November 6 1865 CSS Shenandoah strikes her colors for the last time…
During 12½ months of 1864–1865 the ship undertook commerce raiding resulting in the capture and sinking or boarding of thirty-eight Union merchant vessels, mostly from New Bedford. This ship is notable for firing the last shot of the War, at a whaler in waters off the Aleutian Islands.
Captain Waddell and the crew knew returning to a US port would mean facing a Union court with a Northern perspective of the war. They correctly predicted the risk of being tried in a US court and hanged as pirates.
This later showed to be accurate. Commerce raiders were not included in the reconciliation and amnesty that Confederate soldiers were given. Captain Raphael Semmes ofCSS Alabama escaped charges of piracy by surrendering May 1, 1865 as a Ground General under Joseph E. Johnston. Semmes's former sailors surrendered as artillerymen.
The CSS Shenandoah was therefore surrendered by Captain Waddell to the Captain of HMS Donegal on November 6, 1865, after traveling 9,000 miles (14,500 km) to Liverpool to do so. This marked the last surrender of the War. She was then turned over to the United States government.