London: Saturday, August 23, 1862The Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1160, p.202.
August 23, 1862
Recent movements of the American armies do not appear to have been of an important character, but the movements of American citizens and others, in order to escape being sent to the Federal armies, have been very prompt and decided. The conscription has fairly terrified the population of the North, and if Mr. Lincoln makes up anything like the force which he demands it will be by recourse to measures which the most despotic soldier of the Old World has never employed, except in the extremest need. When France was struggling against the combined exertions of indignant Europe she raised soldiers by the means which the Federal Government uses against a revolt at home, a revolt which was to have been put down in a given number of days. Americans, Irish, and Germans were hurrying to the British frontier or getting on board English ships in the hope of avoiding the "press-gang." Government, on the other hand, was establishing a real blockade to keep its subjects at home, and the sternest edicts were issued for preventing this unpatriotic exodus. Such an illustration of the popularity of the war furnishes its own comment. In Missouri the citizens and the troops have come into actual collision on the enrolment question, and lives have been lost on both sides; and in Indiana a secret confederation has been discovered--if anything can be called secret in which 15,000 men join--for preventing enlistment and taxation, and for supporting the South. Persons are arrested on board the steamers for California, and permitted to depart only on giving a thousand-dollar security, in order to provide substitutes; and in New York a provost-marshal and a military guard are doing the work of recruiting. There has been fighting in the Virginia Valley, and the Federals have been beaten, with much slaughter, and have lost guns. The Confederate President has met General Pope's marauding proclamation by an intimation that he should not treat Pope's officers as prisoners of war, and that, if unarmed Confederates are murdered, he will make immediate reprisals. Pestilence is said to be ravaging Richmond; but there is no authentic information as to the movements of the defending army. M'Clellan is reported as in statu quo. Taken as a whole, the latest budget of American news is singularly unfavourable to the North.