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Foreign and Colonial Intelligence

The Illustrated London News, vol. 45, no. 1292, p. 598-599.

December 17, 1864


By the arrival of the Nova Scotian and the Etna we have intelligence from New York to the 3rd inst.

The chief news brought is the announcement that there had been a severe engagement between the hostile armies in Tennessee. The Federal General Schofield reports that, on the afternoon of the 30th ult., two corps of General Hood's army attacked Franklin, but were repulsed at all points by him, with the loss, on the enemy's side, of 5000 or 6000 men, including 1000 prisoners; while the Federals' loss was only a quarter of that sustained by their assailants. Nevertheless, General Schofield retired during the night from Franklin towards a position three miles south of Nashville; and on the following morning the victorious and retreating Federals were closely followed by the defeated and pursuing Confederates. Heavy skirmishing was progressing and a general engagement was expected

Page 599

while Federal reinforcements were arriving at Nashville, where the forts and intrenchments were manned by the garrison and the Government labourers, who had been armed.

The exact position of Sherman in Georgia is still uncertain. According to some accounts he had been repulsed in an attempt to cross the Oconnee River, while others state that his main army had succeeded in crossing that river, and, avoiding Augusta and all the other large towns, was making the best of its way to the seacoast. The Confederates were rapidly concentrating their forces, and were bent on the destruction of the invading army. It was said that they had defeated the advance cavalry of Sherman in an attempt to open communication with Beaufort. The Times' correspondent states that the defeat of Sherman's cavalry took place near the Savannah River. It was reported that General Burnside, with 20,000 men, had sailed from Fort Monroe for the purpose of landing at some point on the Southern coast and joining General Sherman.

General Grant had sent General Gregg's cavalry on a reconnaissance, for the purpose of ascertaining whether General Lee was sending any troops from his army to Augusta. General Gregg took and destroyed Stoney Creek station, but failed to obtain any information, and was closely followed by the Confederates during his retreat to the Federal camp.

The New York World says that President Lincoln's Message (delivered to Congress ere this) is conservative in character, and will aim at the conciliation of all parties and classes in the North. President Lincoln, it is said, "repudiates the factions which would establish the present conflict upon a sectional basis, and takes strong national ground upon which Democrats and Conservative Republicans can have have no hesitation to stand and rally. He has been induced to adopt this policy by Mr. Seward, whose efforts have been to unite in a common cause the Conservatives of all parties, and to form out of these elements a new party which will sweep Greeley and the Radicals out of existence." The principal part of the message relates to the present condition of the finances of the country, and to the measures calculated to prevent it from growing worse.

The examination of the persons suspected of firing the hotels in New York was begun, by a military commission, on the 2nd inst.

Governor Seymour has declined to receive the British peace address, but referred Mr. Barker to Secretary Seward, who also declined it, and likewise refused him an interview with Mr. Lincoln. Barker now proposes presenting the address to Congress.

The Florida (forcibly taken from Brazilian waters) has been run into and sunk by a Federal transport-steamer off Fort Monroe. It was rumoured she would be accidentally burnt. The Express regards it as a strange and curious affair, and thinks it will add to existing complications. The World says the pretence of an accident is too transparent to deceive anybody. The News thinks she was sunk designedly, and adds that the sinking does not cancel the duty of indemnity. The Times says the question is yet open as regards the right or wrong of the seizure, but contends that thus far there is no ground for complaint. Admiral Buchanan and the officers of the Florida have been sent to Fort Warren.

President Lincoln has issued a proclamation announcing the ratification of the treaty with Belgium extinguishing the Scheldt dues.

It is reported that both the Chickamauga and Tallahassee had arrived safely at Wilmington, and that the latter was about to depart for Bermuda with a cargo of cotton. There were twenty-one blockade-runners at Nassau on Nov. 12. The schooner Albert Edward was captured while attempting to get out of Galveston, Texas, with a cargo of 150 bales of cotton.

Gold, on Dec. 3, was quoted at 229.

The Confederate Congress had unanimously rejected the peace propositions laid before it.

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