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Foreign and Colonial Intelligence

The Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1262, p. 535.

June 4, 1864


We have information from New York to the afternoon of the 21st ult. Preceding accounts informed us that on the morning of the 13th General Lee had retreated from the scene of battle of the 12th at Spottsylvania, and that General Grant was in hot pursuit. This report we were enabled to contradict in a portion of our Impression last week. Lee still holds a strong position north of the Spottsylvania Courthouse, and the two armies are confronting each other. No fighting occurred for several days after the 12th, in consequence, it is stated, of heavy rains. An impression has gained ground that Grant's losses were greater, and the condition of his army less favourable, than was previously supposed. Secretary Stanton announced on the morning of the 18th ult. that, according to General Grant's latest reports, the condition of the roads had improved, and that the Federal Commander-in-Chief, who was receiving large reinforcements, designed moving against the enemy without delay. Facts bore out this assertion, for at daybreak on Wednesday, the 18th, Grant again unsuccessfully assaulted Lee's centre and left. After a desperate conflict, lasting throughout the forenoon, the Federals were forced to retreat, with loss of 1200 killed and wounded. An attack by Lee is stated to have been subsequently made upon Grant's front, and repulsed. On Thursday evening, the 19th, Ewell gained Grant's rear and attempted the capture of the Federal supply-trains. After an hour's fighting, in which the Federals lost upwards of 1000 men, the Confederates returned to their intrenchments, leaving 300 prisoners in the hands of the Federals. General Lee has, it is said, been reinforced from North Carolina and Mississippi.

Reverses have befallen the Federal corps operating against Lee's left flank and rear. Butler has been attacked at Drury's Bluff in front and rear, and compelled to retire within his lines. The Confederates captured General Hickman, with nearly his whole brigade and eight or ten cannon, and drove the whole Federal force to their intrenchments at Bermuda. The Federal loss in killed and wounded is admitted to be 2500. General Ransom commanded the Confederates. General Beauregard is in General Butler's immediate front, preparing to assault his intrenchments. Siegel has been defeated at Newmarket and forced to retreat across the Shenandoah with the loss of five guns and 650 men. General Sheridan's cavalry has, however, marched round Lee's rear, and joined Butler on the Peninsula. He destroyed the railroad at Beaver Dam, Ashland, and had a sharp engagement with General Stuart. He marched between the first and second lines of the Richmond defences, but, finding them too strong for assault, retreated across the Chickahominy to Bottom's Bridge. Richmond papers announce that General J. E. B. Stuart has been killed, and that Longstreet's wound is not mortal. According to Southern accounts the damage done to Lee's lines of communication had been repaired.

The capture of Dalton by Sherman is confirmed, and the retreat of Johnston. Two hard days' fighting had taken place in that quarter. Johnston continues to draw Sherman away from his base. Official despatches from the latter, on the 19th, announce his arrival at Kingston, seventy miles south of Chattanooga, and that he was still advancing and Johnston retiring.

General Banks had been compelled to fight his way overland to the Mississippi.

A severe engagement is progressing at Charleston between the Federal ironclads and the Confederate batteries. Fort Putnam is bombarding Sumter.

Confederate despatches report that a Confederate ram has sunk a Federal gun-boat off Newbern.

A forged proclamation, bearing Mr. Lincoln's signature, calling out 400,000 men and declaring Grant's campaign at an end, was issued at New York on the 18th, and caused great temporary excitement. Mr. Howard, of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, has been arrested as the author of the proclamation and sent to Fort Lafayette. He has confessed his guilt and implicated others. The Government has suppressed the World and Journal of Commerce for having published the proclamation. Both printing-offices are in possession of the military.

The Secretary of the War Department says that it is the intention the Government to maintain the national forces until the rebellion is overthrown, and to provide against inopportune reduction when the services of the hundred days' men expire. A draught to fill their place and all other reductions will be ordered on July 1.

The Governor of Maryland has called for twenty-three volunteer regiments for a hundred days at President Lincoln's request. The Governor of Jersey has called for all the infantry militia that can be raised in fifteen days for one hundred days' service.

On the 21st ult. gold was at 83 premium in New York.

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