Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 43, no. 1227, p. 407.
October 24, 1863
We have news from New York, by way of Cape Race, to the evening of Oct. 12. By the information received, which is not very definite, dealing largely in rumours, we learn that the relative positions of the belligerents are practically unchanged.
The progress in the siege of Charleston is far from encouraging to the assailants. General Gilmore had been obliged to remove his head-quarters from Morris Island to Folly Island, in consequence of height of the the tides and "other causes," and had to begin de novo the destruction of Fort Sumter, which the Confederates had restored to a state of defense. The Confederates had made an attack on the Federal fleet, in which the Ironsides was much damaged and the other vessels greatly alarmed for their safety. A combined land and naval attack upon the place was to take place on the 11th.
The Confederate army in Virginia was making movements which seemed to indicate a recommencement of offensive operations. Near Robertson's River the Federals attacked Stuart's cavalry, and were repulsed.
Rosecranz [i.e., Rosecrans] is "in safety" at Chattanooga, and Bragg is still concentrating his forces in preparation for the final attack. Burnside remains at Knoxville. General Johnston has taken possession of the passes leading from Mississippi into Tennessee, with the view of intercepting the reinforcements which General Rosecranz expects from that quarter; whilst Bragg has equally cut off all hope of supplies from the north-east. A telegram to the Richmond Inquirer from General Bragg's army announces that the Confederates, on Missionary Ridge, shelled the position of General Rosecranz for several hours on the 6th inst. Federal accounts viâ Nashville, on the 7th and 8th, state that skirmishing was of constant occurrence, and that another general engagement was considered imminent. Reports had been received at Nashville that Shelbyville, with all the Federal troops there, had been captured by the Confederates. This rumour, however, has not been corroborated. On the contrary, we are told that the Confederate cavalry had been overtaken below Shelbyville and routed, with a loss of 100 killed. General Bragg is said to have been heavily reinforced from Richmond and elsewhere, and that his forces now number at least 175,000 men. It is also represented that 55,000 troops, under the command of General Joe Johnston, are held as reserves. General Rosecranz has also received reinforcements.
In Kentucky the Confederate General Wheeler had been defeated.
There are rumours of Confederate movements in Kansas.
From the Mississippi reports have reached Washington of a serious defeat having been sustained by the Federal army, with the loss of fifteen hundred prisoners. Which was the particular army that sustained this crushing defeat, or which the army that achieved the victory, are not mentioned.
General Banks had ordered the conscription in Louisiana, and negroes on the plantations were to be detailed for service.
Twelve merchant steamers had been burnt on the Mississippi, it was supposed by Confederate emissaries.
At New Orleans a malignant fever had broken out in the Federal fleet.
President Lincoln has issued a proclamation desiring all Americans, whether at home or abroad, to observe the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving. Mr. Lincoln's reasons are said to be:--"That, although in the midst of a stupendous civil war, the industrial resources of the country are more than ever flourishing; that its population, notwithstanding the waste in the camp and on the battle-field, is steadily increasing; and that its peaceful relations with foreign Powers have been preserved, even though the severity of its domestic conflict seemed to invite and provoke the aggression of foreign States."