Excerpts from The Constitution, Wednesday, May 15, 1861 (volume 24, number 1220)
Precisely What Was Wanted
A few days ago the public was surprised and gratified to hear from Senator Seward a sentiment which tallied exactly with the popular wishes, and which will forever put to rest all doubts as to the ultimate intentions of the government. It had been supposed that two or three members of the Cabinet, even after the assault upon Fort Sumter, inclined towards a propitiatory policy towards the South and were looking toward a peaceable withdrawal of the Confederate States as a result of the contest. There was at least a suspicion that some members of the government in some way favored the idea of a final peaceable secession. As long as that suspicion existed the policy of the government was uncertain, and the people felt that something essential to the strength of their cause was wanting. But this suspicion will no longer exist. The occasion for it is entirely removed. The Cabinet is a unit as regards the object to be secured in the war. The idea of peaceable secession has never once been entertained by any member of the government. The Union will be maintained, and the authority of the government will be asserted from Maine to Texas.
Secretary Seward, in his instructions to our new Minister to France, says:
“You cannot be too decided or explicit in making known to the French Government that there is not now, nor has there been, nor will there be, the least idea existing in this Government of suffering a dissolution of this Union to take place in any way whatever.”
This declaration is sufficiently explicit, and settles the question positively that there cannot and will not be any secession peaceable or otherwise from the Union. We thank Secretary Seward for this declaration. It is precisely what was needed to give strength and vigor to the arm of the patriotic men who have consecrated themselves to their country’s service. We now know what we are fighting for, that it is for the Union, the whole union, and for the constitution just as our fathers gave it to us. This is our cause and a noble cause too. The issue of this war is to be a united country—united from the lakes to the gulf, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific—united, prosperous, and happy.
The News from St. Louis
Both the government of the State of Missouri and of the city of St. Louis is unfortunately in the hands of secessionists. On Friday last, a body of 800 rebels, under Gen. Frost, who had located themselves in a camp on the western outskirts of the city, were captured by Capt. Lyon, acting for the U. States. It was a bold move and quite successful. The U. S. troops now hold possession of the rebel camp, and secession is at a discount in St. Louis. At the instigation, as it is believed, of some of the city authorities, an attack was made by the mob on the U. S. soldiers at the camp. The latter fired on the crowd, and several were killed.
On Sunday evening there was another attack on a detachment of the U. S. troops as they passed through the streets. Four of the soldiers were killed and several wounded.
Gen. Harney, who had just arrived to take command of the U. S. forces, issued a proclamation pledging himself to do all in his power to preserve peace, and calling on the people to aid him in the discharge of his duties.
Capt. Lyon who commanded the forces which captured the rebels at St. Louis is from this State. After being kept prisoners two or three days, Frost’s men were liberated on taking an oath not again to fight against the United States.
Washington, May 6.
Gen. Scott to-day for the third time voluntarily took the oath of allegiance to the constitution and laws of the United States. His staff followed his example.
It is expected that Baltimore will be occupied by Government troops on Wednesday.
Gov. Sprague is ordered to be in readiness for service out of the District.
St. Louis, May 6.
Four full regiments have been mustered into the federal service, and the fifth is being formed.
New York, May 6.
Some Baltimoreans had an interview with General Butler last night, who said that Northern troops must march safely over the ground where Massachusetts blood was spilt, and that if they were attacked from any house, the house would be blown up.
For some three or four weeks past southern journals have taken great pleasure in calling us northern people a set of cowards. They tell us we dare not fight, we dare not cross Mason & Dixon’s line, we dare not encounter the chivalry of the South. We are told that “with ninety-nine Northern men in a hundred, on all occasions, duty honor, patriotism has ever been considered, and will ever be considered a mere matter of profit and loss.” Just wait and see, gentlemen, whether northern men can fight or not. Unless the signs of the times fail us, this question will soon be settled. Northern men have gone to Washington, and they have gone with the intention of fighting. If they don’t have the opportunity of fighting, they will be disappointed. Just wait awhile. Southern and northern men will soon have an opportunity of testing their courage.
A large Union meeting was held in Preston County, Va., on the 4th inst. The meeting expressed its unalterable opposition to secession and favored a division of the State. Fourteen counties in Western Virginia have appointed delegates to the Union convention at Wheeling. It is the determination of the people of that part of the State not to submit to the dictation of the secessionists of Eastern Virginia.
The House to-day (Tuesday) acts on the new military bill reported in consequence of the change in the time of enlistment from three months to three years.
Middletown First in the Field
Information was received here last week that any new regiments to be formed in this State must enlist for three years. No sooner did Capt. Clark’s volunteer company, just formed in this city, hear of it than they voted unanimously to enlist for the three years. It was done with enthusiasm and without the least hesitation, and every man will go.
The Cavalry Company
Has concluded not to enlist for three years. As they are too late for the three months service they will endeavor to serve their country at home.
The President, as a well deserved tribute to the military talents, bravery and services of our fellow citizen, Col. J. K. F. Mansfield, U. S. Army, has conferred upon him the rank of Brigadier General.—His eminent services in the Mexican war with Gen. Taylor, and his universally acknowledged abilities in his profession entitle him to this and ultimately, we presume, to even a higher rank in the army.
“Citizens Guard” and Home and Ex Members “Mansfield Guard” Attention!
We are requested to say, that there will be a meeting at the Armory this evening (Tuesday,) for drill, and to decide upon escort duty to the two volunteer companies, who are to leave us on Thursday next.
The prompt attendance of every member is requested at 7 ½ P. M.
A Thunder Storm
With copious showers of rain visited this section last night.
Warm weather is confidently expected after this storm is over, and ice cream will be in demand. A capital article can be found at C. Putnam’s. Lovers of the delicious compound should cultivate Mr. Putnam’s acquaintance.
Arrival of the Great Eastern
The Great Eastern arrived at New York on Saturday, with foreign dates to the 1st, being three days later. The passage was made in 9 days, 13 hours. She encountered a tremendous gale on the 5th, and rolled heavily, but no sea went over her lofty sides.
The southern commissioners had reached England. Mr. Gregory’s motion in the commons for the recognition of the southern confederacy, was postponed for two weeks. In the House of Lords, 29th ult., Lord Woodhouse stated, in reply to a question, that the government recognized no right or obligation to interfere in the conflict unhappily commenced in America, either diplomatically or otherwise. The English papers continue to discuss American affairs, the entire London press, except the Times, sympathizing warmly with the loyal states, and anticipating an early triumph for the government.
The state of affairs at Warsaw is unchanged.
The young men of Paira had honored Garibaldi with an ovation.
Elections in Portugal resulted in the choice of 64 ministerial seats to 16 oppositionists to the cortes.