From The Constitution, Wednesday, October 2, 1861 (volume 24, number 1240)

Latest News

Yesterday the startling news was received that the rebels have abandoned all their entrenchments fronting Arlington Heights, and the national troops now occupy their positions. Detachments from Gens. Richardson’s, Keyes’ and Wadsworth’s brigades and from Gen. Franklin’s division, now occupy Monson’s Hill. Early Sunday forenoon, the pickets from Gen. Smith’s division advanced to and now occupy Falls Church. None of these movements met with any opposition whatever. During the advance of Gen. Smith, Col. Owen’s regiment in the darkness mistook Gen. Baker’s California regiment and other troops in the advance for rebels, and fired upon them. The fire was returned. Through this strange blunder six or eight men were killed and several wounded. At Falls Church the national pickets now occupy one end of the village and the rebel pickets the other, about a mile apart.

There is important news this morning, Tuesday, from Missouri. Information has been received at Jefferson City that 10,000 rebels are in the southern part of Green County and are moving northward. 4000 are also advancing through Bates county. Gen. Fremont is acting strangely in his conduct towards Col. Blair. After the latter was discharged from arrest by order of the President, Gen. Fremont again arrested him on the same charges and Gen. Scott has now ordered the unconditional release of Col. Blair. Price is being rapidly reinforced. Col. Mulligan’s surrender added greatly to Price’s strength.

From Kentucky it is reported that Pillow is marching on to Paducah from Tennessee with 40,000 men. James B. Clay has been admitted to bail.

At a meeting of bank presidents in Boston on Monday it was voted unanimously to take $10,000,000 of the second $50,000,000 government loan. New York takes $35,000,000 and Philadelphia $5,000,000.

A Battle Anticipated

For some time past there has been a profound silence with regard to every thing connected with the movements of the army on the Potomac. Not a scrap of information can reach us giving any clue as to the designs of Gen. McClellan. It is known that there is a vast army there, which is being disciplined and moulded into shape. But whether McClellan means to invade Virginia or await offensive operations on the part of the enemy, no one is informed. It seems certain that an engagement cannot long be deferred. That the two hostile armies should much longer remain in such close proximity to each other without collision is improbable. Within a few days, some put it down at twenty, some less, it is believed there will be a great battle. General McClellan is fully prepared for either offensive or defensive operations, and when the time comes for action the result will be a very different one from that of the 21st of July.

Affairs in Missouri

The management of affairs in Missouri has not met the public expectation. Ever since the General in command has held his head quarters in St. Louis, matters have all gone wrong in that state. Disaster has followed disaster in quick succession. The traitor Claib. Jackson has been gaining ground. McCulloch has been advancing from the south west. We have lost the gallant Lyon through cruel neglect on the part of somebody in not furnishing him with the reinforcements he had earnestly prayed for. Lexington has just been taken by an overwhelming force of rebel troops, after a gallant, but fruitless defence by Col. Mulligan. The General in command had abundant means at St. Louis to reinforce Lexington. He had men and boats, and the place was but about two days sail from this head quarters. Some one is responsible for this gross neglect. There is culpable mismanagement somewhere.

The people of the west have had great confidence in the military capacity of General Fremont. It is unquestionable that he is a great explorer, a brave man, and one who has done much for geographical science. The people who have admired him for what he has actually done, have attributed to him qualities which they have yet no evidence that he possesses. He had been a popular idol, and his worshippers have burned before him the incense of unqualified praise. But General Fremont must now look to his laurels. The tide of public opinion and of public favor is beginning to turn. Distrust is taking the place of confidence. People are everywhere asking if they have not been greatly mistaken, and if they have not deceived themselves, in their estimate of the military genius of one who has shown great genius in other spheres of duty.

Frightful Accident in England

One of the late arrivals brings intelligence of a frightful collision and loss of life in the Clayton tunnel of the London and Brighton railway, about five miles from the Brighton terminus, on Sunday morning, August 25th. A Portsmouth excursion train leaves Brighton every Sunday morning at five minutes past eight o’clock. Ten minutes later another excursion train starts on the same line ; and this, after an interval of fifteen minutes, if followed by the regular Parliamentary train.

The Clayton tunnel is a mile in length. Men are stationed at each end, and it is their duty to telegraph when a train has passed through, and not to allow one train to follow another until notice has been given that the first has emerged safely. On the 25th of August a train had entered the tunnel from the Brighton side and the man at the other end had not notified that it had got through when another train approached from Brighton. The man at that end, therefore, attempted to stop it by the usual signal, but which signal he alleges failed to work. He therefore waved a danger flag, and the driver perceiving this just as he was entering the tunnel, at once applied the breaks [sic], and, finding himself in the tunnel, reversed the engine as soon as possible with the view of backing out. While this was taking place a third train approached and the man at the entrance having meanwhile received a signal from the other end that a train had passed, which he supposed to mean that which had last entered, but which in reality meant the first, hoisted the signal of “all right,” and allowed this new train to dash into the other, which was backing towards it, in the midst of the tunnel.

The horrors that ensued in the darkness may be conceived, and it was nearly an hour and a quarter before the dead and wounded could be got out. The guards and stokers saved themselves by jumping off. Twenty-three persons were instantly killed, while from fifty to a hundred received serious injuries. The train being a cheap excursion train, carrying passengers from Brighton to London and back, a total distance of one hundred and one miles, for a sum equal to sixty-two and a half cents, the sufferers were all persons of comparatively humble means, chiefly mechanics and small shopkeepers and their wives and children, and the incidents connected with the bereavements of these poor people were in many cases of the most heartrending description. The moral to be deduced is that trains in such rapid succession must always be highly dangerous, since whatever provisions may be made for safety there can be no time to correct the consequence of the failure of a wire or the omission of the slightest signal.

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Cincinnati, Sept. 25.

A committee of mechanics report that the late accident is to be attributed to the misplacement of a rail by the forward passenger car.

Drafting

There has been a good deal of unnecessary apprehension lest drafting for the war should take place. It is the intention of the Government that no drafting shall be done if it can possibly be avoided. The Government of Iowa had lately made preparations for drafting, when Secretary Cameron interfered to prevent it, and intimated that the policy of the War Department would be to rely wholly on the attachment of the people to the General Government.

Connecticut

Has five Brigadier Generals now in the service : Generals Totten from New Haven, Mansfield from Middletown, Benham from Meriden, Sedgwick from Litchfield and Wright from Clinton. These are all West Point men, and all but Gen. Sedgwick members of the corps of engineers.

Death of a Conn. Soldier

August Brandt died at Camp Lyon, in the hospital of dysentery, a few days since. He was a member of Capt. Clark’s company, 4th regt., which went from this city. Deceased leaves a wife and four children in New Britain. His age was 32.

Business in Middletown

The demand for moderate house rents is good now in the city, greater than it has been at any time for twelve months past. Business of certain kinds has increased of late, and many who find work in factories have moved into town.

Large quantities of shoes for the army are made here by J. & J. B. Silliman contractors. They have rented rooms in Parshley’s block, and employ a large number of workmen.

Hall & Wilcox and Penfield & Son, grummet makers, have received large orders, and are working night and day.

The Savage Revolving Fire Arm Company has got fully under way in its extensive factory on Church street, and is doing a heavy business.

The Sanseer Company have received orders which insure business for the present, and the prospect is fair for the winter.

Russell Man’g Company are busy making belting for army service and give employment to a fair number of hands.

We understand that business is brisk at Stroud’s foundry and that good workmen are in demand.

Benjamin Butler, sailmaker, has been making sails for the two gun boats now being built on the river.

The prospects for work and good wages for the winter are much better than were anticipated. Good mechanics will generally find employment, and almost every one can find something to do. The money which is spent by the Government does not go out of the country, but finds its way to different channels among the people.

The Meeting this Evening

A National Union Caucus will be held this (Tuesday) evening, at the TOWN HALL, to make arrangements for the annual town meeting to be held next Monday. The call for this meeting is signed by influential men in both the political parties, and expresses the general desire felt in this town that no party tickets of any kind should be presented at the polls. It is the desire of loyal men to forget parties as long as we have a great rebellion which threatens the existence of the Government, to oppose and put down. At present there are no party questions before the country, and there is not the shadow of a reason why party lines should be observed. Let the spirit of union and loyalty to the Government prevail, and let the vote which shall be given next Monday prove that the people of Middletown can in the present crisis forget every minor consideration in their devotion to the common cause which now appeals to every patriotic citizen.

Washington Park

The work of grading Washington Park, generally known as West Green, is proceeding. A good deal of work is required to bring it in proper condition, but when completed it will be a beautiful and attractive spot. This enterprise affords employment to a large number of workmen, and comes just at the right time for scores of laborers who might otherwise have nothing to do.

Middlesex Agricultural Society.

The County Fair and Cattle Show,

Will take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week, Oct. 2d, 3d and 4th.

The HORSES, CATTLE and other live Stock will be exhibited at DOUGLAS PARK, and

FRUITS, VEGETABLES, MANUFACTURES & ART,

will be exhibited in McDONOUGH HALL, under regulations similar to those of former years. Particulars will be given in the Handbills to be issued this week.

Further information may be obtained of the Officers of the Society.

DAVID LYMAN, President.

Vice-Presidents.

M. H. Griffin, Alva B. Coe,
Elisha S. Hubbard, Levi Coe,
Geo. W. Burke, Henry C. Johnson,
George H. Prior, D. W. C. Burr,
M. F. Pelton,  E. S. Camp,

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Committee of Arrangements.

J. W. Alsop, Jr., Charles Hubbard,
J. N. Camp, S. W. Russell,
J. E. Blake, Leroy Brainerd,
James McCleve, Silas Payne,
F. W. Steuben.

D. BARNES, Secretary.

The time draws nigh, and we hope all will be prepared to do something to give interest to the Show.

Middletown, Sept. 24, 1861.

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John Marsh, Secretary of the American Temperance Union, wants money to enable him to supply tracts adapted to our soldiers’ wants. Two hundred regiments can be reached ; and many a soldier can be rescued from intemperance.

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A New York liquor dealer who had gone to rusticate at the Springs a few weeks ago, received the following telegram from a friend :–Dear B.: Your store was burnt last night—all the liquor gone to the d—l. Yours, H.  He sent the following reply :–Dear [H].; I received your message—am glad my liquor has gone where my friends can drink it.  Yours, B.