Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1189, p. 190.
February 21, 1863
By the arrival of the Edinburgh we have New York telegrams to the 7th inst.
There is nothing important from the army of the Potomac.
In a slight affair near the Blackwater, Virginia, the 167th Pennsylvania Regiment, composed of draughted men, refused to fight, and lay down upon the ground during the entire engagement, saying, "You can draught us; but you cannot make us fight."
General Foster's expedition from Beaufort had been seen off Cape Fear, en route for Port Royal.
On the 31st ult. two Confederate iron-clad gun-boats, accompanied by three steamers, went out from Charleston at one o'clock in the morning and attacked the blockading squadron. The engagement commenced at four o'clock. The Confederate gun-boats sank the Federal gunboat Mercedita, carrying eleven guns, and another Federal gun-boat whose name is unknown. They disabled the Federal steamer Quaker City, but she escaped with the loss of one wheel. The attacking party set four Federal vessels on fire. The blockading fleet consisted of thirteen vessels, with two first-class frigates. The Confederate gun-boats returned to Charleston, where they were received with enthusiasm. Commander Ingraham officially reported that the blockading fleet had gone out of sight. General Beauregard then issued a proclamation reciting the discomfiture and dispersion of the hostile fleet, and formally declaring that the blockade of Charleston by the United States was raised on and after the 31st of January. The General placed steamers at the disposal of the foreign Consuls to see for themselves that no blockade existed. The British Consul went on board the steamer Petrel, five miles beyond the usual anchorage of the blockaders, but could see nothing of them with glasses.
Notwithstanding this, four vessels of the Federal fleet reappeared late on the evening of the 31st, and on Feb. 1 twenty blockading vessels were off Charleston bar.
The Confederate Secretary of State has notified to the British and French Consuls the raising of the Charleston blockade.
The Southern journals announce that the Federal gun-boat P. Smith, carrying eleven guns and 230 men, surrendered unconditionally to the Confederates at Stone River. The Federal Navy Department had received a despatch announcing that her capture ensued upon her running ashore.
The British steamer Princess Royal was captured by a fleet of Union gun-boats while attempting to run the blockade into Charleston with a valuable cargo from Halifax. She had on board six hundred barrels of powder, two Armstrong guns, a large lot of machinery, sheet iron, steam-batteries, hardware, boots, coffee, tin, and other valuables. A party of English workmen skilled in the manufacture of projectiles were also captured in the Princess Royal.
There are contradictory reports of the result of the expedition up the Ogechee River, in Georgia. Southern reports state that the ironclad Montauk was badly injured in her turret by the guns of Fort M'Allister and compelled to haul off. The Federal Navy Department states that the Montauk remained four hours under fire without receiving any injury.
General Bank's expedition had left New Orleans. Its supposed destination is Port Hudson.
General Magruder officially announces on the 4th inst. that Galveston was open to trade; but Federal Commodore Bell has issued a counter proclamation declaring Galveston, Sabine Pass, and the whole of the Texas coast blockaded, and warning vessels from trading under penalty of capture.
The bombardment of Galveston by the Federals had commenced, but the result is not yet known.
General Grant had arrived at Vicksburg. The works on the canal were progressing. The Confederates have planted a battery commanding the lower end of the canal.
Colonel Stewart, chief of the cavalry on General M'Clernand's staff at Vicksburg, whilst out on a reconnaissance with two hundred men, was shot and deserted by them. Colonel Stewart had upon his person a memorandum-book containing full estimates of the number and calibre of the forces and guns of Generals Sherman and M'Clernand, and much useful information, including projects respecting canals, upon which work has been commenced. This book fell into the hands of the enemy.
The Confederates have attacked Fort Donnelson and captured a battery, afterwards regained by the Federals, who repulsed the Confederates with heavy loss.
From the Cumberland River, Tennessee, further atrocities committed on unarmed negro and mulatto men are reported. The coloured cabin-boys and cooks captured on board some Federal steamers taken at Harpeth Shoals, in the Cumberland River, were taken to an open field and shot in cold blood. Two others got down by the rudder of the steamer and held on with only their heads above water. They were discovered by the Confederates, and several soldiers were ordered into a skiff, who rowed close up to them and blew out their brains. The life of a chambermaid was saved with difficulty by the clerk of the steamer claiming her as his slave when he was removing into Kentucky.
The surviving officers and crew of the Federal steamer Hatteras, sunk off Galveston, had been landed by the Alabama at Port Royal, Jamaica. It appears, however, that the Hatteras sank so quickly that forty-three of her crew were drowned before they could be removed.
The report of the Confederate Secretary of the Treasury has been published. The receipts for the year 1862 were 457,855,704 dols., and the expenditure 416,971,735 dols., leaving a balance of over 40,000,000 dols. The expenses for the War Department were 340,000,000 dols., and for the Navy 20,000,000 dols.
The Governor of North Carolina is acting upon those principles of State rights on which the Confederate Government is founded. He insisted on the recall of a number of the State troops from Richmond to protect the State. This demand has induced President Davis to have an interview with the refractory Governor, in order to persuade him to bring his policy into harmony with that of the Richmond Government.
The military commanders of Georgia, and the Governors of North Carolina and Alabama, have issued appeals to the people not to flinch from their duty to the South in her hour of peril, and cautioning them that attempts to evade the conscription will be punished with rigour.
After six days of factious opposition--called in American Parliamentary terminology "filibustering"--a vote was permitted to be taken on the bill for arming the negroes. It passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 83 to 54. The numbers to be armed are left to the President's discretion. No slaves of loyal owners are to be thus employed. No recruiting-offices are to be opened in Delaware, Maryland, Western Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, or Tennessee, without the permission of the Governors of those States. Their rations, clothing, and equipments are to be the same as for other soldiers; but privates are not to receive more than ten dollars per month; that is, half the pay of the whites.
In the Senate the resolutions denouncing French intervention in Mexico were laid on the table by a vote of 34 against 9.
The Secretary of the Treasury has informed the Senate that a reduction of the duty upon paper would increase the Government revenue.
In the House of Representatives the Bankrupt Bill has been laid upon the table by a vote of 60 to 53, and the motion to reconsider it was also voted to be tabled by the same majority. The United States have no bankruptcy acts.
Mr. Cameron, of Pennsylvania, late Secretary of War in Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet, and now holding the appointment of United States' Minister at the Russian Court, is charged by a Democratic member of the Pennsylvanian Legislature with offering him a bribe of 25,000 dols. to vote for Cameron as United States' senator instead of Mr.
Page 191Buckalew, the nominee of the Democratic party. The charge, to which no denial has been made, creates great excitement throughout the country, and is used as the means of discrediting the Federal Administration.
The Republican candidate, ex-Governor Morgan, has been elected United States' senator from New York.
The editor of the Philadelphia Journal has been released, after making an humble apology to the Federal Government, and giving a province of amendment for the future.
Mr. Stafford, the inventor of a shell named after himself, has succeeded in driving one of his projectiles entirely through the iron plating and halfway through the wood of a target representing a complete section of the British frigate Warrior. It exploded in the target, shattering it seriously. Afterwards a solid shot was driven entirely through the target, penetrating the earth beyond five or six feet; and all this was accomplished with a smaller charge of powder than is used with any but a Dahlgren nut.
Napoleon's letter to General Forey, announcing the policy of France to be opposed to the future annexation of Mexico to the United States, has elicited angry articles from the New York press.
The New York Legislature and Chamber of Commerce have passed resolutions in favour of the emancipation policy and pledging their support to the Administration.