UNITED STATES CONSULATE, LIVERPOOL, 18TH OCTOBER, 1864. SIR, THE ENGLISH SCREW STEAMER "SEA KING", BUILT AT GLASGOW IN 1863, CLEARED FOR BOMBAY, AND SAILED FROM LONDON ON THE EIGHTH INSTANT... MR. SISCO, UNITED STATES CONSULAR AGENT AT DOVER, SAYS HE HAS RELIABLE INFORMATION THAT CAPTAIN SEMMES IS TO HAVE THIS VESSEL... I HAVE NOT THE LEAST DOUBT SHE IS THE VESSEL THE STEAMER "LAUREL" IS TO MEET, AND THAT CAPTAIN SEMMES, WITH THE OFFICERS, MEN AND GUNS, TAKEN OUT IN THE "LAUREL," WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO HER. THEIR PLACE OF MEETING IS NOT KNOWN TO ME. THE "SEA KING" IS A VERY FAST, STRONG BUILT, AND FINE LOOKING SCREW STEAMER, BUILT OF WOOD WITH IRON FRAME, AND COPPERED, ABOUT ONE THOUSAND TONS BURTHEN, AND TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO FEET LONG, ONE FUNNEL, THREE BRIGHT MASTS, SHIP RIGGED, WITH WIRE RIGGING, HEAVILY SPARRED; MACHINERY ABAFT THE MAIN-MAST. NO DOUBT HER NAME WILL BE CHANGED. I AM SIR, VERY RESPECTFULLY, YOUR OBEDIENT SERVANT, THOMAS H. DUDLEY, CONSUL.

Liverpool: 1864. Pale blue folio printed sheet, folded to [1], [3 blanks] pp. Signed in type at the end. Old horizontal folds, some discoloration at blank lower corner and along edge of first page. Very Good.

The Civil War launched Confederate Captain Raphael Semmes's "brilliant career as one of the greatest commerce raider captains in naval history" [Wikipedia]. But the Sea King was delivered, not to Semmes, but to Captain James Waddell and renamed the "Shenandoah."
The renamed vessel, under Waddell, became "one of the most feared commerce raiders in the Confederate navy. During a period of 12-1/2 months from 1864 to 1865, the ship undertook commerce raiding around the world in an effort to disrupt the US economy, resulting in the capture and sinking or bonding of thirty-eight merchant vessels, mostly New Bedford whaleships. She finally surrendered on the River Mersey, Liverpool, UK, on November 6, 1865, six months after the war had ended. Her flag was the last sovereign Confederate flag to be officially furled. Shenandoah is also known for having fired the last shot of the Civil War, across the bow of a whaler in waters off the Aleutian Islands" [Wikipedia]. Item #36880

Price: $1,750.00