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The Civil War in America

The Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1114, p. 417.

October 26, 1861

By the arrival of the steamer Edinburgh we have New York journals to the 12th inst., and a short telegram from Cape Race to the evening of the 15th.


The scene of active operations has shifted for the moment from the land to the ocean. At Hatteras Inlet, after some fluctuations of fortune, victory remains with the Federals. The particulars of the capture of the propeller Fanny have been reported. She was on her way from the inlet to Chicomacomica, the encampment of a Federal regiment, and was captured by three Confederate tugs which put out from Roanoke Island. Two rifled cannon, twenty-five prisoners, and a cargo of commissary stores fell into the hands of the captors. Emboldened by this success, on the 7th inst., a Confederate expedition, said by the Northerners to have consisted of six steamers and 3000 men, attacked the Federal camp near Hatteras Inlet. The Federals retreated, carrying away their tents and provisions and leaving fifty prisoners. Two Federal steamers afterwards arrived with assistance and shelled the Confederates who had landed, forcing them to return to their steamers with heavy loss. Two of the Confederate vessels were sunk.

A telegram to Cape Race reports from Norfolk, a Southern source be it remembered, what, if not exaggerated, more than compensates for the above disaster. The Confederate fleet of gun-boats, which had been long preparing for the event, attacked the blockading squadron at New Orleans, and after a sharp fight had sunk one Federal vessel and driven the rest ashore. Just before this attack the Federals had occupied Ship Island and constructed fortifications on the Head Passes of the Mississippi.

A large naval force, consisting of twenty ships, left New York for some point on the southern coast on the afternoon of the 12th inst. Its exact destination was carefully kept secret from the public.

The army of the Potomac is slowly advancing its outposts. The Confederates retire before them. On the Upper Potomac all is quiet. In Western Virginia, further Federal successes on a small scale are reported. In Kentucky the hostile forces have not yet come into collison. In Missouri, General Fremont has left St. Louis to take the field in pursuit of General Price. He will march from twenty-five to forty miles a day, and, if necessary, will enter Arkansas. Mr. Russell, writing on the 4th inst., assures impatient people in England "that no movement is at present contemplated in front of Washington; but that, before the month is over, land and sea will resound once more with the tumult of battle."


The steamer Bermuda, whose entrance into Savannah in spite of the blockade we noticed last week, carried in a very valuable cargo. She contained eighteen rifled cannon of 32 and 42 pounders; two Lancaster guns of 168lb. weight; powder, shot, and shells for the ordnance; 6500 Enfield rifles; from 200,000 to 300,000 cartridges; 6000 pairs of army shoes; 20,000 blankets; 180 barrels of gunpowder; and a large quantity of morphine, quinine, and other medical stores: in all, worth 1,000,000 dollars. Remonstrances against her sailing were made by Mr. Adams in London, but the British Foreign Office did not see its obligation to interfere.

The Richmond papers state that the steamer Nashville, with Messrs. Mason and Slidell (the Confederate Commissioners to Europe) on board, ran the blockade at Charleston on the 12th inst.

Several British vessels have been brought before United States' prize courts on the charge of attempting to evade the blockade; and all, without exception, have been condemned.


President Davis continues in very feeble health, and the politicians are looking about for a successor.

The Governor of Louisiana has forbidden the entry of cotton into New Orleans, whether by steamer or railroad.


The New York journals look with great displeasure upon the prospect of order being restored in Mexico by a European intervention. The World believes that the United States' Government would not consent to proceedings which might eventually embroil America with the allied Powers. The Times expresses itself as follows:—

But it is very certain that after it takes place Mexico will cease to be an independent Power, and European interests will assume to direct her policy and control her destiny. That we can contemplate such a prospect with indifference is out of the question. It interferes too directly and seriously with our traditions and our hopes, as well as with our direct and immediate interests, not to enlist our warmest anxieties. If we were at peace and united among ourselves, we should unquestionably throw our whole weight against such a project, and even resist by force of arms the attempt to plant hostile institutions and a hostile policy in the pathway of our progress. Whether we can safely pursue the same course now is a matter by no means free of doubt. . . . One thing is very certain, our Government must not leave the foreign Powers who have formed this coalition in any doubt as to the sentiments we entertain in regard to their policy. We must protest against it with all the directness and energy which the emergency requires. How much further we may go in resisting it must depend on the contingencies of the future.


The American polar expedition arrived at Halifax on the 9th inst. They were unable to penetrate through Smith's Straits, either this summer or last, on account of the heavy ice. By means of dog-sleds, however, they succeeded in penetrating as far as latitude 81 deg. 35 min., on the west side of Kennedy Channel.

At the annual election in the State of Ohio the Union party has prevailed over the Democrats by a large majority.

A dispatch from Toronto, Canada West, to New York, says that Colonel Rankin, member of the Provincial Parliament, had been arrested in that city for having violated the Enlistment Act, Colonel Rankin had been endeavouring to raise a regiment of lancers for the service of the United States' Government.

The Quartermaster-General has made an appeal to the people to furnish blankets, gratis or otherwise, for the use of the army, as they cannot be manufactured quickly enough.


The last cotton year closed on the 31st of August. The total crop was 3,656,086 bales, being a deficiency of 1,013,684 bales on the crop of 1859-60, and of 194,395 bales on that of 1858-9. The total exports to Great Britain amount to 2,175,225 bales, being 494,207 bales short of the previous year. France falls short only 11,524 bales of last year; other foreign ports 78,882 bales; while the takings of American spinners amount to 650,357 bales against 786,521 bales last year.

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