The Civil War in AmericaThe Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1097, p. 2.
July 6, 1861
The United States' mail-steamer Fulton has arrived at Southampton, bringing New York journals to the 22nd ult.
The blockade is now effective at all the principal ports of the Southern coast. The first Confederate privateer Savannah, whose arrival at New York in charge of a prize crew we reported in our last, was captured by the man-of-war Perry off the coast of South Carolina. Her crew, numbering sixteen, are in irons on board the Minnesota, now blockading Charleston. The New York Tribune urges that these men be hanged. The Savannah was the first ship which applied for letters of marque. She had just captured and sent to Georgetown a Maine brig before she encountered the Perry. There have been several more captures on the Potomac of Virginia coasting-vessels which were engaged in supplying the Confederates with provisions.
There has been no movement of importance in the neighbourhood of Fortress Monroe. An Ohio regiment which went reconnoitring in a railway train was fired upon at Vienna, fifteen miles west of Alexandria, by a masked battery, and retired with a loss of twenty men. They were reinforced and returned, and found that the enemy had disappeared. This affair, in conjunction with the former check at Great Bethel, has caused a great outcry against "militia officers," and a reaction of public opinion in favour of professional commanders.
In the direction of Fairfax the Federals have pushed forward from Alexandria four miles. The enemy's pickets fell back on Fairfax.
The Confederate troops, under the command of General Johnson, who lately evacuated Harper's Ferry, and were supposed to have retired towards Richmond, suddenly reappeared on the Potomac at Piedmont, considerably to the west of Harper's Ferry. They forced the bridge over the Potomac, which was guarded by forty loyal Marylanders, who were all cut to pieces except two, and then advanced to Cumberland, in Western Maryland, where they surrounded an Indiana regiment stationed there. Two Pennsylvania regiments have been sent forward from Harrisburg to relieve this regiment, if possible. If they have capitulated this will be by far the greatest success of the Confederate forces since the opening of the war.
The State of Missouri, which is loyal to the Union, has been the seat of a series of scattered fights. The parties to it are not the armies of the Confederate and the United States, but the State militia of Missouri and Federal volunteers of the same state, Illinois, and Iowa. The Iowa troops have invaded this populous and flourishing State in the west, and the Illinoisans have done so in the east. General Lyon is the Federal commander. He has utterly routed the State troops at Bonneville, a town a few miles north-west of the capital, and taken their camp. The loss of the vanquished was at first set down at three hundred, but this is an exaggeration. The Governor of the State fled from the field in a southerly direction. A few days afterwards a body of the militia attacked the Union Home Guard of the town of Cole, and drove them from the place with great loss. There have been several minor collisions in this afflicted State.
The New York journals continue to receive telegrams from the South by way of Louisville, the chief city of the neutral State of Kentucky, at which place Southern journals are still received. A company has recently been started in the same city to maintain postal communication between the people of the two Confederations. It offers to deliver a letter of ordinary weight for 23 cents (11 1/2 d.). The previous rate was 3 cents.
By way of Louisville we learn that the South feels pinched for the want of salt, printing-paper, lead, and leather. The Southerners and their slaves are in great want of new shoes.
In his reply to the Commissioners of the Maryland Legislature, Mr. Davis reiterates his desire for peace, and declares that conquest is inconsistent with that idea of State sovereignty which is the fundamental principle of the Southern Confederacy.
The vote on secession in Tennessee is—for separation, 99,269; against it, 14,206. East Tennessee gave a majority of 13,177 against seceding. A Convention of East Tennesseans has been called to meet at Knoxville, to deliberate on the advisability of resisting the authority of the Confederate Government.
The Legislature of Maryland have passed resolutions to the effect that the war debt now being contracted by the Federal Government is unconstitutionally incurred, and that Maryland will not hold herself bound for any portion thereof.
The Wheeling Convention have signed a declaration of independence, and elected Mr. Pierpoint Governor of the State, the theory being that the regularly-elected State officials have forfeited their offices by their treason to the Federal Government.
Journals belonging to the President's party state that Mr. Lincoln, in his forthcoming Message to Congress, will recommend the levy of half a million of men, and the creation of a debt of 250,000,000 dols., of debt for the speedy putting down of the rebellion.
The Government offers to pay for all damages done to private property by the occupation of land or buildings in Virginia, or by any willful mischief on the part of the Federal troops.
The Prize Court sitting in Washington has condemned an English schooner and her cargo, valued at 22,000 dollars, for endeavouring to run the blockade of the Virginia waters, subject, however, to further advisement as to an alleged relaxation of the strict law in favour of British ships then in port.
Mr. Russell, the Times' "special," has arrived at Cairo, Illinois. He complains that many of his letters never reached their destination, and that others were tampered with and altered.
The slaver Nightingale arrived at New York on the 18th ult. in charge of a prize crew, having been captured on the coast of Africa with 1000 negroes on board.
The Pennsylvanian State loan of 3,000,000 dollars has been all taken at par by the Philadelphians, and the offers for the Maine loan at par and up to 4 per cent prem. largely exceeded the amount required.