[Another Cruiser for the Confederates]The Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1199, p. 431.
April 18, 1863
Another cruiser for the Confederates has left our shores. The Japan, of 700 tons, and built of iron, was launched not long since in the Clyde, and sailed on the 3rd inst., just twenty-four hours before an order came down from Government to seize her as a Confederate vessel. On leaving Greenock she made for a given point between Plymouth and Falmouth, where she met a vessel with "hardware," consisting of guns, &c., which she shipped. On this her real character was proclaimed to the crew, though well known before, when thirteen of them declined to proceed in her, and were shipped off for Plymouth. The remaining hands, about eighty-five in number, signed for two years' service in the new craft, which was then dubbed the Virginia, and forthwith started on her cruise. The armament consisted of ten guns and two 68-pounder Whitworth pivots. She has great strength and speed.