The Civil War in AmericaThe Illustrated London News, vol.39, no. 1111, p. 336-337.
The Canadian steamer North Briton brings New York journals to the 19th and telegrams to the 21st ult.
The only fighting of importance has taken place in Western Missouri, at a town called Lexington, on the south bank of the Missouri River. General Price, of the States' rights party, commenced the attack on the Federal intrenchments at Lexington, defended by Colonel Mulligan's command, on the 16th ult. The fight lasted all day, and ended in the repulse of the assailants. The loss of the "rebels" is set down by the Northerners at 4000. On the 17th and 18th the attack was renewed. On the last occasion the "rebels" were scattered by a bayonet charge of the Irish Brigade. The attack was to be renewed on the following day. Meanwhile the Federals had been reinforced by 4000 men, and other reinforcements were rapidly approaching. In the same State, at Blue Mills Landing, 600 Confederates have been routed by 1500 Federals.
The hitherto neutral State of Kentucky is now occupied by both Federal and Confederate troops, but no engagement had yet taken place between them. The Kentucky Legislature, by vote of 71 to 26, has requested the Confederates to withdraw from the soil of the State; but the Confederate General replies that the possession of the pass in the Cumberland mountains is necessary for the safety of his position, and he cannot withdraw while the Federal troops are permitted to remain.
It is announced that preparations for two important movements against the Southern coast are going rapidly forward, so that the expeditions will be ready to set sail within a very few weeks. In one of them the land forces will be commanded by General Butler, and in the other by General Sherman. The number of troops employed in the two expeditions will be 25,000 men, with naval forces of proportionate strength. The particular points to be attacked are kept secret.
Four British vessels have been captured coming into Hatteras Inlet laden with stores from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Captain-General of Cuba has issued a proclamation declaring that vessels sailing under the Confederate flag and engaged in legitimate trade will be admitted into Cuban ports on equal terms with all other vessels.
The British Government will be allowed to communicate with their Consuls in seceded ports by means of ships of war.
General Beauregard's report of the engagement of July 18 (preceding that of Bull Run) has only just been published. It is very long compared with the insignificant proportions of the skirmish. He admits that he was "opportunely informed of the determination of the enemy to advance on Manassas;" he terms the battle an "artillery duel;" states the losses on his side at 15 killed and 73 wounded, and that he took 20 prisoners, 175 stand of arms, a large quantity of accoutrements and blankets, and 150 hats. The delay in the preparation of the report is owing to his "engrossing administrative duties."
The cotton and tobacco crops have been much damaged by heavy rains. The new crop of cotton would reach, it was estimated, 3,000,000 bales. In 1859-60 it was 4,600,000 bales.
The New Orleans banks have suspended cash payments.
Colonel John A. Washington, the nearest living relative of the Father of his Country, and the proprietor of the Mount Vernon estate, has been killed by a Federal picket, near Elkwater, in Western Virginia.
The most important political news of the week under review is the rescinding of the slave emancipation clause of General Fremont's proclamation. The letter of President Lincoln is as follows: —
Major-General John C. Fremont.
Sir,-Yours of the 8th, in answer to mine of the 2nd inst., has been just received. Assuming that you upon the ground could better judge of the necessities of your position than I could at this distance, on seeing your proclamation of Aug. 30, I perceived no general objection to it; the particular objectionable clause, however, in relation to the confiscation of property and the liberation of slaves, appears to me to be objectionable in its non-conformity to the Act of Congress passed the 6th of last August upon the same subjects, and hence I wrote you expressing my wish that that clause should be modified accordingly. Your answer, just received, expresses the preference on your part that I should make an open order for the modification, which I cheerfully do. It is, therefore, ordered that the said clause of said proclamation be so modified, held, and construed, as to conform with and not to transcend the provisions on the same subject contained in the Act of Congress, entitled "An Act to confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes, approved Aug. 5, 1861," and that said Act be published at length with this order.
Several Republican papers in the West comment severely on this act of Mr. Lincoln; but in the East the organs of public opinion seem to acquiesce in the wisdom of the course taken. Mr. Lincoln was influenced in this direction by a desire to retain his hold on the loyal population in the adhering and seceded Slave States.
Three startling catastrophes are reported. On the night of the 17th ult. a railroad bridge (10ft. high, with a span of 60ft.) on the Ohio and Mississippi Railway, in Southern Indiana, gave way under a train of cars containing a portion of the 19th Illinois Volunteers, and precipitated nearly the whole of the cars into the bed of the creek. About 50 soldiers were killed and 100 wounded. It is believed that Confederate sympathisers had tampered with the bridge, a large proportion of the inhabitants of Southern Indiana being emigrants from the South.
A steam-boat explosion occurred on the Sacramento River, California, on the 25th of August. The J.A. M'Clelland exploded, killing fifteen of the passengers certainly, and probably many more. Twelve were scalded, some of whom had since died.
At the Continental Theatre, Philadelphia, several ballet-girls were burnt to death on the 14th. As the girls were dressing for a ballet introduced into the representation of "The Tempest," one of them, named Gale, while in the act of getting down her dress, was set on fire by the flame of a gas jet. One of her sisters endeavoured to extinguish the flames, but in the effort her own clothes were ignited. A third sister ran to the rescue with a like result. In a frantic state they rushed into an adjoining room filled with ballet-girls, whose gauze also caught fire. In their terror some of them leaped from the windows into the street. All of them were more or less severely burnt, and the result was that six of them died within a few hours after the occurrence, and four more were not expected to survive. All the principal theatres of Philadelphia had given benefits for the families of the victims. The Gales were Englishwomen.
The President has appointed the following gentlemen to represent the interests of the American exhibitors in the World's Fair of 1862—namely, W.H. Seward, Secretary of State; Caleb Smith, Secretary of the Interior; Edward Everett, of Massachusetts; Professor Henry, of the Smithsonian Institution; Robert B. Minturn, of New York; J.D. Coleman, of Pennsylvania; J.H. Kliphart, of Ohio; J.K. Partridge, of Maryland; B.P. Jonson, of New York; Richard Wallach, Mayor of Washington; W.W. Seaton, of Washington; and J.C.G. Kennedy, Superintendent of the Census Bureau.
The national loan is being taken at the rate of 700,000 dollars per diem in New York, and in smaller amounts in Philadelphia, Boston, Troy, and Pittsburg.
Exchange on England has risen to 109, a rate higher than it has ruled since the commencement of the revolution. The Baltimore banks are forwarding their Southern deposits to England for fear of confiscation.
The Treasury demand-notes are being eagerly taken up in the West
Page 337supplying to the people, for the first time since the national bank was suppressed, a really national currency.
The New Hampshire Gazette, a journal 105 years of age, has suspended in consequence of the hard times.
The Russian Prince Salm-Salm and Major J.F. De Courcey, a British officer who held a commission in the Turkish Contingent during the Crimean War, have accepted commands in the Federal Army. Colonel Rankin, M.P., of Canada, has offered to raise a regiment of lancers for the same cause in Canada. This offer has been accepted. The regiment is nominally to be deemed a Michigan regiment.
Prince Napoleon had returned from his Western and Canadian tour to New York.