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CSS Shenandoah

John Moss was born in Ireland and migrated to Victoria, Australia. Upon his arrival in Melbourne, Victoria Moss disembarked from his ship and established a residence in Melbourne, where he was living when he found out that the Confederate Cruiser, the “CSS Shenandoah” had entered Port Phillip Bay, off Melbourne, on January 25, 1865 to make repairs, take on new supplies and possibly acquire new crewmembers. Moss, wanting to see the ship and explore the idea of joining the crew, 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 been made aware by locals, and being told by the crew, that if he was found aboard by Melbourne police he would be forcibly removed; because Victorian authorities had issued orders that no Australian was to be allowed to go aboard the Confederate Cruiser. Upon boarding and discussing his becoming a crewmember, Moss was hidden out of sight until the ship had made its way out of Australian waters.  Upon reaching international waters Moss 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 $18.00, he became a member of the crew and was inducted into the Confederate States Marine Corps; as one of the ‘fighting men’.

On March 12, 1865 Moss became insolent to a Corporal of the Marine Corps and as punishment, was triced up,(tied up) for a period of time. John Moss was also one of the signatories who expressed confidence in the command of Lieutenant James I. Waddell, in a petition dated September 1865.

Moss continued serving on the “Shenandoah” until it was officially surrendered by her Commander to British Captain Paynter, commanding her Majesty’s ship “Donegal,, in Liverpool, England; on  November 6, 1865. Upon its surrender, Moss joined the crew ashore and eventually returned to Australia. 


Alabama Claims Vol. 1, “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

CSS Shenandoah Deck Log

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

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion

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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