Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1157, p.119.
August 2, 1862
By the Canadian mail-steamer Hibernian we have telegrams viâ Cape Race to the 22nd ult.
The position of the army of the Potomac remained unchanged. It had been reinforced from General Hunter's command, now inactive on the coast of South Carolina. The Federal fleet in James River comprises an immense number of vessels. There are nearly 600 transports and war-steamers between Newport News and Harrison's Bar, besides almost innumerable small craft, among which are 100 to 200 canal-boats. The gun-boats number from 20 to 25. From Richmond we learn that the obstructions in the river had been considerably weakened by the recent freshets; that Fort Darling had been greatly strengthened and the batteries iron-clad; that a division of the Confederate army had crossed the river on a pontoon-bridge to assist in its defence against any land force. A gun-boat on the plan of the Merrimac was rapidly approaching completion at Richmond, though great difficulty was experienced in obtaining iron for her armour.
President Davis had issued an address to the army congratulating them "on the series of brilliant victories" which they had lately won, which had forced the foe, "despite his reinforcements, to seek shelter under the cover of his gun-boats, where he now lies cowering before the army so lately divided and threatened with entire subjugation." General Lee also congratulates the army upon relieving Richmond from a state of siege, and claims to have captured fifty-three pieces of artillery in the late engagement.
In the valley of the Shenandoah all is quiet. Labourers are wanted to gather the bountiful harvests. General Pope had issued a general order that the army would subsist on the country in which he was about to carry on operations.
The West has been prolific of desultory contests. Murfreesborough has been taken and evacuated. The Federal General Duffield was mortally wounded, and the Confederate General Twiggs killed in the affair. The south-west is overrun with guerrillas. The Confederates have captured Cynthiana and Henderson, in Kentucky, and have even crossed the Ohio River, for the first time since the war commenced, and seized the river town of Newbourg, in the free State of Indiana. In view of these events the Governor of Ohio had called out volunteers for thirty days, to resist incursions from Kentucky.
Vicksburg still holds out, and the canal which is to divert the course of the river, and which is being dug by negroes in the Federal service, advances towards completion. A Confederate ram had arrived at Vicksburg, and, after inflicting considerable damage upon the Federal fleet, had anchored under cover of the Confederate batteries.
The story that Bâton Rouge had been recaptured by the Confederates is without foundation in fact.
General Curtis, by forced marches, had safely arrived at Helena, Arkansas, after worsting the Confederates in several small engagements. The Confederate General Price has crossed the Mississippi into Arkansas to co-operate against General Curtis.
The British steamer Ann was discovered by a United States' frigate and gun-boat under the guns of Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, unloading arms and gunpowder. The former engaged the fort, and the latter succeeded in cutting the British vessel out. Her cargo consisted of war material, tea, coffee, pepper, and the like.
Congress adjourned on the 17th ult. During the Session it has appropriated 800,000,000 dols., including 560,000,000 dols. for the Army and 100,000,000 dols. for the Navy.
Congress had passed the Militia Bill, authorising the President to employ negroes for camp service, or any military or naval service for which they are competent; also to accept 100,000 volunteers for nine months, with the usual bounty.
President Lincoln had signed the Confiscation Bill, with amendments that the provisions of the bill should not apply to acts of rebels done previous to the passing of the bill, and that the confiscation is to be only during the lifetime of offenders.
The President had signed an Act for issuing postage and other stamps for currency, and forbidding banks or corporations to issue bills for less than one dollar.
The House of Representatives had postponed the Senate Bill for the admission of Western Virginia until the next Session of Congress by a vote of 63 to 53.
In the Senate, Mr. Chandler denounced M'Clellan's tactics, declaring that tens of thousands of men were killed in the swamps of the Chickahominy, and that 158,000 men were sent to M'Clellan previous to the battles before Richmond.
The Border States members had issued a majority report opposing President Lincoln's emancipation scheme, and a minority report favouring the scheme.
The press and public meetings continue to stir up popular enthusiasm for the war. Nevertheless, the recruits do not come forward in the large numbers needed by the Government. The State of Vermont had been the first to raise a regiment under the new call and dispatch it to the seat of war.
The Great Eastern was anchored in Flushing Bay, on the northern coast of Long Island, about eight miles east of New York City. The New York Tribune says, "The experiment of bringing her through the Race and up Long Island Sound to her anchorage in Flushing Bay was a complete success. She was brought to her anchorage with as much ease and dispatch as any ordinary vessel would have been." The passengers were conveyed to the city by steamers expressly provided by the agents. Before leaving, the passengers presented a complimentary letter and resolutions to Captain Paton. She approached New York by this route instead of by the Hudson River, because her heavy cargo rendered her incapable of entering by the latter inlet.
Gold has risen to twenty per cent, and silver to fifteen per cent premium. The city of Newark, in order to meet the outcry for small change, has issued corporation notes for small amounts varying from ten cents. (5d.) to fifty. The strike of the grain shovellers of New York against the floating grain elevators, is a serious check to the most flourishing department of the export trade of the States.
On the 10th ult. there was a grand torchlight procession in San Francisco in honour of the passage of the Pacific Railroad Bill. Many houses were illuminated.