From The Constitution, Wednesday, March 19, 1862 (volume 25, number 1264)
Gen. McClellan issued a stirring address to his soldiers on Friday. He says he has held them back that they might give the death-blow to the rebellion, and the moment for action has now arrived.
The official account of the battle at New Madrid reports that the rebels were completely routed and dispersed. They left twenty pieces of heavy artillery, thirty-two batteries of field artillery, an immense quantity of fixed ammunition, thousands of small arms, hundreds of boxes of musket cartridges, mules, tents, and an immense quantity of other property not less than a million of dollars in value. Our loss during the siege of the place was fifty killed and wounded.
Com. Foote left Cairo on Saturday bound down the river. His destination is probably Island No. 10, just below New Madrid. If the enemy will stay on the Island long enough for the gallant Commodore to get to them, we shall be likely to hear good news from that quarter very soon.
Some of the enemy are still lurking on the Lower Potomac in the neighborhood of Acquia Creek.
According to what is supposed to be reliable information, the rebels had one hundred and fifty thousand men at and near Manassas. There was no talk of evacuating Manassas until after the fall of Fort Donelson.
The contrabands at Fortress Monroe are placed under the care of Mr. Charles B. Wilder, in accordance with instructions from the war department.
The President has approved the new Article of War forbidding officers in the army and all persons in the military service from returning fugitive slaves.
The down train on the Hudson river railroad met with a sad accident on Saturday. The Ninety-fourth regiment was on board. Five cars were thrown into the water near Tivoli by a broken rail. Four soldiers and a civilian were killed. Ten men were injured.
Important War Movements
Four war orders from the President, of different dates, were published simultaneously last week. The first of these directed that on the 22d of February a general movement along the whole line from the Potomac to the Mississippi should be made. By another order four military departments are created. The “Mountain Department,” which embraces the mountainous region of Western Virginia and Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee is placed under the command of Gen. Fremont. Gen. McClellan is relieved form the general command, and has taken his place at the head of the grand army of the Potomac. It will be seen that the important military movements which have been so gloriously successful within the last month are the results of pre-arranged plans at Washington. McClellan hast week followed on the heels of the retreating rebels to Manassas, where his army is now quartered. They have concentrated their forces at Gordonsville, sixty-one miles south of Manassas and seventy-six miles from Richmond.
Another Victory in Arkansas
Cairo, March 16.
The reporter of the press, now aboard the flag ship, two miles above Island No. 10, sends the following :
The flotilla got under way at 5:30 this morning, and dropped down slowly till about 7 o’clock, when the flag ship, being about twenty miles ahead, and six miles above the Island, discovered a stern wheel steamer run out from the shelter of a point of Kentucky shore, and steam down the river.
Four shells were thrown after her, but the distance was [too] great for effect. At 9, the fleet rounded to about three miles above the Island. The commodore then ordered three of the mortar boats into position. At this hour, (2 p.m.) we are within range, but as yet nothing has been heard from the enemy.
Cairo, March 16, p.m.
They are said to be 15,000 to 20,000 strong.
The rebel gunboats are understood to be engaging Gen. Pope’s batteries.
St. Louis, March 17.
In response to a serenade, to-night, Gen. Halleck announced that Island No. 10 is ours with all the ammunition and transports the enemy had there.
He said also, that another victory had been gained in Arkansas, in which three rebel Colonels were captured. The particulars have not transpired.
Springfield, Mo., March 12th.—A special to the St. Louis Republican says that a messenger has arrived bringing additional news of the battle at Sugar Creek. Contrary to General Curtis’ (?) he was attacked on the north side of that river in his rear where he had placed his trains. The attack was made by 2,000 rebel cavalry, who were resisted by eight hundred men under Seigel, who alternately retreated and stopped until the trains were pushed to the main body of the army. While thus engaged he was three times surrounded, but cut his way through each time. He did the principal fighting on Thursday, but on Friday the engagement became general ; Colonel Carr’s division suffering most, being most exposed.
Of the rebels Gen. McCulloch was killed, Gen. Stack dangerously wounded, McIntosh killed, Col. B. H. Rives dangerously wounded, Col. Herbert, of the 3d Louisiana killed or dangerously wounded ; Gen. Sterling Price, slightly wounded.
Thirteen pieces of artillery were captured by us, among them one lost by Siegel at Wilson’s Creek. Our loss is regarded as 800 killed or wounded. The rebel loss unknown, supposed to be from 2 to 3000. We have about 1500 rebel prisoners.
The official report of Gen. Curtis states that Ben. McCulloch fell during the battle of Pea Ridge. But we must not be too ready to believe he was slain. At least once before he was reported killed, and not only killed but embalmed, and not only embalmed but immersed in whiskey. He came to life again, perhaps on account of the whiskey, and it is not impossible that Ben. May be discovered alive again some where in Arkansas.
The Evacuation of Manassas
Its Occupation by Our Troops
Centreville, March 11.—Yesterday morning our forces, amounting to upwards of 2,000, proceeded to Centreville and occupied the village about 4 P.M. It was altogether deserted. The entire command thence proceeded to Manassas, arriving there in the evening. The rebels destroyed as much of their property as they could not carry away by fire and otherwise. The bridges, railroad track and depot in that vicinity were extensively damaged, and nothing but wreck and desolation was apparent.
There is now satisfactory evidence that the main body of rebels left their lines nearly two weeks ago.
The roads in Virginia in some places are tolerably good and improving. The whereabouts of the Manassas rebels is a subject of earnest speculation.
Philadelphia, March 13.
The specials to the Inquirer state that Beauregard is appointed commander-in-chief of the rebel army and the evacuation of Manassas was at his suggestion. It is further said that he has arrived at Richmond.
A dispatch to the Inquirer states that the Hampton Legion left Fredericksburg the 12th bound south. The line of the Rappahannock has been deserted by the rebels, and balloon reconnoisances from Pohick Church show no enemy within thirty miles.
Address of Gen. McClellan to his Army
Washington, March 15.—The following thrilling and patriotic address was to-day issued by Gen. McClellan to the soldiers of the Potomac Army :–
Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac,
Fairfax Court House, Va., March 14, 1862.
Soldiers of the Army of the Potomac : –For a long time I have kept you inactive, but not without a purpose. You were to be disciplined, armed and instructed. The formidable artillery you now have had to be created. Other armies were to move and accomplish certain results. I have held you back that you might give the death blow to the rebellion that has distracted our once happy country.
The patience you have shown, and your confidence in your General are worth a dozen victories. These preliminary results are now accomplished. I feel that the patient labors of many months have produced their fruit. The Army of the Potomac is now a real army, magnificent in material, admirable in discipline and instruction, and excellently equipped and armed. Your commanders are all that I could wish. The moment for action has arrived, and I know that I can trust in you to save our country. As I ride through your ranks I see in your faces the sure prestige of victory. I feel that you will do whatever I ask of you. The period of inaction has passed. I will bring you now face to face with the rebels, and only pray that God may defend the right !
In whatever direction you may move, however strange my actions may appear to you, ever bear in mind that my fate is linked with yours, and that all I do is to bring you where I know you wish to be—on the decisive battle-field. It is my business to place you there. I am to watch over you as a parent over his children, and you know that your General loves you from the depths of his heart. It shall be my care—it has ever been—to gain success with the least possible loss. But I know that if it is necessary, you will willingly follow me to our graves for our righteous cause.
God smiles upon us ! Victory attends us ! Yet I would not have you think that our aim is to be obtained without a manly struggle. I will not disguise it from you, that you have brave foes to encounter—foemen well worthy of the steel that you will use so well. I shall demand of you great heroic exertions, rapid and long marches, desperate combats, privations perhaps. We will share all these together, and when this sad war is over we will all return to our homes, and feel that we can ask no higher honor than the proud consciousness that we belonged to the Army of the Potomac.
Geo. B. McClellan,
Major General Commanding.
The battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac will produce a revolution in our naval system, and in that of every other maritime nation. Wooden ships will henceforth be considered out of date and of inferior value. Nothing but iron can withstand iron, and a single small vessel like the Monitor would prove more than a match for a whole fleet of what have been considered first class wooden ships.
Cost of the Monitor
The iron-clad Monitor, which proved more than a match for the Merrimac, cost only $275,000.
The Providence Journal thinks our naval officers at Hampton Roads or the Navy Department at Washington were very remiss in not being better prepared for the Merrimac. It was known to them some days before her appearance that she was about ready. Gen. Wool had authentic information to that effect and had transmitted it to Washington.
Orders have issued from the navy department to clothe the new sloop-of-war Adirondack with iron mail. With her armor on, this vessell will draw only thirteen feet of water.
The Mystic iron gunboat is now at Greenpoint, L. I., receiving her machinery and some heavier plating on her bows. Crowds of visitors have been attracted to see her.
The Africa arrived on Friday. Earl Russel, in a dispatch to Lord Lyons, dated Feb. 15, and now just published, says that the fact that various ships may have eluded the blockade does not of itself prevent the blockade from being effective. In the House of Commons, Earl Russel said there had been no communications with foreign governments relative to the blockade. The British government has entered into no negotiations relative to the Atlantic telegraph—The insurrection in Greece remains as it was. Nauplia still holds out, and it is reported another garrison has revolted. Athens is tranquil, but certain streets are occupied by the military.—Discussion in the French Chamber excited the greatest interest. Prince Napoleon asked for the suppression of the temporal power of the Pope. The ministry declared it would explain the policy of the government on a future occasion.
News just received from Mexico is that the English forces are to leave the country, and the Spanish troops had returned from the interior. An American citizen belonging in Lowell, Ma., named A. T. Arlen, was murdered Feb. 24, going from Vera Cruz to Mexico. He was the bearer of dispatches from Washington to Minister Corwin.
Madame Beaufort and James H. Harper have been guilty of indiscretions in Chicago that occasioned their trial for procuring abortion. After a hard fight they were acquitted of that charge, but held for adultery. They immediately got married, and so the second count fell to the ground.
The Union Senatorial Convention for the nomination of a candidate for Senator from this, the 18th, district is called to meet at the McDonough House next week on Thursday.
The First Boat of the Season
The steam ferry boat between Middletown and Portland reached the latter place on Wednesday last. A passage was cut through the ice. The boat has been painted and put in good trim during the winter.
Sale of Real Estate
The dwelling house in College street, belonging to the estate of the late Nathaniel Bacon, and which was his residence for many years, was sold a few days since for $2,525. Doct. Charles Dyer was the purchaser.
John Randolph was one of the most sarcastic men that ever lived. One time, a young man attempted to make his acquaintance. He obtained an introduction, and among other remarks said, ‘I passed by your house, lately, Mr. Randolph.’ ‘Did you? Well, I hope you always will,’ was the unmistakable reply.