Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1201, p. 470.
May 2, 1863
By the arrival of the steamer City of New York we have telegrams to the evening of the 18th ult.
The Charleston Mercury says that Fort Sumter, although somewhat pitted, is as strong as ever. It is estimated that the Federals fired eighty shots, forty of which struck the fort. No one was killed in it.
The Federal ironclads sailed from Charleston, southward, on the 12th ult. General Beauregard has issued a congratulatory address to the troops on the result of the engagement of the 7th.
From North Carolina there is nothing decisive. A steamer, containing one regiment and supplies, had reached General Foster, at Washington, on the 4th.
The Confederates, under General Longstreet, continue to invest Suffolk, where the Federals are fortifying themselves. Heavy skirmishing occurs daily. The Confederates have attempted to cut off the Federals' communication with Norfolk.
A corps of 15,000 Confederates, under Van Dorn, had attacked Franklin, Tennessee, and is reported to have been repulsed with a loss of 300 men.
Southern reports state that Admiral Farragut was near the Red River, between two batteries, unable to pass either of them.
Southern despatches from Vicksburg to the 10th ult. state that there are sufficient supplies there to last the garrison for two years. It is fortified by 225 cannon. At present it is held by not more than 5000 troops, but, in case of attack, reinforcements can be had. The Confederates are making preparations on the Red River.
A Federal ironclad was abandoned and destroyed at the mouth of the Annite River, Louisiana.
The Federals have undertaken an expedition up the Coldwater River, in the northern part of the State of Mississippi. Fifty-three gun-boats take part in it.
General Corcoran, of the Irish Brigade, has shot Colonel Kimball, a native American, dead, because the latter attempted to prevent General Corcoran from passing the pickets. This event has caused great excitement in the army.
In compliance with a request of Congress, President Davis has issued an address to the people of the Southern States. He says that the greatest danger to the Southern cause is the general planting of cotton and tobacco instead of grain, beans, peas, potatoes, and other food for man and beast. The address concludes as follows:--"Entertaining no fear that the people will misconstrue the motives of this address, or fail to respond to the call of patriotism, I place the facts fully and frankly before the people. There is little doubt that, if the people unite in doing their duty, the sovereignty and independence of the Confederate States will be maintained."
A large number of steamers and sailing-vessels continue to arrive at Nassau from Southern ports, or gain entrance into Charleston. From March 16 to April 10 fourteen vessels laden with cotton arrived at Nassau.
It is reported that Mr. Seward is in favour of surrendering the Peterhoff. The Prize Commissioners at New York hold the mail-bag of this steamer, and had invited the British Consul at New York to be present when it was opened. They also offered him the privilege of opening it, but he declined. The Government afterward telegraphed that the mail-bag was not to be opened until further instructions. Lord Lyons demands the return of the mail-bag unopened.
The Secretary of the Treasury has initiated the system of granting some of the vacant clerkships to women. Among the female appointees is Mrs. Jane C. Swisshelm, a popular journalist and writer of novels.
The New York journals regard the speeches of Lord Palmerston and the Solicitor-General on the case of the Alabama as betraying a feeling of hostility to the United States; and all, except the World, threaten reprisals at some future time. But the speech of Postmaster-General Blair, at the late Union meeting in New York, was much more favourable to peace then the single passage quoted from it in the telegrams led the English public to suppose. Mr. Blair, on the contrary, condemned the language of General Butler towards England, and expressed his confidence that the English nation would see to it that English ports should not be used for raising a fleet to prey upon Northern commerce. He expressed himself adverse to any course of action which should put it in the power of the aristocracy to carry the English people with them on a question of war with the United States.
Quinine, opium, morphine, and other drugs, are 400 per cent dearer in the United States than they were a twelvemonth ago.