Foreign and Colonial IntelligenceThe Illustrated London News, vol. 45, no. 1272, p. 134.
August 6, 1864
We have news from New York to the 23rd ult.
It has been authoritatively, though not officially, announced that Atlanta has been taken by the Federals after a battle fought before the fortifications on the 21st ult., which resulted in the Confederates retiring with a loss of 600 killed and 4000 wounded and prisoners. The Confederate General Johnston had been previously superseded by General Hood. The Federals, it was added, had cut all Hood's lines of retreat except that to Macon, and occupied Atlanta. On the other hand, General Forrest, with 10,000 Southerners, was reported to be menacing Sherman, and, again, General A. J. Smith, with a corps of Federals from Memphis, was harassing Forrest. Atlanta is in the centre of the State of Georgia, about 115 miles south of Chattanooga. It is the point of junction of four railways: the railway north, to Chattanooga; the railway south-westward, to Mobile and Pensacola, on the Mexican Gulf; the railway eastward, to Augusta and Charleston; the railway south-eastward, to Macon and to Savannah, on the Atlantic. Atlanta is thus an important strategical point.
Nothing important has occurred at Petersburg. The Confederates are stated to be engaged in an attempt to blockade the James River, with the object of cutting off General Grant's communications by water. Grant is said to have contracted his lines, though still proceeding with the siege of Petersburg, and to have dispatched General Sheridan upon another raid on the railway communication with Richmond.
The Confederates got off from Maryland safely with their booty, and the attempt of the Federals to pursue them has been abandoned, not, however, without having somewhat harassed them, and capturing four guns and some stores. The militia called out in the midst of the alarm have been dismissed.
There were rumours when the last mail left of a new Confederate invasion of Maryland viâ Muddy Branch and Rockville. A Southern force of 5000 men was said to have again crossed the Potomac.
The latest despatches also report the discovery of a conspiracy for the formation of a North-western Confederacy, embracing all the States in the Mississippi Valley. Several prominent citizens of St. Louis, implicated in the affair, had been arrested.
News of a Confederate victory comes from Fort Hudson, on the Mississippi, where the Federal troops under command of General Elliott were attacked and routed with great slaughter, the roads for miles being strewed with dead negroes, horses, and arms.
The bombardment of Fort Sumter, of which we have heard very little recently, has been renewed with increased violence, from thirty to forty shells being daily thrown into Charleston. The Confederates are reported to have been successful in driving the enemy from John and James Island to Morris Islands.
An attempt at negotiation has been made by some Southern politicians staying at Clifton House, Niagara Falls. Mr. Clement C. Clay and Mr. J. P. Holcomb, semi-official representatives of the Southern Government, communicated to Mr. Horace Greeley that they were willing to proceed to Washington for the discussion with the President of peace propositions, although not accredited by the Confederate Government for that purpose. President Lincoln replied, through Mr. Greeley, by means of a note addressed simply "To those whom it may concern," that the Federal Government would receive and meet on liberal terms "any proposition embracing the restoration of peace, the integrity of the Union, and the abandonment of Southern slavery." Messrs. Clay and Holcomb emphatically declined visiting Washington, Mr. Lincoln's answer precluding negotiations by pre-arranging conditions. If peace could only be secured by submission to terms of conquest, the generation was yet unborn that would witness the restoration of peace.
The Confederate invasion into Maryland seems to have produced considerable effect on the Washington Cabinet, for the President has issued his order for 500,000 men to serve for one year, to be obtained by draught, immediately after the 5th of September next, if not previously obtained by volunteering.
Mr. Fessenden, the new Secretary of the Treasury, had declined the terms required by the New York banks for the proposed loan of fifty million dollars, and determined to offer a popular loan, the interest of which is to be paid in gold.
Gold, upon the announcement of the occupation of Atlanta, declined to 251. The last quotation was 254¾ Exchange 271.