Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 43, no. 1216, p. 126.
August 8, 1863
We have intelligence from New York to the evening of July 25. The position and intentions of General Lee were at that date somewhat doubtful. It was at one time thought that he was rapidly retreating down the west side of the Shenandoah Valley, and General Meade crossed the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, and moved down the western side of the Blue Ridge to intercept him; but it was found that the Confederate General was closely hugging the line of the Upper Potomac, and fears were entertained of another invasion of Maryland. Another conjecture was that he had delayed there to carry across his plunder and to carry away the new crop of that fertile valley, and that he intended to cross the mountains into Eastern Virginia at Chester or Thornton Gap. In that case probably a battle
Page 127would take place. It is reported that General Lee has been reinforced by General D. H. Hill with 10,000 men from Lower Virginia.
General Kelly, who was superintending the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, was driven back by the Confederates fifteen miles from North Mountain to Hancock. General Gregg had encountered General Stuart's cavalry, 10,000 strong, between Shepherdstown and Martinsburg. An obstinate fight ensued, General Gregg holding his ground, but suffering heavy losses.
The daring raid of Morgan into Ohio has, according to one account, come to an abrupt termination. General Shackleford officially reports that he chased General Morgan over fifty miles, bringing him to a stand, when a fight ensued which lasted an hour. At the expiration of that time the Confederates fled, taking refuge upon a high bluff. General Shackleford demanded the immediate and unconditional surrender of Morgan and his forces. They surrendered with the exception of Morgan, who deserted his command, taking with him a small squadron. General Shackleford captured 1500 to 2000 prisoners. But General Morgan, who was thus annihilated, was, at the last advices, still marauding Ohio at the head of a large force.
An extensive Federal cavalry expedition left Newbern on the 18th ult. to penetrate into North Carolina, destroying bridges and railroad communication. The expedition burned the railroad bridge over the Tar River and 5000 bales of cotton. Another Federal cavalry expedition, after severe fighting, captured and destroyed Wytheville, South-Eastern Virginia, taking 100 prisoners and two pieces of artillery. They cut the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad at Wytheville.
From Charleston the accounts are conflicting--one version affirming that Fort Wagner still holds out, and the other that the whole of Morris Island has been captured by the Federals. The Charleston papers assert that the city will be defended street by street. The whole coloured population had been impressed to work on the defences.
The main interest of the news from America is with respect to the feeling in the South. According to a Richmond journal the 100,000 Southern men who had paid for substitutes for military service must themselves be draughted. Dictatorial powers are claimed for President Davis, and martial law insisted on for the whole Confederacy. In Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia it was announced that the people were organising actively for defence. The New Orleans Era says President Davis has issued a proclamation ordering all men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five to repair to the conscript camps. The Richmond Inquirer speaks of a Navy Company having been formed, the object of which is to put as many privateers as possible upon the sea to prey upon Federal commerce. This paper contemplates the disintegration of the great Southern armies and a consequent guerrilla warfare, which should be principally upon the sea.
The news from Mississippi Valley shows that the Federals are following up their late successes. General Johnston, retreating from the neighbourhood of Vicksburg, threw his army into Jackson, where he held the Federals at bay for more than a week. On the 16th he evacuated the town, and his pursuers gave up further chase of him. The Richmond Whig says that the evacuation of Jackson left in the enemy's hands the rolling stock of the Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern, Mississippi-Central, and Mississippi-Tennessee Railroad. Over forty engines were lost. "The loss," continues the Richmond Whig, "is incalculable, important, and wholly irreparable."
The garrison of Port Hudson, when they surrendered, had eaten their last mule. The moment the surrender was completed the enemy sent out a request that six thousand rations should immediately be sent in, as the garrison had eaten its last mule. This was found to be literally the fact.
We have further tidings of the operations of the Confederate cruiser Georgia. That vessel had, since our last news of her, captured three American vessels, two of which were released, whilst the third, which was laden with coal--an article of the greatest value to her captor--was being emptied, with the view, it is alleged, of fitting her also out as a privateer. The steamer Lizzie has been captured off Abaco, and the steamer Kate Dale off Portugal, with 800 bales of cotton. The City of New York has arrived out. The Scotia has been intercepted off Cape Race.
New York is again quiet, and the negroes have once more begun to show themselves in the streets. The Common Council have passed a series of resolutions, voting a fund of 500,000 dollars to pay the 300-dollar exemption fee for such as are not able to pay for themselves, and pledging themselves to try the validity of the Conscription Acts. Mr. Opdyke, the Mayor, vetoed the resolutions; but it is supposed they will be carried again by two-thirds of the body, which will annul the veto. It was supposed that the draught would recommence in a week. Coloured men will not be accepted as substitutes for white draughted men. The Mayor has offered a reward of 500 dollars for the apprehension of any person who committed murder or arson during the late riots. A subscription has been opened for the relief of coloured people. Governor Seymour, in a special order, had released the special constabulary from further duty, and states that a sufficient force of the State militia had arrived to maintain order. Fears, suspicions, and jealousies are mentioned as existing respecting the designs of Governor Seymour with respect to his contested right to the control of the State militia.
In a list of losses by incendiary fires seventeen distinct fires are enumerated, comprising one or more buildings, and the estimated loss is 400,000 dollars. Fifty-six patients have been taken to the Bellevue Hospital, of whom thirteen have died. Fifteen dead bodies have been placed in the dead-house of the hospital; the names are unknown. Most of the injured seem to have received gunshot wounds. About thirty persons concerned in the riots have been captured by General Brown, and are held as military prisoners. It is stated, however, that they will be handed over to the civil authorities. More than 200 rioters were shot or bayoneted.
The New York Herald has resumed its silly gasconade about a union between North and South to make war on France and England. It asserts that the conscription will be enforced, not to put down the rebellion, but to meet the threats of England, as the Government is determined no longer to suffer privateers to be fitted out in that country. The same journal urges the Government to grant the Confederates all their rights, under the Constitution, and at once proclaim war against France and England.
The department of Virginia has been annexed to that of North Carolina, and placed under the control of General Foster, whose head-quarters will hereafter be at Fortress Monroe.
A steamer had arrived at New Orleans from Natchez, and left on a return trip to St. Louis, thus demonstrating the reopening of the Mississippi.
The World announces that General Meade tendered his resignation to the President as soon as he discovered that General Lee had crossed the Potomac, but that the President refused to accept it.
The United States' District Court has affirmed the decisions of the Lower Court, condemning the steamers Ouachita and Elizabeth, the schooner J. S. Toone, the brig Sarah Star, and the cargo belonging to Mr. D. Evans, but has reversed the decision condemning the cargo belonging to Mr. Monroe.
Mr. Vallandigham, in an address from Niagara, accepts the nomination for Governor of Ohio. He says that, after his journeyings, he found himself a free man, on British soil, and exercised the privileges and rights the usurper had denied him at home. He denies the practicability of subjugating the South by force of arms, and states that he met in the South not a man, woman, or child who was not resolved to perish rather than yield to force. He met no one in the South, whatever his opinions or station, political or private, who did not declare his readiness, when war shall have ceased and the invading armies are withdrawn, to consider and discuss the question of reunion.
The brother of Mr. Vallandigham, a clergyman, together with a Dr. Clarke, were arrested on the 17th, at Newark, Delaware, but were released upon taking the oath of allegiance. No cause was assigned for the arrest.
At New York, on the 25th, gold was at 27 per cent prem., and the exchange on London at 140.
The whaling barque Maria, of New Bedford, United States, the oldest vessel afloat, has just been condemned on the Peruvian coast. She was ninety years old, and was the first ship which carried the United States' flag in the British Channel after the revolution.
The Hon. W. Whiting comes to Europe by the Asia as the accredited agent of the Federal Government to the European Courts, and as legal adviser to the Federal Ministers in England and France, in reference to important matters. His mission is said to have direct reference to the fitting out of privateers.