Foreign and Colonial IntelligenceThe Illustrated London News, vol. 46, no. 1308, p. 294.
April 1, 1865
We have intelligence from New York to the 19th ult.
President Davis had sent to the Confederate Congress a message in which he stated that further and more energetic legislation was required, as the country was environed with perils, and Richmond in greater danger than heretofore during the war. The militia laws needed modification, and a suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act was almost indispensable. If the measures recommended by him were adopted, and if the Congress and people co-operated, the South might enter upon the coming campaign with cheerful confidence in the result. General Grant, the message said, had refused to meet General Lee in a conference for the purpose of negotiations for peace. The North would accept only abject and unconditional submission, and the South had no choice but to continue the contest to its final issue. With 2,000,000 dols. in coin the armies of Virginia and North Carolina could be supplied for the remainder of the year; and President Davis recommended measures for making all coin within the Confederacy available for the uses of the troops. He also recommended other measures for the replenishment of the Confederate Treasury, and for the impressment of provisions and stores. The Confederate Congress had subsequently adjourned; and it may be presumed that the bills required by President Davis had been passed.
General Lee, in an order to the army commanding an observance of the 10th of March (the day appointed by President Davis for a general fast) as a day of fasting and prayer, tells his soldiers that God had sorely chastened them; and speaks of the present time as one of trouble, contrasting it with the days when God delivered them from their enemies.
The James River canal is being repaired, and President Davis has called upon the farmers to aid in the work. Vigorous efforts are being made at Richmond to organise coloured troops, and all whites able to bear arms have been draughted into the service. President Lincoln has made a speech in which he declared that the Confederates would stand out as long as they could draw upon the last branch of their resources, and that he rejoiced to see the end so near.
General Sherman was gradually continuing his forward movement. After occupying Cheraw he marched on Fayetteville, which he reached and took possession of on the 12th ult. General Hardee retreated before Sherman, keeping in his front at a moderate distance. General Sherman's advance was not altogether unopposed, for the Confederate cavalry under Hampton attacked Kilpatrick inflicting on him great loss and taking several hundred prisoners. According to the Federal account, Kilpatrick in his turn attacked Hampton, and recovered all he had lost. The river communication between Fayetteville and Wilmington had been opened, so that Sherman at the former place had a secure base.
While Sherman was thus marching through the centre of the Carolinas, General Schofield had made his way from Wilmington to Kinston. In front of the latter place his advance seems to have been attacked by Bragg, and to have suffered some loss in prisoners. Next day, however, Schofield's main body came up, and Bragg's further assaults were repulsed with great loss to him. He retreated on Kinston and afterwards to Goldsborough. At Kinston he destroyed a ram and a large quantity of stores. The place was occupied by the Federals.
General Sheridan reports his arrival at Fredericksburg Railway, crossing the South Anna River on the 15th ult. He continued to damage the James River Canal to Goochland, whence he turned northward and destroyed the bridges on both Annas. At Virginia Central Railway Bridge the Confederates attempted resistance, but were driven off, losing three cannon.
Mobile despatches of the 14th ult. state that the city was strongly menaced; twenty-one of the enemy's vessels were in sight. Great activity prevailed among the enemy in the Lower Bay. Maury recommends the inhabitants to prepare for an attack, and has ordered non-combatants to leave.
Bâton Rouge despatches of the 9th report the Confederate General Forrest at Macon, Georgia, with 15,000 cavalry, to which he was daily receiving additions.
The Jersey Senate has rejected the constitutional amendment.
Gold, on the 18th ult., was quoted at New York at 165¾.
The breaking-up of the ice on the Susquehanna and other rivers by sudden thaw has caused the inundation of the districts along their courses, and millions of dollars' worth of property is estimated to have been destroyed. The petroleum districts in Pennsylvania have been the greatest sufferers, and Oil City has been wholly submerged.
Mr. James Gordon Bennett, of the New York Herald, has been offered, and has declined, the French mission. Mr. John Bigelow, Acting Chargé d'Affaires, has been appointed.
The Lower House of the Canadian Parliament has adopted, by a majority of 99 to 33 votes, the address to the Queen praying for a confederation of the British North American Provinces.
The Canadian Government has proposed a vote of 1,000,000 dols. for the permanent defence of the country and 350,000 dols. for the expenses of the volunteers on the frontier.
The Finance Minister announces that the Government must maintain the police and militia on the frontier so long as the war lasts, and fulfil their obligations as good neighbours to the United States.