From The Constitution, Wednesday, May 14, 1862 (volume 25, number 1272)
Norfolk, Portsmouth, and the Navy Yard in Our Possession !
The Merrimac Blown Up.
Washington, Sunday, May 11.—The Secretary of War telegraphs that we are in full possession of Norfolk, of the Navy Yard, and of Portsmouth.
Norfolk surrendered to General Wool, who was at the head of 5,000 men, without a battle.
Baltimore, May 11.—The Old Point boat has arrived. Our troops crossed to the Virginia shore during Friday night whilst the Rip Raps battery shelled the rebel works at Sewell’s Point. A landing was soon effected at Willoughby’s Point, at a spot selected the previous day by President Lincoln himself, who was among the first who stepped ashore. The rebels fled like sheep as our victorious troops advanced.
At 5 o’clock in the afternoon our forces were within a short distance of Norfolk, and were met by a delegation of citizens.
The city was formally surrendered and our troops were marched in, and now have possession. Gen. Viele is in command, as military Governor.
The city and Navy Yard were not burned. The fires which have been seen for some hours proved to be woods on fire. General Wool, with Secretary Chase, returned about 11 o’clock to night. General Huger withdrew his forces without a battle.
Fortress Monroe, May 11.—To Hon. J. H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War—The Merrimac was blown up by the Rebels at two minutes before 5 o’clock this morning.
She was set fire to about three o’clock. The explosion took place at the time stated, and is said to have been a grand sight by those who saw it. The Monitor, Stevens and Naugatuck, and the gunboats have gone up towards Norfolk.
Some Particulars of the Advance on Norfolk.
Fortress Monroe, May 9th, Evening.—Old Point, this eve, presents a most stirring spectacle. About a dozen transports are loading troops. They will land on the shore opposite the Rip Raps and march on Norfolk. The Rip Raps are pouring shot and shell into Sewell’s Point. President Lincoln, as commander-in-chief of the army and navy, is superintending the expedition himself. About 6 o’clock he went across to the place selected for the landing. It is said he was the first to step on shore, and, after examining for himself the facilities for landing, returned to the Point, where he was received with enthusiastic cheering by the troops who were embarking.
Willoughby Point, Saturday Morning, May 10.—The troops left during the night, and at daylight could be seen from the wharf, landing at Willoughby Point, 8 miles from Norfolk. The first regiment landed was the New York 20th, known as Max Webber’s, which pushed on immediately under command of Gen. Webber, and at 8 A. M. were within 5 miles of Norfolk. The 1st Delaware was pushed forward at 9 o’clock, accompanied by Gen. Mansfield and Viele and their staffs. They were soon followed by the 16th Mass.
Gen. Wool and staff remained to superintend the landing of the balance of the force, all of whom were off before noon.
The President accompanied by Secretary Stanton, Gen. Wool and staff, went to the wharf, took a tug and proceeded to the Minnesota where he was received with a national salute. It is generally admitted that the President and Secretary Stanton have enforced new vigor into both the naval and military operations here, and that the country will have no cause for further complaint as to the insulting course of the rebels in this quarter.
Washington, May 12.—The War Department has received the official report of the capture of Norfolk. It confirms the previous reports. He visited the Navy Yard and found all the workshops and storehouses and other buildings in ruins. The dry dock was also partially blown up.
Particulars of the Capture of New Orleans
By the arrival of the Steamship Columbia we have some highly important details of the capture of New Orleans, brought to Havana, by the U. S. Mortar boat, which left the scene of action on Saturday the 26th inst.
Twenty-one mortar boats and three gunboats had been engaged in the attack upon the Forts (St. Phillip and Jackson), and succeeded on Friday, the 25th instant, in silencing the fortifications, and securing the safe passage up the river of fourteen war steamers, for New Orleans, eighty miles above. The bombardment lasted six days. The chain which was placed across the Mississippi River was broken by two of the gunboats. The Hartford was set on fire by coming in contact with one of the fire ships, but the fire was extinguished before much damage was done. The Federal forces have destroyed 11 Confederate gunboats. The Federal gunboat Varuna, and the Confederate steamer Webster had an engagement, and the Webster, run into the Varuna, injuring her so badly—the Varuna—that she was in a sinking condition ; the Varuna while in this desperate state, discharged eight guns into the Webster with such destructive and crushing effect, that they both went down together. The Federal gunboat Maria S. Carlton was sunk by the guns of the forts. Gen. Butler had succeeded in landing 4,000 men above the forts. On the 25th a flag of truce was sent on board to Commodore Porter, asking what terms would be demanded in the surrender. The reply of the Commodore was “unconditional,” and the arrangements for the surrender were to be made on the 27th.
It is said that the contest was a very hard one, many of the men on the mortar boats falling at their posts of fatigue, so incessantly had they been kept at work. The floating battery Manassas was sunk by the steamship Mississippi. Fire ships were sent down the river every night by the Confederates, but a force was detailed with small boats for the purpose of towing them off where they would do no harm to the Union forces.
The loss on the part of the Union army is said to be 114, while that of the Confederates is not known. Four hundred Confederate prisoners have been taken.
Fortress Monroe, May 8.—I learn by steamer from Yorktown that Gen. McClellan had advanced 12 miles beyond Williamsburg, and has had several skirmishes with the enemy, routing them with heavy loss.
The embarkation of troops for West Point was progressing with great rapidity, and a heavy battle had taken place on Wednesday afternoon, between the troops under Gens. Franklin and Sedgwick and the rebels under Lee, who endeavored to make their way to Richmond.
It is said to have been the severest battle on the peninsular [sic], and the rebels were defeated and flanked, being driven back towards the forces under Gen. Johnson on the Chickahominy.
The whole number of federals killed and wounded was three hundred. The enemy were driven back by our gunboats with great slaughter. They had not less than 30,000 men, whilst our whole force was not over 20,000 on land. Had it not been for the gunboats, they would have been defeated.
The crew of the steam-tug which deserted from the enemy reports there is great excitement at Norfolk this noon ; that Gen. Burnside with a large force is within a few miles of Weldon, and that the rebel troops are evacuating the city with all possible speed. Sewell’s and Pig Point, they say, are already abandoned, and preparations were making to destroy the navy yard and other public property.
Williamsburg, May 9, 12 M. – To the War Department :–I heard a few minutes ago that the Galena was aground off Hog Island ; I judge not badly, for the reason that Capt. Rogers does not throw overboard his coal. I have sent him all the assistance he asks.
My troops are in motion, and in magnificent spirits. They have all the air and feelings of veterans. It will do you good to see them.
I have effected a junction with Gen. Franklin.
Instructions have been given so that the Navy will receive prompt support whenever required.
Geo. B. McClellan,
The rebel tug, the J. B. White, on Thursday, ran from Norfolk over to Newport News and surrendered to Gen. Mansfield.
A Fearful Disease
The Jonesboro (Tenn.) Express learns that a fearful disease has made its appearance in Carter county, Tenn. The symptoms of the disease are similar to those of congestive fever or cold plague. In a few hours its victim is dead. Last Monday morning there were four corpses in one house. In the last ten days twenty or thirty have fallen before it, and it was still on the increase.
The annual report of Adjutant General Williams has been received. It was prepared with a great deal of labor, and shows in a most complete manner what Connecticut has done in contributing men and means for this war. The number of commissioned officers from Middlesex County is 18, and the number of privates 534. Middletown has contributed to the public service 12 commissioned officers and 209 privates.
The colored people of this city held a meeting at their church on Friday for the purpose of giving some expression in regard to emancipation in the District of Columbia. They passed a series of resolutions the last two of which are as follows :
“Resolved, That as the federal government has abolished slavery in the capital, therefore we will be zealous in doing all that lies in our power to improve our condition and that of our brethren in this our native land.”
“That the thanks of the meeting be returned to every friend who vindicates our cause and interest, and particularly to those who, in the Providence of God, were instrumental in the passage of the district emancipation bill, and that they be requested to use their influence against expatriation.”
Gerard Toole, the murderer of Mr. Webster, was found guilty by the jury on Wednesday, and sentenced by Judge Hinman on Thursday. Previous to passing the sentence he was asked if he had anything to say. He made a few remarks to the effect that the warden had used him with great severity, required him to do more work that he was able to do, and then because he could not perform his task “brought the horrid cat to bear upon the back of an unfortunate man.” He was sentenced to be executed on the 19th of September.
The Small Pox
Two or three cases of the small pox have occurred in Moodus. It is stated that one case occurred in Portland some three weeks since which terminated fatally.
The funeral of Samuel Russell, Esq., was attended at his late residence on High street on Thursday afternoon. The services were by Rev. Dr. Goodwin, of the Episcopal church, and Rev. Mr. Taylor, of the North Congregational church. A large number were present. The remains were taken to Indian Hill Cemetery.
Wind and Dust
On Saturday the wind blew a gale from the north, and raised such clouds of dust on Main street as drove every body indoors who was not compelled to be out. It will soon be necessary to water the streets, for a few such days as Saturday must do great damage to our merchants, as well as produce much inconvenience to all who have to be about town.
The river has fallen so that the docks are uncovered, and things are beginning to look natural along Water street. The rise now is about four feet above low water mark.
The Hippopotamus, a veritable specimen of Behemoth, a native of the White Nile in Egypt, which cost $120,000, will visit Middletown on Monday next in royal state, that is to say in his tank, politely called an aquarium, drawn by a team of trained elephants. Here will be afforded an opportunity of seeing a very rare and one of the most remarkable animals in the world.
Monday, May 19th
Will make its grand entrée into this place on MONDAY, the 19th day of May, 1862, at 9 1/2 A. M., headed by the wonderful
or River Horse, from the White Nile, Egypt, 2,000 miles above Cairo.
THE GREAT BEHEMOTH,
of which Job says, Chaps. 40 and 41,
“Upon the earth there is not his like,”
He is, beyond all question,
The Greatest Wonder in the World.
Imported from Cairo to London by H. B. Majesty’s Consul, John Potherick, Esq., at a cost of
OVER SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS,
and is the only animal of the kind which was or ever will be exhibited in the United States. His
will be drawn by a Team of
FOUR ENORMOUS TRAINED ELEPHANTS,
and followed by the
composed of the most talented
Equestrians and Equestriennes,
Athletes and Acrobats,
Equilibrists and Tumblers,
Dancers and Wrestlers,
which have ever been attached to any establishment either in Europe or America. Among these are
Mademoiselle ARIANE FELECIA
From “La Cirque Imperials,” Paris, the most beautiful, graceful, daring and dashing Equestrienne in the world, and who will appear in her great act, entitled “La Rienne des Fees.”
Mr. ROBERT STICKNEY, the great Sensation Rider.
Mons. ROCHELLE, in “Le Saut en Orel,” the most daring feat ever attempted.
Mr. THOMAS KING,
Mr. S. P. STICKNEY,
Mr. WILLIAM DU CROW,
WILLIAM KENNEDY, the great ‘Droll of the Ring,’ the Funniest and Wittiest clown in American, will appear in all the principal acts, and in his wonderful “Monologue of Momus.”
In addition to these
MLLE. VIRGINIA, MISS EMMA STICKNEY,
The Fascinating Equestrienne, the Child of the Arena
MR. HERNANDEZ, MR. B. FORREST,
MR. J. RENSHAW, MR. JAMES PAULDING,
SIG. ADOLPH GONZALES, the Chilian Wonder.
Masters Robert, Willie, Charles Stickney, Sands and a host of selected Auxiliaries. The Beautiful Trained Imported Arabian Horse,
The Hippopotamus will be exhibited to the public in his Aquarium and also in the Ring, attended by his Captor and Keeper Ali, the Egyptian, a lineal descendent from the Ptolemies of Egypt. After which
THE TRAINED ELEPHANTS,
Albert and Victoria and Antony and Cleopatra,
will go through their wonderful performances, in which they show ALMOST HUMAN SAGACITY.
The Grand Opera Band,
Led by Charles Boswold, will accompany the Hippozoonomadon. Notwithstanding the Innumerable Variety of Attractions, and the unprecedented expense of these unparalleled combinations, the PRICE OF ADMISSION will be placed at the
EXTRAORDINARY LOW PRICE OF
Two Performances at 2 1/2 and 7 1/2, P. M.