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William Smith was born England and migrated to Melbourne, Australia. There he made his home and was living there when the Confederate Cruiser, the “CSS Shenandoah” arrived in Port Phillip Bay, off Melbourne on January 25, 1865 to take on new supplies. Learning that the “Shenandoah” had arrived in Melbourne and that its Captain was interested in acquiring new crewmembers, Green and went aboard the “CSS Shenandoah” on the night of Friday, February 17, 1865. He stayed in seclusion and out of sight until the ship made its way out of Australian waters, then he came out on February 18th, 1865 and by placing his mark beside his name on the ships log for a pay rate of $26.30 he became an official of the “Shenandoah” crew. He signed aboard as a coal trimmer, until March 1, 1865, when he was promoted to the rank of Petty Officer, serving as the ship’s cook. Smith was also one of the signatories who expressed confidence in the command of Lieutenant James I. Waddell, in a petition dated September 1865.  

Smith remained with the “Shenandoah” until after the war’s end, when the “CSS Shenandoah” surrendered, on November 6, 1865, to British Captain Paynter, commanding her Majesty’s ship “Donegal,, in Liverpool, England. Afterwards, he joined the crew ashore.


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

Alabama Claims : The case of Great Britain as laid before the Tribunal of arbitration Convened at Geneva under

the provisions of the treaty between the United States of America and Her Majesty the queen of Great Britain,

concluded at Washington, May 8, 1871 (1872), University of Michigan 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

Shenandoah Deck Log

“The Voyage of the CSS Shenandoah: A Memorable Cruise,”, William C. Whittle, Jr.

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

University of Michigan Library


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