The CSS Alabama
Another Pirate at Work
22 October 1862
We have important news of the operations of the rebel steamer Alabama known as "No. 290." The Cairngorm, an English vessel, lately arrived at Gravesend, from Sydney. She reports that when at Flores, Western Islands, three whale-boats' crews from the Alabama came along-side and reported that their ship, the Ocmulgee, of Edgartown, Massachusetts, had been burned by the Alabama, under command of Captain Semmes, late of the Sumter. The Ocmulgee had two hundred and fifty barrels of oil, and her crew (thirty-four men) were made prisoners. The Alabama had already burned four whalers. She also captured an American schooner (name unknown) in sight of the Cairngorm. The United States sailing sloop of war St. Louis left Lisbon to search, as was supposed, for the rebel privateer "No. 290" off the Azores, in consequence of her raid on American whalers.
The Pirate Alabama
13 December 1862
The Navy Department has information that the pirate Alabama was expected in the vicinity of the Azores early in November. She was to receive supplies, ammunition, and seamen from the steamer Bahama. The Turkish steamer Shasigest was taking dispatches to that place for Captain Semmes. Several United States vessels are in that neighborhood. The Vanderbilt returned on the 30th, without having seen her.
A California Steamer Caught by the Alabama
10 January 1863
On the 7th December the pirate Alabama came across the Ariel, bound from New York to Aspinwall, off the coast of Cuba, and brought her to by sending a 68-pound shot through her foremast. Captain Semmes then took off her captain, and held him a prisoner for three days, expressing his determination at the same time to land the passengers either at some point on the island of Cuba or St. Domingo, and then to destroy the vessel. At the earnest remonstrance of Captain Jones, in behalf of the women and children on board, however, he consented to let her proceed. The Alabama started in pursuit of the Champion, then on her return voyage to New York, but failed to find her. Captain Jones carried the Ariel safe into Aspinwall, and arrived at this port on 28th, but brought no gold. With the fear of the Alabama before his eyes, he wisely left the treasure at Aspinwall.