The American Civil War Round Table of Australia hosted commemorative events in January-February 2015 to remember the 150th anniversary of the Confederate steamer Shenandoah visitng Melbourne between 25 January and 18 February 1865.
The Shenandoah dropped anchor at Sandridge (current-day Port Melbourne) at 6:45 on the evening of the 25th of January, immediately the arrival caused a stir amongst the local population of Melbourne, many who caught the train down to the seaside to look at the vessel from the shore.
Those who had the money could hire boats to take them out to the Shenandoah where the Confederate officers took them on tours of the ship.
The American Civil War Round Table commemorated the arrival in association with the Williamstown Maritime Association and SeaWorks with a display of Civil War memorabilia at the Williamstown docklands precinct over the Australia Day long weekend of January 25-27, 2015.
Image from the collection of the State Library of Victoria
Members of the American Civil War Round Table of Australia and the Shenandoah Crew were on call during the three days of the exhibition to asnwer questions on both the Shenandoah's visit as well as the American Civil War; public interest was quite significant.
Under the auspices of SeaWorks and the Williamstown Maritime Association, there was an unveiling of a commemorative plaque on Sunday January 25 which was attended by the Major of Port Hobon Council, Councillor Colleen Gates, the Chairman of SeaWorks, Trevor Huggard, the State Minister for Police and local member Wade Noonan and representing the American Civil War Museum, Sam Craghead of Richmond, Virginia. the museum's public relations manager. Peter Hemphill officiated at the proceedings
The following Wednesday evening, January 28, Sam Craghead spoke at the regular monthly meeting of the American Civil War Round Table of Australia on the subject of the White House of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Museum. He discussed plans that are to be made for the museum's new buildings on the site of the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond as well as the success of their museum at Appmattox, Virginia.
Sam Craghead and presidednt Dale Blair at the meeting