Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1156, p.94.
July 26, 1862
By the arrival of the Montreal Company's steamer Anglo-Saxon we have newspapers to the 11th and telegrams vià Cape Race to the 14th instant.
The grand army on the James River, reinforced by the corps-d'armée under General Burnside, is safely intrenched around Harrison's Landing, about twenty-seven miles from Richmond. Beyond a slight skirmish on the 3rd, there had been no fighting since the 1st instant. It is admitted that all idea of immediate advance upon the Confederate capital is abandoned.
President Lincoln had paid a visit to the army, in order to see for himself if any changes were needed in the command of the army. He held a private conference with General M'Clellan for half an hour, and then proceeded to visit the line of intrenchments. He was welcomed with great enthusiasm by the troops. He addressed to them some encouraging words, denying that they had been beaten, and expressing his confidence that they would not give up without going into Richmond. He declared his confidence in the army and its commanders.
The special correspondents of the journals acknowledge that the retreat of the army was attended with the greatest peril, and that nothing but the superiority of the Federals in artillery saved them. The Confederates marched up to the mouth of the guns with utter recklessness of life. Had they placed 50,000 men south of White Oak Swamp they could have divided the Federals into two parts, and annihilated them. The Confederate journals complain that they were outgeneralled at this point. The Federal loss in killed, wounded, and missing is set down at 30,000. It is probable that the Confederates suffered as severely. The report that their General, Magruder, was captured, and General Jackson killed, was unfounded.
A Federal transport conveying supplies up the James River was fired into by the Confederate batteries below Harrison's Landing, and was obliged to run ashore to escape being sunk. Captain Wilkes, late of the San Jacinto, had been appointed to the command of the James River flotilla.
The British steamer Modern Greece, whilst attempting to run the blockade at Wilmington, North Carolina, was run aground by the blockading fleet, who hauled off on the opening of the fort on them. She had 100 tons of powder on board, but the fort succeeded in sinking her so as to wet the powder and prevent her explosion by the Federal shells. Her passengers and crew were saved. It was believed that a large portion of her cargo would also be saved.
Vicksburg still held out against the Federals, although the city had suffered a ten-days' bombardment, and been on fire several times.
The army of occupation in the Valley of the Mississippi has met with two reverses. A large body of Confederates has captured Murfreesborough, a town thirty-two miles south of Nashville, and taken one Federal regiment prisoners. Despatches from Mobile say that Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, had been recaptured, and 1500 Federal prisoners had been taken.
In consequence of the late battles, Confederate stock rose from 93 to 97. The wheat and oat crop in these States is a failure.
General Scott had been summoned to Washington and had quarters assigned him at the War Department.
The Treasury Note Bill as finally passed, allows the issue of 150,000,000 dols., of which 50,000,000 dols. are reserved as a banking fund to secure the payment of temporary deposits, leaving 100,000,000 dols. for circulation. Of these 35,000,000 dols. may be issued in small notes of one, two, and three dollars denomination.
Congress is debating the propriety of employing negroes in the military service of the nation, and has passed a bill authorising the President to make arrangements with foreign Governments, especially with Denmark, for the colonisation of captured negroes.
A meeting of the members of Congress for the Border States had been held to consider the President's emancipation scheme. The New York Post says that the majority oppose the scheme and will decline to accept the proposal.
The great question of the hour is the means of raising the 300,000 men called for by the President at the instance of eighteen Governors. Great efforts were being made by public meetings, patriotic addresses, gubernatorial proclamations, &c., to promote volunteering. The Common Council of Buffalo had appropriated 80,000 dollars to raise a new regiment in that city, giving 75 dollars bounty to each recruit in addition the 40 dollars granted by the Federal Government. Other cities had offered 100 dols. The Mayor of New York in has proclamation urges the people to enlist, not only to put down the rebellion but to repel with becoming spirit the first approach of foreign intervention.
The eighty-sixth anniversary of the Independence of the nation was celebrated with less éclat and with greater gloom and depression of spirits than in any previous year during the course of their history.
Gold has varied from 15 to 17 per cent premium. Silver commands 8 per cent premium; and even copper cents are 2 to 3 per cent above par. The greatest inconvenience existed among retail dealers for small change, and "shinplasters" were freely used. Some journals advocated the use of postage-stamps for small change.