch in Texas. The vessel’s skipper, Captain James Weddell, with support from junior officer, Sydney Smith Lee Jr, nephew of Robert E. Lee, had managed to inflict $100,000 damage to US ships during their voyage. Finally coming to understand the war was over, the captain sailed theShenandoah  for Liverpool, England where he was released and forgiven of his crimes, along with the crew.

The Shenandoah was purchased by the Sultan of Zanzibar. Waddell later became a hero in Maryland by taking on and crushing the oyster bed thieves.

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