Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 43, no. 1235, p. 582.
December 12, 1863
The Confederates have sustained a severe defeat in Tennessee. With a daring confidence, General Longstreet hastened from before Chattanooga, with some 36,000 picked troops, to carry Knoxville, 100 miles to the north-east, by a coup-de-main. Burnside slowly retired before him, disputing the ground, till he was within the intrenchments of that town, which Longstreet had by the last accounts invested, except on one side. An obstinate resistance was expected, Burnside having orders to hold out to the last extremity. Meanwhile, the heavy reinforcements under Sherman reached Chattanooga unexpectedly early, and Grant resolved at once to relieve Burnside by assailing Bragg. On the 24th ult., by a series of skilful manœuvres, and after much hard fighting, he drove the Confederates from Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, which overlook Chattanooga, capturing, it is said, 5000 prisoners and sixty guns. Next day Bragg hastily retreated from the position he had taken up, abandoning stores and materials, and destroying the bridges behind him. "The rout of the enemy," says General Grant, "was complete." Bragg retired towards Dalton, in the direction of the railway which communicates with Knoxville. Here definite information ends.
General Meade's whole army crossed the Rapidan, on the 27th ult., at Culpepper and Germania Fords, without encountering any serious resistance. The Confederate army, which was said not to exceed 50,000 men, was believed to be falling back towards Richmond. It had, however, been previously stated that a battle was imminent, and that President Jefferson Davis had spent two days in reviewing the Confederate army.
At Charleston little progress had been made. The whole of the seawall of Fort Sumter had been battered down, but the Confederates were erecting bombproofs on the ruins. The Federals had been repulsed in a demonstration on rafts against Fort Sumter. The Richmond Enquirer of the 11th ult. gives the following review of the several Federal attacks on Fort Sumter:--Since the bombardment of Sumter, commenced on the 17th of August, up to Thursday last, 15,583 shot had been fired at it, of which 12,302 struck. Twenty-seven of the garrison have been killed and sixty-nine wounded. The flag has been shot away thirty-four times, the average weight of shot being 200 lb. The weight of iron, 3,116,000 lb., or 115,439 lb. to each man killed, and 30,307 lb., for each casualty. If the charges of powder averaged 15 lb., we have 8659 lb. to each man killed, and 2434 lb. to each casualty. Sumter in ruins laughs at her enemy, who still fears to pass her battered walls. Charleston has a valuable iron mine in the fort.
The Southern papers have a report of a defeat of the Federal General Franklin in Louisiana; but there is no confirmation of the story.
The New York Tribune affirms that President Lincoln will announce in his message a plan for restoring the States to union which will be in accordance with the furtherance of the emancipation proclamation.
It is pretty evident that Abraham Lincoln will be the Republican candidate in the next presidential election. The Abolitionists may be said to have nominated him for re-election by the mouth of Mr. Wendell Phillips. "The man who had the heart to originate the emancipation proclamation," says the Abolitionist leader, "ought to remain in power six years longer at least." This decided utterance sufficiently disproves the story which represented the President, on the authority of Mr. Phillips, as saying that the proclamation was the greatest mistake of his life.
The New York Times states that the number of negroes who have been armed and mustered into the service of the Federal Government amounts to 40,000.
No less than 5821 men are advertised in New York as not having reported themselves for service in the Federal army, although their names were drawn from the ballot-box as draughted men.
By the opening of the Atlantic and Great Western line to Cleveland, in Ohio, passengers can now, for the first time, be conveyed, without change of carriage, from New York to the lakes--an unbroken distance of 618 miles.
Admiral Lissovsky has selected Hampton Roads as the winter quarters of the Russian fleet. The Brooklyn navy-yard was offered, but he declined, on account of the difficulty of keeping his officers and men on board near a large city.
The New York Times asserts that 2,000,000 bales of cotton are said to be stored at Atlanta, which General Bragg will have great difficulty in removing before General Grant reaches the city.