Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1239, p. 26.
January 9, 1864
We have news from New York to December 26. Everything was quiet to that date in the army of the Potomac. The troops were settling down into comfortable winter quarters. Nothing of importance was known to have occurred recently in General Lee's army. A slight skirmish took place on the 20th ult. between a small body of guerrillas and some of Gregg's cavalry, near Morgansburg. The Confederates retreated after a few shots were exchanged.
General Longstreet had inflicted a check on a body of Federals at Bear Station, and was reported to be contemplating fresh operations; but it was said that his railway communication with Richmond had been more or less obstructed by a successful "raid" made on the Virginia and Tennessee Railway by the Federal General Averill.
General Joe Johnston was moving to reinforce Hardee, and was, it is said, to take the command of the Southern army in Georgia.
The Federals are going into winter quarters at Chattanooga.
The Confederates in Arkansas were reported to be about to attack Little Rock, but they had sustained a repulse in an attempt on the outposts of Fort Gibson.
General Rosecranz [i.e., Rosecrans] is to supersede General Schofield in Missouri.
The bombardment of Charleston continued. It had been reported that several monitors and the iron-clad frigate Ironsides had become entangled in the obstructions placed in Charleston Harbour, and were in a very dangerous position; but it had subsequently been declared that there was no foundation for the report.
There was a rumour at New Orleans that a mutiny had broken out among the coloured troops in Fort Jackson. The Federals had abandoned the Teche country.
There is no news of importance from Texas. Generals Banks and Kirby Smith were exchanging prisoners.
The Federal Congress have voted 20,000,000 dols. for bounties and advance pay to volunteers, and passed a vote against submitting the legality of the Conscription Act to the Supreme Court.
The New York Herald has commenced a systematic attack upon President Lincoln, saying that his fatuity and imbecility, where his personal partialities are concerned, pass all belief, and that he is an amiable sort of man, but his works are too costly.
Mr. Secretary Stanton states, in his report to President Lincoln, that up to midsummer last there had been issued to the Federal troops by the War Department since the present war began, 1,550,576 muskets and rifles for foot soldiers, 327,170 carbines and pistols for mounted troops, 271,817 sabres, 1,745,586 cannon balls and shells, 50,045,515 lb. of lead and lead bullets, 2,274,490 cartridges for artillery, 378,584,104 cartridges for small arms, 715,036,470 percussion-caps, 6,082,505 friction primers, 13,071,073 lb. of gunpowder, 1,680,220 sets of accoutrements for infantry, and 196,298 for cavalry.
General M'Clellan was adopted as a candidate at the next presidential election by a meeting of the Conservative Union National Committee, held at Philadelphia on the 23rd ult. Judge Campbell was nominated for the vice-presidency.
General Burnside is in New York, receiving much public attention.
General Corcoran has been killed by a fall from his horse.
The passport system for passengers leaving by American vessels has been revived.
Federal war-vessels have been stationed off the Narrows to overhaul vessels leaving New York.
The English barque Circassian has been seized at New York by the Provost Marshal, and many arrests, both male and female, have been made on board.
Advices from fortress Monroe state that General Butler has issued an order for enrolling all ablebodied citizens, white and coloured, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five in his department.
At the ceremony of turning the first sod of the Atlantic and Pacific Railway, in Nebraska, Mr. Poppleton, of Omaha, citizen and promoter of the railway, thus addressed the assembly:--"Fellow-citizens of Omaha and Council Bluffs,--On the 13th day of October, 1854, about seven o'clock in the evening, I was set down by the Western Stage Company at yonder city of Council Bluffs. At the rising of the sun on the following morning I climbed to the summit of one of the bluffs which overlook that prosperous and enterprising town, and took one long and lingering look across the Missouri at the beautiful site on which now sits, in the full vigour of business, social and religious life, the youthful but thriving, and this day jubilant, city of Omaha. Early in the day I crossed the river, and along a narrow path, cut by some stalwart man through the tall, rank, prairie grass, I wended my way in search of the post-office. At length I found an old pioneer seated, apparently in solitary rumination, upon a piece of hewn timber, and inquired of him for the post-office. He replied that he was the postmaster, and would examine the office for my letters, Thereupon he removed from his head a hat, to say the least of it, somewhat veteran in appearance, and drew from its cavernous depths the coveted letters. On that day the wolves and the Omahas were the almost undisputed lords of the soil, and the entire postal system of the city was conducted in the crown of this venerable hat! To-day, at least 4000 radiant faces gladden our streets, and the postal service, sheltered by a costly edifice, strikes its Briarien arms towards the north, the south, the east, and the west, penetrating regions then unexplored and unknown, and bearing the symbols of values then hidden in the mountains and beneath the streams of which the world in its wildest vagaries had never dreamed."--Mr. Train took a prominent part in the celebration, making a speech in which he was unsparing in his abuse of England. The Republican, speaking of Mr. Train's appearance, says, "By special request of the ladies, Mr. T. mounted a buggy, threw off his overcoat, laid down his hat, rolled up his sleeves, and in another moment the steam was on, and he was under full headway."
The Governor of Texas had issued a message declaring that there can be no peace until the Southern Confederacy shall have been recognised.
A correspondence between Jefferson Davis and the Pope has been published. The two eminent personages are charmingly courteous to each other. Mr. Davis informs the Pope that the laws of the Southern Confederacy ensure to every one the enjoyment of his temporal rights and the free exercise of his religion. He presumes, no doubt, that the Pope has never heard of the negro population. Mr. Davis finally prays that Heaven may prolong the Pope's days. The Pope, in return, prays that the God of pity may shed upon Davis the light of His grace.
It is stated in the Richmond Enquirer that Jefferson Davis will soon make a decided change in the whole Government, and also in the army.
The substitute system has been abrogated in the Confederate Congress.
The steamer Vanderbilt has captured the barque Saxon off Cape Town, and the Angela Pequina on the West Coast of Africa.
The schooner J. L. Gerity, which left Matamoras on Nov. 16 with a cargo of cotton and six passengers, was captured at sea by the passengers, who overpowered the captain and crew and set them adrift in an open boat. After two days they landed at Sisal.