From October 1864 to November 1865, the CSS Shenandoah carried the Civil War around the globe to the ends of the earth through every extreme of sea and storm. Her officers represented a cross section of the Confederacy from Old Dominion first families through the Deep South aristocracy to a middle-class Missourian: a nephew of Robert E. Lee; a grandnephew of George Mason; a son-in-law to Raphael Semmes; grandsons of men who fought at George Washington’s side; an uncle of Theodore Roosevelt. They considered themselves Americans, Southerners, rebels, and warriors embarking on the voyage of their lives, defending their country as they understood it, and pursuing a difficult, dangerous mission in which they succeeded spectacularly after it no longer mattered. The CSS Shenandoah contributed to the diplomatic maelstrom of the Civil War and fired the last gun of the conflict. Seven months after Lee’s surrender, the CSS Shenandoah limped into Liverpool. Captain Waddell lowered the last Confederate banner without defeat or surrender. This is, as Admiral Semmes describes, a biography of a cruise and a microcosm of the Confederate-American Experience.
Dwight Hughes graduated from the US Naval Academy and served twenty years as a Navy surface warfare officer on many oceans in ships ranging from destroyer to aircraft carrier and with river forces in Vietnam (Bronze Star for Meritorious Service, Purple Heart). Building on a lifetime of study in naval history, he lives and writes in Nokesville, Virginia. Books will be available for purchase.
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