By Jodi Frederiksen
American Civil War Museum Collections Manager
Who needs a drink? The Davis family and guests would have used this cellarette, with an interior lead lining (now missing) to store wine bottles in ice during dinners and gatherings. Now on display in the dining room, this piece was surely kept close at hand for many social occasions.
In the first week of November 1865, CSS Shenandoah returned to Liverpool, England – more than a year after she had left on her voyage to destroy the U.S. whaling fleet in the north Pacific Ocean and three months after her officers learned that they had carried out their mission more than a month after the Confederacy ceased to exist. Midshipman John T. Mason recorded matter-of-factly in the ship’s duplicate log the Shenandoah’s arrival at the royal yards in Liverpool.
The June 24, 1865 issue of the New York Freeman’s Journal and Catholic Register featured a poem by “Moina” entitled “The Conquered Banner.” Capturing the mourning resignation of the Confederate South after Appomattox, the poem became an instant classic and was set to music and published in song form before the year was out.
A pro-Confederate Englishman, Henry Houghton, read the poem and, in October 1865, wrote a poetic “Reply.” The two poems articulated competing attitudes of how Confederates should respond to defeat; the yin and yang between them still resonates today.