Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1202, p. 502.
May 9, 1863
By the arrival of the steamers City of Baltimore and Hibernian we have New York journals to the 25th ult.
The Federal gun-boats on the Nansemond River, Eastern Virginia, and a Federal force co-operating therewith, have stormed a Confederate battery of six guns and captured 200 prisoners.
The Confederates have abandoned the siege of Washington, North Carolina.
Admiral Dupont's iron-clad fleet still remains off Charleston Harbour. The Charleston Mercury asserts that the guns of the sunken Federal ironclad Keokuk have been recovered by the Confederates.
On the Mississippi there was considerable activity.
On the night of the 16th Admiral Porter, with seven gun-boats, one ram, and three transports, attempted to pass the Vicksburg batteries. One transport was obliged to return, another was burnt, and it is supposed that all on board were lost. The remainder of the vessels passed safely. Eleven Federal gun-boats, including Admiral Farragut's three, are now below Vicksburg. They have destroyed the Confederate batteries at Warrenton, about twenty miles below Vicksburg, and are anchored at New Carthage, where General Grant's head-quarters are established, and to which place a portion of General Grant's army had proceeded overland.
The steamer Queen of the West, recently captured by the Confederates, has been blown up by the Federal gun-boats and her crew captured. The Confederate steamer Diana has also been burnt on the Atchafayala River.
A portion of the forces under General Banks was above Franklin, Louisiana, on the River Teche. The object of General Banks's expedition was to capture Franklin, where all the Confederates below the Red River are supposed to be posted, and a victory at this place would open the way for an advance of the Federals to the Red River.
A Federal division had made an expedition from Greenville, Mississippi, up Deer Creek, and, during six days, destroyed property on various plantations estimated at 3,000,000 dols., consisting of cotton-mills, cotton-gins, and 700,000 bushels of corn. They likewise brought away a considerable amount of stores.
The Confederate ship-of-war Florida captured the Boston barque Lapwing on the 27th of March, and put two guns and eighteen men on board. She has also captured the New York barqu[e] Concord. About the same time the Alabama chased two vessels ashore in Turk's Island Passage.
Earl Russell's letter of April 3, concerning the right of search in regard to British vessels trading with Matamoras, had created a favourable impression on American public opinion, which had been fortified by the action taken by the British Government in seizing the Alexandra. For the present, the symptoms menacing to a continuance of peace have passed away.
The case of the Peterhoff is pending before the New York Prize Court. The mail-bag has been delivered unopened to the British Consul by order of the District Court.
The British gun-boat Cygnet was fired at on the 4th ult., in the Bahama Channel, by the Federal steamer Connecticut, who mistook the Cygnet for the Alabama. The Captain of the Cygnet went on board the Connecticut, and the affair was amicably settled.
President Lincoln has proclaimed that Western Virginia will become a State of the Union in sixty days from the date of the proclamation (April 20).
The clause in the Massachusetts Constitution requiring an adopted citizen to reside two years in the State before he can exercise the suffrage has been repealed by a special popular vote.
The costly institute built and endowed by Mr. Peabody, at Baltimore, is nearly finished, but the trustees have concluded not to inaugurate the institution until after the close of the war. The most interesting feature about the building is the library-room, 90 ft. long and 40 ft. wide.
The constitutionality of the "Black laws" of Illinois, under which coloured people are excluded from the commonwealth, is to be tested in the Supreme Court of that State.
A new war-frigate for the King of Italy has been launched at New York.
The Governor of New York vetoed a bill allowing soldiers and sailors to vote by proxy. The Senate passed the bill over the Governor's veto, but it failed in the Lower House to acquire the requisite two-thirds majority.