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The Alabama Destroying the Barque Texan Star, or Martaban, in Malacca Straits

The Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1251, p. 319.

April 2, 1864


We have been favoured by Commander Allen Young, R.N., with a sketch taken by himself when on board the Kwan-Tung war-steamer, of which he was in command during her voyage from Singapore to Bombay, on the 24th of December last. On leaving Singapore New Harbour, early in the morning of that day, he observed the Confederate man-of-war Alabama at the same time leaving the harbour at full speed, and steering through the straits to the westward. On passing several vessels working through the Narrows, the Alabama showed foreign colours and was soon afterwards lost sight of in the thick rain and mist. At five in the afternoon the Kwan-tung again came suddenly upon the Alabama, which, having captured a barque, was then in the act of destroying her, as shown in the sketch we have engraved. This barque, which proved to be the

Page 320

Texan Star, alias the Martaban, bound to Singapore with a rice cargo, was then lying in the position which our Engraving represents; her sails were clewed up, her anchor was down in about fifteen fathoms water, and the fire was breaking out at both ends. The crew having been removed, the Alabama cut the barque's boat adrift and steamed away at full speed to the northwest until midnight, when she was seen suddenly to alter her course towards Malacca, where it appears she landed the captured crew. The Texan Star when last seen was one mass of flame fore and aft, her masts had fallen by the board, and, while fast burning to the water's edge, she cast through the intense darkness of the night a brilliant gleam of light, at once a beacon to the navigator and a warning to all Federal ships in those waters.

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