Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1177, p.590.
December 6, 1862
By the arrival of the steamer City of Baltimore we have telegrams to the evening of the 22nd ult.
General Burnside, after consulting with General Halleck, has determined to advance on Richmond by way of Fredericksburg. His army occupies the north side of the Rappahannock, confronted by the Confederates on the south bank. General Sumner has demanded from the Mayor the surrender of the city, and insisted that the inhabitants should cease aiding the Confederates. He declared that if the city was not surrendered in sixteen hours he should shell it. The municipality replied that the inhabitants would cease assisting the Confederates, but would not surrender the city. They also complained of the short time allowed for the removal of women and children. The Confederate General Longstreet is encamped outside Fredericksburg, and a battle is expected for possession of the city. The Confederates are planting batteries along the south side of the Rappahannock to prevent the Federals from crossing.
The roads in Virginia are in bad condition, owing to the recent copious rains.
General Burnside has officially informed the War Department that no resignations of officers in the old army of General M'Clellan had been tendered, and that everything is going on as smoothly as could be expected.
Accounts from Kansas and Florida give details of engagements between the rebels and United States' negro troops, in which the latter behaved with distinguished coolness and courage, and achieved decided successes. The result of these experimental fights is very encouraging to the Federal Government.
General Butler had visited the British steamer Rinaldo, at New Orleans. A brisk engagement has occurred above Brashear City, up the River Teche, in Louisiana, between Federal and Confederate gun-boats, the latter assisted by batteries on the shore.
The Southern journals state that the Federals attacked St. Mary's, Georgia, but were repulsed. The Federals, being unable to land, destroyed the town by gun-boats.
The steamer California, with a cargo of cotton from Mobile, has been captured by Federal cruisers. The steamer Kate has arrived at Nassau with a cargo of cotton.
Upwards of a hundred thousand Federal troops are on the sick-list. The Southern journals estimate the Confederate loss by disease and battles, during the last ten months, at 75,000 men.
A letter from New Orleans to the editor of the New York Times, dated the 8th ult., writes thus of the state of the negro population in Louisiana:--
The appearance of the Federal troops has put an end to all work among the negroes, and sent a majority of the planters flying for their lives with undisguised fear. A few remain and welcome the Federal troops; but the negroes, unfortunately, are demoralised by the example around them, and the loyal proprietors suffer with the rest.
The same letter records that when a Federal expedition advanced to Donaldsonville, eighty miles from New Orleans by the Mississippi, and thence to Thibodeau, thirty miles up the Latouche, Mrs. Bragg (wife of the Confederate General), who had been left alone on the plantation belonging to her husband, sent word to Lieut.-Colonel Warner that she would like a guard to protect her property from devastation. The request was complied with, but the guard arrived too late. The knowledge that the Federals were coming had reached the negroes on the estate, and they took advantage of the opportunity to break open the closets, invade the bureaus, rip open the feather and moss beds in search of treasure, and otherwise destroy the furniture in the various rooms. Another letter says:--
I was on the river yesterday, visiting several large plantations, whence every negro had run away, after pillaging his master's plantation and house. Ruin was everywhere. Allen had 350 negroes, of whom not one remains, and of course the standing canes will all be lost. So with every plantation in the vicinity. . . . Across the bayou, opposite our camp, there is a most remarkable and picturesque assemblage of over 3000 negroes, of all sizes, ages, and tints. There they are holding high carnival. Having seized their masters' carts, private carriages, horses, mules, &c., with plenty of sheep, poultry, and bread, they are enjoying their freedom for the first time with a vengeance. It is one of the quaintest and most laughable sights in the world to see the big negroes lolling back in the carriages, driven along the road by one of their own colour.
General M'Clellan had arrived at New York. He was serenaded at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, and made an unimportant speech to a large concourse of Democrats amid much enthusiasm. His staff officers have been released from arrest.
One Albert Horn, guilty of fitting out the slave steamer City of Norfolk, has been sentenced in New York to five years' imprisonment.
The Federal Government having ordered the sale by public auction of the library captured by the Federal troops at Beaufort, South Carolina, the New York press protested against such an act of "Vandalism," and caused the withdrawal of the notices of sale.
The newspaper proprietors of Philadelphia have held a meeting, and agreed to combine for the protection of their interests in view of the heavy advance in the price of paper, materials, &c. An increase in the charge for subscription or a reduction in the size of the papers is proposed.
Mr. Mason Jones, the popular Irish orator, was lecturing in Irving Hall, New York, on the subject of "John Philpot Curran," to a crowded and fashionable audience, chiefly of Irish descent. Having occasion to quote a speech of Curran's on Universal Emancipation, and Cowper's lines, which commence "Slaves cannot breathe in England," a portion of the audience rose in indignation and covered the orator with insults. After an interregnum of disorder, which the orator's partisans succeeded in terminating, he was allowed to conclude in peace, on condition that he steered clear of the dangerous subject.