Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1258, p. 486.
May 21, 1864
We have news from New York to the 4th inst. No collision had down to that time taken place between the hostile armies in Virginia. There were rumours that General Grant had put his troops in motion, but it was quite uncertain whether there was any foundation for them. The Federals had evacuated Washington, in North Carolina; and the Confederates were reported to have invested Newbern. General Beauregard was said to have assumed the chief command of the Confederate forces in North Carolina. General Banks had retreated down the Red River as far as Alexandria, where his gun-boats and transports, with the exception of the gun-boat Eastport, had also arrived. Nothing was known respecting the position of General Steele's corps, which had advanced from Arkansas in order to co-operate with General Banks in attacking Shreveport. The Confederates had captured and burned the Federal gun-boat Petrel two miles above Yazoo City.
The Washington ladies have organised a patriotic association, of which the objects are thus summarised by the New York World, in its "sensation headings" to a report of the inaugural meeting:--"No more foreign goods. Formation of a ladies' covenant. Flora M'Flimsey to be put in Coventry. Hon. Mrs. Shoddy in a new dress. No imported jewellery, diamonds, silks, opera-cloaks, laces, or loves of bonnets. What is asked of the men? The ladies demand that they shall give up imported wines, liquors, and cigars. The social revolution. Ladies to drink catnip tea and the men Jersey lightning. French boots and Paris lapdogs to be kicked out altogether." As stated by themselves, the object of the meeting, which is described as composed of the wives of members of the Cabinet and of senators and representatives, of well-known authoresses, women of fashion, mothers who had lost their sons, and wives who had lost their husbands, is to "unite the women of the country in the earnest resolution to purchase no imported articles of apparel where American can possibly be substituted during the continuance of the war." The name of the association was declared to be "the Ladies National Covenant," and "a black bee, with wings enamelled according to nature," selected as the badge of the covenant, "to be worn with a tricolour ribbon a little in front of the left shoulder." After transacting its business, the meeting, at the instance of a gentleman present, "delayed adjournment till photographed."
Admiral Wilkes, the officer concerned in the Trent affair, has come to professional disgrace. He has been found guilty by court-martial of disobedience of orders, negligence in obeying orders, disrespectful language to his superior officer, refusal of obedience to the general orders issued by the Secretary of the Navy, and other conduct unbecoming an officer. He was sentenced to be publicly reprimanded by the Secretary of the Navy, and to be suspended for three years.
Congress has passed a resolution equalising the pay of coloured and white troops, and the House of Representatives has passed a bill adding three dollars a month to the soldiers' pay.
The House of Representatives has appointed a Committee to investigate the charges of fraud in the Treasury Department.
There has been great agitation in the New York Money Market, and the premium was once as high as 94 per cent.
The St. Louis correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette writes that the largest Indian expedition ever fitted out is moving towards Idaho, having for its object the subjugation or extermination of the Sioux Indians.