Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1205, p. 582.
May 30, 1863
By the arrival of the Montreal Company's steamer Norwegian, from Quebec, we have advices from New York to the evening of the 16th inst.
On the evening of Tuesday, the 5th, General Hooker, finding his communications threatened, commenced his retreat across the Rappahannock, which was swollen by a tremendous torrent of rain. The south side of the Rappahannock was evacuated before noon on the 6th. Nearly all of the army had crossed before the Confederates found out that the Federals were retreating, and then they brought up a few pieces of artillery, which the Federal cannon drove back. On this day General Hooker issued, from his head-quarters at Falmouth, an order of the day, wherein he claims that the army of the Potomac had inflicted heavier blows than those they had received. He thus summarises the achievements of his army:--
We have taken from the enemy 5000 prisoners and fifteen colours, captured seven pieces of artillery, and placed hors de combat 18,000 of our foe's chosen troops. We have destroyed his dépôts, filled with vast amounts of stores, damaged his communications, captured prisoners within the fortifications of his capital, and filled his country with fear and consternation.
General Lee's report is dated the 5th, and is very brief:--
To President Davis,--Yesterday General Jackson penetrated to the rear of the enemy and drove him from all his positions from the Wilderness to within one mile of Chancellorsville. He was engaged at the same time in front by two of Longstreet's divisions. Many prisoners were taken, and the enemy's loss in killed and wounded is large. This morning the battle was renewed. He was dislodged from all his positions around Chancellorsville, and driven back towards the Rappahannock, over which he is now retreating. We have again to thank Almighty God for a great victory. I regret to state that General Paxton was killed; General Jackson severely, and Generals Heth and A.P. Hill, slightly wounded.
(signed)R.E. Lee. General commanding.
The Federal wounded, 1200 in number, who were left behind on the southern side of the Rappahannock, have been sent across under a flag of truce. Some of the Federal wounded were burnt in the woods around Chancellorsville, they having been fired by the shells of both armies.
On the 7th the President and General Halleck visited the head-quarters of General Hooker, and had a long consultation with him.
General Stoneman's expedition is the most important achieve-
Page 583ment of the Federal cavalry during the war. The expedition consisted of 2700 picked men, and a light battery of six pieces. Dividing themselves into detachments, and giving out that they were the advance guard of the main army, they penetrated safely to within two miles of Richmond. On their way they destroyed railway stations, telegraph wires, and bridges; tore up 30 miles of railway connecting General Lee's army with Richmond, burnt large stores of food and clothing, and broke the locks on the James River Canal. On the morning of the 7th his whole force, barring one officer and thirty-seven men, arrived safely within the Federal lines, having captured and parolled upwards of 300 men.
The wound of General Jackson was grave enough to demand the amputation of the arm. Under the effects of this operation he sank, on the afternoon of the 9th. General Lee announced the death of this redoubtable soldier in the following general order:--
With deep grief the Commanding General announces to the army the death of Lieutenant-General Jackson, who expired on the 9th, at 3.15 p.m. The daring skill and energy of this great and good soldier, by a decree of an all-wise Providence, are now lost to us. But, while we mourn his death, we feel that his spirit lives, and will inspire the whole army with his indomitable courage and unshaken confidence in God as our hope and strength. Let his name be a watchword for his corps, who have followed him to victory on so many fields. Let officers and soldiers imitate his invincible determination to do everything in the defence of our beloved country.
(Signed)R. E. Lee.
General Jackson's funeral took place at Richmond, on the 12th, with great demonstrations of sorrow and respect. A Richmond journal says of it that since the death of Washington no similar event had so sorrowfully impressed the people of Virginia.
The Richmond Inquirer considers Chancellorsville the most bloody encounter yet fought, and estimates the Confederate loss at from 8000 to 10,000, and that of the Federals at from 25,000 to 30,000, including prisoners.
The Federals, under Generals Keyes and Peck, estimated 12,000 strong, have occupied West Point, on York River, and destroyed the bridges in the neighbourhood of White House.
Admiral Porter has bombarded and captured Grand Gulf, said to be the key to Vicksburg. This place was a fortified camp on a bluff twenty miles south of Vicksburg. After the bombardment, the enemy evacuated the place, after blowing up their ammunition and spiking their guns. The Federals only lost eighty in killed and wounded.
General Grant officially reports that he met the enemy, 11,000 strong, four miles south of Port Gibson, the capital of Clairborne county, Mississippi, and routed him, with the loss of many killed and about 500 prisoners, besides the wounded. The Federal loss was about 100 killed and 500 wounded. The Confederates retreated towards Vicksburg. General Grant also reports that General Grierson destroyed numerous railroad bridges, locomotives, and stores throughout northern Mississippi, creating great consternation throughout the State. The Governor calls every ablebodied man to arms. At last accounts General Grant was encamped near Black River, eighteen miles from Grand Gulf, awaiting reinforcements.
The death of Confederate General Van Dorn is officially reported. He was shot during a private altercation.
Ten Federal negro regiments have been organised at Memphis, Tennessee, and ten more are in course of organisation.
General Thomas Francis Meagher has resigned the command of the Irish Brigade. He says that the assault against Fredericksburg in December last reduced the brigade to something less than a minimum regiment of infantry. He memorialised the War Department in vain that the brigade should be relieved from duty for a time, and opportunity given to renew itself. That memorial was never acknowledged. The late operations at Chancellorsville still further reduced its numbers. To remain in command of the brigade would be a public deception, in which the military reputation of a brave race would be involved. General Meagher, however, places his services at the disposal of the Government in any capacity they may appoint.
President Lincoln has issued a proclamation explaining the position of aliens under the draughting law. No plea of alienage will be received, or allowed to exempt from the obligations of the Conscription Act any person of foreign birth who shall have declared on oath his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and who shall be found within the United States during the continuance of the war, at or after the expiration of sixty-five days from the date of the proclamation; nor shall any such plea of alienage be allowed in favour of any such person who has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States and shall have exercised at any time the right of suffrage, or any other political franchise, within the United States.
A Captain of a Federal regiment has been dismissed the Federal service for violating the sovereignty of a friendly State in arresting a deserter and bringing him away from within the boundaries of Canada. The deserter has been discharged from the Federal service.
The United States' Circuit Court at Cincinnati has decided not to issue a writ of habeas corpus in Mr. Vallandigham's case.
One section of the Democratic party in New York has passed resolutions demanding the discontinuance of the war, and denouncing the foreign policy of the Administration for having placed the United States in a position "where even England dares to bully her." They demand that the Administration shall no longer submit to insult from England, and pledge every man and every dollar to resent that insult.
The New York Times is now printed on paper imported from Belgium, which costs there 3½d. per pound. The duties and rate of exchange make it cost 7½ d. to the importer at New York. But that is less then the price of the same quality of paper of American manufacture.
Sims, the first fugitive slave who was surrendered from Massachusetts, after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, has escaped into the Federal lines from below Vicksburg, accompanied by his wife and two comrades. Negotiations for his purchase were on foot when the war broke out and put an end to them.
The trial of the Peterhoff has been postponed. The Prize Court has decided to receive Mr Redgate's testimony.