Progress of the War.
Execution of two spies at Chattanooga.A correspondent of the Augusta Sentinel, writing from Chattanooga, July 24th, furnishes the following account of a double execution which occurred there on Friday, the 24th July: ‘ This being the day set apart by the commanding General for the execution of the two spies who were detected some time ago by our forces, a large crowd repaired at an early hour to the place of execution. I noticed among the rest a goodly number of the fair sex, who had not command enough over their curiosity to remain at home. I do not exactly think that the theatre of such scenes is by any means proper for them. But I do not intend discussing either the propriety or impropriety of such a course on their part at present. ’ The fatal scaffold was nearly and well built. It was erected near a large oak, whose shade party covered the platform, from which these unfortunate men looked for the last time upon their fellow mortals who had assembled there to witness their last and dying struggle. About 11 o'clock the 8th Mississippi was marched to the place and formed a square around the gallows. At 20 minutes to 1 o'clock the wagon bearing the prisoners made its appearance. Every eye in the vast multitude was turned inquiringly toward the vehicle. It was soon within the lines. There sat the two condemned men who were soon to expiate their crimes upon the gallows now so near and open to their view. They ascended the gallows at fifteen minutes to one o'clock. The ropes were then adjusted, and tied around the necks of the victims. Daring this time, the younger of the two seemed rather affected, while the elder appeared rather careless. They were respectively aged, I suppose, twenty and twenty three years. After the ropes had been adjusted, Captain Pedan, Provost Marshal of this post, read the proceedings of the Court Martial, and the order relative to the immediate execution of the sentence which had been passed upon them. The charges were three. First, with being spies; secondly, with having committed depredations on the people among whom they went; and thirdly, with counterfeiting Confederate money; of all of which charges the Court found them guilty, and therefore sentenced them to be hanged to death. After the order had been read, the attending clergyman read a portion of the 23d chapter of St. Luke, delivered a short exhortation, and then prayed. They then bade the youths good bye and descended the ladder. The Provost Marshal then shook hands with them and told the men to bid each other farewell. This done, he stepped down from the scaffold. Just at 1 o'clock the trap fell, and Joseph Ford and John K Ould, of the 10th Regiment Ohio Volunteers, were launched into eternity. It was a solemn scene--one calculated to have a warning impression upon all who witnessed it.
The fighting in Gen. Lee's retreat — the engagement at Amissville.The Yankee letter writers thus describe the whipping that Carter's Michigan cavalry brigade got near Amissville, Fauquier, while on their way to close up the gaps and prevent Lee's "escape" The engagement took place on the 24th ult: ‘ The 5th Michigan were in advance. The enemy's pickets were met within half a mile of the cross roads, when the advance guard was dismounted and deployed as skirmishers, and one section of Pennington's battery, under Lieut. Clark, was placed in position on a creed at the left of the road, supported by the 1st Michigan, Maj. Brewer. For half and hour or more a lively skirmish was kept up, when the advance skirmishers were reinforced by three squadrons from the 5th Michigan, and also the balance of these regiments acting as a reserve. The men thus thrown forward steadily drove the enemy before them, until the crest of a hill was reached near the cross roads, when the enemy opened a brisk fire with artillery, firing shells, grape, and canister, and our advance was checked. This position was held for at least an hour, when, much to the astonishment of all, a regiment of the enemy's infantry appeared in the rear of the 1st Michigan, while supporting the artillery above referred to. The whole section of country in this vicinity is so cut up, that it is almost impossible for cavalry to operate effectively, and particularly difficult at the point where the enemy first made their appearance in our rear, as it was covered not only with trees up to within twenty rods of the regiment, but the intervening space is covered with an undergrowth of pine trees and stubble. ’ Gen. Custer, when made aware of this flank movement, at once ordered a charge to be made; practicable under ordinary circumstances, but just at this point an impracticability, which he very speedily discovered.--Major Brewer fortunately hesitated when ordered to charge, and the result was a change of orders. The section of artillery exposed rapidly moved to the right, while the 1st Michigan remained in position until the enemy had fired one volley, then wheeling to the right into the road, a rapid retrograde movement brought them to the rear, and in a place of comparative safety. While this movement was being executed on the left of the road, the enemy advanced two pieces to the crest of a hill in front, previously occupied by our skirmishers, and opened a galling fire upon our troops with grape and canister, at the same time advancing a column of infantry in the same direction. A portion of our right was forced still further to the right, and the left was forced back into the road, where the extreme left had preceded it. The retreat on the right was skillfully conducted by Col. Gray, who, notwithstanding the excitement of the moment, did not forget to extend protection to the artillery, then within the enemy's grasp, and it was consequently saved. The enemy after this were held in check at every point, while the command, having felt the position, felt back to Amissville. From information obtained from reliable sources, it was ascertained that the column struck the rear of A. P. Hill's command. The advance of Longstreet corps passed through Thornton's Gap and Sperryville on Thursday, and on Friday morning at 6 o'clock it reached Culpeper. Hill's command was immediately in his rear. As Gen Custer's orders were solely to ascertain the position of the enemy, in obedience to orders he fell back to Amissville. Our loss during the two days reconnaissance will probably not exceed six killed and thirty wounded. Lieut. Sabin, of Gen. Custer's staff, was severely wounded in the side by a shell, and was left on the field. The enemy saw fit neither to parole nor take him away, and this morning he was brought in.
How Lincoln recruits his army.A gentleman, recently from Norfolk, gives the following account to the Christian Observer of a proceeding which was doubtless regarded by the enemy as a "cuts Yankee trick:" ‘ There are in the city of Norfolk four churches, known as the African churches, which are used exclusively by the colored people for public worship. One of these has a bell, and is known as the "Bell Church."--A notice was recently circulated among the colored population, by order of the Provost Marshal, that on the following Sabbath something would be communicated in the Bell Church in which they were interested. Their curiosity being thus appealed to, the ringing of the bell drew an immense crowd. The house was filled. Many who could not get in stood around the doors and windows with listening ears. At an appointed signal a military marœavere was executed, and they found themselves surrounded by three hundred soldiers, with fixed bayonets. Resistance was useless — escape impossible. All who were neither too young nor too old for military service were hurried away. No time was given for farewells or for making any preparations. In their Sunday clothes they were marched on board the vessels that were in readiness to carry them to the North to swell the armies designed for the subjugation to the South. ’
Mexico, in which is labors to prove the whole thing a farce, upon which the curtain will drop the moment the French bayonets are withdrawn from Mexican soil. It evidently does not believe what it says, for a little further on it holds the following language: ‘ The promulgation of the second empire in Mexico is important, in the first place, much as it distinctly defines the policy of the French in Mexico, about which there has been so much heavy and profitless discussion. The plan of the Mexican empire, as now developed, is precisely that set forth by strong and repeated rumors when Napoleon joined the tripartite coalition against Mexico. ’ The promulgation of the Mexican Empire under French is important in the next place, as it enables us to clearly see that an affiliation between the so called Southern Confederacy and Louis Napoleon is absolutely certain. And furthermore, all loyal Americans can now comprehend the fact that the European Powers, whenever the opportunity offers, act upon the idea that the republican natives on this continent, living under constitutional Governments, are their natural enemies. The promulgation of the Mexican Empire, to be established and sustained by France, is also highly important with reference to its effect on the leading Powers of Europe. When the tripartite coalition against Mexico was signed in London, October, 1861, it is said that Napoleon, in proposing to establish an empire in Mexico, with the Austrian Maximilian as Emperor, desired to gain a point in his continental policy by receiving in return the Italian island of Venetian from Austria. It is also stated that Spain, when she entered into the coalition, was ignorant of this plan of Napoleon, but England knew of it, and gave her assent. That coalition, it is well known came to an inglorious termination, and both in America and Europe, have greatly changed since that period. Louis Napoleon will doubtless make an effort to form some sort of a tripartite coalition with Spain and England that shall sustain him in his Mexican policy and as against the United States, in any future effort they may make to maintain the Monroe doctrine. It is of the highest importance to Napoleon that he should form this coalition. But whether he can succeed is the question. The proclamation of the Mexican Empire under French auspices, so far as it goes, is a complete triumph of the bigoted, retrogressive, monarchical priest party of Mexico, and of course it is a great victory to the ultramontane Church in Europe and Spanish America, as represented by the Pope. Spain may join Napoleon, but there is more doubt as to the course England will pursue. She may not be inclined to aid the revival of the Catholic Empire in Spanish America; and, moreover, while the influence of the English soldiers of Mexican bonds in sustaining Napoleon in Mexico, is manifested from the course of the London Times we perceive other leading English organs begin to throw out hints that it is a policy for England to favor the establishment of the power of their arch enemy, Napoleon, in Mexico. The French Emperor has long stood preeminent among the European powers as the promoter of the scheme of intervention is our affairs. That which will most influence England and Spain to sustain Napoleon in his Mexican policy and consequent scheme of intervention in the United States to keep us divided, is the rapid progress our arms are making in overcoming the rebellion. England, France, and Spain believe they have a great and common interest in dividing the power of this country. They have done so much directly and indirectly to secure this end that if they can prevent it the American Union never will be restored. The Mexican question, as presented to England and Spain by Napoleon, will therefore be a tough piece of diplomacy to encounter. It will stir European politics to its lowest depths. We await the result with calmness, feeling fully confident of being eventually able to maintain our nationality, unity, prestige, and power against domestic traitors and all Europe combined.