CSS Shenandoah

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#1
"In conclusion, “Would You Believe?” that the visit of the Confederate warship Shenandoah to Melbourne in 1856 would lead to the development of the Victorian colonial navy, giving rise to the need for a Victorian naval ensign that evolved into the current Australian National Flag. Ralph Kelley—Southern Cross Down Under 659 Proceedings of the 24th International Congress of Vexillology—2011 One form of the Southern Cross flag visiting down-under led indirectly to the adoption of another form of Southern Cross flag as the national flag of Australia." (Part of the Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War)

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&...OVKgc3hALzgMa_0uQ&sig2=wwFzDIFT-AvBnoZguF4ulA

Who knew 'vexillology' is the study of flags?!

(Apologies if there are issues with the link - can be found in Google "Southern Cross Down Under")

 

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Thanks for posting this! I'll be doing a post on the Shenandoah tomorrow.
Had you already planned your post? I looked it up because I was wondering if any men jumped ship when they arrived in Melbourne. I have a feeling some men joined them at that time as well...

Look forward to seeing your post :smile: This article is quite lengthy, so I've yet to read it all more thoroughly. I just thought the connection with the flag was interesting! As is the official name for the study of flags...
 

AndyHall

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From the article:

Whilst the visit of the Shenandoah had increased the importance of naval defence, there is no suggestion that the design of the Confederate flag had any influence on the design of the Victorian flag. It was a coincidence that both flags were described as the “Southern Cross Flag” for the saltire on the Confederate flag is referring to “the South” and not to the constellation, which is not visible in southern USA.

southern_cross_350.jpg


Kelley's suggestion that, because the Southern Cross (or more commonly now, "Crux") constellation was not visible from the southern U.S. states, it had no particular significance for the Confederacy, is not correct. It was mentioned a number of times in literature that promoted the idea of expansion of slaveholding through the Caribbean and into South America, either through annexation or the creation of regimes friendly to the expansion of slaveholding and the plantation culture through filibustering. It's the Golden Circle business.

William Porcher Miles, who designed the Confederate Battle Flag in conjunction with General Beauregard, started with a South Carolina secessionist flag, but turned the cross on it diagonally to make it “more Heraldric [sic] than Ecclesiastical, it being the ‘saltire’ of Heraldry, and significant of strength and progress (from the Latin salto, to leap).” In other words, to make a little distance in the design from obvious Christian symbolism. “It avoided the religious objection about the cross (from the Jews & many Protestant sects)," Miles wrote, "because it did not stand out so conspicuously as if the cross had been placed upright thus.”

However, for patriotic Southerners like George Bagby, editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, it was the constellation — usually invisible below the southern horizon to those in the northern hemisphere — that was a symbol of the Confederacy’s future greatness. Channeling the imperialistic ambitions shared by groups like the Knights of the Golden Circle, Bagby saw in the constellation the destiny of the Confederacy (Southern Literary Messenger, January 1862, p. 68. Emphasis added):

The “Southern Cross” holds its place steadily in the Southern heart. It was in every mouth long before the war began; it remains in spite of all arguments against it. These arguments are ridiculous. First, we don’t see the Southern Cross in the heavens. Indeed! Do the British see the lion and the unicorn on the land or in the sea? Do the Austrians behold the double headed eagle anywhere in nature or out of it? What has seeing got to do with it? The truth is, we shall see the Southern Cross ere the destiny of the Southern master and his African slave is accomplished. That destiny does not stop short of the banks of the Amazon. The world of wonders in the animal and vegetable kingdom, of riches incalculable in the vast domain, watered by that gigantic stream, is the natural heritage of the Southron and his domestic slave. They alone can achieve its conquest and lay its untold wealth a tribute at the feet of commerce, the Queen consort of King Cotton.

So for a good many southerners, particularly those inclined to look for symbolism and inspiration, the constellation of the Southern Cross absolutely did have meaning for them, and so it was almost inevitable that the name was soon applied to the Confederate Battle Flag, with its diagonal arrangement of stars.
 
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#8
Heres another thread i was just looking at about it.
http://civilwartalk.com/threads/css-shenandoah-melbourne-remembers.131723/

Im just not understanding why this visit is a big enough deal to the Australians to remember it so well. Is it because 40 of them joined up and left with the ship?
There is a lot of the 'larrikin' in Aussies which probably makes the story and event so appealing...even now. Australia had it's own rebellion, with the hoisting of its own 'secessionist' flag during the era...and then there was Ned Kelly, too :wink:
I am also wondering about men who joined the ship in Melbourne, and will read your thread with interest. Thanks.
 

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From the article:

Whilst the visit of the Shenandoah had increased the importance of naval defence, there is no suggestion that the design of the Confederate flag had any influence on the design of the Victorian flag. It was a coincidence that both flags were described as the “Southern Cross Flag” for the saltire on the Confederate flag is referring to “the South” and not to the constellation, which is not visible in southern USA.

Kelley's suggestion that, because the Southern Cross constellation was not visible from the southern U.S. states, it had no particular significance for the Confederacy, is not correct. It was mentioned a number of times in literature that promoted the idea of expansion of slaveholding through the Caribbean and into South America, either through annexation or the creation of regimes friendly to the expansion of slaveholding and the plantation culture through filibustering. It's the Golden Circle business.

William Porcher Miles, who designed the Confederate Battle Flag in conjunction with General Beauregard, started with a South Carolina secessionist flag, but turned the cross on it diagonally to make it “more Heraldric [sic] than Ecclesiastical, it being the ‘saltire’ of Heraldry, and significant of strength and progress (from the Latin salto, to leap).” In other words, to make a little distance in the design from obvious Christian symbolism. “It avoided the religious objection about the cross (from the Jews & many Protestant sects)," Miles wrote, "because it did not stand out so conspicuously as if the cross had been placed upright thus.”

However, for patriotic Southerners like George Bagby, editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, it was the constellation — usually invisible below the southern horizon to those in the northern hemisphere — that was a symbol of the Confederacy’s future greatness. Channeling the imperialistic ambitions shared by groups like the Knights of the Golden Circle, Bagby saw in the constellation the destiny of the Confederacy (Southern Literary Messenger, January 1862, p. 68. Emphasis added):

The “Southern Cross” holds its place steadily in the Southern heart. It was in every mouth long before the war began; it remains in spite of all arguments against it. These arguments are ridiculous. First, we don’t see the Southern Cross in the heavens. Indeed! Do the British see the lion and the unicorn on the land or in the sea? Do the Austrians behold the double headed eagle anywhere in nature or out of it? What has seeing got to do with it? The truth is, we shall see the Southern Cross ere the destiny of the Southern master and his African slave is accomplished. That destiny does not stop short of the banks of the Amazon. The world of wonders in the animal and vegetable kingdom, of riches incalculable in the vast domain, watered by that gigantic stream, is the natural heritage of the Southron and his domestic slave. They alone can achieve its conquest and lay its untold wealth a tribute at the feet of commerce, the Queen consort of King Cotton.

So for a good many southerners, particularly those inclined to look for symbolism and inspiration, the constellation of the Southern Cross absolutely did have meaning for them, and so it was almost inevitable that the name was soon applied to the Confederate Battle Flag, with its diagonal arrangement of stars.
This is very interesting, and until now I had not really considered the significance of the symbolism of flags (in general). It really makes one realize why men put such store by their Regimental flags, and why so many were prepared to die for the colours, too. Your post has given me a whole new insight, and I appreciate it very much. too. Thank you.
 

PeterT

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#11
Had you already planned your post? I looked it up because I was wondering if any men jumped ship when they arrived in Melbourne. I have a feeling some men joined them at that time as well...

Look forward to seeing your post :smile: This article is quite lengthy, so I've yet to read it all more thoroughly. I just thought the connection with the flag was interesting! As is the official name for the study of flags...
About 40 joined up secretly and until the ship was back at sea. Some jumped ship too. I have book about the whole story that I plan to get to when I have finished a couple of others. I posted a thread about the ball at Ballarat today.
 

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#12
About 40 joined up secretly and until the ship was back at sea. Some jumped ship too. I have book about the whole story that I plan to get to when I have finished a couple of others. I posted a thread about the ball at Ballarat today.
I just saw the thread...kept an eye out for it actually. Loved the photos! What is the book you have? I'm very interested in both the men who joined up, and the ones who jumped ship. The whole story is fascinating to me :smile:
 

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#15
[QUOTE="Cavalry Charger, post: 1496515, member: 19467]
Who knew 'vexillology' is the study of flags?!
[/QUOTE]

Fans of The Big Bang Theory and Doctor Sheldon Cooper's Fun With Flags :smile:

By chance, the inventor of the term passed away recently.
 

USS ALASKA

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Sirs / Ma'ams, when CSS Shenandoah left Williamstown, Victoria on February 18, 1865, how did she pay for her repairs and supplies? Did she carry that much hard cash? Did they bill it to Fraser, Trenholm and Company? That late in the war - how good was Confederate credit?
1025

Thanks for the help,
USS ALASKA
 

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Sirs / Ma'ams, when CSS Shenandoah left Williamstown, Victoria on February 18, 1865, how did she pay for her repairs and supplies? Did she carry that much hard cash? Did they bill it to Fraser, Trenholm and Company? That late in the war - how good was Confederate credit?
1025

Thanks for the help,
USS ALASKA
Good question. I'll be very interested in any reply!
 

PeterT

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#18
Good question. I'll be very interested in any reply!
I will have a look.

Captain Waddell requested daily quantities of fresh meat, vegetables and bread. Also, brandy, rum, champagne, port, sherry, beer, porter, molasses, lime juice and material to make summer clothing. And the materials to do the repairs. As to how they paid for it I will look further. Stay tuned.
 
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#19
Sirs / Ma'ams, when CSS Shenandoah left Williamstown, Victoria on February 18, 1865, how did she pay for her repairs and supplies? Did she carry that much hard cash? Did they bill it to Fraser, Trenholm and Company? That late in the war - how good was Confederate credit?
The CSS Shenandoah was loaded with gold even before it left England.

Those interesting Confederate notes were primarily used by Southern civilians to buy commodities back home.

On the international 'High Seas' . . . it was all about gold.

His offer of two months extra pay to enlist in the Confederate Navy converted only two, a cabin boy and a fireman, Waddell now used the lure of gold, a bucket of sovereigns was brought on deck, up went the ante, but only two more men were bought.

http://ahoy.tk-jk.net/MaraudersCivilWar/CSSShenandoah.html
 
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