The Illustrated London News

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London, Saturday, May 17

The Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1144, p. 501.

May 17, 1862


The Crescent City has fallen. We are almost without details, but of the fact there would appear to be no reasonable doubt. The vaunted defences of New Orleans, which were described as capable of resisting ten times the power which the Federals had sent against them, have been passed, rather than forced, by some gun-boats, and the city was at the mercy of its assailants. The armed defenders made good their retreat, carrying with them their treasure, but leaving, it is said, much valuable stores. Both in a moral and a military point of view the blow is a terrible one for the South, and may materially injure the chances of General Beauregard. The Confederates are now menaced in so many quarters, and with force which, properly handled, should be overwhelming, that a brilliant victory, giving nothing more than victory, would be of small avail in the great game. Their prospects darken every day. Yorktown, however, holds out against General M'Clellan, and it may be that at Corinth the able leader of the South has inflicted another blow. It is pointed out that a dash may be made by the Confederate vessels on the Mississippi, and that the gun-boats that have taken New Orleans may be destroyed; but there has been so little evidence of dash on the part of any of the Southern commanders that we scarcely look for such news. Communication is being gradually but effectively cut off; and should Yorktown fall, or the army on the Rappahannock operate successfully, the time would seem to have come when mediation may be accepted without loss of honour. In the mean time a more pleasant incident than aught connected with war is the signature of a treaty between ourselves and the North (will the South hold itself bound thereby, and might not a casus belli arise thereout?) for the more effectual putting down the slave trade. The right of search is conceded to England, and the denial of this right has hitherto been the safeguard of the "merchant fraught with cargoes of despair."

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