From The Constitution, Wednesday, August 28, 1861 (volume 24, number 1235)

Latest News

Gen. James T. Pratt of Rocky Hill has been appointed Major General of the militia of the state of Connecticut, under the new military law, by Gov. Buckingham.

An important order has just been issued by the War Department, which provides for two Lieutenants for each regiment, in addition to the twenty company Lieutenants, one of whom will be Adjutant, the other regimental Quartermaster. They will be recognized and paid by the U. S. authorities.

The propeller “New London,” of the New York and New London line, has been purchased by the government for $30,000.

There was a great mass meeting of 3000 at Camden, Me., on Friday, in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war. Speeches were made by men of both parties, and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed.

A man named Rivers was arrested in Providence, Saturday evening, on suspicion of being a rebel spy, and sent to New York for examination.

A woman was arrested in Alexandria on Sunday, direct from Beauregard’s head quarters, and a search by an Irish woman of one of the regiments revealed some twenty letters, implicating prominent citizens of Washington and Alexandria.

All the small boats on the Potomac are being collected by order of the government.

Mrs. Senator Gwinn has been arrested at West Point, and drawings of the fortifications on the Virginia side of the Potomac found in her possession.

The Trenton (N.J.) True American suspended on Saturday morning. The Postmaster-General’s order probably interfered with its circulation.

The extra Bangor (Me.) Democrat, a secession paper, was deposited in the Post-Office on Friday night. The Postmaster notified the Department, and retains the papers for orders from Washington.

On Saturday evening there was great excitement in Wilmington, Delaware. A large crowd surrounded the Gazette office, threatening its demolition for abuse of the Federal Government.


Owing to orders issued from the post office department, forbidding the transmission through the mails of the papers presented by the grand jury in New York as disloyal, Ros & Tousey, the great news dealers, refuse to circulate the sheets.

Edward Everett on Freedom of the Press

The statesman and orator of New England, the Hon. Edward Everett, has just published an article giving his opinion of the manner in which outspoken secessionists and secession journals at the North shall be treated at this crisis. He is decided in saying that they should not be permitted to give aid and comfort to the enemy by advocating the cause of treason at the North. While Mr. Everett is as strongly attached as any man to liberty of speech and of the press, he says what every sensible man will fully endorse that these are times when it is not safe to permit this liberty to the enemies of the Government :

“It is an absurdity in terms, under the venerable name of the liberty of the Press to permit the systematic and licentious abuse of a Government which is tasked to the utmost in defending the country from general disintegration and political chaos.”

While a traitorous press is tolerated in a community by the generosity and forbearance of the people, Mr. Everett says truly that we practice a liberality which awakens no gratitude, and is never reciprocated by the opposing party. At the South no newspaper would be permitted to exist which should venture to attack or persistently to oppose the measures of the Confederate Government. But at the North journals have been allowed to abuse the Government of the United States without limit. This generosity on the part of our citizens has been considered as evidence of weakness and indecision by the secessionists, and they have in consequence grown bolder in their vilification of the Government.

Army Officers

It has been announced that Gen. McClellan’s command extends now to Harper’s Ferry, and that Gen. Banks is subordinate to him. It is also well known that the veteran Gen. Wool has taken command at Harper’s Ferry in place of Gen. Butler. Another significant fact in this connection is that many officers of volunteer regiments and companies have lately resigned.

When the war commenced almost any man thought himself capable of assuming command. Men who had been accustomed to look for fat offices in civil life, thought it a splendid chance to get into office in the army. No special qualifications had ever been required for any government office heretofore, and they did not dream that any special qualifications were necessary to make a brigadier, a colonel, or a captain. Three months ago and less therefore there was a tremendous rush for military commissions, and the crop of new army officers was immense. Well, the tug of war came. There was a battle just above Fortress Monroe in which a Massachusetts Brigadier, who had never before smelt gunpowder when it was seasoned with lead and iron, figured very much to his disadvantage. Subsequently there came a series of adventures, misadventures, and then a great fight and a total rout in northern Virginia, when not a few gentlemen with epaulettes upon their shoulders found them very much out of place. As a consequence of all this there have been sundry resignations, withdrawals, and supersedures. It has been discovered that a military office is not a sinecure, and that a commission carries with it no little responsibility. We commend the good sense of those men who have withdrawn on apprehending their mistake. We commend also, the wisdom of the Government in committing the most responsible positions to tried and capable military men. The army is now beginning to look more like an army, and as if it might be made reliable in the field. Our soldiers are brave—none are braver—and they need capable leaders, men not only of unquestionable courage, but of military science and experience. Let our men have such leaders as these and there is no fear of the issue of this contest.

Another Revolutionary Patriot Gone

At Canterbury, N. H., Aug. 21st, Col. Asa Foster, aged 96 years, 2 months and 18 days. Col. Foster was with Benedict Arnold at West Point, and at the time of his desertion was a member of his staff. He was born in Andover, Mass., but when a youth removed to Canterbury where he ever after resided, beloved and respected by all. He retained his physical vigor to a remarkable degree. Up to within two or three years he prepared his own firewood from choice. About two or three years ago he went alone to a bog meadow, some half a mile from home, and while attempting to cross a ditch, his foot slipped, and he fell into the ditch, sinking down in the mud and water to the arms ; by his own efforts, before assistance arrived, he extricated himself and started for home. He retained his mental faculties to the last, taking a lively interest in the present struggle, and was anxious to hear every item of news and would freely and intelligently comment upon it. When the news of the fall of Sumter reached him, he declared if he was younger he would shoulder his musket and again march to the defense of his country. The wife of seventy years survives him at the age of 90, in the full enjoyment of every faculty.

[We obtain these facts from Hon. A. B. Calef of this city, whose wife was a grand-daughter of the deceased.]

The Bridgeport Farmer Office Demolished !

In accordance with a call issued, a so-called peace-meeting was held at Stepney, ten miles north of Bridgeport, on Saturday afternoon. It was to have been addressed by E. G. Schnabel of Pennsylvania, E. B. Goodsell, ex-postmaster of Bridgeport, and Belden, a lawyer from Newtown.

A delegation from Bridgeport, consisting of a large number of the first citizens of Bridgeport, and many returned volunteers under Capt. Fry of the 3d Connecticut, went up to attend it. The meeting was called to order, but no speakers appeared. The flag was then torn down and the Stars and Stripes run up and loud calls were made for speeches. As no one yet appeared, Elias G. Howe of Bridgeport was chosen President and P. T. Barnum Secretary. Several pistols and one gun were taken from the secessionists, who drew but dare not fire them.

Resolutions to the effect that those present, holding sacred the liberties of their country and the peace of their State, utterly condemned all falsely-called peace-meetings as really secession demonstrations, insulting to the flag and disgraceful to the country, discountenanced all such attempts of traitors, alleged that in this crisis there are but two parties, loyal men and traitors, and that they offered themselves to aid in suppression of this rebellion, were unanimously adopted. The Star Spangled Banner was then sung and the volunteers returned to Bridgeport where a perfect ovation attended them.

As they passed the office of the Farmer, they were greeted with hisses. They at first took no notice of insult, when some persons in the office assailed them with malignant remarks. This was the incitement to an attack. Attempts were made by the citizens to persuade the volunteers to wait for the action of the government, but they were of no avail. The office was completely gutted. Everything but the largest press and the steam engine was thrown out into the street. Some of the volunteers were armed with muskets, which they had procured somewhere. Two hundred police clubs were found on the premises, which Morse, the editor, had stowed away for his men. There were four or five thousand citizens present as spectators. A military guard was placed around the Standard office to prevent an attack by the secessionists.

A Fight at New Fairfield

At the raising of a Peace Flag at New Fairfield, on Saturday, about four hundred persons were present. [An] attempt to haul down the Peace Flag and run up the Stars and Stripes in its place was successfully resisted, and resulted in a serious fight. Two peace men, Weldman and Gorham, were wounded, one of them it is thought fatally. No firearms were used. Shovels, pickaxes and stones were freely used. But about seventy Unionists were present. The peace flag is still flying. Great excitement persists.

Two wounded Peace men were alive at half-past 5 o’clock Saturday evening. There were only about three hundred people at the meeting. The peace flag is still flying. No fighting was anticipated. No arrests of the disturbers of the meeting have as yet been made.


For the Constitution.

Mr. Editor : Will you please state in your paper that recruits or volunteers joining New York regiments are entitled to all the emoluments given by the state and city. And that the bounty of $100 is paid to them or their heirs or next to kin, whether they return and are honorably discharged, or left on the battle field.

Yours truly,

B. Giroux, Recruiting Officer

Middletown, August 26, 1861


For the Constitution.

Messrs. Editors : As some of our newly fledged citizens seem disposed to oppose the grading and improving of “Washington Square” in accordance with the vote of the city in Jan. last, it may be well to show them what our older citizens have heretofore thought of the matter. I have before me a petition to the common council of the city of Middletown dated May 15th, 1843, signed by over fifty of our then most substantial citizens praying “that a committee be appointed to survey and grade and otherwise improve the same (Washington Square) for the purpose of securing to the city a convenient spot for public use” &c. Among the petitioners I find the following names, viz. W. L. Storrs, John Fisk, Samuel Russell, W. S. Camp, Linus Coe, W. J. Trench, E. H. Roberts, Edwin Stearns, Wm. Woodward, Eleazer Lacey, Austin Baldwin, Alfred Southmayd, John Wyse, E. A. Russell, Wm. B. Casey, E. Lewis, John Johnston, Aug. W. Smith, John L. Smith, Geo. W. Harris, Dyer Ames Jr., Eli Wilcox, Wm. Southmayd, Ellsworth Burr, H. Carrington, G. M. Boardman, Chas. H. Pelton, Horace Clark, Allen May, R. A. Pease, J. E. Lathrop, Otis Fisk, S. H. Ward, E. Bradley, D. Allen Jr., C. H. Jackson, C. Elliott, Jas. D. Bacon, L. C. Lyman, D. H. Chase, Eph. Crofoot, Geo. Nichols, B. F. Chaffee and others. Among more recent petitions are found the names of Benj. Douglas, C. C. Tyler, Daniel Glover, E. F. Johnson, G. W. Coite, P. Fagan, A. B. Calef, S. C. Hubbard, J. H. Watkinson, W. P. Vinal, Simon Towle, D. W. Camp, S. H. Parsons, A. G. Pease, H. M. Colton, Moses Culver, W. H. Atkins, S. Stearns, A. H. Jackson, O. Utley, A. Putnam, G. T. Hubbard, L. A. Rand and others. It is well known that this proposed improvement has been delayed and put off from time to time until the annual city meeting in Jan. last, when an almost unanimous vote was had appropriating not exceeding $600, whenever a like amount should be raised from other sources, for the purpose of grading &c. said square. A subscription paper is now in circulation for this object, with a prospect of at least raising a sufficiency to grade the premises, and it is hoped that our citizens generally, (at least, all who are able,) will come forward and assist in carrying out this long contemplated project. We have in our midst a large number of unemployed men, numbers of which it is stated are already in destitute circumstances ; men whom the tax payers will be compelled to support in some way the coming winter, unless they can find employment. Now how much better to set them at work on the proposed Park, and thereby help the poor laborers, at the same time, we are adding attractions to the city. These suggestions are very hastily thrown together by one who favors improvement and


Wesleyan University

The new academic year of this institution has just opened with flattering prospects. The Freshman Class just received we understand already numbers more than any one of its predecessors ; and there are still a few to be added whose names have been received. This is quite unexpected, and indicates that, while patriots mourn the present political troubles, there are many still determined to press onward in the peaceful pursuits of science.


The arrangements at the depot at Washington for the comfort of the soldiers arriving are ample and excellent. A very long and well-ventilated building has been erected, into which soldiers step from the cars, and there they find ample facilities for bathing and brushing up. From this place they are conducted to a large refreshment room, where an ample meal, with fresh-baked bread, nice hot coffee, &c., is offered to each man—all without charge. The arrangement is complete.


Cousin Josephine

By Paul Benton.

She’s my cousin, so what harm

For her blessed little arm

Round my neck to twine,

And her dear delicious lips,

With their rosy, fluttering tips,

Ever so much,

Just to touch,

Mine !

She’s my cousin, so you see,

She can’t fall in love with me ;

That I always keep in mind.

And, indeed, I’ve always kissed her,

As you would a little sister,

Just so that she

Might think me