Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 43, no. 1212, p. 26.
July 11, 1863
We have reports-not, however, very precise--of the movements of General Lee to the 27th ult. This much seems certain, that a large portion of the Confederate forces had passed into Pennsylvania and Maryland, and that General Lee was endeavouring to isolate Washington from the north and east as well as from the west. Thus far General Lee has been enabled to carry out his plans without receiving any material check. One division of General Lee's army is said to be advancing to Budd's Ferry, fifteen miles below Washington, where, with the aid of the pontoons the Confederates have carried with them, the passage of the Potomac can, it is stated, easily be effected. This division would probably march upon Fort Washington and re-establish the batteries which formerly commanded the Lower Potomac and affected the sea communications of the Federals. Another body of Confederates first proceeded to Martinsburg, a town distant only a few miles from Harper's Ferry, and thence they proceeded along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as far west as Cumberland, a part of Maryland which almost unites Pennsylvania and Virginia, and is at the same time brought near to Ohio by the great railway system of the Middle and Western States. According to the Baltimore correspondent of the New York Herald General Lee was in strong force at Frederick City, Maryland, on the 25th of June, and thence would either move on Washington or Baltimore, or pass to the railroad between Washington and Baltimore. General Hooker was also moving, and the right wing of his army was said to be at Hagerstown.
So imminent is the peril that is supposed to menace Baltimore that the most urgent appeals are made to the people by the Government, the Mayor of the city, the councils of the military authorities, and the newspapers, to turn out to work on the intrenchments which are being hastily erected for the defence of the city, and to enlist in the various military organisations.
The despatches complain that there is universal indifference among the people of Pennsylvania regarding the invasion. The New York Herald says that "the inhabitants seem to have lost all spirit, and either retreat rapidly at the approach of the Confederates or exhibit a strange apathy. Even the troops from New York or New Jersey are not received with cordiality or enthusiasm, but the inhabitants endeavour only to profit pecuniarily by their presence."
Immense mischief seems to have been done to the Northern cause by the defeat and retreat of General Milroy from Winchester, that key of the Shenandoah Valley which has so often changed owners during the last three years. The Southerners claim to have captured from Milroy 6500 prisoners, 2800 horses, 500 waggons, and stores to the value of 2,000,000 dols.
The Washington correspondent of the New York Herald gives the following summary of the Confederate strength and movements:--
General Lee, for a week previous to moving from Culpepper in his last mysterious movement, gave orders, which were stringently enforced, that no person, soldier or citizen, should be allowed to enter or leave his lines. It is said that his army commenced to move on Saturday, and continued to pass through Culpepper during all the intervening period up to Thursday of the succeeding week. His force is said to have consisted of Ewell's corps of 35,000 men, who marched out first, Longstreet's corps of 42,000 men, and Hill's corps of 28,000 men, who brought up the rear. General Stuart's cavalry, 18,000 strong, protected the flank and rear, while Jenkins, with 3000 men, accompanied Ewell into Maryland, the destination of the main portion of the army. The artillery is said to be in superb condition and very numerous. Stuart's command is said to consist of six divisions of two brigades each, three regiments to a brigade, and 500 men the average maximum number to a regiment. The 4th Virginia, the largest of all, on a recent review, numbered 714, but every man that could be obtained was present on this occasion.
The following are other fragments of news telegraphed on the dates given:--
New York, June 26.--The Confederates under General Jones, with cavalry and artillery, have, after a severe skirmish, driven the Federals under Milroy out of Macconnellsburg and occupied that place. The Federals have evacuated Carlisle, and fallen back to Harrisburg. The Confederate advance in Pennsylvania is said to be 10,000 strong. The Governor of Pennsylvania has called for 50,000 militia for defence for three months. The Governor of Illinois has offered 10,000 men to resist the invasion.
June 27, Morning.-General Ewell entered Chambersburg on Wednesday, and issued on order forbidding the inhabitants to sell liquor to the soldiers; also admonishing persons not in military service to abstain from acts of hostility, stating that acquiescence in the demands of the military authorities would lessen the rigours of war. General Ewell's main force is believed to have halted in the rear of Chambersburg, holding all the roads and passes in the vicinity, and awaiting reinforcements. General Early's division of Longstreet's corps, consisting of ten regiments of infantry, with cavalry and artillery, occupied Gettysburg yesterday. It is supposed that General Early will strike the Northern Central Railroad at Hanover Junction or Fork, thirty miles distant.
The Confederates hold all the passes of South Mountain. They are also in close proximity to Carlisle, but have not yet occupied the place. The Federal General Smith commands the defences of the Susquehannah. Colonel Pierce supersedes General Milroy at Bloody Run. General Dana commands the defences of Philadelphia. The New York Herald says that two days ago half General Lee's army was in Maryland and Pennsylvania; the other half, immediately under the eye of Lee, was thirty miles south of the Potomac, in the Shenandoah Valley. General Lee's whole army may be described, in a military sense, as being in the same valley, extending thirty miles from Winchester to the Potomac, and thence fifty miles northward to Chambersburg. The New York Herald does not anticipate a collision between Generals Lee and Hooker for several days, and says--"It is probable that the first serious hostilities will take place at Harper's Ferry, for that point, with Lee's advance beyond the Potomac, is essential to Lee's communication with the Shenandoah Valley and Richmond. Lee's siege trains will, therefore, probably be first used against the Maryland Heights, in conjunction with an assault by the reserved column of General Longstreet."
Vicksburg still defies the attempts of General Grant, and the Confederates have entire possession of Milliken's Bend, above the city. Telegrams published in the Richmond Despatch state that a desperate fight took place at Port Hudson on the 12th ult. The Confederates left their fortifications, charged upon the Federals, drove them from their intrenchments, and spiked their siege guns. Northern despatches add that General Banks ordered an assault on the place at daylight on the 14th, and at eleven o'clock on the same morning retreated to his intrenchments, having been disastrously repulsed at all points, with the loss of 700 to 1000 men. [This attack is fully described in another column.] It was supposed that another assault would be made on the 17th ult., Colonel Dudley having volunteered to lead a storming column of 4000 picked men. The Confederates were reported to be concentrating in General Banks's rear to prevent his retreat to Baton Rouge. General Johnston continues to accumulate troops on the eastern side of the Big Black River, and, according to the latest accounts, some skirmishing had taken place between the Confederate cavalry and the outposts of the Federal army at the bridge by which this river is crossed by the Vicksburg and Jackson Railway.
A body of negro troops under Colonel Montgomery has pillaged and burned the town of Darien, in Georgia; and a body of 1000 Texans has been repulsed at Lake Providence by negro troops.
Confederate General Jackson commands the department of East Tennessee, and has under him General Pegram, with 8000 to 10,000 men, which, together with the force in the Cumberland Gap region, is expected to move into Kentucky. Colonel Saunders, recently sent by General Burnside upon a bridge-burning expedition into Eastern Tennessee, returned to Boston, Kentucky, on the 23rd. He reports that he destroyed three important bridges on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railway and great quantities of stores; also, that he captured 500 prisoners, three pieces of artillery, 200 cases of ammunition, and 1000 stand of small arms.
Richmond is defended by the corps of D. H. Hill, 21,000 strong, on the south side; by Major-General French on the north, or near the city, with about 17,000 men; while the heavy brigade, under General Wise, is on the York River Railroad. General Corse, with two brigades, occupies Hanover Junction, assisted by 3500 mounted Texans taken prisoners at Arkansas Port and exchanged. This force is to be drawn close around and concentrated near the capital in case the Federal army should advance.
The Confederates have lost two of their ironclads, one was captured by the Federals at Savannah, and the other blew up in the Apalachicola River. Several steamers had been sunk by the blockading squadron at Charleston, and it is announced that hereafter the squadron will sink all blockade runners. Sixteen Mobile adventurers have captured the Federal steamer Boston at the mouth of the Mississippi, afterwards burning two barques, and taking the steamer into Mobile. The Confederate iron-clad steamer Atlanta, formerly the Finlay, steamed out of Savannah and was captured by two Federal ironclads, after thirty minutes' fighting. The Confederate cruisers are growing more daring. At the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, and in that neighbourhood, they had destroyed numerous Federal vessels. Admiral Dahlgren will succeed Admiral Dupont in the command of the South Atlantic squadron. Mr. Vallandigham has run the blockade in a vessel bound to Nassau.