Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1140, p. 384.
April 19, 1862
By the arrival of the Montreal Company's steamer Nova Scotian we have news to the evening of the 5th inst.
So rigid is the censorship exercised by the United States' Government over every channel of intelligence which may give the enemy any inkling of their movements that the soldiers of the army of the Potomac have been forbidden even to write home to their friends. Under these circumstances nothing more is known of their movements than that the transportation of forces from Alexandria down the Potomac continues. On the 26th ult. the Confederates were driven from Warrenton Junction, ten miles beyond Manassas, and crowded steadily back until they were forced to cross the Rappahannock towards Gordonsville. They blew up the railroad-bridge behind them to stop further pursuit. There are now believed to be no Confederates between the Federals and the Rappahannock.
Fugitive negroes arriving at Fortress Monroe from Norfolk state that the Merrimac had been repaired and brought out of dry deck; that her crew had gone on board, and that she was now ready for action. Several new guns of heavier metal had been placed on board. The steamers Jamestown and Yorktown are being more thoroughly iron-clad at Richmond to accompany the Merrimac on her neat adventure.
From the coast of North Carolina there is nothing new. From Georgia we learn that the Confederates have withdrawn all their forces from the coast and taken all their guns to Savannah; and that Fort Pulaski, at the mouth of the Savannah River, has been closely invested by the Federals. The Confederates have sunk the celebrated yacht America in St. John's River, Florida.
A portion of General Banks's force had arrived at Manassas after a tedious march from Winchester. During their march they encountered no portion of the Confederate forces.
There is nothing new from Tennessee. The Federals occupy the line of the Tennessee River as far south as Eastport in Mississippi. The Confederate line of defence has for its base the Charleston and Memphis Railroad, and extends from Chattanooga, in Tennessee, to Corinth and Memphis. Beauregard is in command of this department. His head-quarters are at Corinth. A Federal correspondent writes:—"In two days last week our scouts saw fifteen trains, laden with soldiers, enter the town. Many of their troops are supposed to be raw militia, half armed and unorganised, that have been gathered by the recent levies; but the numbers are becoming formidable: 60,000 is the lowest figure to which the official information will reduce them."
The siege of Island No. 10 had continued without any important change. The mortars fire every half hour, but elicit no response.
In Arkansas the army under General Curtis had fallen back as far as Cross Timber Hollows, on account of a scarcity of forage where they were previously stationed. The Confederates under Price and Van Dorn had retreated entirely across the Boston Mountains, and were at Van Buren and Fort Smith, receiving supplies by way of the Arkansas River.
It seems that, notwithstanding the statements to the contrary published by the authority of the Federal Censor, the Nashville escaped from Beaufort, her superior speed enabling her to escape from the two vessels set to watch her. Secretary Welles is much blamed for this result.
There is no news from New Orleans, where an attack had been daily anticipated for the past fortnight, Major-General Lovell had proclaimed martial law there.
In the Richmond Congress, on the 12th ult., a joint resolution, advising planters to abstain from planting cotton and tobacco this year and devote themselves exclusively to the production of grain and provisions, was defeated by a majority of 3; the vote being, Yeas, 8; Nays, 11.
A member had introduced a resolution advising the Executive to withdraw the Commissioners from England and abandon further attempts to obtain British recognition.
In reply to a communication from General Johnson, the loyal but intruded Governor of Tennessee, requiring the municipal officers of Nashville to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, the city officials replied:—
We respectfully ask to be excused from taking the oath sent us, honestly believing that under the Constitution and the Charter we are not properly subject to such requirement, and believing that the same was made of us under a misapprehension of what was required of us heretofore."
The Senate has passed the resolution to co-operate with States desiring to emancipate slaves by a vote of 32 to 10. The minority were mainly senators from the Border States. The Senate has also passed the bill for the abolition of slavery in the district of Columbia by 29 against 14 votes. A compensation averaging 300 dollars for each slave is to be paid to the slaveowners. 100,000 dollars is appropriated to aid the voluntary emigration of the emancipated slaves to Hayti and Liberia. The number of slaves in the district is about 3000. This important measure has yet to pass through the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives is discussing the provisions of the Tax Bill.
The War Department has ordered all farther recruiting for the Federal army to cease.
An army cartridge manufactory exploded in Philadelphia on the 29th ult., by which upwards of fifty persons of both sexes were either killed or mangled.