Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1144, p. 496-497.
May 17, 1862
By the arrival of the steamers City of New York and Bohemian we have news from New York to the 3rd inst.
On the 25th ult. the Federal gun-boats passed Forts Jackson and St. Philip, leaving those forts in the possession of the enemy, and proceeded up the Mississippi towards New Orleans. Immediately the citizens heard this news they destroyed all the cotton and steam-boats, except such as were necessary to transport coin, ammunition, &c. Of coin it is said the Confederates carried away 18,000,000 dollars. On, Saturday, the 26th ult., the Federal Commander Farragut demanded of the Mayor of New Orleans an unqualified surrender of the city. He likewise demanded that the Federal flag should be hoisted on all public buildings and all Confederate flags removed. He requested the Mayor to use his authority to quell any disturbance, and concluded by saying:—
I shall severely punish any persons committing such outrages as were witnessed yesterday by armed men firing upon helpless women and children forgiving expression to their pleasure at witnessing the old flag.
The Mayor replied that, for the sake of the women and children, General Lovell had evacuated the city, leaving the administration of affairs to the civil authorities:—
To surrender an undefended city (he continued) would be an unmeaning ceremony. The city is yours by power of brutal force, not by the choice or consent of the inhabitants. It is for you to determine the fate that awaits us here. There is no man in our midst whose hand or head would not be paralysed at hoisting a flag not of our own adoption. You may trust in the honour of the inhabitants, though you might not count on their submission to unmerited wrong. Your occupancy of the city does not transfer the allegiance of the inhabitants from the Government of their choice to one which they have deliberately repudiated. They yield the obedience which the conqueror is entitled to exact from the conquered.
A battalion of Federal marines had occupied the city. General Butler's forces had landed on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain and were within a few miles of the city. The Confederate General Lovell fell back to Camp Moore, on the Jackson railroad, seventy-five miles distant from New Orleans, on the road to Memphis, to effect a junction with General Beauregard, who is said to have evacuated Corinth.
The Federals have since occupied Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. It is situated on the left bank of the river, about 120 miles above New Orleans.
A great battle is said to be imminent at Grand Junction, near Memphis, between Generals Halleck and Beauregard. Both have been largely reinforced. General Halleck's army is estimated at 160,00 men. The Federal Government has forbidden the transmission of telegrams from Pittsburg Landing.
Intelligence has been received from General Burnside operating in North Carolina. Fort Macon surrendered to him on the 25th ult. The garrison retired with the honours of war. The Federal loss was seven killed and eighteen wounded. This opens Beaufort to the Federals, and leaves to the Confederates in North Carolina only the port of Wilmington.
Before Yorktown nothing decisive had occurred. A company of a Massachusetts regiment had captured an advanced lunette near the head of the Warwick, with the loss of sixteen men. On the 26th ult. General M'Clellan telegraphed, "In spite of the rain, our work progresses well."
General Banks's advance has been checked by the destruction of the bridges across the Shenandoah. General M'Dowell has made no further movement.
The French Minister, M. Henri Mercier, after his return to Washington, visited the State Department, and had a long interview with Secretary Seward. The Swedish and Danish Ministers had returned to Washington without proceeding to Richmond. The Secretary of the Spanish Legation had left Fortress Monroe under a flag of truce for the South.
President Lincoln had visited the French frigate Gassendi at Washington Navy-yard. The French Minister received Mr. Lincoln on board. The yards of the vessel were manned and a national salute fired on the President's arrival and departure.
Congress had adopted a vote of censure on ex-Secretary Cameron of the War Department for adopting, with regard to army contracts, a policy highly injurious to the public. A similar vote with regard to the conduct of Secretary Welles of the Navy had been negatived.
The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Charles Lathrop as Collector of Customs at New Orleans.
A Congressional Committee had issued a report that the Confederates committed inhuman atrocities upon the Federal dead and wounded after the battle of Bull Run.
The House of Representatives had passed resolutions empowering the Secretary of the Treasury to prevent the shipment of goods to foreign ports, whence they are reshipped to Confederate parts.
The House Committee of Ways and Means had reported an appropriation amounting to 226,000,000 dols., for the support of the army during the year ending June 30, 1863.
The Hon. Edward Everett has made an appeal to the public in behalf of Lieutenant Worden, of the Monitor, whose sight, he says, has been seriously injured, and health greatly, if not permanently, impaired. Lieutenant Worden has a wife and children dependent on him for support.
The New York papers publish the text of the "Seward-Lyons" treaty for the suppression of the slave trade. It consists of twelve articles. Having very little authentic home or war news to lay before their readers, the journalists give free rein to the imagination of their Washington correspondents, who have concocted several "sensation" canards relating to French mediation and intervention, and the withdrawal of the Opposition members of Congress in a body, as a protest against the antislavery policy of the Administration.