From The Constitution, Wednesday, June 5, 1861 (volume 24, number 1223)

Death of Stephen A. Douglas

The news of the death of Hon. Stephen A. Douglas which occurred at nine o’clock Monday morning, reached this city about 3 o’clock. Flags were lowered at half mast, and at six o’clock all the bells of the churches were tolled. It was felt that a great man had been lost to the country at a time when his services were especially needed. Mr. Douglas had taken a decided stand for the Government, and much was expected from his influence which was probably not exceeded by that of any other man in the nation. At this time his death is a public calamity.

He died in the full flush of manhood. While in the midst of a brilliant career he was suddenly snatched away. Just as a new lustre was being added to his name, and he was about entering upon the noble duty of sustaining the Government of his country, the hand of death is laid upon him. A nation mourns his loss and will honor the memory of Stephen A. Douglas.

The Latest News

The town of Fairfax Court House has been occupied by three regiments of Federal troops. The regiments that now arrive in Washington are generally sent across into Virginia.

The news from Fortress Monroe is not very important. Gen. Butler is strengthening his position and bringing his forces into a condition of military order and discipline. Excepting Sewall’s Point, it was believed that there were no secession troops in any numbers nearer than Yorktown, 27 miles distant, where it was reported that four thousand were collected.

The First Regiment of Maine passed through New York for Washington on Sunday. It numbered eight hundred and fifty men.

The steamship Illinois has been purchased by Government and has been sent to Portsmouth Navy Yard to be fitted out for service.

The remains of Senator Douglas will be taken from Chicago where he died to Washington.

Major General Fremont will return to this country with 10,000 rifles and a park of artillery.

Orders have been issued for Gen. Patterson to move on to Harper’s Ferry as soon as Gen. McClellan can advance from the west.

In the action at Acquira Creek the U. S. ship Pawnee fired 350 shot and the Freeborn 260. The latter received some damage. No lives were lost on board either ship. The enemy’s guns were all silenced, and it is believed there must have been a number of the rebels killed. The fight lasted five hours.

Miss Tracey, who lives at Mount Vernon, has received assurances from Generals Scott and Lee that no armed men shall visit the spot. The gates of the tomb were opened and every thing found untouched.

War Items

Fugitives in large numbers continue to arrive in southern Pennsylvania. Gen. Butler has about 350 contraband colored Virginians.

The rebels in the engagement at Acquia Creek had a battery of six guns, manned by 600 men.

The last trick of the rebels has been to steal all the mail bags that have been sent south. None were returned for a long time before the mail was cut off.

Nine rebels were killed at the last Sewall’s Point engagement.

It seems the intention of the government to secure Richmond very soon.

Much excitement exists in Warsaw, Missouri. Seven hundred men have been organizing themselves into a military company, threatening secessionists with summary punishment.

The control of the road extending from Richmond, via Lynchburg, across Southern Virginia, through Tennessee, is said to be one of the main points of Gen. Scott’s plan for the summer campaign. With its possession, and the occupation of Memphis, secession in Tennessee will soon be crushed out.

The special of the N. Y. Times says that there is great danger that the entire staff of officers of the Third Connecticut Regiment, even the lieutenants and sergeants, will resign. The trouble is the appointment of a captain of the first regiment to be colonel of the Third, in place of Col. John Arnold, who resigned.

An Attack at Any Time Expected

A gentleman arrived at Washington on Friday night from the camp of the federal troops. He reports that 4 companies of U. S. dragoons, a battery of artillery, and the 8th, 25th, and 69th regiments from N. Y., are occupying the Heights two miles beyond Arlington and their pickets extend beyond Ball’s cross roads six miles. Portions of this force are ordered to march on to Fairfax Court House Friday night, if possible, and occupy it before day-break. They expect to have an engagement as information deemed reliable had reached them that the confederate troops to the number of 1400 are in position at that point. It was reported that an attack would be made during the night on Alexandria by 4000 troops, and, though not fully believed, great activity exists among the federal troops.—There is but little doubt that the 71st regiment will proceed at midnight to Acquia Creek, arrangements having been made for their transportation. Up to 11:30 Friday night no advices had been received from that point, by government.


Old Connecticut is well represented at Washington in military affairs. Gen. Mansfield, of Middletown, is in command of the U. S. troops ; Col. Ripley, of Windham County, is in command of the Ordinance Department ; Col. Totton, of New Haven, in command of the Engineer’s Department ; and Prof. Hubbard, of New Haven, is distinguished in the Scientific Department of the Navy. In addition to the officers and men of the three Connecticut Regiments from this State, we are represented by Col. Ellsworth, of Hartford, and Lieut. Col. Farnham, of New Haven, in command of the New York Fire Zouaves, and Major J. J. Dimmock, of Hartford, attached to the 3d New York Regiment.


Mary W. Dennis, 6 feet 2 inches high, is 1st lieutenant of the Stillwater Company, Minnesota Regiment. She baffled even the inspection of the surgeon of the regiment in discovering her sex, but was recognized by a St. Paul printer, who became shockingly frightened at her threats of vengeance upon him if he exposed her, and decamped.

Judge of Supreme Court

On Wednesday last the [Connecticut] House elected Hon. Henry Dutton of New Haven to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court occasioned by the withdrawal of Judge Ellsworth. On Thursday the Senate ratified the choice of the House. This election will be acknowledged on all sides as a very fitting and proper one. Mr. Dutton is one of our most able lawyers, has for many years been a prominent instructor in the law school at New Haven, and is abundantly qualified for the important duties of his new position. No lawyer is probably better or more favorably known throughout the State than Mr. Dutton.


Middletown, June 3, 1861

Mr. Editor : The citizens of the little quiet village of Higganum were taken by surprise on Sabbath morning last, by the appearance of a Secession flag on the steeple of their church, where for three weeks past the Stars and Stripes had proudly floated. As soon as the people observed it they rushed to find the cause of such a transaction, and play the part of Col. Ellsworth at the Marshal House. On arriving at the church, they found that the lock had been filled with shot and other materials and the windows fastened down to prevent an entrance. Notwithstanding these difficulties, it was effected, and there was found a curiously contrived apparatus attached to the halyards to prevent the flag from coming down, but by miscalculation and mismanagement on the part of the traitors, all their plans (even the destroying of our beautiful flag, which they no doubt had in view) proved a complete failure, as all other secession plans and arrangements have done, and will do. The “Secesh” flag’s doom had come ; no sooner were the halyards reached by a young man by the name of Reed, than down it came, and the stars and stripes in its place waved to the breeze. The excited people in front of the church received the odious flag with contempt, stamping upon it and tearing it to shreds. If the traitors who committed the contemptible deed could be found, the people would not wait Chief Justice Taney to issue a writ of habeas corpus, but compel them to perform a certain journey or march set to peculiar music around town.

Narrow Escape

On Friday last a boy named John Condon, who was employed in the Butt shop at the factory of W. & B. Douglas came very near being killed. He was attending the wire as it was being reeled off into the machine when by some means he got entangled in the wire which became twisted about his neck. He was thus without being able to extricate himself gradually drawn towards the machine, and would have certainly been killed if a boy who worked near him had not with great presence of mind managed to hinder the working of the machine till help could arrive. When Condon was released he was senseless. It was a narrow escape for him, and a brave act on the part of his young companion.

Wesleyan University

The anniversary exercises of Wesleyan University commence on the 14th inst., when there will be a prize declamation in the evening. The annual examination will be held during the week.

Sunday the 16th, President Cummings will deliver the Baccalaureate sermon before the graduating class, at the Methodist Church. In the evening an address before the Missionary Lyceum will be delivered by Rev. Dr. Edward Thompson, LL.D.

Monday in the evening an oration will be given before the Literary Societies by John H. Fowler, LL.D., and a poem by Francis Miles Finch.

Tuesday afternoon the meeting of Joint Board of Trustees and Visitors will be held. In the evening, an oration will be given before the Eclectic Fraternity by Rev. George Landon, and a poem by Rev. Nelson Stutson.


Mr. L. Dimock has taken the basement room on the corner of Main and College streets, lately occupied by Mr. Bailey, where he has opened a restaurant. He is a worthy man and will receive patronage.