Foreign and Colonial IntelligenceThe Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1197, p. 366.
April 4, 1863
By the arrival of the steamer City of Baltimore we have telegrams from New York to the 20th ult.
The main fighting during the week under review has been in the
Page 367neighbourhood of Port Hudson. We have as yet received only the Confederate accounts. According to them the bombardment of Port Hudson commenced at two o'clock on the 14th ult. At twelve o'clock p.m. the Federals attempted to pass the batteries under cover of the darkness. One gun-boat passed in a damaged condition. The Federal sloop-of-war Mississippi was burnt to the water's edge in front of the batteries. One large vessel was completely riddled, a third badly crippled, and the rest driven back. Thirty-six of the crew of the Mississippi were captured. Admiral Farragut's flag-ship went down the river disabled.
On the Yazoo River the Federal gun-boats captured twenty-six gun-boats, destroying eighteen of them.
The works on the Vicksburg Canal had come to naught. The Mississippi broke through the levée and filled the trench with water and rubbish, thus rendering it useless.
The inundations in Mississippi and Louisiana caused by the cutting of the levées at Yazoo Pass and Lake Providence covered a great extent of country. In Louisiana a region covering 5000 square miles has been converted into a lake.
The Confederates have fortified the approaches to Galveston, Texas, with the guns captured from the Federal steamers Harriet Lane and Westfield. Three batteries are erected on the island where the city is planted, and Pelican Island is fortified with equal strength. The Federal fleet off Galveston consists of the steam-frigate Brooklyn and four gun-boats. The fleet approaches to within a mile and a half of the town, where the vessels anchor and occasionally throw shells into the town and forts; but they cannot bring their broadsides to bear, and have to operate exclusively with their rifled pivot-guns. The Brooklyn's fire set the town in flames at three different places, but the danger was soon subdued. The Brooklyn was compelled to withdraw as the forts began to send shot from their 15-inch rifled guns, one of which cut the rigging. The Harriet Lane is up the river some seventy miles, where she is being iron-clad.
The steamers Britannia, Gertrude, and Havelock have arrived safely at Confederate ports.
President Lincoln has definitively refused to authorise the issue of letters of marque.
The Legislature of New Jersey has passed a series of peace resolutions by a vote in the Assembly of 38 against 13. These resolutions protest against war waged for unconstitutional or partisan purposes, or for the subjugation of States with a view to their reduction to a territorial condition; against the domination of military law over civil law in States not in insurrection; against arbitrary arrests and the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act; against the admission of Western Virginia; against the emancipation proclamation and the expenditure of public money for the benefit of the negro race. The legislature believes that the appointment of Federal commissioners to meet commissioners from the insurgent States to consider if any plan may be adopted, consistent with the honour and dignity of the national Government, by which the present civil war may be brought to a close, is not inconsistent with the honour and dignity of the Federal Government, but, as an indication of the spirit which animates the adhering States would, in any event, tend to strengthen America in the opinion of other nations. The resolutions will be forwarded to the Federal Government and to the Governors and Legislatures of the other States, requesting them to give the subject immediate attention.
Mr. Seward has given a State dinner to the Haytian Minister at Washington, at which the British, Russian, French, and Prussian Ministers were present.
Mr. Cyrus Field has addressed a large meeting at the New York Produce and Stock Exchange upon the subject of the Atlantic cable. Resolutions declaring confidence in the success of the undertaking, and appointing committees to raise the remaining capital necessary, were unanimously passed.
It is reported that the rumour of a foreign loan of 100,000,000 dollars having been offered to the Secretary of the Treasury was not true.
A preliminary meeting of Poles has been held in New York, and an address to the National Central Committee of Poland drawn up. A committee was also appointed to arrange for a grand demonstration in the Cooper Institute.
On the 15th ult. the fast schooner Chapman, when leaving San Francisco for Mexico, was boarded by the Government officials and taken in charge as a privateer. About twenty Secessionists were captured on board, well armed, and six brass Dahlgren guns with carriages suitable for use on ships. The prisoners confess that a full complement of men were to be taken aboard at a rendezvous down the coast.
Delegations from the merchants of Oswego, New York, and Toledo, Ohio, have had two interviews with the Canadian Government to procure a modification of the rate of tolls on the Welland Canal. The result of the interviews is not known.