CSS Alabama's South Pacific Expeditionary Raid
The CSS Alabama's South Pacific Expeditionary Raid commenced shortly after the CSS Alabama left the Karimata Strait between Borneo and Sumatra heading east into the south Pacific Ocean on the most easterly extent of her voyages. The raid lasted from the beginning of December, 1863 to Christmas, when Semmes made a decision to turn west back toward Europe for a planned overhaul and refit.
The primary area of operation during this expeditionary raid, was the southern Pacific Ocean, steaming east and then turning back west toward the Strait of Malacca.
The CSS Alabama passed the Karimata Strait and reached Pulo Condore, anchoring in the western harbor north of White Rock on December 2, 1863. After a few weeks of steaming, she headed back toward Singapore, anchoring at Pulo Aor on December 19. Arriving in the Strait of Malacca on December 24, Captain Semmes overtakes the English Martaban before being blessed with an early Christmas gift in the form of the Texan Star, which is promptly burned. Christmas Day, December 25, 1863, Captain Semmes puts the Texan Star prisoners on Malacca Island, and proceeds to turn down invitations for Christmas dinner from adoring British colonist fans, grateful for the riddance of competitive yankee commerce vessels.
Having spent Christmas Day in peaceful respite, divine providence commences the next day, December 26, 1863, as the provision of bounty includes two enemy vessels, the Sonora of Newburyport and the Highlander of Boston. Both ships are given the usual burning, and Captain Semmes calls it a year, deciding to use 1864 as a time to refit and repair back in France.
|Date||Ship Name||Tonnage||Ship Type||Location||Disposition of Ship|
|December 24, 1863||Texan Star||?||?||Strait of Malacca||Burned|
|December 26, 1863||Sonora||?||?||Strait of Malacca||Burned|
|December 26, 1863||Highlander||?||?||Strait of Malacca||Burned|
- Hearn, Chester G., Gray Raiders of the Sea, Louisiana State Press, 1996. ISBN 0-8071-2114-2
- Luraghi, Raimondo, A History of the Confederate Navy, U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1996. ISBN 1-55750-527-6