From The Constitution, Wednesday, October 23, 1861 (volume 24, number 1243)
The War News
It was rumored during the latter part of last week that General Fremont was about to be removed, and then that he was removed. As the last rumor has not turned out to be true, we may reasonably doubt the truth of the first. On Friday night he was at Warsaw, and Gen. Siegel’s division had already crossed the river. Price had effected a junction with Ben. McCulloch, moved up to Osceola, and fortified that town with the intention of making a stand against Fremont there.
Nothing of much importance is reported from the army on the Potomac. Several reconnoisances of more value to General McClellan than of interest to us were made on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The rebels appear to have strongly fortified themselves on the banks of the Potomac, and are believed to have thrown obstructions into the river in a narrow passage opposite their batteries. The schooner Fairfax loaded with hay, which was being towed up the river, broke loose on account of striking some temporary obstruction as is believed, drifted on shore, and was taken possession of by the enemy.
COL. BAKER KILLED !
Gen. Stone crossed the Potomac on Monday morning with a portion of his command, at Edward’s Ferry and another at Harrison Island. Skirmishing continued till 5 o’clock without much effect, when large reinforcements appeared on the right commanded by Col. Baker. The enemy’s force was supposed to be over five thousand. The national troops numbered about 1000. Col. Baker fell at the head of his brigade. Gen. Stone immediately took command of the right wing, but in the confusion caused by the fall of Col. Baker the right sustained a repulse with considerable loss. The left retreated in good order.—Strong reinforcements were to be sent forward last night.
Cincinnati, Oct. 18.—The Gazette says editorially that when Sec. Cameron went to St. Louis he carried the order of the President to Fremont, removing him from command of the Western Department and instructing him to transfer it to General Hunter. The delivery of this order was left to the discretion of the Secretary of War. His visit to the Western Department convinced him that a change of command in this Department was positively required, and he presented the order to Fremont, who asked a delay of a few days ; but his removal is decided upon, to take place next week, and will probably be made on Tuesday. The Secretary of War has also ordered a modification of Fremont’s operations in respect to fortification contracts and military appointments.
Washington, Oct. 19.
Lord Lyons, several days ago, addressed a letter to the secretary of state in which he said that her majesty’s government was much concerned to find that two British subjects, Messrs. Patrick and Rahmie had been subjected to arbitrary arrest, and although they have been released, it could not but be regarded as a matter requiring very serious consideration.
Lyons, under instructions, therefore felt bound to remonstrate against such irregular proceedings as he designated them, and say the authority of Congress was necessary in order to justify the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of British subjects.
Secretary Seward, in the course of his reply after detailing the facts in regard to the two prisoners named, says, “The proceedings of which the British government complain were taken upon information conveyed to the President by legal police authorities of the country and were not instituted until after he had suspended the government writ of freedom, in just the extent that in view of the perils of the state he deemed necessary.
For the exercise of that discretion he as well as his advisers, among whom are the secretary’s of war and state, is responsible by law before the highest judicial tribunal of the Republic, and amenable also to the judgment of his countrymen and the enlightened portion of the civilized world.
In conclusion, he remarks that the safety of the whole people has become, in the present emergency, the supreme law, and so long as the danger shall exist all classes of society, equally the denizen and the citizen, cheerfully acquiesce in the measures the law prescribes.
It is now rendered certain that an arrangement has been entered into by England, France, and Spain for an armed interference with the affairs of Mexico. And it is further declared that this is done with the full approbation of the President of the United States. There are residing in Mexico for the purposes of business many subjects of the three European governments named, and many citizens of the United States. Owing to the disturbed state of public affairs, which renders life and property insecure, and to the inability of the government to afford them any protection, it is believed to be best for all parties that the monarchies of Europe should interfere. It will be the very best thing that could happen to Mexico, for it seems to be the only possible means by which order can be brought out of confusion, or by which that unhappy country can be prevented from going back again to barbarism. Hundreds and thousands of the people of Mexico will welcome such an interference as their only hope of ever having a good government. Such an interference is in opposition to the old and generally acknowledged policy of the United States, but under the circumstances it will be rather welcomed than opposed. Something must be done to protect the citizens of the United States in that country, and this protection will be afforded by the combined action of the European powers. The fact that three powers unite in this interposition is considered a sufficient guaranty that no partition of Mexican territory will be attempted.
The Town Meeting Last Saturday
Mr. Elijah H. Hubbard presented his claim at the town meeting last Saturday for indemnity for damages sustained from his unfortunate seizure during the Maine law times of liquors belonging to Mr. J. S. Parmelee, then of the McDonough House. Of course Mr. Hubbard cannot have any legal claim upon the town for indemnity. If an officer, in attempting to perform his duty, while making a seizure, unexpectedly gets himself into difficulties and incurs damages, he can have no redress at law. A constable in making a seizure is aware that he does it at his own risk. But we do not know that Mr. Hubbard intends to present any legal claim upon the town. He was endeavoring to enforce the law as it was understood at the time of his seizure, and according to his own understanding of his duty. He has incurred heavy damages by doing what he thought was within the sphere of his duty as a public officer, and he asks to be indemnified.
The whole subject was committed to the selectmen, with instructions to report at some subsequent meeting.
A tax of three mills on the assessment list of 1861 was laid.
School Meeting – Important Action
A special meeting of the City School Society was held at the Town Hall last evening. The first business was to fill vacancies in the Board of Education, of which there were three, and the meeting elected Messrs. A. Putnam, B. Bent, Jr., E. B. Nye. Daniel W. Camp was chosen Clerk and Treasurer, and L. Dimock Collector.
The meeting saw fit under the call to “modify” the capitation tax to abolish it altogether, which was entirely unexpected and which would have met with a strong opposition if it had been understood that it was intended to take such action. At previous meetings, when the question came legally before the voters of the district, it has been twice voted down. In consequence of abolishing the capitation tax a tax of 1 3-10 mils was laid.
It was voted to establish a primary school for colored children.
A fine looking yellow pumpkin, raised by Mr. Ephraim Higby, of Westfield, this year, weighed forty pounds and measured four and a half feet in circumference. The sight of such a pumpkin as that reminds one that the Governor has not yet issued his proclamation for Thanksgiving.
In Hartford, Oct. 15, a daughter to J. F. Chamberlain ; Oct. 1st, a son to O. D. Case.
In Tolland, Oct. 10, a son to Yelverton Green.
In Cincinnati, Oct. 12, a daughter to General McClellan.
In Winsted, Oct. 7, a son to Mrs. John Woodford.
There is a vague apprehension on the part of some people lest many who have apparently died and been buried should after all have been buried alive. Such cases have probably happened. Persons have fallen into a state of catalepsy, which so nearly resembled death, that the most acute physicians have been unable to detect any signs of life. Medical men sometimes ridicule the apprehension which is occasionally expressed on the part of friends of a premature burial, and affirm that because they can discover no signs of life, that therefore the patient must be dead. But the most cautious and intelligent of the profession will affirm that this is not a safe conclusion and is not warranted by the premises. Negative signs will not prove a positive fact ; and it has been found that all the usual signs of life have been wanting, while life has actually existed. The most infallible sign that death has taken place, is the fact that mortification has begun. When that commences all reasonable doubt is removed. In every case, friends should be perfectly satisfied that death has taken place before burial, for if a doubt on this subject is indulged it can never subsequently be removed.
We have been led to these remarks by a remarkable case of restoration after apparent death which occurred a week or two since in Albany. A little daughter of Mrs. Wilson, residing on First street, after a severe illness, apparently died. The body did not stiffen, but every other symptom of death was present. The remains were prepared for the grave. During the night, while the mother was in the room, the supposed dead child screamed, and immediately the functions of life were resumed. Heavy perspiration poured off the body in great quantities, and the pale, cold, marble-like form assumed a healthy appearance. The child is now stated to be in a fair way of recovering.