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Foreign and Colonial Intelligence

The Illustrated London News, vol. 45, no. 1268, p. 50-51.

July 16, 1864


There is no news of importance from Virginia. General Grant has made no further attempt to turn the Confederate position at Petersburg since his defeat on the 22nd ult.

Wilson's cavalry has destroyed twenty miles of the Danville Railroad. On their return, on the night of the 27th ult., they were intercepted by the Confederates at Beam's station, on the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad. Wilson fought all night and the following morning, but was unable to push his way through. Meade sent the sixth corps, with a division of the second corps, to the assistance of Wilson. On the 28th the Confederates were moving in the direction of the rear of Grant's left.

A special despatch to the New York Times, dated Washington, June 29, says:--

Latest advices from General Grant's head-quarters report only such occasional skirmishing and artillery practice as inevitably result from close proximity of the two forces. The chief enemies our soldiers have had lately to combat are the heat and dust, which have even been of the most malignant character. For thirty days not a drop of rain has fallen, making a drought of a duration unparalleled in that region for many years. It is with the utmost difficulty that men and animals get even a scanty supply of water. General Palmer's raid from Newbern, on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad seems to supply a perfect explanation of the recently-reported march of rebel troops from Lee's army to North Carolina, on which such absurd speculations have been based. General Hancock, yesterday morning, resumed command of the Second Army Corps. On Friday last Acting Master Street, of the flotilla, obtained information that there were a number of guerrillas on the peninsula engaged in making torpedoes, and accordingly on that night he landed with thirty men and proceeded over the country some ten miles, capturing six persons, among whom was a Confederate captain and physician, whom he brought off to his vessel.

A telegram dated head-quarters of the army of the Potomac, June 28, five a.m., says:--

All remains quiet at the front. Our left wing swung round and took possession of the Weldon Railroad, about four miles from the city, without opposition. It is believed the enemy's lines have been somewhat contracted since Friday last, and the opinion prevails that a force has been sent to meet and drive back General Hunter.

Another despatch, dated the 28th of June, noon, says:--

A severe engagement took place on Saturday between our cavalry and a force of the enemy, consisting of cavalry and mounted infantry, at the Chickahominy river. The enemy had followed Sheridan from the White House, in the expectation of being able to cut off part of his waggon-train, which was very large, and it was here they made their attack. Jorbet's division was detailed to protect the train, while Gregg's division was placed in position to resist an attack from the enemy on the roads which they were known to occupy. At an early hour skirmishing commenced, and was kept up until noon, when the Confederate infantry, which had been dismounted, made a desperate charge on our lines; and although our men dismounted and fought them gallantly for a time, they were finally compelled to retire, suffering considerably. Our loss is supposed to be about 1500. Our men fell back to their supports near the bridge, and the command, with the entire train, subsequently got over it without further loss. The enemy made no effort to follow us up, and it is thought they must have suffered severely. The whole command has arrived at the James River, and will be across by to-night. There are now about 5000 sick and wounded in hospital at City Point, and they suffer much from the heat and from a lack of good water. The members of the different aid societies are fast giving out from exhaustion and fever, and many of them have been forced to give up their labours and return home.

General Sherman has been repulsed in Georgia with heavy loss. He reports that two columns of his army, under Macpherson and Thomas, simultaneously attacked the Confederates at Kenesaw Mountains [i.e., Kennesaw Mountain] on the 27th, and were repulsed. He admits Thomas's loss at 2000 and Macpherson's at 500, among whom were General Harker and four Colonels. Confederate despatches state the Federal loss at 4500. Sherman believes the Confederate loss to have been light, they being protected by breastworks. According to a late rumour, General Sherman was retreating for want of supplies and forage. The Confederate General Pillow had been operating on Sherman's rear, and had attacked the town of Lafayette, but was defeated.

General Hunter has been obliged to retreat into Western Virginia. Mr. Stanton announces that Hunter, finding his ammunition running short, was retreating to Western Virginia, but reports the complete success of his expedition to Lynchburg. According to Hunter's report, he has destroyed much Confederate property and supplies, and beat the enemy in every engagement. Confederate despatches of the 25th ult., however, state that the Confederates were pursuing Hunter, and had attacked him several times, captured thirteen of his cannon, and inflicted heavy loss upon him in killed, wounded, and prisoners.

Mr. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, has resigned, and Mr. Lincoln nominated as his successor ex-Governor Todd, of Ohio, who having declined the appointment, Senator Fessenden, of Maine, was appointed, and confirmed by the Senate.

President Lincoln, in reply to a resolution of the United States' Senate, had sent in a communication from the Secretary of State, from which it appears that no authority has been given by the Executive of the Federal Government, or by any executive department, to anyone, either in the United States or elsewhere, to obtain recruits either in Ireland or Canada, or in any foreign country, for either the army or the navy of the United States; and, on the contrary, that whenever application for such authority has been made, it has been refused and absolutely withheld.

The following is President Lincoln's letter accepting the nomination for the Presidency:--

Executive Mansion, Washington, June 27, 1864.

Gentlemen,--Your letter of the 14th inst., formally notifying me that I have been nominated by the Convention you represent for the presidency of the United States for four years from the 4th of March next has been received. The nomination is gratefully accepted, as the resolutions of the Convention called the platform are heartily approved. While the resolution in regard to the supplanting of Republican government upon the western continent is fully concurred in, there might be misunderstanding were I not to say that the position of the Government in relation to the action of France in Mexico, as assumed through the State Department and endorsed by the Convention among the measures and acts of the Executive, will be faithfully maintained so long as the state of facts shall leave that position permanent and applicable. I am especially gratified that the soldier and the seaman were not forgotten by the Convention, as they for ever must and will be remembered by the grateful country for whose salvation they devote their lives. Thanking you for the kind and the complimentary terms in which you have communicated the nomination and other proceedings of the Convention, I subscribe myself your obedient servant,

Abraham Lincoln

Congress has repealed the Gold Bill.

In Congress, on the 29th ult., a joint resolution, on the motion of Mr. Harlan, of Iowa, was adopted, that the President of the United States be requested to appoint a day for humiliation and prayer by the people of the United States, to confess and to repent of their manifold sins, to implore the compassion and forgiveness of the Almighty "that, if consistent with his will, the existing rebellion may be speedily suppressed, and the supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the United States established throughout all the States."

In the Senate, on the 25th ult., the report of the Conference Committee, appointed to adjust the disagreements of the two Houses on the Internal Revenue Bill, was submitted and adopted. As the report was also concurred in by the House of Representatives, the bill now only needs the President's signature to become law. As now finally fixed upon, the tax on whisky will be one dollar and a half per gallon after the 1st of July till the 1st of February next, after which it will be two dollars per gallon. On incomes the tax is 5 per cent on all over 600 dols. and not exceeding 5000 dols.; on incomes from 5000 dols. to 10,000 dols., 7½ per cent; exceeding 10,000 dollars, 10 per cent.

In the House of Representatives the session was an excited one. The bill amendatory of the Enrolment Act was taken up. The principal point at issue was the proposition to repeal the 300 dollars commutation clause. The debate was a very animated one, and at times

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became very personal and bitter. Mr. Fernando Wood, of New York, made a speech denouncing the war and insisting that it should be immediately stopped. He became so violent in his remarks that he was hissed by the members.

Gold opened at 250, rose to 282, but declined to 260 on Mr. Fessenden's confirmation to the secretaryship of the Treasury, and to 230 on the repeal of the Gold Bill by the Senate.

It appears that General Bishop Polk was killed in battle in Georgia on the 14th ult. The Bishop graduated at the West Point military seminary in 1827, but Bishop M'Ilvaine, who was then Chaplain at that place, persuaded him to enter the Church, and he afterwards became Bishop of Louisiana. He inherited a good estate, with many slaves, and his ideas were always intensely Southern. When the present war broke out he entered the Confederate army, and was made a Brigadier-General. He never resigned his bishopric, probably intending at the close of the war to resume his spiritual functions.

Mr. Joseph F. Scoville, the well-known correspondent ("Manhattan") of the Standard and Herald, died suddenly in New York on the morning of the 25th ult. of inflammation of the lungs. He had been summoned recently before General Dix to answer for some of his statements in his letters, and received a warning. He was in the fiftieth year of his age.

Three hundred Swedish and Norwegian emigrants arrived in Chicago on Sunday morning by the Michigan Southern Railroad. One portion of them will go into Missouri, the other portion left for Minnesota.

The heat in New York had been intense. On the afternoon of the 25th ult. the mercury mounted to 97 deg. in the shade. Several cases of sunstroke had occurred.

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