From The Constitution, Wednesday, September 17, 1862 (volume 25, number 1290)
Up to Saturday night there was but little encouraging news from any quarter. General McClellan was on the march and in pursuit of the rebels, but had not yet come in collision with them. Baltimore was threatened, Pennsylvania was about to be invaded, and there was danger of Washington being cut off from land communication with the northern states. On Saturday night reports were more encouraging, and on Sunday there were various rumors of national successes. Monday confirmed these rumors and brought the cheering intelligence that the rebel army had changed its advance to a retreat, and was no longer formidable as an army of invasion.
On Friday our advance came up with the rear guard of the rebels, when an engagement took place, in which the rebels were forced to fall back to Middletown, a few miles north west of Frederick. On Saturday our cavalry had two engagements with the enemy and forced them to burn half a mile of their wagon trains. In addition a hundred ammunition wagons were captured by Gen. Franklin. The whole of the National army pushed on in pursuit of the enemy on Saturday through Frederick. They went by every available road, and even crossed the fields. In Frederick General Burnside was welcomed by the citizens with the wildest enthusiasm, and when General McClellan entered the place the streets were perfectly blocked by the overjoyed people so that it was difficult for the General to reach his headquarters. Our troops were in fine spirits and much elated at the cordial reception they met in Maryland.
The rebels have failed in their attempt against Cincinnati. They are retreating rapidly and in great confusion. The prisoners taken say they retreat on account of the advance of General Buell’s army. A portion of General Buell’s army had been sent toward Cincinnati, and a knowledge of this movement may have induced the retreat.
The Rebels in a Panic.
News received last evening communicates the important intelligence that the rebel army has been come up with and engaged by McClellan, and a glorious victory gained by the national troops. Gen. McClellan’s first despatch is dated 3 miles beyond Middletown, Sept. 14, 9.40 P. M. and says—
The action continued till after dark, and terminated by leaving us in possession of the entire crest of the hill.
It has been a glorious victory. I cannot yet tell whether the enemy will retreat during the night, or appear in increased force during the morning.
The troops behaved magnificently. They never fought better.
Gen. Franklin has been hotly engaged on the extreme left. I do not yet know the result, except that the firing indicated progress on his part.
I regret to add that the gallant and able Gen. Reno is killed.
At three o’clock Monday morning he sent another despatch to General Halleck, stating that General Franklin’s success on the left was as complete as that on the centre and right. He does not think our loss severe. The enemy disappeared during the night and our troops were in pursuit.
Another despatch at 8 o’clock is as follows :
Henry W. Halleck, General-in-Chief :–I have just learned from Gen. Hooker, in the advance, who states that the information is perfectly reliable, that the enemy is making for the river in a perfect panic, and Gen. Lee stated last night publicly that he must admit they had been shockingly whipped. I am hurrying everything forward to endeavor to press their retreat to the utmost.
Geo. B. M’Clellan, Major General.
At ten o’clock, General McClellan wrote that information that moment received confirms the rout and demoralization of the rebel army. General Lee is reported wounded and Garland killed. General Hooker alone has over a thousand prisoners. It is stated that Lee gives his loss as fifteen thousand.
The following letter is from a missionary stationed at St. Cloud, Minnesota. It will be seen from his testimony that previous accounts were not exaggerated, but that a fearful Indian war impends over the settlers on the border. The letter is dated at St. Cloud, August 25.
You will no doubt have seen through the public prints the terrible Indian war that has sprung upon us as in a moment. Already more than five hundred whites have been slain. All our missionaries, I understand, on the Yellow-medicine, have perished at the hands of these cruel barbarians. There have been twenty-one or two killed within a short distance of this place, the names of whom came to hand last night. The plan which these cruel creatures have laid to lay waste the country, is the deepest and best concerted that has ever come to light in the whole history of Indian warfare. The above is the language of Johnson, our Indian missionary, who was caught and forced into their councils by Hole-in-the-Day, the great war chief of the Chippewas, and who is the leader of this tribe, and in this raid. Johnson is a full-blooded Chippewa, and is quite an intelligent man.
After these councils were held, at which Hole-in-the-Day made known his plans, Johnson made his escape to Fort Ripley, and is now there with three of four other Christian Indians, assisting to guard it. Mr. Peak is safe at the fort with his family. I had a note from him to-day. I think they will be able to hold out until more troops arrive—one hundred men passed here yesterday going to their relief. We are looking for an attack here at any time within a week, but it may not come at all if we get speedily assistance from below, which we are looking for to-morrow. I have just laid down my gun to write you this note ; it is my intention to stand by my people at all risk. I think this is a part of the great rebellion which is upon us, and that the Indians south of us have been prompted to it by vile white men, as they were the first to strike. I am very well at present, and take things very coolly. Please advise my mother of as much of the above as you may deem prudent. I will write you in a few days.
I have just returned from a long trip north of this, a distance of two hundred miles. Almost the whole of this county will, I think, be desolated, as the settlements are few, and have no protection.
Garibaldi a Prisoner
As was predicted the ill advised and rash plans of Garibaldi for the liberation of Rome have resulted in his defeat and disgrace. In a contest with the national troops he was taken prisoner. It might have been foreseen that no considerable portion of the Italian population would have forsaken the national standards, abandoned their king and government and opened the way for another revolution, at the mere summons of any man, though he were the most popular subject in the kingdom. No one in all Italy could do more towards inaugurating a revolution than Garibaldi. He perhaps more than any other possessed the hearts of the people. But this was a question which was determined by something besides popular attachment. There were some things which Washington could not have done in America when he was at the height of his power and popularity, if he had attempted them, and there are some things in Italy beyond the reach of a Garibaldi. As long as Garibaldi acted in harmony with the prominent idea of Italian nationality, a united Italy, he carried the people with him. But as soon as he began to act against the Italian Government, and his plans tended towards division and revolution, the people forsook him and refused to follow him.
While there will be universal regret that Garibaldi has fallen into this misfortune, the friends of Italy will not be sorry that the loyalty of the people has been put to this test. They have been proved to be thoroughly and unmistakeably loyal, and sincerely attached to their king Victor Emanuel. What Garibaldi cannot do towards rousing popular passion, no other man in Italy can do. If he has signally failed in exciting a revolutionary movement, not Mazzini and all the republicans combined can have the shadow of a hope of the success of any of their schemes. Garibaldi was pre-eminent among those who established the Italian Government. His work was so perfect that it appears he himself cannot overthrow it. And it is not impossible that in this final failure of his, which appears to have almost ruined his splendid reputation, he may have actually rendered the greatest service of his life to Italy, by affording this conclusive proof of the firmness and strength of the national government.
On Wednesday the draft for this town took place. People began to assemble at an early hour, and by 10 o’clock hundreds had gathered in Main street in the neighborhood of the Town Hall. The draft commenced at 11 o’clock, when the selectmen appeared with the ballot box containing the numbers on the north front of the Court House. First Selectman Hubbard made a few remarks to the effect that the Selectmen had endeavored to do their duty in preparing the list, and to conform to the law under which they were acting. He then explained the method by which the draft would be taken, after which they proceeded to business. Mr. James E. Bidwell was appointed to draw out the numbers, and was blindfolded “according to the statute.” Public expectation at this moment was at its height. The crisis had come. Destiny was in that box. It was shaken up hard by the stoutest selectman on the board, and then the numbers began to be taken out, and the names corresponding to the numbers were announced by Selectman S. C. Hubbard. The number on the enrollment at the time of the draft was 758. The number of men drafted was 96. Throughout the day, and during the draft, there was the utmost quiet and good order. If any apprehensions had been felt of disturbance they were entirely groundless, for throughout all the proceedings there was manifest perfect good humor, and when it was over the people quietly withdrew to their homes.
THE DRAFTED MEN
From this town go into camp to-day. Ninety-six were drafted on Wednesday, but the number has been reduced more than half, principally by certificates of physical disability. The number is thirty-nine, and of these twenty are substitutes. Below is a list of the men. Those marked s are substitutes.
|George Batzier s||Edward Lee|
|Robert Smith s||Joseph B. Sears|
|Wm. H. Davis s||Leonard R. Tryon|
|Leonidas M. Camp s||Timothy Darly s|
|Wm. Warner s||Charles D. Fitch|
|F. A. Fielding s||Augustns Panfield|
|Henry Bowers||Morris Foley|
|Robert Williamson s||Joseph A. Norton|
|R. L. Henrys||Waldo D. Juman s|
|Wm. H. Livingston s||Benjamin Terrell|
|Samuel Kirk||Mark Dunn s|
|Frederick Reeves s||Michael Fitzpatrick|
|John D. Stevens s||William Ashton|
|Joseph S. Stevens s||William Collins|
|Edwin N. North||Patrick Fennessy s|
|Edwin S. Belden||J. H. Eastman s|
|Henry Tucker s||Charles Rigby s|
|Edward Ferree s||George M. Pratt|
|Lyman Thomas s||Theron Marham|
|Lucius P. Alexander.|
As it appeared, there was a plenty of substitutes who stood ready to go in the place of the drafted men. At first they asked a tall price. One is said to have demanded $900, or $100 a month, for his invaluable services. Some received $500, and in one or two instances $600 were given. Prices came down as the three days grace drew to a close. They were then found ready to go for the very moderate sum of three hundred dollars and some were so self-denying as to be willing to accept two hundred.
Some were taken by the draft whose cases appealed strongly to popular sympathy. Men were drafted whose families were depending upon their labors, and who were unable to procure substitutes, young men who were just starting in business and who could not afford either to go or stay, and some other cases which were rather “hard” owing to peculiar circumstances which perhaps the public would not appreciate. In many instances, we are happy to say, friends generously stepped forward and lent a helping hand, and we do not know of any case where actual suffering has been occasioned by the draft.
Last week the work of preparation for companies expected soon to arrive was carried on briskly. A large number of tents were put up, and other arrangements made so as to give comfortable quarters to the new comers. But one company, that from Essex, came into camp last week. Everything is done under the eye of Colonel Starr, commandant. The men who go into Camp Mansfield may consider themselves fortunate in beginning military life under the direction of Colonel Starr, who has long been acknowledged as one of the best officers in the service of the state. Means of access from the city to the camp are easy. A foot bridge has been built across the creek, at which there is a moderate toll of one cent, payable in any kind of acknowledged currency.
High School.—Mr. Balcam, assistant teacher in the High School, has resigned. He is Lieutenant in one of the nine months companies from this town. Miss Emma Root has been elected assistant teacher in his place. The High School commenced its fall session last week with a good number of scholars.
The colored children in the public schools have been placed in a room by themselves and occupy the basement of the High School building, where they are under the charge of the Principal of the High School as before. A special teacher is to be provided for them.