Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 43, no. 1224, p. 327.
October 3, 1863
There is no important news from Charleston. The Federals were engaged up to the 15th ult. in shelling Fort Moultrie from Morris Island, and the Confederates were maintaining a steady fire upon the Federal position. A few incidents are reported. A magazine in one of the batteries upon James Island accidentally exploded on the 15th ult., causing the death of a Lieutenant and five men. One of the 800-pounder Blakely guns belonging to the Confederates burst on the 16th, owing to the piece being too much elevated in an attempt to throw a long shot. General Beauregard, it is stated, unfavourably regards the use of these monster cannon, and has telegraphed to the authorities at Richmond not to send him any more of them. General Gilmore has tendered his resignation on account of a disagreement with Admiral Dahlgren. It is supposed the latter will be superseded. General Beauregard's official report of the repulse of the boat attack upon Sumter, dated the 9th ult., states that the captures were 113 officers and privates, four boats, and three flags.
The news from Virginia is important. General Lee has fallen back from the line of the Rappahannock towards Gordonsville. General Meade's army was advancing, but its vanguard had not yet succeeded in passing the Rapidan, although there had been much skirmishing, and although it was reported that the Confederate army was not large and was about to retire on Richmond, or even, according to another rumour, to evacuate the state of Virginia. It was said that General Johnston had been summoned to command the Confederate forces in Virginia, in the room of General Lee, who had proceeded to the South for an important purpose, and that a large portion of General Lee's troops had been moved southward to join General Bragg--General Longstreet's corps having already arrived at Resaca, in Georgia.
General Bragg was believed to be strongly established near Lafayette, in Georgia; there had been minor engagements between different divisions of his army and the Federal troops in which the Confederates claim the advantage. The Federal General Rosencranz [i.e., Rosecrans] was said to have assumed a strong defensive attitude at Chattanooga. It is asserted that General Burnside, at the urgent request of the President, has withdrawn his resignation.
The capture of Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, by the Federals is officially reported. The Confederates retreated southward, pursued by the Federal cavalry.
A disaster had been experienced by a portion of the Federal expedition which, under General Franklin's command, had left New Orleans for Texas. An attempt to effect a landing at Sabine Pass had been repulsed by the Confederates, who captured one Federal gun-boat and destroyed another.
The purser of the Tasmanian furnishes the following particulars relative to the captured ship Atlantic, the recapture of which was stated in our last:--"On the 3rd ult. the British brig Atlantic arrived at Havannah, having been captured (with cotton from Matamoras) off the Rio Grande del Norte by a Federal ship. A prize crew, consisting of one lieutenant and six men, was put on board to take her to New Orleans, leaving of the Atlantic's crew only the captain, ship's cook, and the boy on board. Whilst the Federal lieutenant and part of his crew were asleep, the captain and the other two succeeded in securing them, and afterwards the watch on deck, and having thus recaptured his vessel took her into the port of Havannah."
Some of the more recent doings of the Alabama and her consorts will be found recorded in our Cape news.
President Lincoln has suspended the Habeas Corpus Act throughout the United States in all cases where the military, naval, or civil Government officers hold persons under their command or custody as prisoners of war, spies, aiders, or abettors of the enemy, enrolled, draughted, enlisted, or mustered officers, soldiers, or seamen, in the Federal service, or deserters. This suspension will be continued in force during the duration of the rebellion, or until President Lincoln sees fit to revoke it. The Judge of the New York District Court has decided that President Lincoln's proclamation prevented writs of habeas corpus being granted in cases occurring before or after its issue.
The Republicans have carried the Maine election by a large majority.
The Government has commenced to construct a national railroad between Danville, Kentucky, and Knoxville, Tennessee.
A fearful state of affairs is reported to exist on the Kansas-Missouri borders. Martial law is in future to be rigidly enforced throughout the department of the Missouri.
The Richmond Whig announces the death of General Sam Houston, of Texas, at his residence in Huntersville. He was seventy years old.
A despatch from Memphis, published in the New York papers, says that a fearful riot occurred in Mobile on the 4th ult. A party of soldiers' wives, to the number of 600, paraded the city with exciting mottoes on their banners, such as "Bread or Peace!" The soldiers offered no opposition to the display; but, in some instances, the citizens attempted to arrest the progress of the procession. Intense excitement prevailed.
Advices from California are to the 18th ult. The steamer Nevada had arrived at San Francisco, from Oregon and British Columbia, with 375,000 dols. in treasure. Cars had commenced running from San Francisco to within seventeen miles of San José, over the Western Pacific Railroad. Twenty-five miles would be in order for passenger cars within a month. The rest of the road to San José will be completed by January. The steamer Senator had sailed for the southern coast, completely loaded with passengers and freight for the mines lately discovered 150 miles east of the Colorado River, now called the San Francisco mining district. The excitement in the southern part of the State concerning this new district was very great, and crowds were flocking in that direction. Parties recently returned to Los Angeles with considerable quantities of gold report discoveries of valuable quartz lead in the San Francisco mountains, and exhibit rich specimens.
An extra Session of the State Legislature of Virginia was opened on the 17th ult., at Richmond, when Governor Letcher delivered an uncompromising message. He observes that the Federals, having found themselves incapable of making head against the regular armies of the South, had resorted to a policy of desolation, and were sending their columns into Southern territory on missions of devastation, pillage, and havoc. To repel these raids it was necessary to raise some species of local force; but the task had become a hard one. The entire military force of the State, militia included, had been absorbed by the armies in the field, so that the Commonwealth remained without any organised levies whatever. Every fighting man, as fighting men are usually defined, had been already carried off, so that the new local militia had to be extemporised from such imperfect or neglected materials as remained. Every boy over sixteen, and every man under sixty, should be called, the Governor thought, without exception, to the service of the State. Hitherto. certain religious communions have been exempted, for conscience sake, from military duty, and allowed to compound for such service by a money payment; but Governor Letcher thinks they should be indulged no longer, and required, at any rate, to work on the fortifications if they cannot actually fight. All foreigners, too, except travellers and temporary sojourners, should share the obligations of native Virginians, and carry arms for the State. By these means, and by the enrolment of every man and boy not physically disabled, the Governor concludes that a local force may be raised of sufficient strength to defend the territory against the inroads of the enemy.
Peace propositions in the Virginian Legislature have been voted down by thirty-eight to one.