The Confederate privateer Japan or Virginia, her armament, &c.
(April 12th) correspondence of the London
The screw steamship Alar
, Back, that put in here yesterday, brought decisive and important information in reference to the large iron steamship that left Greenock
on April 24, under the name of Japan
, and was said to be proceeding on a voyage to the China seas
.-- Rumor then attributed her proclaimed voyage to be only a blind, and her real intention to fly the Confederate
's news confirms this rumor.
is an iron built ship, laid down to very fine lines for speed, about six hundred tons, and having engines of from about two hundred to two hundred and fifty horse power. She has all the ferments for carrying heavy guns, shot, and shell, and left Greenock
with over one hundred men, who were all shipped at very high wages, and in perfect cognizance of the real intention of their voyage, at the shipping master's office in Greenock
They were shipped for two years for a voyage to Shanghai
, Hong-Kong, and any intermediate ports.
After they had proceeded to see another set of articles were produced by the captain, in which it was stipulated that they should fly the Confederate
flag, and assist in capturing and destroying all Federal vessels with whom they might fall in. Thirteen only of the crew excepted to signing the new article, and their alleged reason was that they thought they were to have higher wages.
This was considered on board to be an excuse, as it was well known among them what were the wages offered-- The captain, however, stated that he had no wish to take any man with him against his will, and landed these hands here by the Alar
proceeded to a creek on the coast of France
, east of Channel Islands.
, that has been for several years a regular trader between Newhaven
and St. Malo and the Channel Islands
, took on board at Newhaven
nearly one hundred tone of goods, in cases, and cleared for St. Malo.--These goods consisted of twelve Whitworth
guns, ten 10 pounders and two 10 pounders, with a large quantity of powder, shot and shell, and some provisions.
She proceeded to the coast of France
, and was there joined by the Japan and a French pilot.
The two vessels ran in and anchored in the creek, where the transshipment of the goods between the two vessels took place during two nights.
then left, and afterwards the Alar
, the latter vessel being watched off the coast by a French frigate.
lay two days in the channel before the made for this port.
In addition to the thirteen dissatisfied seamen, she also landed two of the Japan
's stokers, who were severely scalded by the burning of one of her condensers.
is now sailing under another name, said to be the Virginia
The customs authorities here inquired into the circumstances of the Alar
's voyage; but, not deeming themselves justified in detaining her, she was yesterday afternoon allowed to proceed and she left for the eastward.
The men report that on board the Japan
everything is done to make the crew comfortable.
Provisions of a high class and every accommodation are freely supplied.
The crew are all picked men, and in addition to being good seamen, the majority of them are old issues at the gun drill.
The names of the officers are unknown, their present cognomens being considered mere .