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CSS Shenandoah

Henry A. Riley, whose first name is also shown as Harry and whose surname is also shown as Reiley on some records, was born in Canada and migrated to Australia, settling down at Sandridge Pier in Melbourne, Australia; where he was employed as a boatman.  He remained there until the Confederate Cruiser, the “CSS Shenandoah” made port in Port Phillip Bay, off Melbourne on January 25, 1865, which was a neutral port during the American Civil War, to take on badly needed supplies; and possibly pick up some new crewmembers. The local population had been warned by Australian authorities, at the urging of the U.S. Consulate, not to board the “Shenandoah”, but Riley like others ignored the warning.

On the night of February 17, 1865 Riley slipped boarded the “CSS Shenandoah” and was concealed until the ship was again at sea and out of Australian waters. He then officially signed aboard, placing his mark beside his name, as a private in the Confederate States Marine Corps on February 18th, 1865, at a rate of $18.00. Riley was later confined, on May 28th, 1865 and placed in irons for drunkenness. Riley reportedly had a brother who He had left behind at Sandridge in Melbourne.


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, May 28, 1865

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

The Confederate soldier in the Civil War, 1861-1865,  1897

William A. Temple, crewmember, 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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