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The Alabama ("290").

The Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1174, p.535.

November 15, 1862

THE ALABAMA ("290").

The Confederate screw-steamer Alabama, Captain Semmes, an Engraving of which is given on page 513, is the notorious vessel whose doings on the Newfoundland banks have frightened Northern merchants out of their propriety and occasioned a remonstrance from the New York Chamber of Commerce, addressed to British merchants. The Alabama, formerly the 290, was built in Mr. Laird's yard at Birkenhead. She is a wooden vessel of 1200 tons burden, copper-bottomed, 2l0 ft. long, rather narrow, painted black outside, carries three long 32-pounders on a side, has a 100-pounder rifled pivot-gun forward of the bridge, and a 68-pounder on the main-deck. These are of the Blakeley pattern, made by Wesley and Preston, of Liverpool. She is barque-rigged, and is represented to go thirteen knots under under sail and fifteen under steam. She sailed from the Mersey in August. Her officers are Americans, but her present crew are Englishmen. Captain Semmes was the dashing commander of the Confederate steamer Sumter. The Alabama is, we believe, the only vessel which the Confederate States now have on the high seas.

It is said that Mr. Collier, Q.C., as well as the Attorney and Solicitor General, have given opinions that her sailing so armed and on such an errand as hers was a breach of the Queen's proclamation of neutrality.

Our Engraving on page 513 is from a sketch by Mr. W. Woods, of Liverpool, and represents the Alabama leaving the Tonowanda after having put on board that vessel the captains and crews of several Federal merchantmen which she had taken as prizes and burnt. The ship Tonowanda, which recently arrived at Liverpool from Philadelphia, reports that she was captured by the Alabama (290) on the 9th of October at 4 p.m., in lat. 41, long. 55. Captain Julius was taken on board, and found there Captain Harmon and crew, of the late barque Wave Crest, from New York for Cardiff, and Captain Johnson and crew, of the late brig Dunkirk, from New York for Lisbon, all prisoners and in irons on deck, their vessels having been burnt two days previous. The next day the prisoners were transferred to the Tonowanda, and Captain Julius alone remained on board the Alabama as hostage. On the 11th of October they captured and burnt the ship Manchester, from New York for Liverpool. Her captain and crew were also put on board the Tonowanda. No more prizes were taken till the evening of the 13th, and, there being every appearance of thick weather, Captain Julius was put on board the Tonowanda and allowed to proceed, after having given a ransom bond. All the captains, officers, and crews are parolled prisoners of war.

In reply to a communication of Mr. Chilton, chairman of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, to the Government, requesting to know the opinion of the Government on the Manchester and Tonawanda [sic] Tonowanda seizures, and the position of the owners of the British property on board, Mr. Chilton has received a note stating that the communication of the chamber has been received and is under the consideration of her Majesty's Ministers.

Previous: Illustrations of the War in America.ArticleVolume 41, no.1152, p.2 (18 paragraphs)
Next: Captain Semmes, of the Confederate States' Sloop-of-War Alabama ('290'). Major-General 'Stonewall' Jackson, of the Confederate Army.--See Page 606.Illustrationvol.41, no.1175, p.589 (1 paragraph)
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