From The Constitution, Wednesday, January 22, 1862 (volume 25, number 1256)
The startling fact is announced by the Investigating Committee appointed by Congress to inquire into the fidelity of Government employees that there are in the Departments at least five hundred persons who are disloyal to the government !
Gen. Lane and his staff have left Washington for Kansas.
Some one sees indications that a forward movement of the grand army of the Potomac may be looked for soon.
It was asserted at Fortress Monroe on Friday that Gen. Wool had sent notice to Gen. Huger, the rebel commander at Norfolk, to remove the women and children from that city, indicating that an attack was to be made upon the place immediately.
One hundred and fifty exchanged national prisoners reached Baltimore on their way home on Sunday. They are all convalescents from the hospitals.
By a peremptory order of Gen. McClellan every officer and soldier is required to be at his post, and nothing but the most urgent reasons can entitle any officer to leave of absence.
Accounts from New Orleans are that the blockade of that port is perfect, that large rebel reinforcements have been sent there, defences [sic] are being constructed, and that the citizens have been devising various methods to open their city to the commerce of the world.
Gen. McClellan’s firm and dignified position taken before the joint committee on the conduct of the war has produced a most wonderful change in his favor. The tone of public sentiment towards him has undergone a complete revolution.
Ex-President Tyler is very ill at Richmond.
Information has been received that the enemy has evacuated Manassas, and taken a position further south.
A great flood prevails in California, and many millions of dollars worth of property has been destroyed.
Great Battle in Kentucky,
Gen. Zollicoffer Killed
A great battle took place at Somerset, Ky on Sunday, between Gen. Schoepff’s and Gen. Zollicoffer’s forces. It lasted from early in the morning till dark. Gen. Zollicoffer was killed and his army entirely defeated. The loss is heavy on both sides. The victory was decisive. The camp equipage of the enemy, and a large number of prisoners fell into the hands of the national troops. The government this morning received official intelligence of the victory in Kentucky.
Concerning the new Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, the special of the Tribune says :
He is a man of vigorous character, with resolution to prosecute the war with the utmost energy, and to strive to strike the rebellion in its most vulnerable points. Slavery he believes to be the most vulnerable of all. During his administration of the war department, no General or other officer of the army will more than once return a fugitive slave. Those who flatter themselves that in his appointment the cause of slavery, of the rebels, or of the border states, or of the “hands-off” type, has gained an ally, will be charmingly disappointed.
He is not a man of rosewater-doubts as to the expediency or propriety of doing this or that thing, of arming this or that class of men ready to fight for the Union. His only question will be, how most rapidly and thoroughly to crush the rebellion.
Uneasiness Among the People
There are unmistakeable [sic] signs of public discontent at the immovability of the army of the Potomac. It was confidently supposed that an advance would be made before the cold of winter set in. Washington letter writers assured us there were sure indications of an important movement about to be made. After the grand review of the soldiers by the President and General McClellan, the assurance was made doubly sure, for nobody could understand what such a magnificent parade could be for, unless it was meant as a prelude to the long expected order to march. But the review passed by, and days and weeks passed by after it, and the two hundred thousand men who compose the army of the Potomac received no order to march. We are now in the middle of winter, a season of the year when prudent generals rarely move large armies out of quarters. The Virginia roads are reported impassable, Gen. McClellan is too unwell to undertake much hard work, and no indications can be discerned of a movement about to be made.
On the other hand the people are beginning to realize the costliness of the war, that it is involving them in an enormous debt, to pay the interest of which will require a heavy taxation.
Under these circumstances, the inquiry is beginning to be urged—why is not more done ? It is natural enough that uneasiness should be felt. The people know nothing about McClellan’s plans. They know very little about McClellan himself. For aught that they know the General does not mean to fight at all. But the fact is they are wholly in the dark as to what the “powers that be” intend to do, and the experience of the past few months has not given them much encouragement in regard to the future. We do not wonder therefore, at the uneasiness that is felt, for it is perfectly natural under the circumstances. But we believe it ought to be checked, and that all discontent should be promptly subdued. The war now is not in the hands of the people. It is in the hands of the government and of the military chiefs, and to them it must be exclusively committed. If we attempt to turn them aside from their chosen course, or throw obstacles in their way, we do it at our peril. The people interfered once, and the disaster of Bull Run was the result. The experiment should not be repeated. Let there be implicit confidence or at least a perfect acquiescence, in the course which those in authority shall adopt. If the nation is to be saved out of its perils, it must be done by President Lincoln and by General McClellan. They are the men to whom we look, and on whom every thing depends. If they fail in ability or in faithfulness, we are lost. The last, therefore, that a good citizen can do under the circumstances is to acquiesce in all the plans which the only men who have the right to lay any plans have laid for subduing this rebellion.
Washington, Jan. 16.
The Government contract investigating committee are now engaged upon the subject of alleged frauds in this vicinity. They discover that the same horses have been twice sold to the Government, superintendents and inspectors have been bribed to certify to horses, sometimes selling them to private individuals ; that the enormous amounts paid by the war department for transportation, have induced strong competition among railroad companies, so that many colonels in the West, in moving their regiments East, have received, each, from $1500 to $2000 bonus ; that some sutlers are making $3000 profits per month ; that nearly all the sutlers south of the Potomac sell liquor with the knowledge of the officers ; that it is smuggled in boxes marked “Government,” and “Hospital stores,” or packed in barrels marked “Beef.” Maj. Jourdan of the Brooklyn 14th, having been appointed Lieut. Col., of the 10th legion, enables representative Van Wyck, who is its colonel, to give much of his time to the business of the investigating committee, which will soon proceed to the examination of the contracts for wintering disabled or sick horses, as proposed by the representative McPherson’s recent resolution.
If heavy taxes are to be laid, a demand will be made upon our public officers for retrenchment in many of our public expenditures. There has been a great waste in times past, and vast expenditures which were totally unnecessary have been made. A reform in this matter must be undertaken and carried out. All necessary taxes will be willingly paid, provided there is an assurance that the money is not wasted. This subject has already engaged the attention of Congress, and there is a prospect that reforms in the right direction will be made. Let the franking system be abolished. Let the salaries of many of our public officers, including Congressmen, be reduced. No appropriations of the public funds for objects not absolutely necessary should be made. And particularly a careful watch should be kept on those men who are getting rich by a system of public plundering.
Some apprehensions were felt a few days ago lest Senator Welles should resign his seat in the Cabinet, on account of charges made against him in consequence of a contract he made with Mr. Morgan of New York for the purchase of vessels for the navy. Where vessels are to be purchased by the government it is usual to give the matter in charge to a commission of naval officers. Mr. Welles departed from this usage, and employed a civilian, who was also related to him by marriage to make the purchases. No salary was allayed Mr. Morgan out of the public treasury, but he rewarded himself by charging a commission on his purchases. In the course of five months his gains have amounted to more than $90,000. The Secretary, in the defence [sic] which he has presented, contends that on the whole money has been saved to the U. States treasury, that under the old system serious losses have been suffered, and that though Mr. Morgan’s profits are large, the country is the gainer by employing him. The Secretary says, too, that in no case has the agent paid an excessive price, and his purchases have been judicious. Those who know Mr. Welles will have confidence in his good intentions in this business. He may have erred in judgment in appointing a near relative to a most lucrative service, for the public is always suspicious of favoritism in such cases. But that he had any idea that the public interests would suffer thereby, no one who knows him can believe for a moment.
Intemperance in the Army
The National Sanitary Commission express the opinion, based upon the returns of two hundred regiments and from personal observations, that our armies of volunteers are believed to be more temperate than any European army. Intoxication was acknowledge[d] to be common in only six regiments. In thirty-one it was said to occasionally occur, though not deemed a serious evil ; and in one hundred and sixty-three the inspectors were assured, and had no reason to doubt, that it was very rare. In the majority of regiments there is very little dram drinking, except shortly after pay day. Most of the liquor drank by the volunteers is probably obtained from the pie peddlers. When other means fail, it is conveyed in the pies.
In certain regiments, containing a large per centage of Germans, lager beer has been freely used. There is evidence before the commission tending to show than [that?] its use (at least during the summer) was beneficial, and that disorders of the bowels were less frequent in companies regularly supplied with it in moderation than in other companies of the regiment.
Union State Ticket
WM. A. BUCKINGHAM, of Norwich.
For Lieut. Governor,
ROGER AVERILL, of Danbury.
J. HAMMOND TRUMBULL, of Hartford.
GABRIEL W. COITE, of Middletown.
LEMAN W. CUTLER, of Watertown.
The Nomination For State Officers
The Convention which assembled in Hartford on Thursday last at the call of the Republican State Central Committee, accepted the ticket which had been nominated by the Union Convention. This course was believed to be the most acceptable to the voters of Connecticut, and the only safe course to be pursued at this juncture of our public affairs. Now is a time to lay aside all party differences and even party names, and unite in the common cause of the Union. Such was the prevailing feeling in the convention, and the members were willing to make such concessions and sacrifices as were necessary to ensure united action at the polls next spring. The name of Roger Averill was substituted for the honored name of Lieut. Governor Douglas. No man has shown a heartier devotion to the cause of his country than the present Lieut. Governor during his term of office. A gentleman of the strictest integrity, of rare business qualities, and of proved patriotism, his retirement from office will be a loss to the state and a cause of regret to all who know him. The name of Gabriel W. Coite, of this city, is substituted for that of Ezra Dean the present Treasurer. Mr. Coite is believed to be a thorough going Union man, and as such will receive the support of the loyal citizens of Connecticut.
It is satisfactory to know that there will be but one Union ticket presented to the voters of this State next spring. One other ticket will be presented, that to be nominated by the Breckenridge democratic convention, which meets next February. The issue, therefore, will be a plain one. It needs no prophet to foretell what verdict the loyal people of this old commonwealth will render.
The election on Monday for the choice of Mayor and other city officers called out a larger vote than at any similar election. Over 100 more were polled than last year. Samuel L. Warner, the Union candidate, was elected over Edward A. Russell, the democratic candidate, by a majority of 166. There was a good deal of interest during the election, and some excitement, for the democracy strained every nerve to carry the day, and the Unionists kept a sharp look out on all proceedings. …
The polls were closed at two o’clock, after which it was voted that a tax of two mills be laid, and three per cent. be allowed the collector. The Mayor’s report was read and ordered to be printed in the city papers.
Notice.—On or Before the 1st day of February, a report must be made out and sent to the State Comptroller for the benefit of Wives and Families of Volunteers now in service. To enable a complete report to be made, and to avoid errors in the same, it is hereby required that each wife or representative of such family shall appear personally at the office of the First Selectman, for the above named purpose.
A failure to do so, on the part of those interested may involve a loss of the appropriation, designed for their benefit.
SAMUEL C. HUBBARD, Selectman.
Middletown, Jan. 13, 1862.
Notice.—The Annual Meeting of the Stockholders of the “East Haddam Duck Co.” will be held at their Office, (Goodspeed’s Landing) on Friday, Jan. 31st, at 2 o’clock, P. M., for the choice of Directors, and the transaction of any other business proper to come before said meeting.
Per the order of the Directors,
THOS. GROSS, Jr., Secretary.
East Haddam, Jan. 7, 1862.