From The Constitution, Wednesday, January 8, 1862 (volume 25, number 1254)
A dispatch from Pensacola says that Fort Pickens opened fire on the last day of the year 1861. The rebel batteries were silent, and the fire from the fort was not renewed the next day.
It is reported that a large number of federal troops landed on North Edisto and seized the railroad station number four on the Charleston and Savannah railroad.
Sixteen national war steamers were at Ship Island.
A destructive fire had occurred at Richmond.
Col. Corcoran and other prisoners from Charleston have been taken to Columbia, S. C.
The Fifth Connecticut were attacked near Hancock on the 4th inst. by 6000 rebels, while protecting the railroad. After a skirmish they retired to this side of the Potomac, and the rebels destroyed the railroad and the telegraph wires. The loss on either side is unknown, but believed to be trifling.
Great quantities of cotton are going to England from Peru.
Gen. Fremont has arrived in Washington.
The Vanderbilt from Port Royal arrived at New York yesterday afternoon, and brought 3,697 bales of sea island cotton. Gen. Stevens had advanced inland to within six miles of the Charleston railroad, and took possession of the rebel batteries after a short resistance, assisted by the gunboat in shelling them. The enemy fell back on their fortifications, which are said to be defended by from eleven to twelve thousand men under Gen. Pope. Our force was 4,500, and had eight wounded including Major Watson, of the 8th Michigan, mortally.
At Huntersville, Western Virginia, Gen. Milroy with 740 men attacked about 750 rebels, and after a fight of an hour the enemy retired with a loss of eight killed and wounded. Eighty thousand dollars worth of army stores were taken or destroyed.
The steamship Bohemian from Liverpool, Dec. 26, has arrived at Halifax. The English papers were discussing the Trent affair, and expressed the hope of a satisfactory settlement. Hon. Anson Burlingame, minster to China, had arrived at Canton.
Release of Union Prisoners
At seven o’clock on Friday morning, 240 Union prisoners were placed on board a rebel steamer, which steamed down James river, and met the Federal steamer George Washington, to which they were transferred. As they stepped aboard under the protection of the national flag, a happier set of men was seldom seen. They arrived at Fortress Monroe about half past five o’clock in the evening, and immediately went on board the Baltimore boat. Almost all of them were taken at Bull Run.
Frederick, Dec. 31.—Contrabands are arriving daily, and are sent to Gen. McClellan’s headquarters. It is stated that at least one-third of the slaves of Loudon county have made their escape, and some from Fairfax, Fanquir and Culpepper occasionally turn up.
Some white refugees were sent to Washington to-day. They represent that if our forces were to enter Loudon the white population would gladly renew allegiance to the Union. The rebels at Leesburg number 6,000, including the militia, who show great disinclination to fight.
The Centreville correspondent of the Richmond Dispatch, writing on the 11th, says :
The two unfortunate men were found guilty of striking an officer while endeavoring to prevent them rescuing a prisoner then in their custody. Their names were Dennis Corcoran and Mike O’Brien, Irishmen by birth, but for some years residents of New Orleans. As the hour for execution arrived, some 10,000 or 15,000 soldiers arrived upon the ground, and were formed on three sides of the spot selected.
The men were brought up in a wagon, and accompanied by a Catholic priest. They were dressed in a full suit of Tiger uniform, and, being men of fine manly forms, presented a splendid appearance. They bore the ordeal bravely. Alighting from the wagon, each walked up to the stakes prepared for them, and kneeled while their hands were tied and the bandage adjusted over their eyes. Then came a moment of breathless suspense, and the next the bullets of their comrades sent their souls into eternity. Both were buried near the spot of their ignominious death, and according to the rights of the Catholic Church.
The most affecting part of the scene was immediately following the discharge of musketry. One of the men had a brother in the crowd, who, before the smoke of the volley cleared from the spot, ran to his side, and supported him as his life-blood ebbed away and felt the last quiver of mortality as the soldier’s body fell into his arms. It was heart-rending to see the poor brother’s agony. The life of dishonor and crime were both forgotten at one thought of that fire of brotherly love that had burned through years of sin. The death of the criminal was borne with stolidity, but the simple sight of such heartfelt, brotherly grief, moistened every eye.”
Gen. McClellan has been quite sick. He is much better and sat up an hour or two on Sunday.
Almost the first use which Spain is making of her newly acquired power is to re-assert her authority in her ancient dominions in this part of the world. Already has she possessed herself of St. Domingo, and on the 16th of last month a Spanish squadron took possession of the castle of San Juan de Ulloa which commands the city of Vera Cruz. The Mexican troops retired from the city the next day without firing a gun.
In this invasion Spain is acting in accordance with the terms of a treaty entered into with France and England, by which these three powers agree to unite their military and naval forces against Mexico in order to obtain reprisals for past losses and protection to their interests in that country for the future. It is very naturally suspected that these three powers, if they succeed in their plans, will not leave the Mexican government in the same shape in which they found it. A republic is not the form of government which monarchies admire, and seeing that the United States cannot interfere at the present time, they may seize the occasion to establish something after the European model.
Senator Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, is expected to be in Hartford to-morrow (Wednesday) during the session of the Union Convention, when he will speak to the Union men of Connecticut.
The Gale on New Year’s night was the hardest we have had for a long time. It is thought it had something to do with the departure of Mason and Slidell who put to sea [for Tarshish] just before it came on.
The steeple of the church in Bloomfield was blown down. In Southport the steeple of the Episcopal church was blown over on the roof, and the building was thoroughly demolished. St. John’s spire in Hartford started, so they thought, but did’nt [sic] come down.
A good many houses were unroofed in every direction, chimneys blown down, &c., &c., but we have not heard of any casualties resulting from the blow.
In this city, the wind threatened to do a great deal of damage, but it did nothing serious. Some slight inconveniences were suffered and that was all. The fact is, Middletown is built in so substantial a manner, that it is almost immovable, and it would take a heavier gale than that of Wednesday night to make much of an impression here.
The gale on New Year’s night blew down the blacksmith shop of Royce & Wilcox near the railroad track in East Berlin. It was a brick building. It must have “blown big guns” over there in East Berlin.
The New London Banks have suspended specie payment.
Among the patents issued bearing date Jan. 1st, 1862, are the following :
A. K. Johnston, of Middletown, and L. Dow of Topeka, Kansas, for improvement in envelopes of cartridges for firearms.
William J. Pitt of this town for improvement in revolving firearms.
Owing to a greater demand than usual for gas this winter the gas works have been taxed somewhat beyond their capacity, and those who use the article have been recommended to be as economical as possible. The company will speedily make arrangements to supply all demands.
The winter term of the several schools in this city was to have commenced on Monday. But owing to the sickness which prevails extensively among the children, the opening of the public schools is deferred for the present. Scarlet fever is prevailing to an alarming extent, and quite a number of deaths have occurred.
A Sad Bereavement
An extraordinary calamity has fallen upon the family of Mr. Patrick Dorsey of this city. On Saturday last he buried his oldest daughter. On Monday his wife died ; and on the same day, another of his children, a little boy, expired.
A northeast snow storm commenced on Sunday night, and continued through the next day, giving about five inches of snow, and pretty good sleighing. We have had some cold weather this week. On Sunday morning the thermometer stood at 2 degrees, and on Monday morning at 4 degrees.
Special Town Meeting.—NOTICE. The Inhabitants of the Town of Middletown, qualified to vote in Town Meeting, are hereby notified that a Special Town Meeting will be held at the Town Hall on Saturday next, January 11th inst., at one o’clock, P. M., for the purpose of hearing the report of the selectmen relative to the re-building of the Bridge across the Pameacha stream, at the south end of South Main street, and to take such action thereon as may be deemed expedient.
SAMUEL C. HUBBARD,
GEO. S. HUBBARD,
STEPHEN BROOKS, Selectmen.
ALVA B. COE,
JAMES G. SMITH,
Middletown, Jan. 6th, 1862.