Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 43, no. 1219, p. 207.
August 29, 1863
The British, French, Russian, Spanish, Prussian, Italian, and Swedish Ministers have left Washington, accompanied by Mr. Seward, upon an excursion to the Northern Lakes.
No movement of consequence has been made by either of the belligerents in Virginia. The intense heat, under which existence is barely endurable, has rendered military operations all but impossible. There had been no considerable change in the position of either army. General Lee's head-quarters are at Gordonsville, and the main body of his army lies on the line of the Rapidan. Guerillas continue to annoy the Federals, who are consequently preparing to expel all the inhabitants capable of bearing arms from the country north of the Rappahannock and east of the Blue Ridge. General Lee is stated to hold most of the mountainous passes from the Rappahannock to the Potomac, and to be meditating a simultaneous attack on the front and rear of General Meade's army. General Meade has been visiting Washington. It is stated that he persists in resigning the command of the Federal army of the Potomac, and that he will be succeeded by Grant or Rosencranz [i.e., Rosencrans]. General Meade has published a report from General Kilpatrick, contradicting General Lee's official denial of the accuracy of Meade's report of the engagement on July 14 at Falling Waters.
General Foster, with the iron-clad steamer Sangamon and some other vessels, had proceeded up the James River, in order to reconnoitre Fort Darling; but he was compelled to retreat down the river when he was still seven miles below the fort--the explosion of a torpedo having seriously damaged one of his vessels, and some of his officers and men having been killed and wounded by a heavy fire from the banks.
From Charleston we learn that on the 7th Fort Sumter and the batteries on Morris Island were engaged in keeping up a terrific bombardment on the Federal position. General Gilmore had received reinforcements of 8000 men. A combined land and naval attack was to be made on Charleston on the 13th, which the Federals were sanguine would result in the capture of Forts Sumter and Wagner, and Point Cumming. The Confederates, however, were making great preparations to repel the attack. It is rumoured that the 300-pounder Parrot gun, sent to Charleston to be used against Fort Sumter, was lost overboard at Morris Island.
A Federal force had marched through Arkansas, and other forces were preparing to clear the western shore of the Mississippi of Confederates.
Commander Bell has superseded Admiral Farragut in the Gulf Department.
Numerous guerrilla bands are marauding throughout the interior counties of Missouri.
Great excitement has been created throughout California by a contemplated rising of Secessionists, and an affray had occurred at Vasalia, in the northern part of the State, between the United States' soldiers and Secessionists. Outbreaks are also stated to have taken place in Santa Clara and Salano counties, north and south of San Francisco, and, to meet any threatened emergency, the fortifications of San Francisco are to be commenced immediately.
There were rumours that the Confederate Government was about to begin arming negroes for service against the Federal armies.
The military appointments of President Davis have elicited strong remonstrances from a portion of the Richmond press, and the Examiner roundly asserts that the Confederacy is weary of the flagrant mismanagement of Mr. Davis's Administration. It adds, however, that the spirit of resistance is as strong as ever.
The Secretary of War has ordered Confederate prisoners to be confined and held as hostages for three negroes captured on board the steamer Isaac Smith, whom the Confederates refuse to exchange.
There has been a tart correspondence between the President and the Governor of New York--the latter urging that the levy should be suspended till some alleged inequalities should be rectified, the former refusing to suspend it. The Judge Advocate of the State of New York had made an official report, declaring that the enrolment of men liable to the conscription in New York had been fraudulently made, with the purpose of levying an undue proportion of recruits from the districts where the Democratic voters formed the majority of the constituency. One Mr. Ebener committed suicide at New York to avoid the draught. His friends had joked him about it, and scared him into insanity.
The New York Times, of the 5th inst., gives a list of forty-seven inquests held by the coroners on the previous day on persons who had been sunstruck. Most of them were natives of Ireland. On the 11th inst. twenty fatal cases of sunstroke were reported to the Coroner of New York. Manhattan, the Standard's correspondent at New York, says that from 110 to 130 had perished from this cause in one week.
Mr. Sedgwick, late chairman of the Congressional Naval Committee, published a letter in reference to Mr. Laird's statements that he had been asked by the Federal Government to build ships of war. Mr. Sedgwick says a Mr. Howard, of New York, came to him in July, 1860, and made proposals, as he said, at the instance of Mr. Laird. He was referred to the Secretary of the Navy, who declined to enter into negotiations. Mr. Howard, says Mr. Sedgwick, was not an agent of the Navy Department.