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The Civil War in America

The Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1117, p. 489.

November 16, 1861

By the Cunard steamer Arabia we have Boston journals to the 30th ult. and a telegram viâ Halifax to the 31st. Owing to the stormy weather on the Atlantic, the weekly steamer of the Canadian line has not yet arrived.


The great naval expedition sailed from Hampton Roads on the 29th ult. The naval armament is under the command of Captain Dupont, and the troops under that of Brigadier-General Sherman, an old and experienced officer. The troops number about 20,000 men, mostly from New England and New York. All the matérial of the expedition is of corresponding magnitude. There are boats enough to land a division at a time. There are army- wagons waggons and horses in abundance. Carpenters, masons, and labourers, with stone and other building materials, accompany the troops. It is the largest and best appointed naval force which ever left a United States' port. Secretary Cameron instructs the commanders to hold strictly to the Conservative course hitherto pursued by the Federal Government towards the slaves in the vicinage of the place where the expedition will land.

With reference to the Federal defeat near Leesburg, now definitively called the battle of Ball's Bluff, we learnt nothing by the telegraph, as the Federal commanders showed no desire to publish their disasters to the world. Private letters to the newspapers revealed the truth. In one regiment there were only two swords and no firelocks left; all the others were lost, captured, or thrown away. The scramble to the river is described as frightful—another Beresina—masses of drowning men. If the Confederates had been provided with artillery there would have been a pitiable massacre. The report of Colonel Hinks, of the Massachusetts 19th Regiment, sets down the loss at 900 out of 2100 engaged. Of these 500 are reckoned as prisoners. He also reports that a New York City regiment (the "Tammany") deserted its post in the intrenchments on an island in the Potomac and crossed over to the Maryland shore in disobedience of orders. He says the means of transportation were "criminally deficient" and the landing-place most unfortunately selected, while within half a mile on either side there were convenient spots for the purpose.

The grand army of the Potomac is doing nothing more heroic than devastating the small portion of the Valley of Virginia which they hold. In Western Virginia the Confederates have been surprised in and dislodged from Romney. In Kentucky the skirmishes have resulted in favour of the Federalists, who hold two-thirds of the State.

In Missouri General Fremont has been at length superseded by the President. General Hunter succeeds him in the command of the army of the West. General Henderson has capitulated with 400 Confederates. Many persons think that the removal of Fremont will have an injurious effect on recruiting in the Western States.


Judge Merrick has been put under arrest for issuing writs of habeas corpus in behalf of minors who have enlisted without their parents' consent, and for issuing warrants against the military authorities who disobeyed the writ. The President subsequently intimated to the court that he had suspended the privilege of the writ in regard to the army, and the dispute ends with the victory of the military over the civil authorities.

General Baker's remains were honoured with public obsequies, which, however, spectators assert, were very negligently conducted. The President was much affected by the event. He paced up and down his room all night. Mrs. Lincoln received no visitors. Lord Lyons would have attended the funeral, but the invitation did not reach him in time.


The people of this region have ratified the action of their Legislature, and voted in favour of separation from the rest of the State by large m ajorities in both city and country. A convention is to assemble on the 26th inst., to frame a Constitution for the new State, named Kanawha, from the river of that name which traverses it. Thirty-nine counties participated in this vote.


The following, addressed to the United States' Consul at Antwerp, has been published as genuine:—

Caprera, Sept. 10, 1861.
My dear Sir,—I saw Mr. Sandford, and regret to be obliged to announce to you that I shall not be able to go to the United States at present. I do not doubt of the triumph of the Union, and that shortly. But if the war should unfortunately continue in your beautiful country, I shall overcome all obstacles which detain me and hasten to the defence of a people who are dear to me.

To Mr. Quiggle, United States' Consul at Antwerp.


Mr. Memminger, the Secretary of the Treasury, has issued a circular, dated Richmond, Oct. 17, relative to the produce loan and the application of the cotton-planters for relief. Mr. Memminger, in the name of the Cabinet, declines to grant any relief, either by the purchase of the cotton crop or an advance upon its hypothecated value. He advises the planters to apply to the bankers for relief, and to "take measures for winter crops to relieve the demand for grain and provisions. Let them proceed to divert part of their labour from cotton, and make their own clothing and supplies."

At the commercial convention held in Macon, Georgia, some resolutions conceived in a spirit hostile to the future resumption of commercial relations with the North were voted down on the motion of General Duff Green, who declared that the adoption of these resolutions would make any adjustment with the North impossible, and prevent any reconstruction of the commercial and financial relations between the North and the South. This is interpreted at the North as a sign that the Southerners are not bent on resisting to the extremity.

Some citizens of Hyde County, North Carolina—a county in which Hatteras Inlet is included—have met together, under the protection of the Federal forces, and affirmed their unshaken loyalty to the Union and their non-allegiance to the Confederate Government.

M. Antonio Costa, of New Orleans, has reopened connection by mail between the Southern States and Europe, which has been closed since August. The mail is a monthly one, and goes by way of Mexico and the English steamers to the West Indies. The first post contained 1233 letters. The tariff of charges is—to Mexico, 50 cents; to Cuba, 75 cents; to Europe, 1 dollar.


The vote at the late State election for the two "war" candidates for Governor was 86,300; for the peace candidate less than 33,000.

The first telegram sent from the Pacific to the Atlantic was sent by Chief Justice Field, of California, to the President. It was as follows:—

Sacramento, Oct. 24.
In the tempoaray absence of the Governor of the State, I am requested to send you the first message which will be transmitted over the wires of the telegraph line which connect the Pacific with the Atlantic States. The people of California desire to congratulate you upon the completion of the great work. They believe that it will be the means of strengthening the attachment which binds both the East and the West to the Union; and they desire in this the first message across the Continent to express their loyalty to that Union and their determination to stand by the Government in this its day of trial. They regard that Government with affection, and will adhere to it under all fortunes.

The European news which starts from Newfoundland at, say,4 p.m. would reach San Francisco at 11.30 a.m., or four hours and a half ahead of time.


The case of the captain of the privateer Savannah at New York, after a trial of three days' duration, ended in the discharge of the jury, they being unable to agree on a verdict. In Philadelphia a jury have found a privateersman "Guilty." The Judge has not yet pronounced sentence.

In the State of Kentucky at the present time it is estimated there are nearly 2,700,090 hogs and in Missouri nearly 2,000,000. In the whole of the United States about 30,000,000 hogs are raised annually, of which more than one-half are raised in the Southern States. During the week ending the 19th ult. 1,377,546 bushels of grain and 83,524 barrels of flour were exported from New York to Europe. The value of these exports was about 455,000.

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