His offer was gratefully acknowledged, but declined. The bark went on her way rejoicing, and the Stonewall
pursued her course to Nassau, a convenient port at which to procure coals.
She did not enter the harbor, but received the coals outside -- an unpleasant indication, for there were rumors on shore, though not authentic, which made the Stonewall an unwelcome visitor. She was permitted to take on board coals sufficient for the passage to Havana
Arrived at Havana
, the usual visits of ceremony made, the vessel was admitted to the customary hospitalities of the port, with no limitation as to the time she would be permitted to remain. Mark the difference of the Stonewall's
reception here and that at Nassau! The sad intelligence here received, which I need not describe, was not to be questioned, and the feelings of both officers and men may be imagined, but not expressed.
The little craft that had so bravely breasted the storms of tempestuous seas, to do her duty in a holy cause, found herself a useless hulk, an encumbrance.
The political state of affairs in the Confederacy had not been as yet officially announced to the authorities of Cuba
. When that shall have been done, the Stonewall would no longer be entitled to the flag she so proudly bore off Ferrol.
Negotiations were entered into with the authorities of Havana
, which resulted in the acceptance of the Stonewall as a present, subject to the decision of the Queen of Spain. By the terms of the agreement, there was advanced to the Stonewall the sum of $16,000 in order to pay the officers and crew what was due them, as set forth in the books of the paymaster. A much larger sum would have been advanced, and was suggested, but her commander was in honor bound to the crew for the payment of what was due them -- the vessel being fully responsible -- and he would receive nothing more.
An Admiral, with his attendant staff of officers, came on board to formally receive the Stonewall. The delicacy and courtesy of this distinguished officer on this occasion will ever be remembered. He appreciated the painful position of the commanding officer, and before proceeding to the details involved, remarked to him, "My barge is at your service, and Captain will attend you to the arsenal, and thence to your quarters on shore." Officials of some governments would have avoided a Confederate officer at that time as they would have done a contagious pestilence. Captain performed the duty assigned him with all that courtesy for which the Spanish race has ever been preeminently distinguished.
Thus terminated the career of the Stonewall
under the Confederate flag.
What was her ultimate fate? It is said she came into the possession of the United States Government, was sold to the Japanese Government
, and was wrecked during a severe typhoon while lying at anchor. It may be proper to mention as a pertinent episode in the last days of the Stonewall
, that among the arrivals which soon followed her into Havana
was an imposing looking American man of war steamer. She anchored only a very short distance off. One morning a letter was handed to the commander of the Stonewall,
which bore the signature of an old acquaintance -- the captain of the man of war close by. The purport of this communication was suggesting the propriety of surrender of the Stonewall
to him. Its receipt was promptly acknowledged, and although its kind suggestions were fully appreciated, they were politely declined.
was in a position to present herself to the Captain General, or, through him, to the Queen of Spain; but she was not the craft to surrender on demand or solicitation.http://www.csnavy.org/shsp,css,stonewall.htm