From The Constitution, Wednesday, August 20, 1862 (volume 25, number 1286)
Gen. McClellan is at Harrison’s Landing on the James river.
Gen. Sigel reports that the rebels on Saturday morning made an attempt to cross the river, but were driven back.
Gen. Banks is rapidly recovering from the injury received at the battle of Cedar Mountain.
Gen. Burnside, with his army, has arrived at Culpepper Court-house.
Breckinridge’s attack upon Baton Rouge was a failure. He expected the aid of the rebel ram Arkansas, which didn’t come when it was wanted.
There is some mystery about McClellan’s movements. It is suspected that he is withdrawing his army from the Peninsula. Some important movement is undoubtedly taking place.
The English steamer Columbia has been captured off the Bahamas. She had on board a cargo of 40 Armstrong guns, several thousand Enfield rifles, army blankets and other articles. Her cargo is estimated at $200,000.
The Rebels Whipped !
Louisville, Ky., Aug. 16.
Capt. J. H. Terry, Division Quarter Master, has just arrived from Cumberland Gap, which he left on the 12th inst., at noon. He reports that General DeCourcey’s brigade was attacked by Stevenson’s rebel division on the 9th inst., at Tazewell, and that Col. Cochran of the 14th Kentucky whipped four rebel regiments. Col. Cochran held his fire until they were within one hundred and fifty yards, and checked their advance. The federal loss was three killed, fifteen wounded and fifty-seven of the seventh regiment taken prisoners.
We took a rebel Lieut. Colonel whom we exchanged for the fifty-seven prisoners. The rebel officers admitted a loss of 250 killed and wounded. We took 213 wagon-loads of forage, and 70 horses. We lost the knapsacks of two regiments. There has not been any fight at Big Creek Gap as reported, or any other engagement in the vicinity of the Gap, or Tazewell ; that the fore-going are all the reports of other engagements, and the cutting to pieces of Gen. Carters’ and Col. Byrds’ forces by the rebels are false. Gen. Morgan has issued a special order thanking Gen. DeCourcey and Col. Cochran for their gallantry. Knoxville papers give a list of 109 rebels killed at Tazewell.
New York, Aug. 17.—The steamer Trade Wind, from New Orleans the 7th inst., arrived to-night. Her passengers report that the rebels under Breckinridge attacked Baton Rouge on the 5th, but were repulsed. General Williams had his head shot off by a cannon ball.
The steamer Roanoke, from New Orleans, is below.
The steamer S. R. Spaulding, with 600 sick and wounded soldiers from Harrison’s Landing, is below.
Gen. Benham Dismissed
Gen. Henry W. Benham, has been dismissed the service. This is undoubtedly owing to the blunder which lost Charleston to us and cost so many lives at James’s Island. Gen. Benham was set home under arrest by Gen. Hunter, who, when he had investigated the circumstances connected with that battle, could see the engagement in no other light than a gross violation of explicit orders. General Benham’s military career is now ended. He had an excellent reputation as an engineer but was too headstrong for a soldier. He was sent to Washington under arrest by Gen. Rosecrans, when in Western Virginia, but was not tried because the exigencies of the services prevented it. Had he been tried then instead of transferred to another field of duty we should not have experienced the mortification of his blunder before Charleston.
Gen. Pope’s Official Report
The official report by General Pope of the battle of Cedar Mountain gives very little in addition to the account which we published last week. He states the number of killed, wounded and missing at 1,500, of whom 290 were taken prisoners. He speaks in the highest terms of Gen. Banks :
“I cannot speak too highly of the coolness and intrepidity of Gen. Banks himself during the whole of the engagement. He was in the front, and exposed as much as any man in his command.”
A great Union victory cannot be claimed as the result of the battle at Cedar Mountain, nevertheless it appears much more to our advantage than at first. Stonewall Jackson was defeated in his plan of overthrowing Pope’s advance column before it could receive support. He suffered severely in his attempt and was compelled to beat a hasty retreat to avoid being taken himself. It was a battle which will never cause a blush on the cheek of any Union man, but in which the bravery of our troops, and especially of the Connecticut Fifth, was nobly displayed.
General Butler refused the application of Gen. Phelps for arms for three black regiments he had raised at New Orleans. He was directed by General Butler to employ these men in labor. General Phelps resented this refusal and advice of his superior, and sent in his resignation. He sees no reason why these men should not receive arms, and declares that he himself has no intention of becoming a slave driver. General Butler expresses surprise at the resignation, refuses to accept it, and refers the whole subject to the Secretary of War.
It will be seen by the following order, which was received by Gov. Buckingham on Thursday night, that volunteers to fill up the new regiments now organizing will receive bounty and advance pay until the twenty-second of this month, which is Friday next. This extension of the time should be made good use of. The draft is to take place on the fourth of September.
Washington, Aug. 14, 7 1/4 P. M.
To Gov. Wm. A. Buckingham :–Orders respecting Volunteers and Militia ordered,
First—That after the fifteenth of this month, bounty and advance pay shall not be paid to volunteers, for any new regiments, but only to volunteers for regiments now in the field, and volunteers to fill up new regiments now organizing, but not full.
Second—Volunteers to fill up new regiments now organizing will be received and paid the bounty and advance pay until the twenty-second day of this month, and if not completed by that time the incomplete regiments will be consolidated, and superfluous officers mustered out.
Third—Volunteers to fill up the old regiments will be received and paid the bounty and advance pay until the first day of September.
Fourth—The draft for three hundred thousand (300 000) militia called for by the President, will be made on Wednesday the fourth day of September, between the hours of nine o’clock A. M. and five o’clock P. M., and continued from day to day between the same hours until completed.
Fifth—If the old regiments should not be filled up by volunteers before the first day of September, a special order will be ordered for the deficiency.
Sixth—The exigencies of the service require that officers now in the field should remain with their companies, and no officer now in the field in the regular or volunteer service, will, under any circumstances, be detailed to accept a new command.
By order of the President, Signed
Edwin M. Stanton, Sec’y of War.
To Escape a Draft
It is felt to be desirable in the several towns to escape a draft if possible. If any feasible way is opened by which this can be done, it will be very likely to be adopted. We believe that in many of the towns the draft may be entirely avoided or at least very much reduced. It is found that it will require some time yet to perfect arrangements before drafting can commence, and voluntary enlistments will be received until drafting actually commences. Such as join old regiments will be entitled to state and national bounties as heretofore, and all these will be credited to the towns where they enlist as part of their quota. Arrangements for enlistments which are now made and which are working well will not at present be broken up, but recruiting offices will be kept open and enlistments received. Voluntary companies of nine months men may be formed, who will be deducted from a draft. By these means large numbers may yet be received through voluntary enlistment. If, further, the towns are willing to make a pecuniary sacrifice and grant a bounty to such as will enlist for nine months, a draft may be pretty sure of being avoided. For if it becomes certain that so many men must go from a town, and must be drafted if they do not volunteer, and if a liberal bounty is offered to such as volunteer, there can be little doubt that the requisite number can be obtained and the necessity of a draft avoided.
The Drafting Insurance Company in New York has already commenced operations. On payment of $100, an agreement is made to furnish each applicant with a substitute in case such applicant is drafted. The men to be furnished are by law exempt.
The enlistment of all persons in this town liable to perform military duty has been completed, corrected, and on Saturday the list was sent to Hartford. The selectmen struck from the list the names of all such as had procured certificates of exemption.
The list numbers one thousand and fifty-four. If a draft of two hundred should take place about every one in five would have to go. Rather close that, so just hurry up the enlistments, gentlemen.
Town Meeting.—Another town meeting has been called to be held on Wednesday afternoon, for the purpose of considering whether another bounty shall be paid by the town to nine months volunteers, and to such as may enlist in the new regiments until the 22d inst., and in the old regiments until the draft. Now that it is certain a draft must take place unless our quota is raised by volunteers, there is a general disposition to favor volunteering by offering a bounty. We believe a draft may be wholly avoided in this town if sufficient inducements are held out for enlistments.
We have heard of but two or three instances in this neighborhood where an attempt has been made to escape the draft by going to Canada. Certificates of exemption have been found to be a good deal cheaper than expatriation, and those who could not or would not take out certificates, generally have patriotic souls as well as sound bodies. Those who tried to go to Canada were headed off and brought home.
A stout man applied to Dr. Welch of Winsted for a certificate, wearing a new truss. He said “the old one was about used up.” The doctor marked it, privately, so he should know it again. The same day, another man applied, wearing the same truss. It is presumed that the only rupture in that case was between him and the doctor.
A change is about to come over the Griffin Band—it is to lose its leader. We learn that Mr. John Stack has received and accepted an appointment as leader of a band in the U. States service. He will be missed here, for there are few band leaders equal to him.
Lieut. H. M. Dutton was among the killed in the fight beyond Culpepper, Va., and was buried on the field. Lieut. Dutton was the only son of Ex-Governor Dutton. He resided for a time in this city where he opened a law office immediately after finishing his legal studies in New Haven. He was well known to many of our citizens who will deeply regret his early death. From here he removed to Litchfield where he practiced law until the war commenced, when he enlisted as a private and soon rose to the position he held at the time he met death on the battlefield. He was a noble young man with a heart full of generous emotions and burning with patriotic devotion to his country.
The new bridge over Pameacha is progressing finely. Both abutments and the two central piers are so far completed that the more difficult work of building the arches is commenced this week.
Pic-Nic.—There was a pic nic on Friday afternoon at Alsop’s Grove for the benefit of Griffin’s Band. People went out to have a good time, and had it. Weather cool and pleasant, music delightful, lager good and plenty, everybody happy, stayed there till dark.