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CSS Shenandoah

James Kilgour was born around 1843 in Scotland and migrated to Victoria, Australia. Upon his arrival in Melbourne, Victoria Kilgour disembarked from his ship and established a residence in the Melbourne area, where he was living and working when he was informed that the Confederate Cruiser, the “CSS Shenandoah” had entered Port Phillip Bay, off Melbourne, on January 25, 1865, to take on new supplies; and that its Captain was looking to acquire new crewmembers. Kilgour, at age 22,  immediately went to the docks, made his way to the “Shenandoah” and upon an invitation from the crew went aboard, on the night of February 17, 1865.


Having already heard, and being told by the crew, that if he was found aboard by local police he would be forcibly removed because Victorian authorities had issued orders that no one was to be allowed to go aboard the Confederate Cruiser, Kilgour was hidden out of sight until the ship made its way out of Australian waters.  When that occurred Kilgour came out of hiding, on February 18, 1865, and by placing his mark beside his name on the ships log for a pay rate of $29.10, he became a seaman and a member of the “Shenandoah” crew. William A. Temple of the “Shenandoah” incorrectly recorded James’s name as ‘John”; which was carried over in the papers of the ORN. James Kilgour was also one of the signatories who expressed confidence in the command of Lieutenant James I. Waddell in a petition dated September 1865.


Kilgour continued serving on the “Shenandoah” until November 6, 1865 at which time the “CSS Shenandoah” was officially surrendered by her Commander to British Captain Paynter, commanding her Majesty’s ship “Donegal, in Liverpool, England. Afterwards, he joined the crew ashore. James Kilgour returned to Australia at the end of December, 1865

Alabama Claims, “Correspondence Concerning Claims Against Great Britain

   transmitted to the Senate of the United States in answer to the Resolutions of 

   December 4, and 10, 1867, and of May 27, 1868”, Washington;  1869

Amanda Peckham, Williamstown Library

Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion 1, 3, 783.

William A. Temple, affidavit

History of The Confederate States Navy, J.T. Scarf, 1996

Marauders of the Sea, Confederate Merchant Raiders During the American Civil

     War, Mackenzie J Gregory

The Cruise of the Shenandoah, Captain William C. Whittle, CSN


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