With the Shenandoah heading through a patch of sea that Executive Officer Whittle calls ‘Oh, the terrible monotony’ Rob and Mob are lucky enough to have a listener alert them to the fact that they rather neglected the Shenandoah’s departure from Melbourne, which was much more exciting. In full flashback mode they describe the troubles of Union Consul Blanchard in trying to find a magistrate ready to stop the Shenandoah, when every magistrate in Melbourne is trying to avoid him….
After leaving Melbourne in 1865, Captain Waddell falls into what seems to be a depressive episode. Worn down by the cares of command, he constantly finds fault with his officers, and the situation is not helped as the long days pass without the sight of a Yankee prize. . . .
Back in 2015, we have the second half of our interview with Byard Sheppard of the Civil War Round Table of Australia, where we continue to discuss the career and eventual fate of the Sea King turned Shenandoah. Will the ship have a happy ending? Find out in episode 20 of Shenandoah Down Under.
in 2015, Mob and Rob are delighted to interview Byard Sheppard from the Victorian Civil War Round Table, who is an expert in the history and construction of the Sea King/CSS Shenandoah. In the first part of this two part interview you can hear how composite iron and wood construction was the latest thing in shipbuilding in the 1860’s, and how Cunningham’s patent self reefing topsails came to be known as the ‘sailors friend’.
Back in 1865 the Shenandoah has just left Melbourne town and the crew are shocked, shocked, to discover 42 stowaways aboard. By an even more amazing co-incidence all of these stowaways are happy, even insistent, on signing on as crew. But is Captain Waddell happy? Find out in episode 19, the one with too many stowaways for credibility….
After the excitement of the Ball serious events are brewing back in Melbourne for the crew of the Shenandoah. Union Consul Blanchard is busy building a case, and is accusing officers of the Shenandoah of recruiting British subjects. As this is precisely what they are doing it is not surprising that the police become involved. As the Ship lies helpless in dry dock 50 armed policemen surround it, and the Shenandoah is trapped, well, like a ship out of water. What happens next? Find out in the exciting eighteenth episode of Shenandoah Down Under!
On 25 January 1865, the Shenandoah arrived in Melbourne, Australia, on a day that will forever afterwards be known as the day before Australia day. So significant is this day that 150 years later, Rob and Mob were able to lift a tankard of Shenandoah Anniversary ale at the Seaworks museum in Williamstown, at the heart of Melbourne’s historic port district. Upon arrival the crew disburse their prisoners, with the redoubtable Mrs Nichols wishing they would come to harm at the earliest opportunity.
In the busy City of Melbourne news from afar is available after the long treck accross the Southern Ocean, and the crew learn that the Confederacy are still fighting and Abe Lincoln has been re-elected president. How will they spend their time in Melbourne? Will they party? Will they enjoy the favours of pretty ladies? Yup.
On the way to Australia the Shenandoah makes a stopover at the isolated (aren’t they all) island of St Paul. With six square kilometres of barren rock surrounding a sea filled volcanic crater, St Paul today looks like the perfect island for a James Bond supervillian, but in 1865 it is the haunt of two Frenchmen who sell the Shenandoah a chicken and a penguin (lets hope they don’t get them mixed up). In other news, the Shenandoah captures another Yankee Ship, the Delphine, and the Captain’s wife, the redoubtable Mrs Nichols, proves something of a handful.
The Shenandoah sails towards Tristan da Cunha, the most isolated inhabited archipelago in the world. Executive Officer Whittle continues his enthusiastic experiments with naval discipline, most of which include tricing, the gentle art of hanging men from their thumbs. Captain Waddell also begins to show himself an autocrat and stickler, insisting that his officers wear the unflattering Confederate naval uniform (gray does show the dirt so).
The Sea King is now the CSS Shenandoah, but his new command is far from easy for Captain Waddell. He has barely enough men to raise his own anchor, and his ship is lacking essential equipment. The ship has no furniture, and none of the chains and pulleys to mount her guns, although to look on the bright side he does have three flush toilets and Cunningham’s self reefing topsails. Will he repair to a friendly port to complete the ship’s fit-out, or will he press on and try and get what he needs with force of arms?
The English ship the Sea King, whose captain luckily has a commission to sell his boat to whoever has ready money, meets another ship, the Laurel, possessed of much money, off the shores of Los Desertos, isolated islands in the Maderias no doubt chosen because both ships have nothing whatever to hide, Officer. After a transaction involving said money, two days later the Sea King becomes the CSS Shenandoah, a Confederate warship commissioned to sail the seven seas in search of booty. The previous career of the Shenandoah’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Whittle, is also profiled, but Robert and Michael seem to have run out of fake beard jokes for the time being.
In the traditional ‘difficult second podcast’, the Sea King (soon to be CSS Shenandoah) and the Laurel (containing the men and munitions) steam towards the Madeira islands (far) off the coast of Africa. This episode discusses the glorious and eventually sad fates of two of the Shenandoah’s predecessors, the Alabama and the Florida, and the career up to the taking up of his command of the soon to be Captain Waddell. In addition to this there is of course further discussion of Civil War movie beards, including the Civil war links between Bruce Boxleitner’s roles in Gods and Generals and Babylon Five.