322 Southern Historical Society Papers.
than equal to the contest cheered on by the acclamations of the Laurel, which was steaming away from the land we love to tell the tale of those who would rejoice that another Confederate cruiser was afloat.
But work was to be done ! The Sea King was to be metamor- phosed into a cruiser, and armed with a battery for which she was not constructed. The deck was to be cleared, the stores put away, the guns mounted, gun ports cut in the vessel's sides, and the ship put in readiness to uphold the honor of the Confederate flag; all was to be done in mid-ocean, without an organized force, and with a small crew never before associated together.
While this situation was itself embarrassing, other embarrassments forced themselves on the mind of Lieutenant Waddell. In his memoir of his cruise he wrote: The novel character of my political position embarrassed me more than the feeble condition of my com- mand, and that was fraught with painful apprehensions enough. I had the compass to guide me as a sailor, but my instructions made me a magistrate in a new field of duty and where the law was not very clear even to lawyers. I was on all matters to act promptly and without counsel; but my admiral instructions and the instincts of honor and patriotism that animated every Southern gentleman who bore arms in the South, buoyed me up with the hope and sup- ported me amid the difficulties and responsibilities bearing upon me.
Nobleman! chivalrous soul! brave heart! We here after these many years behold you rising aloft in those distant waters, the sole and solitary Confederate banner that has floated upon the bosom of the ocean. Alone it is borne by the breeze over the great waste of waters the only emblem of our nation's sovereignty upheld be- yond the limits of our beleagured States. We now realize the diffi- culties that beset you. We know the perils of the deep the storms and hurricanes that sweep the ocean the fury of the wild waves moved by mighty winds but these, these have no place in your thoughts as you unfold the flag of your country, then heroic- ally struggling for existence, but your mind is intent only on the honor of your countrymen!
The Shenandoah was a composite vessel the frame of iron, the hull of teak six inches thick, she could steam about nine miles an h our could condense about 500 gallons of water a day and used