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Foreign and Colonial News

The Illustrated London News, vol. 43, no. 1218, p. 182.

August 22, 1863


The Federal army of the Potomac has not made any movements of importance. Skirmishes between the Federals and Confederates are, however, of daily occurrence. On the 1st of August a considerable force of Federal cavalry, under General Buford, crossed the Rappanannock, and encountered the Confederates under General Stuart, when considerable slaughter took place. The advantage remained with the latter, Buford's forces being compelled to beat a retreat. It is stated that Longstreet has taken possession of the heights behind Fredericksburg once more; and that Lee's army, with the exception of Hill's corps, is south of the Rapidan. This movement from Culpepper appears to have been caused by General Meade crossing the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, which would endanger Lee's retreat to Richmond; and, supposing a part of his army to be with Longstreet at Fredericksburg, he would incur the risk of being defeated in detail. General Meade's pickets extend two miles and a half beyond the south bank of the Rappahannock. The railroad bridge across the river at Rappahannock station has been rebuilt. The Baltimore correspondent of the New York Herald says that by the middle of August General Lee's army will be reinforced to the number of 150,000 men, with 300 pieces of artillery, and, if by that time Meade has not advanced, Lee will assume the offensive and move from Fredericksburg direct on Alexandria by way of Bank's Ford, Dumfries, and Occoquan, or else by way of Manassas Junction, Centreville, and Fairfax, to Arlington Heights. Meantime, General Meade has been reinforced by 15,000 men from Grants army.

The latest intelligence received from Charleston was to the 4th, when the siege was still progressing. The Federal steamer Ironsides was within 500 yards of Fort Sumter, and Gilmore's batteries were expected to open fire from Morris Island in a few days. It is reported that the batteries being erected by General Gilmore on Morris Island are of such calibre that Fort Sumter cannot stand before them an hour and a half after the fire is opened. The Confederates in Fort Wagner made a sortie, but were driven back, with heavy loss. A letter from Charleston, published in the Boston Traveller, confirms the statement that the Confederate shot pierced the plating in the decks of the Monitors. Three of these shots struck the Nahant during the recent attack upon Fort Wagner, and considerably damaged that vessel.

Several of the New York rioters have been tried and convicted, and sentenced to terms of imprisonment varying from three to fifteen years. The claims put in for compensation for property destroyed amount, up to the present time, to 1,092,309 dols. The New York Democratic State Convention has been called to assemble at Albany on Sept. 9. A proposal is to be brought before the New York Chamber of Commerce for the construction of a ship canal to the west, by way of the Chanub and Champlain canals, for the purpose of throwing the commerce of the north-west and Canada through the State of New York. The Governor of New York supported the scheme.

The draught in Washington has been completed. It gives an aggregate of 3700 whites and 1250 coloured conscripts. Guards have been placed on all the roads and rivers leading from Washington in order to prevent conscripts from escaping.

The Maine Democratic State Convention has passed strong resolutions denouncing the course of the Lincoln Administration.

The national day of thanksgiving in commemoration of the recent Union successes, kept on the 6th inst., in compliance with the President's proclamation, was observed in Washington, New York, and other cities by a general suspension of business and by religious services in the various churches.

The possibility of a war with England forms the subject of an article in the Washington Republican, which is described as a semi-official organ. We are accused of "injustice, insolence, and outrage for a series of years," but retribution is looming in the future. The first thing to be done on the outbreak of hostilities would be the conversion of the steam marine of the Northern States into privateers, and then, as a matter of course, "British commerce would be driven from the ocean." The Government have, however, repudiated this and similar statements of the Republicans.

It seems that we are not in much better odour with the press of the South than with that of the North. The Richmond Examiner thinks it is the determination of the British Government and people to do no act that shall tend to abridge war, or help the South, or involve itself in a quarrel with the United States. "The South,["] it continues, "has no worse enemies than the British Government; not that the British Government is a friend of the North, but it hates the whole American people, and all their diplomacy will be to prolong war by preventing the interference of any other nation." The Examiner, however, thinks that Napoleon's possession of Mexico will render his interference compulsory whenever it shall become evident that the Southern Confederacy shall cease to exist without it, for the crown of Mexico will be untenable on the day when the subjugation of the South shall be completed, and the United States power restored.

The Raleigh (North Carolina) Standard denounces President Davis's Government, and urges North Carolina to send a delegation to Washington, to see what terms can be obtained, without waiting for Davis. The Richmond Inquirer urges President Davis to suppress the Standard, and to wipe out the North Carolina Supreme Court.

The Federal prisoners now in Richmond number 4300, including 523 commissioned officers.

Considerable excitement exists in Columbus, Ohio, caused by invalid soldiers tearing down flags inscribed with the names of Vallandigham and Pugh. One soldier was nearly killed, and all the soldiers in the city were confined to their barracks. Copperheads afterwards paraded the streets and replaced the flags.

In Kentucky the Union ticket has been elected by a large majority.

A collision has taken place between the "Copperheads" and the "Union men" in Iowa. It is reported that the former number 4000,

Page 183

and are fully armed. The military have been despatched to the scene of conflict.

From the Mississippi there is not much of importance, except the reported routing of General Banks, with a loss of 600 men. At New Orleans the Union Association had passed a resolution opposing the organisation of the State Government under a Constitution recognising slavery. For the purpose of keeping open the navigation of the Mississippi, the Federal Government is understood to have determined upon the organisation of an army of 100,000 negroes, and the President has officially proclaimed that if the enemy enslave or sell any captured black soldiers in the service of the United States, his officers will adopt a policy of retaliation. For every Federal soldier killed in violation of the laws of warfare a Confederate soldier will he executed, and for every one enslaved or sold into slavery a Confederate soldier will be placed at hard labour on public works, and kept at labour until the other be released and receive the treatment due to prisoners of war. The alleged wholesale slaughter of the negro soldiers before Port Hudson is contradicted. There were engaged in the siege of Port Hudson two regiments of coloured troops, numbering together 1245 men. Of these, twenty-eight were killed, and 169 wounded by gunshots and falling trees. General Grant's official despatch states that during his operations in Mississippi he captured 39,000 prisoners, 31,000 of whom were paroled and 8000 sent North. Yazoo City has been stripped in consequence of the hostile attitude of the people. Quantities of merchandise and furniture and numbers of negroes have been carried away. Earl Russell has sent to Lloyd's a notification which he has received from Washington, in respect to the navigation of the Mississippi. It is to the effect that vessels trading to New Orleans and up the Mississippi will be convoyed between New Orleans and Vicksburg by Federal gun-boats. The Confederate Secretary of the Treasury has written a letter stating that, as the fall of Port Hudson and Vicksburg exposes to the enemy the Government cotton purchase in Mississippi and Louisiana, many planters will probably leave their plantations. The military authorities will therefore, he says, destroy all cotton they cannot preserve from the enemy. The cotton will be destroyed only when there is imminent danger of the enemy capturing it. No cotton has arrived at New Orleans since the fall of Port Hudson.

President Davis has issued an address to the Confederate army, in which he says:--

After two years of warfare the enemy continues a struggle in which our final triumph must be inevitable. Unduly elated with recent success, he imagines that temporary reverses can quell your spirit or shake your determination, and now gathers heavy masses together for a general invasion, vainly hoping that by desperate efforts success may be reached. You know what the enemy means by success. His malignant rage aims at nothing lees than the extermination of yourselves, your wives, and children; to destroy what he cannot plunder, to partition our homes as the spoils of victory, to incite servile insurrection, and to debauch an inferior race hitherto contented by promising the indulgence of the vilest passions as the price of treachery. Conscious of their inability to prevail by legitimate means, and not caring to make peace lest they should be hurled from power, the men now ruling in Washington refuse even to confer on the subject of ending outrages disgracing the age, or to listen to any suggestion for conducting the war according to civilised usages. No alternative is left you but victory or subjugation, and the utter ruin of yourselves, your families, and your country. Victory is within your grasp. You need but stretch forth your hands to grasp it. All that is necessary is, that all should promptly repair to military duty; and I now grant a general pardon and amnesty to all officers and men within the Confederacy who may be absent without leave, and who shall without delay return to their duty; but no excuse will be received for any delay beyond twenty days after this this proclamation.
President Davis finally conjures all the women of the Confederacy to use their influence in aiding this call, and to take care that none who owe duty in the field shall be sheltered at home.

The Federal Government is about to increase its naval force in the Pacific.

A Federal war-steamer has sunk a vessel endeavouring to run out of Charleston. It is supposed that her crew and a cargo of cotton are lost.

Judge Betts, of the Marine Court, has condemned the steamer Peterhoff and cargo. The ground given for her condemnation was that "she was laden with contraband of war with the knowledge of the owners; she was not truly destined to Matamoras for the purposes of commerce within the authority of public law, but to some other place both in aid and for the use of the enemy, and in violation of the law of nations; the ship's papers were simulated, and false as to her real destination." The schooner Stephen Hart, and the barque Sally Magree have been condemned. The brig Isabella Thompson and her cargo have been restored to the owners without damages or costs, and with permission to the libellants to furnish further proof. The schooner Glen and her cargo have been restored to the owners, with costs and damages.

The steamer Ruth was burnt on the Mississippi during a voyage from St. Louis to New Orleans; thirty lives were lost, together with a large amount of Government funds in the hands of the paymaster on board.

Captain Maffitt, of the Florida steamer, a Confederate cruiser, in a letter to his family, published in the Southern journals, states that to May 17 he had destroyed 10,000,000 dollars' worth of Northern commerce, and had eluded thirteen Federal cruisers sent to capture his vessel and the Alabama. He adds that the Alabama and Florida together destroyed ten Federal vessels of the largest class on April 22 within sixty miles of each other. A telegram from Queenstown states that the Florida was off Kinsale on Monday. She put three passengers on board a pilot-boat.

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