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The Civil War in America

The Illustrated London News, vol.39, no. 1104, p. 177.

August 24,1861

By the steamers Anglo-Saxon and City of Baltimore we have received New York journals to the 9th and telegrams to the 10th inst.


There has been some fighting since our last in Western Virginia and Missouri to the advantage of the Federalists. General Rosencrantz, in the former region, has telegraphed to Washington that the rebels had been expelled from Kanawha, and requested that the mail service may be resumed. At Athens and at Dug Spring, nineteen miles south of Springfield, Missouri, engagements have taken place in which the Secessionists were worsted. In the latter a body of United States' cavalry, under General Lyon, 270 strong, are said to have cut their way through a body of infantry more than ten times their number. Eight of the former were killed and 30 wounded; while 40 of the latter were left dead on the field, and 44 wounded.

The coast of North Carolina, which has never been thoroughly blockaded, is swarming with privateers, who prey upon Northern commerce, and take their prizes into port without molestation. Newbern, in this State, is a favourite rendezvous. Land batteries are erected at several points to protect the privateer from her pursuer. En revanche, the blockading squadron off Galveston has captured recently eleven ships belonging to the Confederates; and on the 1st inst. the United States' frigate St. Lawrence sunk a privateer off Charleston. The privateer, mistaking the ship-of-war for a merchantman, ran out of Charleston harbour, and fired into her. The St. Lawrence returned a broadside with the above result. Five of the crew were drowned, and the remaining thirty-six have been sent to Fort Mifflin, below Philadelphia.


The "grand army of the Potomac," the army of the Upper Potomac, and the garrison in and around Fort Monroe are inactive for the present, General M'Clellan has cautioned the journals and their correspondents to say nothing of his movements, a caution which the prudence and patriotism of the editors alike incline them to obey. From Mr. Russell's letters we learn that the new three-year volunteers "are not equal to the departed three-months men, and the camps are certainly not as well filled." From other sources we are informed that the young commander, who inspires the greatest confidence, is brigading the newly-arrived regiments.

General Butler, at Fort Monroe, reports that he is in possession of 900 negroes—men, women, and children; and writes to the Secretary for War to know what he is to do with them, advising, at the same time, that they be liberated. The reply of Secretary Cameron has not yet appeared.


Full Southern accounts of the battle of Bull Run inform us that Jefferson Davis did not arrive on the field of battle until after the day was won, and that it was the arrival of General Kirby Smith with 4000 fresh troops belonging to Johnston's army which decided the fortunes of the day. Not more than half of Johnson's division effected their junction with Beauregard in season to take part in the fight. An engine-driver bringing up troops from Richmond purposely ran the train off the track and delayed the arrival of the reinforcements. He was shot after confessing his treachery to the cause he was supposed to be serving. General Bee, of South Carolina, Colonel Bartow, of Georgia, and Colonel Johnson, of South Carolina, were slain on the Confederate side. Colonel Wade Hampton, the richest man in the South, was seriously wounded in the cheek.

General M'Dowell has at last made a report of the Federal loss at Bull Run:—Killed, 19 officers and 462 men; wounded, 64 officers and 947 men; missing, 40 officers and 1176 men. He also reports the loss of 23 pieces of artillery, 100 boxes of cartridges, 87 boxes of rifled-cannon ammunition, 30 boxes of old firearms, 13 loaded provision-waggons, 3000 bushels of oats, 2500 muskets, and 8000 knapsacks and blankets.


The Southern Congress is still in session at Richmond.

The Southern journals give a list of clergymen who are officers in the Confederate army.

It is stated that much British gold is in circulation at Richmond, which has been advanced for the new cotton crop.


The Federal Congress adjourned on the 6th inst. until the first Monday in December. One of its last measures was to increase the pay of the soldiers and sailors by two dollars per month. The legislation of the late special Session is of the most important character, having accomplished a revolution in the finance of the Republic and armed the President with the prerogatives of a military despot. Among other less striking changes is one abolishing the sub-Treasury and anti-bank policy, for which the Democratic party strove so successfully a quarter of a century ago. The proceeds of the 250,000,000 dollar loan may remain in solvent banks until drawn out by the Government, instead of being paid immediately into the Treasury or sub-Treasury in gold and silver.

The assessments on gold and silver watches and pleasure-carriages were struck out of the tax bill by the Conference Committee of the two Houses.

The President, it is said, yielded a very reluctant assent to the Act confiscating slaves used in aid of the rebellion.

Members of Congress were paid their 300 dols. salary, one sixth in gold and five sixths in Treasury notes, bearing six per cent interest. Henceforth all Government salaries will be paid in this sort of money. These notes, payable in two years, are discounted by the brokers for 5 per cent commission.


The steamers from Europe bring frequent consignments of arms, chiefly on account of the several States.

Immigration has fallen off but slightly in consequence of the civil war, being at New York, the principal port, 50,000 for the first seven months of this year against 60,000 in the corresponding period of 1860.

The watering-places are deserted, and the hotelkeepers ruined; the prostration of business having left the Northern pleasure-seekers no money for enjoyment, and the corresponding class in the South being engaged in fighting.

The heat has been very great of late. On the 4th inst. the thermometer in St. Louis marked 105 degrees in the shade, and the next day fifteen deaths from coup de soleil were reported in the papers of that city.

Claflin, Mellen, and Co., the second dry-goods jobbing-house in the United States, and the owners of the finest store in Broadway, have failed, with liabilities amounting to more than £600,000. Their receipts from the South have been entirely cut off, and those from the West very nearly so.


Lady Franklin and her niece had arrived at San Francisco from the Sandwich Islands, The Irish of this city have held a meeting and resolved to send the remains of the late Irish exile, T.B. M'Manus, to Ireland by way of New York. The funeral procession was to have taken place on the 20th instant, and the remains were to have been forwarded by the steamer sailing on the 21st.


The West Virginian Convention met at Wheeling on the 6th inst., and resolved to separate from Eastern Virginia for ever. In this they are acting in defiance of the Governments both of the United and Confederate States. The former desires the mountaineers to maintain their connection with the rest of Virginia, in order to be able to recognise their local Government as the legal State Government. The reasons why the latter should oppose their secession from the State are obvious.

The peace party at Baltimore have given a public dinner to Messrs. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, and Vallandingham, of Ohio, at the Eutaw House, in token of their appreciation of the courageous advocacy by these two gentlemen of the cause of peace during the late special Session of Congress.

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