Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 46, no. 1299, p. 79.
January 28, 1865
The news from New York, to the 11th inst., is unusually barren of military events. We hear much of preparations, and some movements are reported which may prove preliminary to important undertakings, but there are no operations of consequence.
There were rumours of Federal expeditions on a large scale, to be led by Generals Sherman and Thomas. The former is to operate in Georgia and North Carolina; and another attempt to take Wilmington is to be made, a land force being sent from Newbern to attack the city in the rear while a combined naval and military force operates against Fort Fisher. General Thomas was concentrating his troops on the Tennessee, with the view of making a campaign through Mississippi and Alabama. The Confederates were preparing to meet these aggressions; and it was rumoured that General Lee had been placed in command of all the Confederate forces, and that, putting Beauregard in command of the defences of Richmond, he himself intended to go and confront Sherman. General Hood was re-forming his army and getting in readiness to meet Thomas or operate against Sherman.
The armies before Richmond and Petersburg have for some time ceased to be the most active of the Federal forces; and the only change reported from that quarter is the supercession of General Butler by General Ord, an able and well-tried soldier. Butler has been ordered to report himself at Lowell, Massachusetts, his native place. Various charges, military and civil, have been brought against him, and his disgrace appears to be complete. His removal gives rise to very little difference of opinion. A few, however, remark that he is now out of place, while a great number insist that he had been out of place for the past four years. The committee on the failure of the great mine at Petersburg has made its report. General Burnside is exonerated from all responsibility for the failure, and Generals Grant and Meade are censured.
General Sheridan has established his troops in comfortable winter quarters in the Shenandoah Valley. Great scarcity of food is said to exist in this once rich but often devastated district.
Up to the close of last year 3,604,743 men had been draughted into the Federal armies by the conscription orders of the Washington Government. In 1861 there were 664,743 men draughted; in 1862 there were 740,000; in 1863 there were 700,000; and in 1864 there were 1,500,000, making the grand total as above. This embraces only the several calls and draughts, and is quite independent of voluntary enlistments and the 500,000 men called for a few days ago.
The Messrs. Blair, father and son, have again set out for the capital of the Confederacy, on a supposed peace mission, not official.
A bill passed by the Federal Senate emancipates the wives and children of coloured soldiers.
The Washington Government has sent forces to the Canadian frontier to prevent persons coming into the United States without a passport.
The Governor of the State of New York, in his inaugural message, delivered on the 2nd inst., stated that 182,766 alien immigrants arrived at the port of New York in the course of the year 1864--an increase of more than 25,000 over the number in 1863, and as large a number as in any year since 1854.
The Rev. Henry Ward Beecher presided this year, as usual, at the annual letting of pews and aisle-seats in Plymouth Church, Brooklyn. The proceedings took place in the church on the 3rd inst. The premiums bid were much larger than ever before. The highest bid last year was 200 dols.; this year, 400 dols., which, added to the pew-rent, makes the largest total payment for the year for one pew 520 dols. Twelve pews were sold at prices (including premium and pew-rent) exceeding 400 dols. each, and sixteen more brought above 300 dols. The congregation have raised the salary of their pastor from 7500 dols. to 12,500 dols. per year.
Governor Cannon, in his annual message to the Legislature of Delaware, again takes strong ground in favour of emancipation in that State, as he did in his inaugural address.
The Missouri Convention have resolved to reorganise the State Constitution.
The Boston Traveller publishes a list of 103 persons in that city whose annual incomes are above 25,000 dols., as returned under the special income tax. Ten taxpayers in the fourth district are assessed upon incomes of more than 100,000 dols. each, after the deductions allowed by law were made.
Governor Andrew, of Massachusetts, in his annual message, just issued, calls attention to the excess of women in Massachusetts, and to the surplus of men in Oregon, California, and other remote western communities. In Oregon, having 52,160 inhabitants, according to the Census of 1860, there were 19,961 males over fifteen years old, and only 9878 females above that age. Its population is estimated at over 100,000, this disproportion yet remaining. In Massachusetts there were 257,833 males between the ages of fifteen and forty, and 287,000 females; or, a surplus of 29,166. The excess (the Governor says) of women of all ages above fifteen years was 38,846. The absorption of men by the military and naval service during the intervening four years has aggravated this disproportion. He recommends the adoption of some practical way by which young women may be enabled to emigrate to useful fields of employment in the Western States.
A party of about 1600 Indians made an attack on Julesburg, Colorado territory, on the 7th inst., robbed the overland mail and express, dispersed a mule-train, destroyed the stage-station and a large amount of the telegraph material, and killed nineteen soldiers and citizens. A severe fight took place between the Indians and the troops, the latter numbering altogether less than a hundred; but the former were finally driven off, with the loss of their chief and twenty-four others killed.
The Montreal Court (as stated in a portion of our Impression last week) has reconsidered its decision in the case of the St. Albans raiders, and has decided that it has jurisdiction in the matter.
It is said that the new Federal passport system has nearly put an end to the travelling of Americans in Canada, the passenger-trains on both the Grand Trunk and Great Western Railroads now running nearly empty west of Toronto.