Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1135, p. 264.
By the arrival of the Cunard steamer Asia we have news from New York to the afternoon of the 26th ult. The movements of the Federal forces on the Cumberland River continue to form the most important feature of the week's news.
Clarksville was occupied on the 20th by the Federal forces. Two-thirds of the inhabitants fled. Commodore Foote issued a proclamation assuring all peaceably-disposed persons that they might resume their usual occupations, provided that they gave up all military stores and equipments in their possession.
Pushing forward, the Federal troops on the 24th occupied Nashville, the capital of Tennessee and one of the most important manufacturing cities of the Confederate States. General Buell entered the city without resistance at the head of 10,000 troops and hoisted the stars and stripes over the State House. The Confederates, under General Beauregard, had retired to Murfreesboro', an inland place about thirty miles south of Nashville, where the Federals will not have the advantage of their gun-boats. The Tennessee Legislature had adjourned to Memphis.
The official returns show 321 killed, 1050 wounded, and 150 missing on the Federal side. The prisoners taken by them number, not 15,000, but 3,300. They have been taken to Chicago and St. Louis.
In Eastern Kentucky the Federals have occupied Cumberland Gap. In Arkansas General Price was defeated at Sugar Creek, and fled, leaving many prisoners and arms in the hands of the victors. General Halleck has issued an order forbidding the stealing or concealing fugitive slaves, assigning as a reason the urgent necessity of proving to the Southern people that the Federals are fighting for the Constitution and the Union, and not for emancipation.
Burnside's expedition has burnt Winton, on the Chowau River. No landing was effected, on account of the presence of a large Confederate force.
The Confederate Congress assembled at Richmond on the 18th ult. On the following day the electoral votes of the eleven States which voted for President and Vice-President were counted. The total number was 109, and they were all given for Mr. Davis as President and Mr. Stephens as Vice-President. The inauguration ceremonies took place at Richmond on the 22nd ult., Washington's birthday. Mr. Davis then delivered his inaugural address. He complains of "the malignity and barbarity of the Northern States in the prosecution of the existing war." While, he says, every guarantee of personal freedom has been swept away in the North, in the Confederate States no act has been done to impair personal liberty or the freedom of speech, of thought, or of the press. He acknowledges that the "tide for the moment is against us, but the final result in our favour is not doubtful." He thinks the North "must sink under the immense load of debt which they have
Page 265incurred." After lauding the noble spirit of patriotism which animates men, women, and children in the South, he predicts the sacrifices it imposes will be an enduring bond of harmony among the people. The blockade is making them a self-supporting people. "After a series of successes and victories which covered our arms with glory, we have recently met with serious disasters. But in the heart of a people resolved to be free these disasters tend but to stimulate to increased resistance." He concludes with a solemn invocation of the Deity.
Mr. Davis had appointed the 28th ult. as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer throughout the Confederate States.
The youngest son of the President, aged eleven years, has died at the White House.
The President has signed the Treasury Note Bill. In its final shape it provided for the payment in coin of the interest on the public debt, and as security therefore stipulated that the customs duties should be payable in specie only.
The President has taken military possession of all the telegraph lines, and military supervisors of messages have been appointed.
The Senate, by a vote of 29 to 9, has thrown out the State Department's project of a treaty for guaranteeing the payment of the Mexican debt for five years. General Scott's name was submitted as Commissioner to Mexico to procure the ratification of this now defeated project of a treaty.
Washington's birthday (Feb. 22) was celebrated with more than ordinary enthusiasm throughout the Free States. Mr. Forney read Washington's farewell address in the great hall of the House of Representatives. In New York the historian Bancroft was the orator of the day.
The British screw-steamer Stella had been chartered to convey American contributions to the International Exhibition.
The journals comment favourably on the speeches made at the opening of Parliament, but the Mexican expedition is more freely and generally denounced than before, especially that part of it which includes the elevation of a European Prince to the throne of Mexico.
The barque Ariel had been captured off Providence on suspicion of being intended for the slave trade.
The condemned slave captain, Gordon, suffered the extreme penalty of the law in New York on the 21st ult. The wretched man took strychnine the night previous, but by copious draughts of whisky he was kept alive until the hour of execution. The New York journals give highly-coloured accounts of the scene. Gordon was the first person ever hanged in the United Slates for participation in the slave trade.