The last act in the bloody drama of the American civil war had been played. Widely different were the armies that witnessed the opening and the closing scenes. The overture was played by the thunder of artillery beneath the walls of Sumter, with the breath of April fanning the cheeks of those who acted their parts while all the world looked on. The curtain finally fell amid the drifting ice of the Arctic seas. Burning vessels formed a pyrotechnic display such as the children of men have seldom looked on, while a grim and silent cruiser that had even then no government or country, and two weather-beaten whalers, filled with despondent prisoners, were the only audience.