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05.05.17 Baldwin, John, and Powers, Ron, Last Flag Down: Epic Journey of the Last Confederate Warship, (and the journal of Lieutenant Whittle, who was aboard the CSS Shenandoah), published in 2005-2007.

Two books about the CSS Shenandoah are worthy of your interest.

The 2005 publication of Lieutenant William C. Whittle, Jr.’s journal of the voyages of the CSS Shenandoah was published in 2005.  It is titled, The Voyage of the CSS Shenandoah: A Memorable Cruise.  This is good original source material.

The 2007 publication of Last Flag Down: Epic Journey of the Last Confederate Warship is an excellent account of the voyage of this very impressive Confederate warship.  Our review of this book follows:

The cruise of CSS Shenandoah was one of the most amazing feats in maritime history.  Authors John Baldwin and Ron Powers tell this tale primarily through the memoirs of Shenandoah’s executive officer Lt. William Conway Whittle.  Baldwin is a descendant of Whittle and a former merchant seaman.  Powers is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

This story begins and ends in England with a round the World cruise in between.  Shenandoah fired the last shots of the War for Southern Independence and carried out the final destruction of Union commerce on June 28, 1865.  This took place in the frigid Bering Sea near the Arctic Circle.  Heading south to attack San Francisco, the Confederates encounter a British ship and learn that the war is over.  They must make for a friendly port or be hung as pirates.  Captain Waddell finally decides to run for Liverpool.  Before journey’s end a sailor and a marine will become the last active duty casualties of the war.  

What a grand story John Baldwin and Ron Powers have given us.  What a pity that so few Southerners know anything about this heroic adventure.

Both books are readily available.  We suggest Amazon.


Additional Review of Last Flag Down

In this book you board the CSS Shenandoah as it slips its moorings in London on October 7, 1864, disguised as a British merchantman to deceive Union agents as it heads for open water to begin its mission as a commerce raider against Northern shipping. The Shenandoah is a state of the art warship that will become a scourge to Northern shipping as it becomes the last warship to bear the flag of the Confederacy on the high seas. The story of its incredible journey around the world is documented by its young executive officer, Conway Whittle. Through Whittle’s writings we understand why Southerners were willing to endure incredible hardships and face deadly perils to defend their homes and loved ones. When the CSS Shenandoah finally arrives in Liverpool, England on November 11, 1865, while the South had been defeated militarily; the warships epic journey would live on as a reminder of the courage and fortitude of those who fought for Southern independence.