Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1246, p. 199.
February 27, 1864
We have news from New York to the 13th inst. Of war movements we learn, among other matters, that General Meade made a reconnaissance on the 5th, on the south side of the Rapidan, where he found Lee in force, and, after a brief engagement, retired; that 4000 Confederates made a demonstration against Cumberland Gap on the 29th ult., but, after heavy skirmishing, were driven back; that General Sherman's whole force has crossed the Black River, with a view to a junction with a cavalry and infantry force--it is supposed to flank Johnston and Hardee in Alabama and Georgia; that Admiral Porter is fitting out a formidable fleet on the Mississippi; and that, the siege of Charleston having proved a failure, General Gilmore and Admiral Dahlgren had dispatched a land and naval expedition to Florida, and, having made a landing at Jacksonville, the expedition was supposed to be advancing on Tallahassee.
On the night of the 2nd a large steamer entered Charleston Harbour, unobserved by the Federal fleet, and was not discovered until the morning of the 3rd, when she had run aground and was landing her cargo under the guns of Fort Moultrie. The Federal batteries opened on her, and shortly afterwards she sank.
The British gun-boat Petrel arrived at Charleston on the 5th, wishing to communicate with the British Consul at Savannah. Admiral Dahlgren refused permission, and the Petrel put to sea.
A considerable force, sent by General Butler towards Richmond for the purpose of surprising the Confederates and releasing the Federal prisoners, was discovered when within twelve miles of the city, and obliged to return. The Richmond Examiner mentions the arrest of a German as the ringleader of a plot for the release of the prisoners and the assassination of Jefferson Davis.
General Meade made a speech at Philadelphia, stating that since March, 1861, 100,000 men of the Potomac army have been killed and wounded.
The Conscription Bill has passed Congress. Slaves between the ages of fourteen and forty-five are liable to be draughted, loyal owners to be compensated.
The Judiciary Committee in Congress has reported adversely to Mr. Sumner's amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, but reported favourably on the resolution declaring that Congress shall have power to legislate that slavery shall not exist within the United States.
The German Republicans of New Jersey declare in favour of Butler, Fremont, or any other Radical candidate for the presidency who will guarantee an emancipation and confiscation policy.
An express-train has been captured eight miles from Harper's Ferry, and the passengers have been robbed. It is not known whether the attack was made by the Confederates or by gangs of Federal deserters.
The Halifax Admiralty Court has restored the Chesapeake and her cargo to the owners on the payment of legal expenses.