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The Civil War in America

The Illustrated London News, vol.39, no. 1109, p. 289.

September 21,1861

The Canadian steam-ship Hiberian, from Quebec, brings intelligence to the 7th inst.


The naval expedition under the command of Commodore Stringham and General Butler fell upon the forts which commanded Hatteras Inlet, on the coast of North Carolina. The attack commenced on the morning of the 28th ult.; 300 Federals, covered by the gun-boats, were landed through a heavy surf. All the boats were bilged in the surf, and no more men could be thrown ashore. Two frigates, the Minnesota and Wabash, commenced shelling one of the batteries. The shot from the battery fell short. In three hours the Confederates evacuated the battery, and it was occupied by the 300 United States' troops on shore. On the next day Fort Hatteras was attacked. At five minutes past eleven a.m., an 11-inch shell having pierced the bomb-proof through a ventilator and exploded inside near the magazine, the enemy gave up the fight, and raised a white flag. General Butler demanded an unconditional surrender. The Confederates were commanded by Commodore Barron, late of the United States' Navy, and more recently Assistant-Secretary of the Confederate Navy. After some demur the force, consisting of 45 officers and 665 non-commissioned officers and privates, surrendered, and have been taken to New York. Their loss was 8 killed and 35 wounded. On the Federal side nobody was hurt. In the forts were captured 25 pieces of artillery, 1000 stand of arms, a large quantity of ordnance stores, provisions; three vessels laden with cotton and tobacco, and about to run the blockade; and four stands of colours. It is observed that the articles of capitulation are signed by S. Barron, "Flag Officer Confederate States' Navy, Commanding Naval Defences, Virginia and North Carolina," and by Wm. F. Martin, "Colonel 7th Regiment Infantry, North Carolina Volunteers." The fort was occupied by Federal troops commanded by Colonel Max Weber, and General Butler forthwith returned to Washington, where he received an ovation, and made a speech to the crowd extolling the deeds of the Navy.

The Confederates have since abandoned their fortifications at Ocracoke Inlet, also on the coast of North Carolina, a little to the south of Hatteras Inlet. They carried away their guns.

Multitudes of North Carolinians were coming in to Fort Hatteras to take the oath of allegiance. Between two and three hundred had done so in a day.

The Richmond Enquirer of the 20th ult. publishes a letter from Fernandina, Florida, which states that the crew of the celebrated privateer Jeff. Davis had arrived there—the vessel having been wrecked on the bar while trying to get into St. Augustine.

Major-General Fremont, commanding the army of the West, has issued an important proclamation from St. Louis. He declares martial law throughout the State of Missouri. The lines of the army of occupation are for the present declared to extend from Leavenworth, Kansas, by way of the posts of Jefferson City, Rolla, and Ironton, to Cape Girardeau, on the Mississippi River. This includes about three-fourths of the area of the State. "All persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands within these lines shall be tried by court-martial, and, if found guilty, will be shot. The property, real and personal, of all persons in the State of Missouri who shall take up arms against the United States, or who shall be directly proven to have taken active part with their enemies in the field, is declared to be confiscated to the public use, and their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared free men."

A short telegram to Farther Point announces that Paducah, Kentucky, had been occupied by the Federalists, thus violating that neutral position which the Kentuckians have striven to maintain against both sections of the late United States.


A report had been in circulation at the North and in Kentucky that President Davis died in Richmond, of a congestive fever, on the 2nd inst. It is indicative of the absolute ignorance at the North of what passes in the South that by the 7th the report had neither been confirmed nor contradicted. In the mean time it is certain that Mr. Davis has long been ailing, and that he had a constitution already weakened by disease. Mr. Russell, in his last letter to the Times, speaks thus of him:—"When I last saw Mr. Davis he was recovering from an attack of tic douloureux, to which he is subject, and its agonies have been so great that he has lost the sight of one eye, I was assured, in consequence. He is a slight, spare man, who did not appear to me capable of resisting violent desease." If the report be true, Vice-President Stephens, of Georgia, will occupy the post of honour and of danger. When last heard of, the Vice-President also was sick at Manassas, and he is still sparer and slighter than Mr. Davis.

East Tennessee is now co-operating with the Confederates, Knoxville, the capital, turning out some fine battalions of cavalry.

An Alabama newspaper recommends the planters to give the negroes more molosses and rice and less bacon. This plan would diminish the consumption of bacon two millions and a quarter of pounds weekly in the Southern Confederacy.


The New York papers publish glowing accounts of the way in which the public are coming forward and taking the 7 3-10ths per cent loan. Nevertheless, the aggregate subscriptions by the public (apart from the banks) are as yet only about 2,000,000 dollars. Under these circumstances Secretary Chase has found it necessary to issue an appeal to the people of the United States in behalf of this investment. The most interesting passages of this appeal are as follows:—

The real and personal values in the United States reach the vast aggregate of 16,000,000,000 dollars, and in the States now loyal to the Union this aggregate is 11,000,000,000 dollars. The yearly surplus earnings of the loyal people are estimated by intelligent persons well conversant with such investigations at more than 400,000,000 dollars, while the well-considered judgment of military men of the highest rank and repute warrant the confident expectation that if the war is prosecuted with energy, courage, and skill it may be brought to a conclusion before the close of the ensuing spring, in which event the cost beyond the revenue will hardly exceed the amount of the 250,000,000 dollars loan authorised by Congress, and with a due economy in all branches of the public service not more than the total expenditures of Great Britain or France in years of peace. And it is not unreasonable to hope that the auspicious result of peace may be hastened by the reflection of the citizens of the States in insurrection—that they will review their action, weigh their own welfare, consider the disposition of the people of the whole country to recognise all their constitutional rights, and to allow them their full share in the benefits of the common Government, and renew their allegiance to the Union which in an evil hour they have been tempted to throw off?


The Surveyor at New York has seized some forty vessels in New York harbour, under the confiscation law, which are said to be owned at the South. Similar seizures have taken place at Boston and Philadelphia.

The Federal Government are active in arresting persons charged with fitting out slavers from New York.

The immigration to New York this year from Europe consists chiefly of Germans, who settle on farms in the West, and are comparatively unhurt by the civil war. The Irish, who throng the cities, feel the effect of hard times more acutely, and send home discouraging accounts, which diminish the immigration.

It having been discovered that vessels loaded with provisions and stores of all sorts were clearing for Metamoras, a port of Mexico bordering on Texas, the cargoes of which were doubtless intended for the enemy's use, all clearances for that port have been refused by the authorities of the seaports.

The Northern journals continue their "frantic abuse," as a Boston paper calls it, of Mr. Russell. The leading journals deny that Fremont's proclamation in Missouri makes the war one of emancipation, and stigmatise the idea as criminal. As recruits are not coming in quick enough, the people are warned that resort will be had, if necessary, to conscription. Prince Napoleon and suite have been travelling in Wisconsin.


A San Francisco correspondent says:—

The war has not yet done any serious damage to business generally in California. The general feeling here is one of pecuniary prosperity. Labour is as high and as much in demand as at this time last year. San Francisco is improving with great rapidity. At no time in past years were so many fine buildings going up together in Montgomery-street, the Broadway of the Pacific.

The remains of T.B. M'Manus, the late Irish exile, were shipped from San Francisco on the 21st ult., for Ireland, by way of New York. They were escorted to the dock by a procession of Irishmen.

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