Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 45, no. 1276, p. 230-231.
September 3, 1864
We have news from New York, by way of Cape Race, to the 22nd ult.
Two corps of General Grant's army, under Hancock, have been moved to the north side of the James River, for what object does not appear. On the 14th ult. a portion of the second and tenth corps advanced against the Confederate position at Deep Bottom, and captured part of a line of works, with four guns and nearly 300 prisoners. The Confederates fell back to a strong position, against which the Federals advanced across an open field, but encountered a heavy fire from the Confederate artillery, and, being unable to advance further, the troops were concealed as much as possible until dark, when they were withdrawn. The Federal loss in these operations is estimated at 1000 men. On the 16th General Gregg's cavalry division drove the Confederates from some works on the Newmarket road, but the Confederates rallied, and Gregg was compelled to fall back on his infantry supports. Whatever may have been the purpose of the Federal movement to the north side of the James, it seems to have failed, for we learn by the latest telegrams that the troops had recrossed the river.
The Confederates at Petersburg shelled Grant's lines for three hours on the morning of the 17th ult. On the 19th ult. the 5th Corps of Grant's army took up a position on the Weldon Railroad, where, according to one account, the Confederates attacked but failed to dislodge them. Another account, however, states that the Federals were surprised by the Confederates, and driven back with the loss of 3000 men; that they were subsequently reinforced, and recovered lost ground; and that fighting continued.
Butler is assiduously employed in cutting a canal across the peninsula of Farries Island, with a view to enable his gun-boats to avoid the river obstructions below Drury's Bluff.
The news from the Shenandoah is of an exciting character, the tide of battle flowing southward or northward, according to the strength of the respective parties. On the 17th ult., we are told that General Merritt's cavalry was attacked by a Confederate force, and that after
Page 231a sharp fight the latter was routed, leaving 300 prisoners. It having subsequently been ascertained that heavy reinforcements had reached General Early, and that the Confederates were manœuvring to get in the Federal rear, General Sheridan fell back from Strasburg to Berryville. While the retrograde movement was being executed, Sheridan's rear-guard was overtaken near Winchester by the Confederate advance, under Breckenridge, and suffered severely.
There was a rumour in New York on the 20th that Sheridan had met with a disaster at the hands of the Confederate General, and had been obliged to retreat to Harper's Ferry.
Despatches from Admiral Farragut's fleet confirm the Confederate accounts of the operations at Mobile. The squadron passed Forts Gaines and Morgan under full steam, giving and receiving a terrible fire. The Federal loss during the whole engagement amounted to about 250 men, including the crew of the monitor Tecumseh, which was instantaneously sunk by a torpedo. The Confederates had abandoned Fort Powell, and the garrison had unconditionally surrendered Fort Gaines to the Federals, who were preparing to invest Fort Morgan, which they had already begun to shell from two mortar-vessels. The garrison had destroyed all the outbuildings and manifested a determination to hold out to the last. The fort is known to be well garrisoned and provisioned. A body of Federal troops was also said to be advancing from Pensacola in order to flank Mobile. Confederate accounts continue to regard the surrender of Fort Gaines as an act of treachery. The Mobile Register of the 10th ult. states that General Maury has ordered non-combatants to leave that city. The Register says:--"There is no thought of surrendering the city, nor any belief that it can be taken."
Advices from General Sherman's army to the 17th ult. report that the Confederates are vigorously operating against the Federal communications. On the evening of the 14th ult. General Wheeler, with 1700 cavalry, demanded the surrender of Dalton. The Federal Commander, Colonel Siebold, whose force amounted to only 800 men, refused to yield the position, and maintained a stout resistance until the following morning, when Federal reinforcements arrived, and the Confederates were driven off. It is reported that a severe engagement occurred at Graysville, eighteen miles from Chattanooga, between Wheeler's command and the Federal forces under General Steadman. The result is not stated. General Steadman was severely wounded, and Colonel Straight, of the 51st Indiana, was killed. A squad of Wheeler's men had gone to destroy the tunnel at Tunnel Hill. General Sherman was rapidly completing his preparations for the bombardment of Atlanta. Hood still maintained a bold front, and there were even indications that he would assume the offensive. He is known to have received heavy reinforcements.
The Richmond Sentinel states that Chalmers achieved a victory over the Federals at Abberville, Mississippi, on the 14th ult., inflicting on them severe loss.
Hostilities by the Indians in the north-west have been renewed. Many of the settlers in Kansas have been murdered, their houses and crops burnt, and their cattle driven off. The inhabitants generally are fleeing to the towns for protection.
Generals Blunt and Sherry, commanding on the border, are organising a large military force to pursue and attack the Indians.
The Peace Democrats had a convention at Syracuse, New York, on the 17th ult., in which they went in for a peace candidate for the presidency, and for an armistice. The telegrams state, but without giving any authority, that a desire for peace is gaining ground. The New York Herald urges that commissioners should be sent to Richmond in order to propose an armistice for six months and the convocation of a convention from all the States to devise the best means of obtaining peace. The correspondent of the Daily News writes, however, in a different strain. He states:--"I do not think the Northern public was ever one jot more confident of final success, or more determined to persevere, than it is at this moment, and the events of the campaign, though they have not been such as many people hoped for at the outset, have certainly not been such, so far, as to cause any despondency."
On the evening of the 22nd ult. gold was quoted at 256 7/8.
The Confederate cruiser Tallahassee has made sad havoc among Federal shipping, having burned more than fifty merchantmen and fishing-vessels off New York and the coast of the Northern States. She arrived recently at Halifax, but was ordered off, whilst coaling, by Admiral Hope. The following is her description, published in the New York papers:--
The privateer Tallahassee is an iron steamer, painted white, with two smokestacks, two screws, about 230 ft. in length, 20 ft. beam, and draws about nine feet of water. Her bell is marked "Tallahassee, of London, 1864." Engine marked "J. and W. Dudgeon, London." She is fore-and-aft schooner-rigged, mounts three guns--one small one on the topgallant forecastle, a long 32-pounder amidships, and a 24-pounder aft. She carries four waist-boats. Her crew consists of about 120 persons, including the officers. Men of all nationalities are represented on board, most of whom are said to be soldiers from Lee's army. She is said to have run out of Wilmington about six days ago, without having been seen by any of Admiral Lee's blockaders. She has a quantity of cotton on board to protect her boilers, and there are four barrels of turpentine on deck to be used in firing vessels. She is commanded by John Taylor Wood, C.S.N. The surgeon, Sheppardson, says he was one of the Chesapeake pirates. A Mr. Hall is the boarding officer. The crew are dressed in rags and tatters. Some of them wear their pistols tied to them with Manilla rope yarns. They are a hard-looking set.