From The Constitution, Wednesday, May 21, 1862 (volume 25, number 1273)

Headquarters, Department of the South, Hilton Head, S. C., May 9, 1862.

General Orders, No. 11.—The three states of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, comprising the military department of the South, having deliberately declared themselves no longer under the protection of the United States of America, and having taken up arms against the said United States, it became a military necessity to declare them under martial law. This was accordingly done on the 25th day of April, 1862. Slavery and martial law, in a free country, are altogether incompatible ; the persons in these three states, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, heretofore held as slaves, are therefore declared forever free.

[Official]                       David Hunter,

Major General Commanding

Ed. W. Smith, Assistant Adj.-General

Gen. Hunter’s Proclamation

Gen. Hunter of the Southern Department has issued a proclamation declaring all the slaves free in his department. He declares that martial law exists in the states over which he has military command, that slavery cannot exist with martial law, and therefore slavery is abolished in those states. This step taken by Gen. Hunter is a most important one, and is of such a nature that the General would not be likely to have undertaken it without being sure of support at Washington. And yet every one knows that the President’s policy has not heretofore been favorable to such a course as Gen. Hunter has taken. What the upshot of the matter will be we must wait and see. The north will rejoice if the proper time has come for the final and complete abolition of slavery in South Carolina.

Latest News

A dispatch from Gen. McClellan dated Saturday evening states that a combined naval and army expedition had proceeded some 25 miles up the Pamunky river from White House, and forced the rebels to destroy two steamers and about twenty schooners. The army had advanced considerably on Saturday. It is now at Bottom Bridge, on the Chickahominy river, within fifteen miles of Richmond.

The gunboats had made an unsuccessful attack upon Fort Darling, seven miles below Richmond, The 100 pounder gun on board the Naugatuck exploded at the first fire. After an action of about four hours, the vessels withdrew, with thirteen killed and wounded.

Pensacola was evacuated by the rebels on the 12th. The national troops were to take possession the following day.

Gen. Pope’s division now occupies a position only three miles from Corinth. There were reports of insubordination in the rebel army. It was rumored that Beauregard had sent in a flag of truce asking an armistice of ten days. It is not likely that the rumor is true.

It is expected that Gen. Wool will remove his headquarters from Fortress Monroe to Norfolk.

It is rumored that Weldon, N. C. has been evacuated by the rebels.

The steamship Great Eastern arrived in New York on Saturday morning, having left Milford Haven on the 6th. The news she brings is of little importance.

The Very Latest news this, Tuesday, morning is important. The President has issued a proclamation repudiating the proclamation of Gen. Hunter as unauthorized and of no validity. The repulse of the gunboats is regarded as a serious affair. The Naugatuck is said to be rendered useless, and the Galena was riddled with shot. The Monitor uninjured.

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Washington, May 16.

Paragraph two of the general orders No. 102, dated November last, having been revoked, the officers and men transferred to skeleton regiments, under its operation, will be assigned to their original regiments as fast as vacancies occur.

The fugitive slave law is being quietly enforced in the district to-day, the military authorities not interfering with the judicial process. There are at least four hundred cases pending. It is said some negroes whose owners or agents from Maryland are here seeking their recovery, mysteriously disappeared this morning.

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The President has issued his proclamation that the ports of Beaufort, Port Royal and New Orleans will be opened to the commerce of the world on and after the first of June. This is an important step, and is full of the promise of good things to come. It is going back to the old order of things, and is an assurance from the President that the rebellion is on the wane and dying out. It is not probable that trade will at once start up and be very brisk at any of these ports. Time will be required to revive business all through the south, and not until the war is over and the public mind is quieted will any of the southern ports show very brisk commercial transactions.

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Fortress Monroe, May 15.

A cold northeast wind and rain prevail.

Secretaries Seward and Welles, and Postmaster General Blair proceeded to Norfolk with Com. Goldsborough. Gen. Wool also visited Norfolk. The latter has prohibited the sale or distribution of newspapers at Norfolk or the surrounding country ; also the transportation there of supplies or merchandise by sutlers or others. He has also prohibited soldiers and citizens from visiting the city except on business connected with the troops belonging to the department of Virginia.

The embargo upon travel to Fortress Monroe from Baltimore will soon be removed and free transit resumed.

Adams’ express open an office in Norfolk to-day. Lieut. Carncross of Gen. Wool’s staff is appointed assistant adjutant general.

The Hungry Wives of Soldiers

Upwards of a hundred women, late beneficiaries of the recently exhausted soldiers’ family aid fund, again assembled at the City Hall, this (Friday) morning, at about ten o’clock. As they manifested a determination to gather in the Mayor’s office, the police of the 26th Precinct were called and requested them to leave the building. This the women did quite reluctantly. One of them—a sturdy Irish woman would not go, and therefore was put out forcibly.

The gates of the Hall were then closed with one exception, where an officer was stationed to prevent the turbulently disposed women from re-entering. The ugly one spat back through the grating into the face of the officer who had put her out. She was then required to leave the stoop.

N. Y. Ex.

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The once famous Ellsworth Zouaves have come to naught. All that were left of them, after a sad, unsoldierly dragging-on in quarreling, inaction and half-mutiny are, it is stated, to be disbanded shortly and sent home.

England Withdrawn

England has finally withdrawn from all participation in the military enterprise which she undertook against Mexico some months since. It was then stated that this enterprise was necessary in order to collect British debts and protect British interests in Mexico. No one has learned that the professed object of the invasion of Mexican territory has been gained, and yet the last arrival from Europe informs us that the expedition is at an end, and that England “has now little beyond a moral participation in the matter.”

When this expedition was undertaken, the English government had full expectations that the American Union was broken and that our army and navy would be powerless to interfere with any schemes they had devised against Mexico. But they have been disappointed in their calculations. The American Union has survived the shock, and is coming out of the trial stronger than ever, much to the disappointment and disgust of old mother England, who had calculated on making something handsome out of our misfortunes. She sees that we are fast getting in a condition to take care of ourselves, and to look out that our next door neighbor suffers no damage from the interference of European monarchists. Hence the wisdom of her withdrawal.

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General Headquarters, State of Connecticut.

Adjutant General’s Office,

Hartford, May 16th, 1862.

[General Orders, No. 17.]

Upon a requisition of the Secretary of War, the Commander-in-Chief directs that Two Hundred Volunteers each, be enrolled for the 8th, 10th, and 11th Regiments.

Those enrolled under these orders will be entitled to the pay and allowance of soldiers in the regular service, and in addition the Bounty allowed by this State to Volunteers and their families.

Officers detailed for the recruiting service will be required to report daily to this Department.

The Recruits will rendezvous at New Haven.

By order of the Commander-in-Chief,

J. D. WILLIAMS,

Adjutant General.

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Fight

On Sunday night between ten and eleven o’clock, there was a row and a fight on the sidewalk in front of Joslyn’s store in the south part of Main street. The rowdies had taken aboard too much liquor. They got excited about some nonsense, and began to use their fists rather indiscriminately. Two or three were knocked down, and some windows were broken. The “police” did not appear, and so nobody was arrested, and the rowdies when they had finished their performance went home. It would be well for the “powers that be” in this city to keep a sharp eye on one or two localities, especially on Sunday nights.

A Confidence Game

It is stated in the Providence Post that Chauncey P. Smith of this town, who belonged to a Rhode Island battery, persuaded several of his comrades, just as they were leaving for Port Royal, to entrust their bounty money with him, for the purpose of getting it exchanged for gold. He obtained about $200, when he deserted taking the money with him. He was pursued and arrested in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was accompanied by a female whom he had found at Auburn, and who escaped with what was left of the money. Smith was taken to Providence where he was lodged in jail. He has a wife and two children.

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The Hippopotamus came to town Monday and took up his quarters in Spring street. A good number were present at the exhibition in the afternoon, and the circus performances, in which the “behemoth” did not participate, constituted the great attraction. In the evening a thousand people were present.

The Weather

For the past few days we have had summer weather, giving the gardens a fine chance to get a good start, and affording a capital planting time for the farmers. Fruit trees are now in full bloom, and there is a prospect of a plentiful yield of apples, pears and peaches. As there was very little fruit last year, it is considered all the more certain that there will be an abundance this year. If the worms don’t eat up the leaves, if the frost don’t come too hard, and if some other things which are possible don’t happen, a good supply of apples may be expected about October. Within a week or two the shade trees have put on a beautiful foliage, and most of our streets present an attractive appearance. No city or town in the State, has more delightful walks than Middletown in June.

Auctions

There was an auction sale of some kind in front of the Court House, about every afternoon last week. Judging from the sound, some business was transacted under the hammer. Thursday afternoon there was an extensive flower sale, which was attended by a large number of ladies. There will be another sale of plants this, Tuesday, afternoon. On Wednesday, the auctioneer was a sheriff, and a lawyer sat close by taking notes. Some body or other was taking this method of paying his debts, including fees.

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In Bingham, Me., the entire family of Mr. Jas. Hampton, numbering eight children, have been taken off by diphtheria. On the 4th inst., five little ones lay dead together in the desolate home.

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A “prominent citizen” of Ypsilanti, Mich., who has held high official position, eloped last week with a pretty waiter girl who had been employed to do kitchen work in his house, but who preferred chamber work. A forsaken wife is on the track of the fugitives.