London, Saturday, August 3, 1861The Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1101, p. 108.
August 3, 1861
Sad news is, in all probability, crossing the Atlantic. The last mails have spoken of the advance of the Federal army upon the Confederates, and we hear of a repulse of the former, and then of its success in carrying a disputed position. This information, of course, comes through Northern channels, and we have not yet learned to accept, unhesitantly, every statement so transmitted. But there seems no reason to doubt that the armies were drawing very close, and if the journals that "expect" a battle "to-day or to-morrow" are to be relied upon it could hardly be many days before thousands of men, speaking the same language, and but the other day proud of being governed by the same rulers, would be hurled upon one another in fierce conflict. A spot called Manassas Junction was indicated as the probable scene of the expected engagement. Some superseding of Federal Generals on the eve of fighting might not seem a good augury for the North; but, if the accounts as to the numbers of the forces be trustworthy, it is difficult to understand how an experienced soldier like General Scott can fail to be victorious. Private letters say that the authorities at Washington have no such ideas as are promulgated by journalists about bringing the war to a rapid termination, and that they do not contemplate the final subjugation of the South in less than two campaigns. In far less time than such protracted operations will require the pacification of the States will, we hope, be effected by other agency. Meantime, we await the arrival of the first important news that has been dispatched since the declaration—we do not to say of war—but of "action" by the belligerents.