Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1263, p. 558.
June 11, 1864
The chief interest of the war still centres in Virginia. We have intelligence from Lee and Grant to the 26th ult. There has been no general engagement since our last report, but the position has shifted about twelve miles southward. This much we can perceive through telegraphic haziness, but the reasons for the movement are not so clear. According to one view, General Grant, finding hard fighting of no avail to drive back his opponent, strove to turn his flank. He pushed forward his left, under Hancock, in a south-easterly direction to Bowling-green, attempting thus to pass to the right, and get in the rear of the Confederate army. In this movement, however, he was at once followed by the Confederates, under Longstreet and Ewell; and the whole body of the Confederate army, leaving Spottsylvania, retired southward, keeping pace with the Federal advance. Another view of the movements, however, is, that General Lee, in pursuance of a settled plan of drawing the Federals on and wasting their energies, purposely and deliberately retreated from Spottsylvania, and that Grant's advance upon Bowling-green was a consequence, not the cause, of Lee's backward movement. During these changes of position there was continual skirmishing, and the Federals claim to have taken 1000 prisoners. Despatches from General Grant up to the morning of May 26 state "that his movement was progressing, and the result would be manifest in twenty-four hours." General Lee's position covers Sexton's Junction, his right resting on Little Swamp, and his left on Little River. The Federals have abandoned their dépôt at Fredericksburg and Acquia Creek, and have established another nearer to General Grant. Sexton's Junction is about twenty-five miles from Richmond; and, to give a notion of the importance of the post to Lee, it is only necessary to state that a railway from the north and one from the west intersect at this point, running hence in nearly parallel lines to Richmond. It was rumoured in New York on the 28th--such rumours, however, are of little worth--that General Grant intended marching towards the peninsula, between the James and York rivers, to try M'Clellan's programme, or, possibly, to effect a junction with Butler. The rest of the news is soon told. Butler is besieged and furiously assaulted in his intrenchments; Banks has struggled back to New Orleans; and Sherman is advancing, but without being able to come up to his adversary in Georgia. The Confederate guerrilla leader Mosby had been enabled, in consequence of the withdrawal of the Federal outposts into Washington, to destroy all the bridges and blockhouses on the railway from Union Mills to the Rapidan. The ironclad attack upon the forts in Charleston Harbour on the 15th ult. was without result.
The Confederate Congress had refused to consider resolutions proposing that an armistice of ninety days should be obtained, with a view to the conclusion of a peace.
The delegates to the Union State Conventions of New York, Ohio, and Illinois have unanimously resolved to re-nominate Mr. Lincoln at the Baltimore Convention.
From New York we learn that the district attorney is about to indict the Federal officers who seized the New York World and Journal of Commerce; while the New York grand jury had indicted, on a charge of kidnapping, the officers who seized Colonel Arguelles with a view to deliver him up to the Cuban authorities[.]
The price of gold had again risen in New York, the latest quotation being 88 per cent premium.