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The Civil War in America

The Illustrated London News, vol.39, no. 1112, p. 361.

October 12, 1861

By the Canadian steamer Anglo-Saxon we have advices from New York to the 28th ult.


On the 20th ult. Colonel Mulligan surrendered Lexington to the besieging force of the Confederates. The men had fought for fifty-nine hours without water, and had only three barrels of vinegar to quench their thirst. Previous to the surrender Colonel Mulligan offered to take a position on a level spot of ground and give General Price the odds of four to one in a fair and open fight, but no attention was paid to the challenge. About 250,000 dollars in gold fell into the possession of the captors. The morning after the surrender the men were all released on parole not so [sic] serve again during the war, and ferried across the river. The officers were retained. Colonel Mulligan's loss was about 150, while that of General Price was not more than 300. Much dissatisfaction is felt by the Administration and the public that General Fremont did not send troops in time to relieve Lexington. General M'Culloch, at the head of 15,000 Confederates, was within fifteen miles of Lexington on the 21st. A slight engagement had also taken place at Papinsville, in the same State, to the advantage of the Federals, under General Lane.

The complaints against General Fremont multiply on all sides. He is accused of extravagance in the expenditure of public money, superciliousness of demeanour, and of living in too sumptuous a style, surrounded, moreover, by a body guard. The Germans of the north-west are stanch partisans of Fremont, and it is doubtful if the Administration will think it expedient to remove him.


Sherman's naval expedition against the Southern coast will sail in three weeks' time from our latest dates at the farthest.


The neutrality of this State has ceased to exist. General Buckner, of the Confederate army, occupies Bowling Green, in Southern Kentucky, and will hold it until driven out or until the Federals retire. General Anderson, of Fort Sumter fame, is in command of the Federalists at Louisville. Both Generals are Kentuckians. The war in Kentucky, as in Missouri and Western Virginia, will partake of all the repulsive features of a truly civil war, opinion in that State being very equally divided between the two parties.


The Comte de Paris and Duc de Chartres have been added to General M'Lellan's Staff. The young Comte de Penthièvre, son of Prince de Joinville, was to enter the United States' Naval Academy. Count Liebenhoff, of Russia; Lieutenant Oscar Brendeuer, of Prussia; Major Bausenwein, Aide-de-Camp to Garibaldi; Lord Aldophus Vane Tempest, of England; Captains Vegesackand Holtman, of Sweden; and Major Kirk, of Canada, have taken service in the Federal Army.

Mr. Seward has refused to accede to the prayer of a memorial that he would prevent the continuance of Mr. Russell's letters to the Times. In a carefully-worded letter, he says it has not been the practice of the United States' Government to concern itself with the representations made by the press of foreign countries. The American press is free to reply thereto. Moreover, the Times only circulates about fifty copies in the United States. For the offence of republication American editors, not the Enlgish correspondent, are liable. A hundred foreigners as intellligent, virtuous, and respectable as Mr. Russell is are, says Mr. Seward, daily enrolling themselves in the Federal Army. The country can, therefore, afford to tolerate the heresies of one man.

Secretary Seward grants passports to coloured men who are desirous of proceeding to Europe. Since the Dred Scott decision, passports had been refused to this class. Secretary Cameron has forbidden coloured men to appear in Washington dressed in military uniform. A portion of the 2000 slaves who had fled to Fort Monroe have been sent to Washington and set to work there by the Department of War.

Mr. Seward has issued a circular in explanation of the Confiscation Act, in which he states that the law only contemplates a seizure of such property as may be in transit to or from insurrectionary States or used for the promotion of the rebellion; and that real estate, bonds, promissory notes, and moneys on deposit are not subject to confiscation in the absence of evidence of such unlawful uses.


On the 26th ult. the observance of a national fast and humiliation took place.

Prince Napoleon and the Princess Clotilde had left New York for Boston and the manufacturing towns of Massachusetts, with which they expressed themselves much pleased.

Vigorous measures for the suppression of the slave trade are being taken in New York. Two vessels have been condemned in that city for participating therein.

The New York Herald publishes the following list of "peace party" newspapers suspended since the commencement of the war:—"Papers suspended by the authorities, 17; destroyed by mobs, 10; died naturally, 5; denied the mails, 5; changed their politics, 7; whose editors are in prison, 6."

The Boston correspondent of the Springfield Republican gives an account of the way in which the President was reluctantly persuaded to sign the bill confiscating the slaves which were used in aid of the "rebellion." He says:—

We got over a bad difficulty when President Lincoln was persuaded by Bingham, Wade, Wilson, and Sumner to sign the Confiscation Bill, against not only his will, but against his apparently fixed intention. I see that Russell has let out the main facts, but there are some details. The bill was carried to the President by Senator Bingham of Michigan, of the Committee on Enrolled Bills. It was in the last half hour of the Session, and the adjournment could not be delayed. Bingham took an interest in the bill, and waited to see what old Abe would do with it. The President looked it over carefully and laid it down. "You don't sign this bill, Mr. President?" said Bingham, inquiringly. "No: I am not going to sign it." "Well, then, will you at least veto it, and send it back so we can pass it if we chose[sic]?" "No, I shan't do that." "What are your objections, Mr. President?" "It will lose us Kentucky." "D—n Kentucky!" exclaimed Bingham. The President looked up good-humouredly and retorted, "Then d—n you!" Bingham, it seems to me, had an excuse in the emergency which pressed upon him and the frivolous character, to him, at least, of the President's excuse; and old Abe may be pardoned for disliking to hear his native State anathematised. Well; Bingham rallied the Senators whose names I have mentioned, and perhaps others, and they persuaded the President to sign the bill. I believe Mr. Seward assisted in the good work.

Under the influence of Western orders and war expenditure, business is reviving in the Atlantic States, and many factories which had closed their doors in the spring have resumed operations on full time.


A great number of agencies for receiving subscriptions have been opened in different parts of the country, and small amounts are subscribed, but the receipts have fallen off considerably at New York, and the aggregate subscription from the whole country has not, during the week under review, exceeded 500,000 dollars per diem. Nevertheless, there is no doubt the banks will furnish the second 50,000,000 dols. on the 15th inst., although they will not have disposed of the whole of the first installment of the loan to the public.


In the State election the Republican ticket has prevailed by a large majority. It is doubtful whether the war or peace democratic ticket polled the next largest number of votes.

There are a large number of Texans arriving in California by the overland route. They are mostly of Unionist sympathies, and represent the state of things in Texas as deplorable.

The commissioners appointed to settle the boundary between British and American territory have completed their work.

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