From The Constitution, Wednesday, June 4, 1862 (volume 25, number 1275)
The Union Victorious !
Two glorious successes during the week—the occupation of Corinth, the splendid victory before Richmond ! What is to come next ? Events now cannot wait. While we write, our victorious army may be entering the rebel capital.
The news from the army of the Potomac is most interesting and important. On Saturday about 1 p. m. the enemy attacked our lines and a terrible battle followed, which was renewed on Sunday. The enemy were repulsed and driven off the field at the point of the bayonet. Our troops behaved gallantly. The loss is reported to be enormous on the part of the enemy, and considerable on our side. The speedy evacuation of Richmond is expected to follow.
The evacuation of Corinth by the rebels under Beauregard is believed to have commenced on Wednesday night, the intention being to proceed southward, probably to Okolona. A body of Gen. Pope’s cavalry, however, had destroyed a bridge, and prevented their progress in that direction. They then proceeded west to Grand Junction, whence they took the Jackson railroad southward. The enemy’s position at Corinth was exceedingly strong. They destroyed an immense amount of public and private property. Gen. Halleck captured between two and three thousand prisoners.
Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, is stated to be fully occupied by our troops, the inhabitants remaining being decidedly loyal.
A Union meeting is to be held in Norfolk soon, and if the sentiment of the meeting proves satisfactory, it will probably induce the President to open the port to commerce.
The very latest from Norfolk announces that the Union meeting had been held on Saturday evening. Some 800 people were present. It was a complete success. The same evening an enthusiastic Union meeting was held at Portsmouth, at which 1200 persons were present.
FROM GEN. M’CLELLAN.
A Battle near Richmond.
Washington, June 1.—The following dispatch was received at the War Department this afternoon : “Field of Battle, 1st, 12 A. M.—We have had a desperate battle, in which the corps of Gens. Sumner, Heintzleman and Keyes have been engaged against greatly superior numbers. Yesterday, at 1 o’clock, the enemy, taking advantage of the terrible storm which had flooded the valley of the Chickahominy, attacked our troops on the right flank. Gen. Carey’s division which was in the first line gave way unaccountably and disunitedly. This caused a temporary confusion, during which the guns and baggage were lost ; but Gens. Heintzlman and Kearney most gallantly brought up their troops, which checked the enemy. At the same time, however, I succeeded in bringing across Gens. Sedgwick’s and Richardson’s divisions, who drove back the enemy at the point of the bayonet, covering the ground with his dead.
This morning, the enemy attempted to renew the conflict, but was everywhere repulsed. We have taken many prisoners, among whom is Gen. Pettigrew and Col. Long. Our loss is heavy, but that of the enemy is enormous. With the exception of Gen. Carey’s division the men behaved splendidly. Several fine bayonet charges have been made. The 2d Excelsior brigade made two to day.
GEO. B. M’CLELLAN, Maj. Gen.
During the whole of the battle the whole scene was witnessed from the balloon of Prof. Lowe at the height of 2000 feet. Telegraphic communication from the balloon to Gen. McClellan was successfully maintained. Every movement of the enemy was obvious and instantly reported. This is believed to be the first instance of the kind. The advantage to Gen. McClellan must have been immense.
The Recent Victory Complete.
New York, June 2.—Private dispatches received here state that our victory before Richmond was complete, the rebels being driven for miles at the point of the bayonet.
Special Washington dispatches state that it is understood that the War Department has received advices from McClellan, indicating the speedy occupation of Richmond. All news received to-day from there has been favorable.
The report of the joint committee in Congress on the conduct of the war in regard to the barbarous treatment of the remains of officers and soldiers killed at Bull Run is very long. It states that the facts disclosed are of a repulsive, shocking and painful character. Foreign nations must with one accord consign to lasting odium the authors of the crimes which in all their details exceed the worst excesses of the Sepoys of India.
Our dead were buried in many cases naked, with their faces downward ; others were left to decay in the open air, their bones carried off as trophies, sometimes for use as personal adornments and one witness deliberately avers that the head of one of our most gallant officers was cut off by a secessionist to be used as a drinking cup on the occasion of his marriage.
During the past two weeks the skull of a Union soldier had been exhibited in the office of the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Representatives which had been converted to such a purpose, and which was found on the person of one of the rebel prisoners taken in a recent conflict.
These disclosures should inspire the people of the loyal states to renewed exertions to protect our country from the restoration to power of such men.
They should, and we believe will arouse the disgust and horror of foreign nations against this unholy rebellion.
The committee are yet unable to gather testimony whether the Indian savages have been employed by the rebels in military service, and how such warfare was conducted by said savages, but have taken proper steps to attend to this important inquiry.
Mexican News – The French Invaders Meet With a Warm Reception.
New York, May 22.—The steamer Roanoke from Havana the 17th, arrived this morning. Private letters from Mexico state that in the battle at Acultzingo, the French lost the most killed and wounded, especially in officers, and it was a drawn battle, the Mexicans retiring. The garrison of the fort in Perote had mutinied, taking the officers prisoners. Soledad and Cordova were occupied by Mexican troops as soon as the French left them and fifteen hundred Mexicans were ready to occupy Orizaba, when the French should leave.
The Mexicans appear to be pursuing a course by which the French find it harder to get out of than into the interior. Several influential citizens deny that they authorized the use of their names in declaring Cordova for Almonte. The black vomit is committing fearful ravages in Vera Cruz. Almonte has issued a proclamation dated Puebla, although he has not yet arrived there. Sick French troops are constantly arriving at Havana and yet the health of the French army is said to be good.
French vice admiral Graviere has returned to France. Gen. Prim and staff arrived at Havana on the 9th. The Spanish steamer Blasco De Garay has sailed for New Orleans, responsive to a call from the Spanish consul to protect the Spanish interests there.
The above news is authentic. The Mexican government ratified the Wyke Ba Macona treaty, in spite of the French protest against any treaty with the Mexicans.
The American consul, Schufeldt, and the secretary of legation, Plumb, arrived at Puebla on the 9th, and would probably arrive in the City of Mexico on the 11th. Spanish troops continue to arrive at Havana.
It is reported that a hundred and twenty Americans from Texas sacked the town of Piedras Negras and burned the custom house and other buildings. No rebel vessels had arrived since the 9th.
The English steamer Havana arrived the 11th from St. Mary’s Fla., with cotton.
The glorious news from the States depressed all the markets at Havana, and sugar and cotton have declined. Several vessels are there awaiting the reopening of the port of New Orleans. The black vomit appeared at Havana on the 16th. Capt. Pendleton of the schooner Amanda of Seersport was its first victim.
The Conn. Fifth suffered severely in the retreat of Banks. There are known to be 21 taken prisoners, 9 wounded and 2 killed. There are unaccounted for 505. No commissioned officers are known to be killed or wounded. Col. Chapman telegraphed on Friday to Adj. Gen. Williams that his regiment is at Williamsport, and his official report is on the way by mail.
P. S. The official report received by the Adjutant General reduces the total loss of the Fifth Regiment to 14 killed and wounded and 89 missing—total 103.
Treatment of Prisoners in the State Prison
In consequence of the random charges made by the murderer Toole against Mr. Webster, State Prison Warden, of cruelty towards himself, the newspapers took up the subject and intimations were thrown out that the government of the prison was not what it should be. Suspicions were expressed that every thing was not quite right in the prison, that cruel methods of punishment were used, and unreasonable exactions were made upon the prisoners. A public opinion was thus being created against the officers of the prison, and suspicions appeared to be ripening into convictions. It is singular that it should be so, for there was nothing out of which these suspicions could grow but the loose charges of one of the most desperate inmates of the prison who made them in self defence after having murdered the warden !
This matter, however, is now put to rest by the action of the state prison committee of the legislature, who last week visited the prison and there made an investigation of the subject. They examined several of the officers, including the chaplain, and questioned a number of the prisoners. The conclusion they have arrived at is that the charges made by Toole are wholly false, and that the government of the institution is all that it should be. We believe there is no state prison in the country which is better managed than ours. The control over the inmates is perfect as it can be, and they are treated in a humane and christian manner. The prison discipline is calculated to make better men of them, and qualify them for respectable positions when they are released.
Killed in the Quarries
Mr. James Baisden, of Cromwell, fell into one of the quarries in Portland on Sunday last, and was instantly killed. Mr. Baisden was a ship carpenter, and had been at work on the propeller in Gildersleeve’s yard. On Saturday he went to the launching at East Haddam, and returned in the boat about midnight. He probably lost his way in the darkness.
A telegraphic despatch received on Saturday about one o’clock announced that it was generally believed in New York that Richmond was evacuated. The news was too good to be kept under a bushel, and some one ordered the bells rung. As it proved, we were a little too fast. But it is a remarkable coincidence, as we now learn, that during the same hour that the bells were ringing here, our troops were just entering a battle which was to result in a glorious victory before Richmond.
The reception of the news on Friday of the glorious success of our arms at Corinth caused almost universal rejoicing in this city. We say “almost,” for here and there along the street was a disconsolate individual who evidently felt bad about something and could not see the use of making so much noise over a great Union victory. The bells were rung, flags were raised, and there was a general jubilation all over town.
There are now two recruiting offices open in this city. One is over Ward & Rutty’s store, opened last week Wednesday by George H. Crosby. The other was also opened last week, by Charles O. Baldwin, and is over F. Brewer’s store. If anybody wants to serve Uncle Sam for good pay and little to do besides chasing the rebels, here is a change.
Wm. E. Rich, of the Mansfield Guard, who was reported missing after the battle of Bull Run, has been a prisoner with the enemy ever since that event. He is now liberated, and on his way home.
Mr. F. C. Sessions, who as Commissary, went to Pittsburg Landing in charge of the steamer Tycoon, writes to the Columbus Journal as follows : One boy, after coming into one of our hospitals, and having his bed cared for and made comfortable, looked about him in the morning, and remarked, with tears in his eyes : ‘It looks as if mother had been here.’
A terrific tornado at Wheeling, Va., Wednesday afternoon, blew down a church used as a school house killing three and injuring six scholars. The steeple of St. Johns church was also blown down, and considerable damage done to boats on the river.
An exchange remarks, pathetically, ‘have you a sister ? Then love and cherish her with a holy friendship.’ This is all proper enough ; but in case you haven’t got any sister of your own, take some other fellow’s sister and love her. The effect is just as good, and sometimes better.