From The Constitution, Wednesday, August 14, 1861 (volume 24, number 1233)
Another Battle in Missouri
A battle occurred on Friday, Aug. 2d, 19 miles south of Springfield, Mo., at Dug Spring, between a portion of Gen. Lyon’s and Ben McCulloch’s forces. A party of 270 of Lyon’s forces came upon a large force of the enemy’s infantry, estimated at over 2000, charged and cut their way through with the loss of only seven men. The lieutenant commanding the cavalry was killed. In the meantime the enemy appeared in large numbers, but were put to flight by Lyon’s artillery.—The rebels retreated southward. In this battle eight of the national troops were killed and 30 wounded. Of the rebels 40 were found dead, and 44 were picked up wounded.
On the day after the battle, Gen. Lyon advanced with his command from Dug Springs, when a body of 3000 rebels were discovered on a hillside to the southwest. Capt. Dubois’ battery opened upon them with such effect that they beat a hasty retreat. Their loss is not known. The Nationals lost none.
Destruction of Hampton by the Rebels
Hampton has been burnt by scouts. A fugitive Wednesday morning brought word of the approach of a large rebel force from Yorktown. These rumors were confirmed at five in the afternoon by an intelligent deserter from the rebels, by the name of E. A. Mahew, a native of Maine, but a resident in Georgia, until impressed into the service. He has furnished an account of the expedition.
Mahew has been stationed at Yorktown since June 1st. On Friday last Col. Magruder left Yorktown with 7000 men including 200 rebel cavalry and eight pieces of artillery, viz: three Parrott guns, four howitzers, and one rifled cannon.
On Monday night they encamped at Great Bethel, which had been completely deserted. On Tuesday night they advanced towards Hampton. Wednesday noon they took up a position on Back River, three miles from town where Mahew managed to escape through the corn-fields and swimming a couple of streams reached the Fortress.
He says the object of the expedition was to draw out our forces to attack Camp Hamilton on Newport News if practicable, and at least to destroy Hampton so as to prevent our using it for winter quarters.
Gen. Butler at once repaired to this end of Hampton bridge, where he remained till eleven.
Col. Webber erected barricades near the Hampton end of the bridge, and laid a strong guard at various points on this side the bridge. A few minutes past midnight, Col. Magruder with about 500 rebels, some belonging to Hampton, entered the town and immediately fired the buildings. The greater part of the 500 buildings were of wood, and being very dry, the strong south wind soon produced a terrible conflagration.
There were perhaps 20 white people and 40 negroes in town, from inability to move, some of whom were in the houses when they were fired, and the rebels did not awake them. They gave Cary Jones and wife, both of whom are aged and infirm, fifteen minutes to remove the few articles of furniture to the garden. Several of the whites and negroes were hurried away to be impressed into the rebel service. Scofield, a merchant, took refuge in the swamp above the town. Two negroes were drowned while attempting to cross the creek.
A company of rebels attempted to force the passage of the bridge, but were repulsed with the loss of three killed and six wounded. The fire raged all night. The greater part of the rebels withdrew about morning ; and at noon Thursday but seven or eight buildings were standing.
The destruction of the town was an act of wanton cruelty to the resident Unionists, and moreover was entirely useless, as Gen. Butler intends to winter the army many miles beyond Hampton. An attempt will be made to fasten the act on Gen. Butler, but after ten o’clock on Wednesday night there was not a federal soldier in Hampton.
Gen. Butler on Treatment of Fugitive Slaves
The number of negroes who keep coming into Gen. Butler’s camp at Fortress Monroe has compelled him to address the Secretary of War on the subject. He says there are now nine hundred negroes in his camp. But while Gen. Butler asks the advice of the Secretary of War, he ventures to give his own opinion on the subject. While he thinks the policy which he pursued at first of regarding fugitive slaves as contraband of war was perfectly correct, he says that policy does not meet all the questions which now arise. A considerable proportion of those who come to the fort are women and children, and as these cannot be used by either side for war purposes, they cannot be called contraband of war. He therefore purposes to consider these negroes as men, women and children no longer under ownership of any kind, who have “by their masters’ acts and the state of war assumed the condition, which we hold to be the normal one, of those made in God’s image.” In short, Gen. Butler proposes to consider all negroes found apart from their masters as free and to treat them as such. There is scarcely a doubt that the Government will adopt the policy suggested by the commander at Fortress Monroe, and that fugitives who come within the American lines for protection will receive it to the fullest extent.
P. S. In the telegraphic news of yesterday is an abstract of Secretary Cameron’s reply to Gen. Butler. With regard to the slaves of persons in arms against the United States there is no question. By act of Congress they are discharged from service. As to the servants of loyal masters, Gen. Butler is ordered to keep a record of the names and description of the fugitives, and suggests that on the restoration of tranquility Congress will furnish a compensation to the legal owners. He is also ordered to permit no interference with the servants of peaceful masters.
Kentucky for the Union
The State of Kentucky at the late election took a decided and manly stand for the Union. Notwithstanding the untiring labors of the secessionists there, the influence of John C. Breckinridge and others of his stripe, the State has nobly vindicated her character for patriotism and attachment to the Union. Thanks to the counsels and influence of the departed statesman Henry Clay and of the living statesman Joseph Holt, Kentucky now stands true to the constitution and the laws, and will never raise any other banner than the stars and stripes.
The Union majority, it is thought, will reach 60,000. So far as heard from the Senate stands 13 Union to 1 states rights. In the House the Union men are seven to one.
The official list of casualties at Bull Run gives a total of 19 officers and 462 men killed, 64 officers and 947 men wounded, and 40 officers and 1,176 men missing—The artillery loss consists of seventeen rifled and eight smooth-bored guns. The loss in ammunition and other equipments is given as 150 boxes small arm cartridges, 87 boxes old fire-arms, 87 boxes rifled cannon ammunition, 30 boxes old firearms [sic], 13 wagons loaded with provisions, 3,000 bushels of oats, and about 2,500 muskets and 8000 knapsacks and blankets.
Arrival and Reception of the Mansfield Guard
On Friday last, the Mansfield Guard, Capt. Dickerson, Company A, 2d Regiment, C. V., reached home. They arrived in the nine o’clock train in the morning. It was not known till the previous afternoon when they would come, but arrangements had been made to give the boys a good reception.
At eight o’clock the military and firemen formed in line on Main street, under the direction of A. Putnam, Marshal, and James H. Taylor, Samuel T. Camp and A. H. Balcam, Assistant Marshals, and after marching down Main street proceeded to the depot. A large crowd was in attendance, and as the train came into the depot the cannon and the bells of the churches throughout the city sent up a glad welcome. As the boys emerged from the depot there was many a warm greeting and hearty shake of the hand. The men looked weather-beaten, and as if they had seen some pretty hard service, which was the fact. The procession moved down Main st., in the following order. First were the Griffin Band, then the Citizens Guard under the command of Gen. Starr, a company of boys from Portland under charge of Mr. Gordon Hall, Hook & Ladder Co., Mattabessett Fire Co. and Hose, Pacific Fire Co. and Hose, Home and Ex-Members of the Mansfield Guard, “Company A, C. V.,” Common Council in carriages, Cavalcade of citizens. The route of the procession was down Main, up Washington, through Broad down Church, and up Main street to the Court House. All along the route flags and banners were displayed. On some of the houses and in front of many of the stores the display was striking and beautiful. An immense crowd gathered in front of the Court House. Lieut. Gov. Douglas then gave a most appropriate and heartfelt address of welcome to the brave men before him, who, at the first call of their country had volunteered in her defense. He paid a deserved tribute of praise for their noble conduct in the late battle, and in the name of their friends and fellow citizens gave them a cordial welcome home. President Cummings, Messrs. Tyler and Culver, Esqrs., also addressed the returned volunteers. After which, the company proceeded to its armory, where Capt. Dickerson gave to each man his discharge.
The company brought home with them a specimen of “contraband.” He is a smart looking black fellow, who came into their camp and remained with the company. Also various articles taken on the battle field such as guns, pistols, &c., and one brought along a dog. Rev. Mr. Lancey brought a rifled musket, a sash taken from a Georgian officer and a cannon ball. These have been on exhibit at Putnam’s bookstore.
Every member of the company who left here returns, with the exception of William Rich and a member by the name of Clark.—Whether the former is among the slain or prisoner is not positively known, though it is believed he was killed, that latter is in the hospital at Washington, suffering from a slow fever, caused by exposure. Richard Taylor, who was wounded in the side by a cannon ball, says he saw the ball coming and had just time to turn around when it tore through his clothes. The men are in good spirits and in excellent health. Capt. Dickerson is not quite as portly as when he left for the wars, but is looking well. All hands testify that campaigning is a hard kind of life. For very obvious reasons the three months volunteers suffered more inconveniences than those who enlisted later and for the war. They are the pioneers of the army.
By an act of Congress passed before the adjournment, $30 bounty is paid to those of the three months volunteers who reenlist for the war individually, $40 if they reenlist by companies, and $50 if they reenlist by regiments.
Rev. Mr. Eddy, the chaplain of the 2d Regiment, was present at the battle at Bull Run with his regiment. He did not return, and for some time nothing was heard from him. It is now known that he was taken prisoner and is in the hands of the rebels. Hopes are entertained of his speedy release.
It is stated that the secessionists intend to get up some so-called “peace” meetings in this county—that is, meetings to second Jeff. Davis’ wish to be “let alone” in his attempts to break up this Union. We are told that there is soon to be a meeting of this kind at Middle Haddam and another at Old Saybrook, where “Peace Flags” are to be raised. What a “Peace Flag” is we are not informed—whether it has on it a rattlesnake or a palmetto or is the emblem of the confederate states. It has been suggested that the Union men in Middle Haddam and elsewhere be on their guard. The only “peace flag” which good patriots can rally under now is the star spangled banner, the glorious flag of the American Union.
Secession Flag in Cromwell
Last Wednesday morning a secession flag was discovered flying at the top of the flag staff in Cromwell. It did not stay there long after it was discovered. Charles Osborne climbed the pole and brought the thing down. The next day it was brought into our office. It had on it eleven stars with the names inscribed on them of the eleven seceding states, and in the center was a black star with the name “Cromwell” inscribed on it. In size the flag was 8 feet wide and 13 feet long. Who raised it is not certainly known, though some suspicions are entertained of the authors of the outrage. If possible let them be discovered and punished. By act of the last legislature the raising and exposing to view a secession flag is rendered a crime punishable by fine and imprisonment.
For the Sick and Wounded—Acknowledgement
The Secretary of the Sanitary Commission in Washington has acknowledged the receipt of articles sent by the ladies of this vicinity a short time since for the benefit of the sick and wounded soldiers. The articles were received in good condition.
We are requested to say that further contributions of hospital supplies will be received, and may be left during this week or the following at the house of Mrs. Dr. Blake, Main street. Work, such as sewing, may be obtained by those who desire to respond to this call of benevolence and duty.
The long vacation closes this week and the fall term begins. The prospects are very fair for a large accession of students this year.
There was a remarkable chance of weather last week. Until Tuesday there had been continuously warm weather for more than a week with the mercury up to nearly 90 in the shade every day. On Wednesday night, Thursday, and Friday there was a cold northwest rain storm when overcoats were in demand and fires were not uncomfortable. After the storm the weather was cool and pleasant. This (Tuesday) morning a cold rain storm has set in.