From The Constitution, Wednesday, September 3, 1862 (volume 25, number 1288)
From the Army of Virginia.
Jackson’s Army at Manassas Wednesday
Philadelphia, Aug. 30.
The Washington Star of last evening, contains the following intelligence :–We have information that satisfies us that the rebel force had suddenly appeared between the position of the army of Gen. Pope at Bristow and Manassas on Tuesday night last, was the army of Jackson and Stuart’s independent cavalry.
They consisted of infantry and artillery, and marched about 30,000 strong from near Waterloo, on the head waters of the Rappahannock, around by White Plains to Manassas, about 40 miles, in two days, without tents, blankets, or even knapsacks ; thus leaving their baggage of every description to be transported by wagons, with the other army corps of Lee’s following on behind them.
Instead of fighting merely a portion of Stuart’s cavalry at Manassas day before yesterday, Taylor’s brigade were actually confounded by a greater portion of Jackson’s corps de armee ; Major-Generals Jackson, Ewell, Talliaffero, and A. H. Hill, and Stuart, and the General-in-chief Robert Lee, and his son, Brig.-Gen. Lee, being present at Manassas during the engagement.
Yesterday, at 1 P. M., Jackson’s advance reached Fairfax Court House with a force of cavalry, and had collected their own wounded of the action of the day before with Taylor, if not their wounded of the engagement on the same day with Hooker, and also the prisoners they took from Taylor in the afternoon.
About 800 of this cavalry force, under Stuart in person, moved down from Fairfax Court House to Vienna.
Hooker’s battle of day before yesterday was with Ewell’s division, and was a great success.
Maj.-Gen. Pope, at half-past 9 A. M., yesterday, had concentrated his very large force so as to sadly interfere with the calculations upon which the rebel force must have ventured their bold and extraordinary move.
He had gotten McDowell’s force, including Sigel’s probably, between Jackson’s rear and Longstreet’s front, and had also all the rest of his army well up within supporting distance. Facts within our knowledge lead to the impression that in 24 hours direct communication will be established between Washington and Maj.-Gen. Pope’s army, more especially as there are signs that Jackson’s army corps is endeavoring to proceed northwardly as though making for the experiment of opposing the establishment of such communication with his immediate front, with Pope’s army practically between him and the other rebel corps d’armee.
We may add that Gen. McClellan is disposing of his heavy Union force around Washington and Alexandria, and the fortifications are soon to make it play an important part in the eventful drama of the hour. In the battle of yesterday the attack certainly came from our side.
Official Dispatch from Gen. Pope.
Headquarters Field of Battle of Graveton,
Near Gainesville, Aug. 30th, 1862
To Maj. Gen. Halleck, Gen’l-in-Chief, Washington :
We fought a terrific battle here yesterday with the combined forces of the enemy which lasted with continuous firing from day light till after dark, by which time the enemy was driven from the field which we now occupy. The troops are too much exhausted to push matters, but I shall do so in the course of the morning as soon as Fitz John Porter’s corps come up to Manassas.
The enemy is still in our front, but badly used up. We have lost not less than 8000 men killed and wounded, and from the appearance of the field the enemy have lost at least two to our one.
He stood strictly on the defensive, and every assault was made by ourselves. Our troops have behaved splendidly.
The battle was fought on the identical battle-field of Bull Run, which greatly increased the enthusiasm of our men. The enemy is retreating towards the mountains.
I go forward at once. We have made great captures, but I am not able yet to form any idea of their extent.
John Pope, Major General.
The Enemy Before Washington
The aspect of the war is entirely changed. Instead of our armies threatening Richmond, an immense rebel force now threatens Washington. Our troops have been driven back to Centreville, where they have been strongly reinforced. Gen. Halleck is supposed to have more than 200,000 veteran soldiers with which to encounter the enemy. Washington is deemed impregnable. This is a bold stroke of the rebels. Failure involves their whole army in destruction. The fate of the rebellion hangs on the events now taking place.
The week thus far is one of the most exciting of the war. The enemy penetrated on Wednesday as far as Fairfax Court House, Leesburg, and Vienna. A severe battle took place that day just this side of Manassas between Gen. Hooker and the rebels, in which the latter were put to rout. On Thursday a more important affair took place at Gainesville, eight miles west of Manassas Junction between the rebel force under Jackson and General McDowell’s corps. The battle continued till darkness. During the night reinforcements were sent to McDowell, and on Friday one of the hardest fought battles of the war was fought on the identical spot where the battle of Bull Run took place more than a year ago. The result of this battle was favorable to our troops. The enemy was driven from the field, and Gen. Pope’s dispatch reported that they were retreating to the mountains. On Friday night the enemy was heavily reinforced, and on Saturday morning attacked the national troops. Gen. Pope’s forces appear to have made a gallant defense, but were overpowered by numbers, and retreated in good order to Centreville. Here Pope was reinforced by Franklin’s Division and also during the night by Gen. Sumner’s Division. No battle was fought on Sunday.
There is important news from Kentucky of the defeat of between 8,000 and 9,000 national troops under Gen. Nelson, by 15,000 or 20,000 rebels. The battle was fought near Richmond. Our loss was 150 to 200 killed and wounded, and the rebel loss is reported heavy. A large rebel force under Buckner is reported at Tompkinsville. The rebels have destroyed the telegraph at the State line, and cut off communication with Nashville.
The latest news received up to the time of our going to press gives no account of any further fighting since Saturday night. Our army was reinforced on Monday by at least 60,000 of the most effective men we have in the field, who have been located in the various camps near Washington. Fifteen hundred prisoners have been forwarded to Washington.
A correspondent of the Philadelphia Press, writing on Sunday, says our whole army this afternoon was massed ten miles south of Centreville, beyond Bull Run, and was driving the enemy at every point, and victory sooner or later is considered certain. Jackson cannot pass through Thoroughfare Gap again, for Heintzelman with his corps is there, and he will be driven to the mountains.
A letter from Washington in the N. York Tribune accuses McClellan of treachery.
Restrictions on the Press
General Halleck has ordered newspaper correspondents to leave the army lines, and the public is as a consequence deprived of late and “reliable” intelligence direct from the scene of active operations. Whether this is right or wrong depends upon circumstance of which the public has little or no knowledge. The government is entitled to decide the things of this kind, and it must be assumed that the restriction is necessary. It is certainly a vast inconvenience to the getters up and the readers of sensation news paragraphs, who will thus be deprived of a daily excitement which was fast becoming indispensable. The people of this country are unused to any restriction on the public press. They have been accustomed to the largest possible liberty in this direction, and have an idea that this kind of liberty is one of their inalienable rights. But under the schooling of this war they are learning to make sacrifices which they would have thought impossible a year ago. They have learned that private rights must give way in many cases to demands essential to the public safety. The nation, not the individual, is to be considered. The citizen must make great sacrifices for the sake of the government. On this account, and in a spirit of self-sacrifice, the people will submit to this and to greater inconveniences if the government shall think necessary. If we must go without direct news from Virginia, let it be so. An order of Gen. Halleck will be honored here as well as obeyed within the army lines. If he says we must wait a week or two weeks after a battle before we can learn whether we are to rejoice over a victory or deplore a defeat, we must submit. We must believe there is a sufficient cause for so extraordinary a regulation, and all loyal citizens will yield a cheerful compliance.
President Lincoln’s plan of colonization is now in a fair way of being put into operation. Senator Pomeroy, at the President’s request, will superintend the organization of emigration parties of free colored persons. The place provided for their settlement is in Central America, in the neighborhood of Chiriqui, where lands and agricultural implements will be furnished them free of cost. They will also be sustained by the Government until their lands become productive. It appears that the inducements offered to such as desire to emigrate thither are very great, and no doubt large numbers will avail themselves of the opportunity. In Central America no distinction is observed on account of color, and no obstacle will lie in the way of a black man’s reaching the highest position. Such as go there, if they are of steady and industrious habits, will do well. But notwithstanding all the inducements offered the colored people to go away, it is certain that a majority of them do not want to go. They have strong local attachments, and love their homes. They have very little ambition to migrate and seek out new dwelling places, preferring poverty and social inferiority to going out into an unknown region with the prospect of improving their condition. The door of egress may be opened for them as wide as it was opened for the Israelites in Egypt, but Moses himself, were he again to appear, could not induce the black race to leave their old houses and go out into the wilderness. Perhaps they do not know what is for their good, or rather for the good of their race. We are inclined to think they do not. At any rate the fact appears clear that most of them prefer to stay where they are, and endure all the disadvantages of a residence with the whites.
The order for drafting appoints to morrow (Wednesday) as the day in which the draft is to be made, and specifies the manner in which it shall be done. We publish the order elsewhere. It appears that it will be done in the most impartial manner, and we do not see that any one can have cause to complain of the mode prescribed. After the draft three days will be allowed persons claiming exemption to furnish evidence establishing their claim before the selectmen.
The novelty of this proceeding will attract general attention. But few persons have ever seen men drafted for war, and the spectacle will be one long to be remembered.
The Draft Postponed.
Gov. Buckingham has postponed the draft until the 10th of September.
Enlistments can take place one week longer. The opportunity should not be lost. Middletown should not fail to make up her quota within the next seven days. Every man who enlists will receive his bounty money of one hundred dollars.
Public meetings were held at McDonough Hall on Friday and Saturday evenings and on Saturday afternoon. Great enthusiasm was shown, and a determination manifested to raise the quota of this town without a draft. The object of these meetings was to promote enlistments, and subscriptions were called for to pay every man a bounty who would enlist. The response was favorable. Liberal sums were offered, and it was evident that no soldier would enlist from this town without being paid a bounty.
One gentleman in this city, Henry G. Hubbard, Esq., offers to give $1000 as bounty money if the quota is raised by enlistments.
Our citizens have taken hold of the matter in earnest and not only shown their patriotism by giving liberally, but have gone to work to procure enlistments.
Irish Citizens.—A war meeting for adopted Irish citizens will be held at McDonough Hall on Wednesday afternoon. Thomas McManus, Esq., of Hartford, and other speakers are expected to be present.
In the evening of the same day there will be a meeting in Portland at Smith’s Hall, which will be addressed by Mr. McManus.
It is intended to recruit a company of Irishmen here to join Gen. Corcoran’s division.
Jason Wright, of this town, a member of Co. A, 16th regiment, had repeatedly threatened to kill himself when low spirited, and one day last week he carried his threat into execution by taking an ounce and a half of laudanum. He died while being carried to the hospital.
Lieut. Samuel Mansfield, son of General Mansfield of this city, is now at home sick. He has been quite ill with dysentery, but is getting better. He was offered the Lieut. Colonelcy of the 21st Conn. regiment, but did not accept the appointment. He has since received orders to repair to Fortress Monroe which he will do as soon as his health will permit.
Lint Wanted.—The Surgeon General has extended a call to the loyal women and children of the United States for a supply of lint. This call was on Monday brought to the notice of the ladies of Middletown by Mayor Warner, who caused circulars to be issued and left at nearly every house in the city. A considerable quantity was brought in and left at McDonough Hall during the afternoon.
Got Lost.—On Saturday morning fourteen members of Capt. Dickerson’s company reached Lyme for the purpose of taking the early boat for this city. They were just about fifteen minutes too late for the boat. As they were supposed to be accustomed to walking, they started for home afoot. They meant to come the nearest way, but didn’t. After walking about the country all day Saturday, they calculated they had traveled about thirty miles, and must be pretty near the Portland ferry. On stopping to take an observation, they were surprised to discover that they had reached Millington, which is next to Colchester, which is not a great ways from Norwich where they started from. They concluded not to do any more traveling in that region without a pilot, so they chartered a team and reached here on Sunday afternoon.