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London, Saturday, March 29, 1862

The Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1137, p. 308.

March 29,1862


The news from America is of a very exciting kind. The grand army of the Potomac has at length advanced, and Washington is free from the presence of an enemy that at one time menaced the Capitol with destruction. From Manassas, the famous scene of Federal disaster, the Confederates have retreated, and where or when they will risk another stand is unknown; but their language continues to be of the most defiant character, and it is not probable that they are prepared to give up the game. In the West, fortune has again been against them; and at a place called Sugar Creek, in Arkansas, after an engagement of three days, their General (Price) has been defeated with great slaughter. From Florida to Charleston the coast is stated to be in Federal hands. Against this catalogue of defeats is to be set the prestige of a most dashing act of seamanship. The Merrimac, a "monster" cased in iron, has been brought into terrible action by the Confederates at Hampton Roads, and her exploit was to sink the Cumberland Federal vessel with two of those deadly blows which can only be inflicted by this new and fearful engine of war. She also compelled the surrender of another Federal vessel, the Congress; but was in her turn assailed by an enemy of her own kind, the Monitor. The monsters fought round after round, unable to injure each other for several hours, but at length the Confederate vessel received an injury which is variously described, according to the bias of the narrator. At all events, she retired, and is said to be shut up in Norfolk by barges sunk by the order of the President himself. The Confederate victory—for we may so call the sending the Cumberland to the bottom, with a large number of the men on board, and the capture and burning of the Congress—may revive the spirits of the South, but can have no other effect. The forces of the North are now pouring in through the breaches, and New York is already discussing the question, "Whom shall we hang?" The Representatives have passed the President's bill for offering abolition of slavery to such Southern States as may desire it. All the interest of New York concentrates itself on the Potomac army and its advance; but whether this latter is likely to continue is a question for the Quartermasters.

...The fame of the Man of Ross is perpetual, but it is likely to be paralleled by the fame of the Man of Danvers. The most magnificent gift which has ever been offered by a single hand has been presented to the poor of London by an American merchant, George Peabody. He hands £150,000 to five trustees, of whom Lord Stanley and Sir Emerson Tennent are two, for the purpose of "ameliorating the poor and needy of this great metropolis, and to promote their comfort and happiness." In Danvers and in Baltimore, one his birthplace, the other a city where twenty years of Mr. Peabody's business life was passed, he has planted noble institutions, reserving this third crowning act of generosity for the foreign city where his commercial career has also prospered.

Thrice happy man—enabled to pursue
What all so wish, but want the power to do.

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