Late Northern news.
Our Northern papers, of the 29th, furnish some additional items of news:
The Federal disaster in the Valley--Yankee opinion.
[From the New York Herald, May 29.]
Where lies the responsibility for the late disastrous repulse of the remnant of the army of General Banks
from the great Valley of Virginia.
The newspapers of the indignant North
, to a considerable extent, are pouring out their vials of wrath upon the head of Secretary Staunton
. One of this class of journals, for instance, denounces his ‘"management of the War Department
"’ as ‘"An intolerable nuisance which ought to be abated," ’ while another describes the unfortunate Secretary
‘"an official who possesses patriotism without discretion and enthusiasm without judgment, and who is as ready to exaggerate the terrors of his work to-day as he was to rush upon them yesterday. "’ But Mr. Senator Wilson
, of Massachusetts
, audacity saddles the whole responsibility in the premises upon the President
, who has only to give his orders, and Secretaries
are bound to obey.
But let us go a little deeper into the merits of this master, and we will doubtless soon reach the true so of the mystery of this restless of General Banks
from the Shenandoah Valley.
The Secretary of War
, we all know, is a lawyer and not a soldier, but granting that he ‘ "possesses patriotism without discretion and enthusiasm without judgment,"’ he is still but a subordinate of the President
Mr. Senator Wilson
is right, and the responsibility falls back upon the President
has, unfortunately neglected.
that from the President
this responsibility may be traced to the radical, disorganizing abolition negro brigade of Congress, to which alone the public indignation may be justly directed.
In a legal and technical view, the President
, as the head of the Government
, the army and navy, is responsible to the country for the defeats and disasters of our troops where successes could and should have been secured.
But we know, on the other hand, that Congress is the supreme law- making power; that the President
is dependent upon Congress for the men, the ways and means with which to carry on the war, and that the shaping of every act of Congress, in reference to the war, is in the hands of certain committees of the two Houses, which are controlled by the chiefs of our abolition negro brigade.
Thus, for example, Mr. Wilson
, as the head of the Committee
on Military Affairs in the Senate, occupies an official position in the legislative branch of the Government
which the President
is bound to respect, and hence the views and suggestions of Mr. Wilson
in regard to the management and conduct of the war must command in a liberal degree the confidence of the President
, whatever may be the peculiar differences of opinion between these two public agents.
Our readers will remember that when the rebel army, in March last, evacuated Manassas
, a regular onslaught of the abolition radicals of Congress was made upon Gen. McClellan
He was jeered with the clamor that he had ‘"out camped the rebels;"’ that he had been frightened all winter by a lot of ‘"quaker guns;"’ that he had permitted the enemy to slip through his fingers, because he was too much a pro-slavery apologist to believe the ‘"intelligent contrabands"’ who in season informed him now Johnston
was evacuating his Potomac line, that McClellan
's army, five times in numbers the dismantled army of Johnston
, was too much for McClellan
, and, lastly, that he would not advance ‘"for fear of hurting somebody."’ What followed?
's army was divided into three armies, and with half his previous force he was shipped off to Yorktown
As he advances he finds the enemy in front in much superior numbers to his own. He calls for reinforcements.
They are supplied from General McDowell
; but thus depleted, McDowell
becomes apprehensive of danger and calls for other troops.
They are supplied from the army of Gen. Banks
, who has thus been pounced upon, cut up, despoiled, and driven out by those watchful rebel guerrillas, Generals Johnson
But why was not Gen. Banks
reinforced from some other quarter?
We answer, that it was because Mr. Senator Wilson
, the head of the Military Committee of the Senate, and his Congressional Abolition clique, after the rebel evacuate on of Manassas
, brought about the suspension of volunteering; that the hostility of this clique to Gen. McClellan
and his well-considered plans was at the bottom of this movement, and that these Abolition radicals have been playing their cards with our armies in Virginia
so as to bring about some great disaster, under the pressure of which the administration and the army might be dragged headlong into an exterminating crusade against Southern slavery.
This is our solution of this unfortunate repulse of General Banks
We trace it to the enmity of Senators Wilson
and others of that clique in the Senate, and to Thaddeus Stevens
and their abolition brethren of the House
; and to their successful tricks and intrigues to break up the army and the plans of Gen. McClellan
, to stop recruiting for the army, when fifty thousand more men were needed to secure our conquests in Virginia
, and a hundred thousand more to push the rebels speedily out of the State
Let the responsibility then rest where it belongs.
We cannot consent that either the President
or the Secretary of War
shall be made the scapegoat for a disaster which properly belongs to the abolition negro brigade of Congress.
Latest from M'Clellan's army.
The Northern papers contain the usual quantity of letters from the Army of the Potomac.
Some of them are amusing.
We make some extracts:
White-House, Va., May 26, 1862.
The great body of our army have safely, and, with but little opposition, crossed the Chickahominy river
, and our advanced guard is within five miles of the city of Richmond
This fact dispels the heretofore prevalent idea that the enemy would make a bold defence on the west bank of the river already mentioned.
That they will fight, and that desperately, for the defence of their so-called national capital, there is no doubt, and to make their defence successful, they have spared neither expense nor physical means, so far as their resources will permit.
Our army is now at the very gates, so to speak, of the Sebastopol of rebeldom, and a few days, yea, in a few hours, may witness one of the bloodiest battles yet to be recorded in the history of modern conflicts.
Yesterday there was considerable skirmishing with the enemy along the lines of our army.
The firing commenced early in the morning, and was continued at irregular intervals throughout the entire day. In the middle of the forenoon it was thought that the fighting would lead to a general engagement in the afternoon.
disposed of his troops in such a manner as to be prepared for any pressure on his lines.
The reserve troops were brought up to support the attacking column.
A rain storm, however, set in about eleven o'clock A. M., which forbade a general battle.
As soon as the weather clears up a battle may be looked for. Our troops, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, are in good spirits; our Generals
are confident of success, though the process of advancing may be slow.
Thus far the strategy of McClellan
has been superb.
He has felt his way to the very doors of Richmond
with a comparatively small loss of life.
He has driven the enemy from place to place, whithersoever he would.
From the front I learn that the 4th Michigan regiment, while on a reconnaissance yesterday, encountered a large body of the rebels in a swamp a few miles from the Chickahominy river
An engagement took place, which resulted in the discomfiture and defeat of the rebels, a large number of whom were killed or wounded and taken prisoners.
Our loss was not very considerable.
The fight took place in a swamp, our men fighting to great disadvantage, owing to this fact.
This place has been metamorphosed into a locality of least temporary importance.
Hereafter it will receive historic importance and dignity, from being the grand depot of supplies of the Union
army in its advance to the capital of rebeldom.
The Pamankey river, which flows by this place, is a stream of more importance than heretofore accorded to it. From its mouth, at West Point
, the head of the York
raver, to this place, a distance of over fifty miles, it runs through a picturesque country of a genial climate.
It however, appears crude to the Northern
eye, as the river banks are devoid of villages and country villas, which the agricultural resources of this section demand and warrant, and which would have been reared ere this had the land been in the possession of men imbued with a moiety of our Yankee enterprise.
The river itself is somewhat sinuous, and at places quite narrow, but the depth of water is sufficient for vessels drawing not more than fifteen feet of water.
The repairs on the bridge of the Richmond and West Point Railroad, across the Pamunkey
at this place, have been commenced.
The bridge was burned by the rebels in their retreat towards Richmond
Between forty and fifty bridge builders are now laboring on the work, and it is expected that the bridge will be completed in about ten days. Its completion will facilitate the transportation of stores to our immense army.
That portion of the
railroad, before mentioned, between this point and the Chickahominy
, a distance of twelve miles, has been thoroughly repaired.
Between fifty and sixty freight cars have been loaded from our transports, besides two large and powerful locomotives.
To-day, for the first time, steam was got up on one of the latter.
The event was hailed with great joy by the troops here, and created quite as much enthusiasm.
I fancy, as the first introduction of the locomotive did in Old England.
The locomotive proceeded on the road towards Richmond
on an experimental trip, to try the gauge of the road.
It went a distance of six miles. As it passed our guards en route
cheer upon cheer reverberated in the air from them in honor of the event.
This display of enterprise is in a great measure to be attributed to the zeal and energy of Col. Rufus Ingalie
, the Chief Quartermaster
at this post, which provoke on lies in his department, and the manner to which he has discharged them, has won for him a high reputation as an executive officer of rare ability.
The first train of this with supplies for our army will leave here to-day for
An overseer of a form belonging to a Maiden lady came into camp station yesterday, frightened at the threats of his negroes to take his teams and go to Fortress Monroe
, to get their papers, as they said.
He professed to be a good Union man, and evaded impressment into the rebel service by means of a sprained ankle.
He wanted this affair settled because the war had raised the price of coffee to a dollar, sugar to fifty cents, and bacon to seventy-five cents a pound.
He said he had told the Secessionists that the Yankees
were not fighting for niggers, and that they (the and drought on the war by the flag." He desired very much that a guard should be placed on his premises to defend him against the negroes, but the army marched away next morning, leaving deal with them as best as might.
A company of the Lincoln
cavalry found a strong rebel picket force this side of the creek and dispersed them.
A spent ball knocked one of the cavalry from his horse, and this was the only casualty that occurred.
Soon after, our troops, under command of Colonel Bartlett
, and supported by two Howitzers and two Parrot guns, followed the rebel force — consisting of two regiments of cavalry, a regiment of infantry deployed as skirmishers, and three pieces of artillery — about four miles, when they retreated across the Chickahominy
, at New Bridge
About twenty guns, of large calibre, were seen mounted on the Richmond
side, near the bridge.
The whistle of locomotives on the Richmond
and Potomac Railroad was distinctly heard.
One party fell in with two negroes who had just returned from Richmond
, where they had been carrying a load of their master's household goods, and returning for another load.--They represent that everything is quiet at Richmond
, no panic, nobody leaving the city, and that the rebels have all resolved to fight us at the Chickahominy
and at Richmond
The reconnaissance was carefully conducted and was perfectly successful, with exception of the casualties mentioned above.
Last evening I went out on a foraging expedition for the benefit of the faithful horse, and stopped at a fine plantation owned by a widow lady named Crump
, who has three sons serving in the rebel army.
An able-bodied, considerably bleached out, intelligent contraband, said that his mistress had, ‘"done gone to Richmond
last Wednesday, and took along a tight smart lot of slaves;"’ he was to have gone on one of the Confederate
wagons, but went ‘ "de oder way into de woods."’ Some bottled porter was found in the house, which upon examination by the surgeon was found to have been poisoned.
The negro said that on Thursday, the 15th inst., General Johnston
and staff were having dinner prepared at the house of a Dr. Crump
, near the cross-roads, when the scouts reported the near approach of our forces.
The announcement caused a stampede of the dinnerless party.
A forward movement was made yesterday, and the Chickahominy river
, where it was supposed the enemy would make a stand, was passed by our forces without molestation.--The enemy were evidently afraid of a flank movement.
Whiskey rations are now served out to the soldiers morning and evening, to counteract the influences of the malaria.
news by the Kangaroo
, telegraphed from Cape Race
, is dated to the 16th of May--five days later than our advices by the Scouts.
, at Queenstown
; had reported the New Orleans by the Union
army, and, her news being subsequently confirmed, the event was very widely commented on by the London
The fact produced no influence on the Liverpool cotton market at first, but American descriptions of the staple experienced a decline at the latest date of the Kangaroo
It is acknowledged by the London Times
that the taking of New Orleans is a great triumph for the North
That paper says that the United States
Ministers in London
had been ‘"told to assure the Governments that plans are being matured for a mitigation of the blockade."’ The writer entertains no doubt of the sincerity of the intention of the Federal Cabinet
in this direction, and states that with the fall of New Orleans there is ‘"an end to the blockade of that city."’
Only one thing was wanting, in his opinion, and that was that ‘"cotton should come down"’ to New Orleans.
Should the rebels destroy the stock, he adds, ‘"it is hard to see what is gained by the capture."’
The London Post
--the organs of the Cabinet
and extreme aristocrats — were inclined to underrate the value of the achievement, so far as commercial benefits to Europe
were to be expected from it.
The impression in Manchester
, at the latest moment, was to the effect that the fall of New Orleans would bring forward more cotton.
The Opinion Nationals
--Prince Napoleon's organ — says that M Mercier
's visit visit to Richmond
had reference merely to a French tobacco stock.
The affair was still, however, the cause of much political speculation in Paris
Count de Persigny
had, it was said, been suddenly ordered from Paris
, his mission having reference to the cargo of cotton and naval stores brought by the steamer Economist
The subject of the distress of the artizans and workmen of Lancaster
had been brought before the British
House of Lords, without any reference to the American