Foreign and Colonial IntelligenceThe Illustrated London News, vol. 46, no. 1310, p. 343.
April 15, 1865
By the City of London we have intelligence from New York to the 1st inst., when gold was quoted at 151¼.
Active operations have been begun before Petersburg, where the two armies had long lain supine. On the morning of the 25th ult., Lee suddenly attacked Grant's centre and captured Fort Steadman. The Confederates, flushed with this success, pushed on, captured a battery, and turned the guns on the Federals. They were, however, driven out from the battery, and their attacks on Fort Askell were repulsed. The Federals then assumed the offensive, and, having been reinforced, not only drove the Confederates out of Fort Steadman, but captured their picket-line beyond, and held it. The Federal account says the guns of Fort Steadman were uninjured; but General Lee, in his account, states they were disabled. The loss on both sides was heavy. General Grant estimates the slaughter of the Confederates at the point where they entered the Federal lines at 3000 men; his own loss altogether being put at 2000. The Federal troops in front of Petersburg, having been relieved by corps brought from the north bank of the James River, marched, on the 29th ult., towards the Federal left; and the result of their day's march was, as we are told, that they established themselves on a line parallel with the Boydton Plank Road, and west of Hatcher's Run. The Confederate pickets were driven in; and the Confederates who attacked General Griffin's division on the Quaker Road, were repulsed with severe loss--the Federals losing some 250 men in killed and wounded during the day, and capturing about one hundred prisoners. The Confederates were believed to be in strong force near Gravelly Run, and a heavy engagement was expected; but, although firing was heard at City Point on the 30th ult., it was supposed that operations had been interrupted by rain. General Sheridan's cavalry had accompanied the march of the Federals, and had been last heard of at Dinwiddie Courthouse, with the supposed intention of cutting the Southside Railway.
President Lincoln, Secretary Seward, and Generals Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan have had an interview at City Point. Rumours of peace negotiations were again current, but a New York telegram of the 31st ult. states it to have been "semi-officially denied that General Lee has demanded a peace conference." The Spanish and British Ministers accompanied Mr. Seward to City Point.
General Sherman, it is announced, had had hard and continued fighting since leaving Fayetteville, but he had formed a junction with the corps of Generals Schofield and Terry at Goldsborough, which had been occupied by General Schofield on the 2nd ult., and there, it is stated, the armies were resting to refit, the campaign having been a glorious success. General Sherman had issued an order of the day, dated near Bentonville, on the 22nd ult., in which he stated that the concentrated armies of the enemy had upon the 21st been beaten upon their chosen ground, and were fleeing in disorder, leaving their dead and wounded, and burning the bridges in their retreat. General Sherman had quitted his army and proceeded to City Point, where, as stated above, he held a council on March 27, with President Lincoln, General Grant, and General Sheridan, and afterwards returned to Goldsborough.
General Thomas has effected a junction with Gillen at Knoxville, and the ultimate object of this combined movement is believed to be the capture of Lynchburg.
The Federal forces advanced against Mobile on the 18th ult., and, from heavy firing which was heard on the 21st, it was believed that the attack had commenced. Mobile is said to be provisioned for a six months' siege.
A Montreal telegram of March 30 states that the St. Albans raiders had been discharged on the ground that they were belligerents. They were no sooner at liberty, however, than they were re-arrested on a charge of violent assault, with intent to commit murder....
(From our own Correspondent.)
...The next matter in which Victoria will appear to a disadvantage at home is the treatment which the commander of the Confederate war-steamer, the Shenandoah, received at the hands of our Government. In my last letter the arrival of the Shenandoah, with, probably, Captain Semmes on board, was announced. It appears I was mistaken as to Captain Semmes, the vessel being under the command of Captain Waddell, who, as soon as he anchored in Hobson's Bay, communicated the fact of his arrival to the Governor, and asked permission to have the machinery overhauled, and to take in stores. Permission to do both was granted. After being some twelve or fourteen days in port, and while the vessel was on the patent slip undergoing the repairs that were deemed necessary, and which were sanctioned by Government commissioners, rumours were circulated to the effect that a number of men had been induced to join the Confederate service. It appears the information was supplied by some deserters, and, upon the information so furnished, a warrant was issued for the apprehension of one named "Charlie," who was declared to be on board wearing the uniform of the ship. The execution of the warrant was intrusted to an officer of police, who, on going on board, was, in the absence of the captain, refused permission to search the ship. On the following morning the officer presented himself, when he saw Captain Waddell, who informed him that it was contrary to the rules of the service that a vessel of war should be searched; but, at the same time, he gave his word of honour as an officer and a gentleman that no other men than his own crew were on board. The Government, not content with this declaration, and believing that the Foreign Enlistment Act, as well as the Neutrality Laws, had been violated, sent a force of military and police, with instructions that they were to allow no person to afford any aid in launching the vessel, unless the search was allowed or "Charlie" given up. This caused considerable excitement; but still Captain Waddell refused permission to search. Late on the same night four men were seen to leave the vessel. They were pursued and captured, and one of them was identified as the man "Charlie" for whom the warrant had been issued. The military and police were then withdrawn, and the Shenandoah was launched on the following day; but not until a great deal of correspondence had passed between the Commander and the Government[.] Captain Waddell complained of the insulting tone of the correspondence, and has intimated his intention of bringing the whole matter before the Richmond Government. It is declared by the Commander and officers that the men arrested were stowaways, and that their presence on board was unknown to anyone, they being only discovered after a third search. The four men were brought before the Williamstown Police Court charged with committing a breach of the Foreign Enlistment Act. Three of them were committed for trial, the fourth, being an American, was discharged. It is said that the Government of Victoria intend laying the case before the Imperial Government. The public sympathy is all with Captain Waddell. The Shenandoah sailed from Hobson's Bay on the morning of the 18th inst., with, it is well known, a considerable addition to her crew. She is said to be lying off our coast, waiting the arrival of some Federal vessels consigned to American merchants, at whose instigation, it is alleged, the Government took the proceedings against Captain Waddell, of which such a mess has been made. The Government did either too much or too little. They ought to have been sure of their information being well founded before seizing the Shenandoah, and, if they were correct in the first step, they would have been warranted in retaining possession of her. By their conduct they have equally offended North and South.