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[253] Abigail, which left San Francisco in April, and brought papers of April 17, giving correspondence between Generals Grant and Lee and a statement of the surrender of the latter to the former at Appomattox, but they also contained President Davis' proclamation from Danville, Va., stating that the surrender would only cause the prosecution of the war with renewed vigor. We felt that the South had sustained great reverses, but at no time did we feel a more imperative duty to prosecute our work with vigor.

Between June 2 and June 28, inclusive, we captured twenty-four whaling vessels, viz.: William Thompson, Euphrates, Milo, Sophia Thornton, Jireh Swift, Susan Abigail, General Williams, Nimrod, Nye, Catherine, General Pike, Gipsey, Isabella, Waverley, Hillman, James Murray, Nassau, Brunswick, Howland, Martha, Congress, Nile, Favorite and Covington, of which three, viz.: Milo, James Murray and Nile, were bonded and the others burned, and all prisoners put on board the bonded vessels, with ample provisions taken from the vessels destroyed for their support. Eleven of the enumerated vessels were captured on June 28. These were our last prizes. Some of the prisoners expressed their opinion, on the strength of the papers brought by the Susan Abigail, of General Lee's surrender, that war might be and probably was over, but as an evidence that such was not believed to be the case, eight men from these vessels enlisted on the Shenandoah.

On June 29, at 1 A. M., passed the Behring Straits into the Arctic Ocean. At 10 A. M., finding heavy floes of ice all around ahead of us, we turned to the southward and re-entered, through Behring Straits, Behring Sea, being at noon, or two hours after we turned around, in 66 degrees 14 minutes north latitude. Encountered very heavy ice on July 1. On July 5 passed through Amukta Pass (172 degrees west longitude) of the Aleutian Islands, from Behring Sea into the Pacific Ocean. One of the islands by which we passed in coming out was volcanic, for smoke was seen coming out from its peak.

This was the last land which we were destined to see for a long time. Our course was shaped towards the coast of California, Lower California and Mexico, with the hope of falling in with some trans-Pacific vessels, or some of the steamships from San Francisco to Panama.

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