The Illustrated London News

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London, Saturday, February 15, 1862

The Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1131, p. 164.

February 15,1862


The proceedings in Parliament have as yet had little of interest. The orations on the opening evening were chiefly addressed to the one melancholy topic with a reference to which the Royal Speech began....

America, of course, came in for a share in the opening discussions. The Opposition heartily approved of all that the Government has done, and Lord Derby took pains twice to correct a report that made him express a belief that we should soon have to recognise the Southern Confederacy. Mr. Disraeli spoke more favourably than his chief in regard to the Government of the Northern States, and said that they had dealt manfully with the great difficulty presented by the secession; and he therefore thought that any communication from Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet should be received in a generous spirit. The prudent reticence which characterised both Houses last Session as regarded American affairs is likely to be imitated, although in the Lords more than one nobleman has expressed himself strongly upon the conduct of the Lincoln Government towards England, and although an endeavour will be made to fix Lord Palmerston to some definite expression of opinion on the sufficiency of the blockade....

We do not learn much from the latest mails from New York touching the last battle; but it is clear that the Confederates were worsted, and fled with considerable energy, but not until after a fierce struggle of many hours. The battle must have been a desultory one, as is clear from the small number of the slain and also from the mode in which General Zollicoffer was killed, he and his friends having been riding about the field apparently with no express object, and having come upon another small body of wanderers on the other side. Each body took the other for friends until very near, and then a hand-to-hand fight ensued, and the General was brought down by a shot from a revolver. All this looks remarkably unlike an incident in a real battle, and indicates a sort of guerrilla warfare. But the result was certainly unfavourable to the South, and the victory is made the most of in New York. On the other hand, the expedition along the coast met with an unfortunate check. A vessel loaded with valuable munitions of war went on a rock and sunk; and, though but few lives were lost, the ready lies of the telegraphic correspondents magnified the affair so awfully that General M'Clellan thought right to order the journals to call in the sheets in which they had given the false intelligence. This they could not do, but spread, in the contrary interest, the news that Government was repressing intelligence, and by this means a panic was created. The truth came out at last—the casualty was a severe one, but was merely one of the accidents of war which are supposed to be included in the calculations of every prudent General. Up to the present time, therefore, the ninety days which were to end the campaign were melting away without any remarkable advance towards the desired object.

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