Sailed for England.And so Waddell determined to sail for England. No longer did he have legitimate authority, for his commission expired with the collapse of the Confederacy; yet so well disciplined had his crew become, that to the very end the conduct of his crew was remarkable. On the 15th of September, running at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, the Shenandoah turned Cape Horn, and took her course northward for Liverpool. We passed many sails, says Whittle, but exchanged no signals. We were making no new acquaintances. They crossed the equator for the fourth time on October 11, 1865. On October 25th, in the afternoon, when about 500 miles south of the Azores, they sighted a supposed Federal cruiser. Their courses converged. The stranger was apparently waiting for the approaching vessel. Quoting now from Captain Waddell:
The situation was one of anxious suspense. Our security, if any remained, depended on a strict adherence to our course. Deviation would be fatal; boldness must accomplish the deception. Still we forged toward the sail, and it would be madness to stop. Darkness finally threw her friendly folds around the anxious hearts on the little ship and closed the space between the vessels. What a relief! We could not have been four miles away.The Shenandoah's head was then turned southward and steam ordered. It was the first time she had been under steam since crossing the equator on the Pacific side; indeed, the fires had not been lighted for a distance of more than 13,000 miles. The Shenandoah ran fifteen miles to the eastward, and then steamed north for 100 miles when a strong northwest wind dashed her within 700 miles of Liverpool. A calm then ensued, leaving us in sight of eleven sails during daylight. The ship was continued under sail until night again took us in its friendly embraces, when, after furling all sails, the vessel was put under steam and pushed her way towards the desired haven. The Shenandoah entered St. George's channel on the morning of November 5th—just 122 days from the Aleutian Islands. We saw no land after leaving the Aleutian Islands until the beacon light in St. George's channel was seen exactly where it was looked for. We had sailed 23,000 miles without seeing land, and still saw the beacon exactly where we expected.