Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1158, p.151.
August 9, 1862
By the arrival of the Montreal Company's steamer Norwegian we have telegrams, viâ Cape Race, until the 28th ult.
General Halleck, late Commander of the forces in the Department of the Mississippi valley, has been officially appointed General-in-Chief to command all the land forces of the United States. The appointment has been favourably received by the Northern public, who have lost their former faith in General M'Clellan.
The President had issued a proclamation authorising the military commanders to seize and use for the Federal army all property, real and personal, in the rebel States which might be necessary for military purposes. The military and naval officers are ordered to employ as many negroes for labourers as can be advantageously used for military and naval purposes, and pay them wages.
General Pope had issued orders to the army under his command to seize all houses, mules, and stores in their vicinity not absolutely needed by the inhabitants of the surrounding country. All the inhabitants must take the oath of allegiance or be driven south. The inhabitants who break the oath will be shot.
The same General reports that a calvary expedition had, at his directions, made a descent upon the Virginia Central Railroad at Beaver Dam Creek, thirty-five miles from Richmond. They destroyed the railroad and telegraph lines for several miles, burned up the dépôt, which contained 40,000 rounds of musket ammunition, 100 barrels of flour, and other valuable property. The Confederate General Jackson was in or near Gordonsville, and a collision between his army and that of General Pope was daily expected.
From the army of the Potomac we learn nothing beyond that the health of the army is improving, and that General M'Clellan has expelled all civilians, including newspaper correspondents, from the camp.
General Dix has been appointed commissioner to negotiate with the Confederates for a general exchange of prisoners. Thus the full belligerent rights of the Confederates are at length conceded.
It is officially reported that the Federal loss in the recent battles before Richmond was 16,000 men.
The Confederate General Johnston's report of the battle of Seven Pines has appeared. He mentions his own weak state from wounds received. He charges upon General Huger's delay the escape from destruction of an entire Federal corps. He claims to have captured on that occasion ten pieces of artillery, 6000 muskets, one garrison flag, and four regimental colours, besides a large quantity of tents and camp equipage. The Confederate loss was 4283.
In Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, the activity of the guerrilla bands increases. A plot to rise and seize the city had been discovered in St. Louis. The loyal Governor had called out the State militia and forbidden the sale of arms. Many of the British subjects in St. Louis had thronged the Consul's office in that city, to get certificates of nationality, protecting them from the conscription. Here they had been attacked by a mob. A detachment of the provost guard was ordered out and the outbreak suppressed.
The Federal Commander Farragut had abandoned the siege of Vicksburg, and left, with his flotilla, for New Orleans.
In view of General Butler's proceedings at New Orleans, the President had issued an order prohibiting military commanders from exacting an oath of allegiance from aliens, and absolving such aliens as had taken such an oath from its obligations. In all cases where an alien is deprived of his liberty, a full account of the circumstances must be sent to the War Department, for the consideration of the Department of the State.
At the request of the British Ambassador, conveyed by the Commander of her Majesty's sloop-of-war Rinaldo, General Butler had consented to recognise Mr. George Coppell as Acting British Consul, upon the latter's apologising for an offensive expression which he had made use of respecting General Butler's orders.
The British steamer Adela had been captured by a Federal vessel off Abaco, one of the Bahamas. The British steamer Tubal Cain had been captured off Charleston. The British schooner Star of the East had been seized by the Custom House officials in New York, and the case referred to the Secretary of the Treasury. She took out a clearance for Long Cay, in the Bahamas, and it was asserted her cargo consisted of goods well adapted for the use of the Confederates.
Recruiting for the Federal army still languished. The municipalities and the State Legislatures continued to offer very high bounties, but the attractions of the harvest-field seemed greater than those of the battle-field to the mass of the labouring classes. General Meagher had addressed the Irish of New York with the view of stimulating them to enlist. The Governor of Ohio had announced that if the quota of that State was not ready in forty days he should resort to draughting.
President Lincoln's appeal to the Border State members is very urgent in recommending them to accept his proposals. He says, that "if the war continues long the institution in your States will be extinguished by mere friction and abrasion--by the mere incidents of war." In repudiating General Hunter's proclamation, he says, "I gave dissatisfaction, if not offence, to many whose support I cannot afford to lose. And this is not the end of it. The pressure in this direction is still upon me, and is increasing."
Twenty of the Border State members have replied that Congress had not voted any sum for remuneration, and that they could not consider the proposition in its impalpable form. When a formal proposition was made, backed by the necessary appropriations, they might submit it to their States, but the debt it would involve appalled them by its magnitude. They had contributed their full share to the support of the war, and they did not see why they should be called upon to make sacrifices greater than the people of other States, who were not more loyal. They would under no circumstances consent to the dissolution of the Union, neither would they ever consent to join the Southern Confederacy, as they could not place their security in the the custody of an association which had incorporated in its organic law the seeds of its own destruction. They deny that their refusal to adopt emancipation had prolonged the war. They would not, under any circumstances, become parties to General Hunter's policy of letting loose the slaves on the Southern people.
The minority of the Border State members, eight in number, respond favourably:--
We are the more emboldened to assume this position from the fact, now become history, that the leaders of the Southern rebellion have offered to abolish slavery among them as a condition to foreign intervention in favour of their independence as a nation. If they can give up slavery to destroy the Union, we can surely ask our people to consider the question of emancipation to save the Union.
Several committees, composed of the Mayor and many of the leading merchants and lawyers of New York, have passed resolutions declaring that no qualified unionism should be longer permitted, and that it is far better every rebel should perish than that one more loyal man should die. The committee therefore earnestly call upon the President immediately to issue an emancipation proclamation, "This," they say, "will diminish the rebel army by calling many rebel officers and men to the defence of their homes. The Free States and the whole civilised world will applaud the emancipation proclamation."
The crops are generally good throughout the North, but there is a scarcity of labourers. One railroad company advertised in New York for fifty labourers and did not receive any applications. This is attributable to the drain caused by the war.
The Danish Government had agreed to take as apprentices all negroes captured on board slave vessels by the Federal cruisers.
It is reported from Key West that a Federal gun-boat had captured a large barque on the Coast of Cuba, just as she was unloading her last boat of slaves. She was at Key West under charge of a prize crew. One hundred thousand dollars were found on board.
Gold had fallen; but still commanded 17 per cent. premium.
Ex-President Van Buren died on his estate at Kinderbrook, in the State of New York, on the 24th ult., at the advanced age of seventy-eight. He was President of the United States from March 4, 1837, to March 4, 1841, being the successor of General Jackson and the predecessor of General Harrison and Mr. Tyler, the last of whom died lately at Richmond. It was during his presidency that the Canadian rebellion took place. He was elected to his office by the Democratic party, which, however, failed to re-elect him in 1840, when he was defeated by the Whig candidate, General Harrison. In 1848 he was the candidate of the Free-soil Democrats. To this schism in the Democratic camp General Cass, the regular Democratic nominee, owed his defeat, and General Taylor, the Whig candidate, his election. Since then the deceased took no active part in American politics. His death leaves but three surviving ex-Presidents of the United States--viz., Messrs. Fillmore, Pierce, said Buchanan.