Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1178, p.622.
December 13, 1862
By the arrival of the Etna we are in receipt of news to the 29th ult.
General Burnside has not yet proceeded to the bombardment of Fredericksburg. His head-quarters are near Acquia Creek, on the Potomac. President Lincoln had visited the latter at Belle Plaine and made a personal investigation into the condition of the army. The railroad is completed from Acquia Creek to the head-quarters of the Federal army.
President Davis has ordered the Confederate General commanding the Mississippi department to demand the surrender of the Federal General M'Niel for murdering ten Confederate citizens of Missouri. If this is refused, and the charges are proved to be true, the Confederate General is instructed to execute the first ten Federal officers that are captured.
The Confederates have erected extensive fortifications at Port Hudson, on the Mississippi, 150 miles from New Orleans, commanding the entrance to the river.
The negro regiment in South Carolina has again been under fire. A correspondent thus describes their behaviour:--
Three companies left Beaufort in two steamers, going to Doboy Sound, Georgia, and remaining there a week, returning with 200,000 ft. of the best Georgia pine lumber, sawed and ready for use. This was taken from Hawkins's, Todds', and Blue's mills, on the mainland, directly in face of the rebels, who gave the black soldiers an opportunity to test their pluck on shore, as they had previously on a tug-boat, where they fought with the advantage of a partial barricade. While most of the negroes were engaged in loading the steamers with lumber, the company of Captain Janes advanced on a reconnaissance, and were opened upon with musketry by the rebels from a position in ambush. The negroes deliberately returned the fire, and, drawn up in line of battle, kept up a fusillade, maintaining their ground until, by the aid of the guns of the steamers and those of their convoy, the gun-boat Madgie, the enemy were dislodged. Three of the coloured soldiers were wounded, one so seriously that his arm must be amputated. The officers of these men express the greatest confidence in their fighting qualities.
The Federal Government has issued an order for the release of all prisoners held in military charge for discouraging the enlistments and opposing the draught. All persons arrested in the rebel States for hostility to the Federal Government will be released on parole or allowed to leave the country. This does not, however, refer to persons who have been in arms against the Government.
President Lincoln has ordered the Attorney-General to take measures for carrying out the Confiscation Act.
The Legislature of Georgia has voted 500,000 dols. for obstructions to be placed in all the navigable streams of Georgia.
The Nassau Guardian asserts that Admiral Wilkes had threatened to enter Nassau without the permission of the Governor, but that he afterwards bore away and lay at the distance of a marine league from the shore. The same journal states that the captain of the Federal steamer Octorora had infringed the Queen's proclamation in capturing a schooner within the Abaco Reef.
Several officers of General Meagher's brigade having sent in their resignations in consequence of the removal of General M'Clellan, General Meagher has issued a highflown order disapproving the conduct of these officers. The order contains the following passage:--
Commending a brigade composed principally of Irish soldiers, the Brigadier-General considers it not out of place to remind them that the great error of the Irish people in their struggle for an independent national existence has been their passionate and blind adherence to an individual instead of a principle or cause. Thus for generations their heroic efforts in the right direction have been feverish and spasmodic, when they should have been continuous, equable, and consistent. The placing on the public records the resignations referred to would have renewed in the history of this country, to the disparagement of our race, this fatal error, of a nature which is at once so vehement and so weak, so faithful and yet so wayward, so variable in great undertakings, and yet so persistent in those lesser ones which merely concern a chief, a prince, or the favourite political leader of the day.
The advance of General Grant in Mississippi has released about 200,000 bales of cotton. Some of the staple lies in the storehouses unginned, just as the negroes left it after picking, while the larger part of it is still on the plantations. The contrabands, who are still thronging into General Grant's lines by hundreds, are to be set to work to gather this valuable crop for the benefit of the Federal Government.
The New York press of both the political parties criticise the official correspondence on the subject of the proposed mediation in an unfavourable tone towards France and England, while they find occasion to laud the conduct of the Government of St. Petersburg.
The New York Tribune asserts that it is reported on high authority from Washington that the British Admiral Milne is in pursuit of the Confederate Steamer Alabama.
The Boston newspaper proprietors have raised the price of their journals 50 per cent, in consequence of the rise in the price of every article that enters into the composition of a newspaper. The New York Times predicts that the New York press will have to do the same, as they are now giving to the public for two cents what costs them four or five to produce.
Mr. Mason Jones has again delivered his oration on Curran before a New York audience. On this occasion the native American element preponderated in the composition of the audience. Curran's fine piece of declamation concerning universal emancipation was received with loud applause, unmingled with any signs of disapprobation.
Mrs. Edwin James has filed a complaint in the New York Courts for a divorce from her husband on the charge of adultery.
General M'Clellan has refused a public reception in New York.
Thanksgiving Day was celebrated throughout the North on the 27th ult. Contributions were received in the churches of the Atlantic cities for the Lancashire operatives.