From The Constitution, Wednesday, October 1, 1862 (volume 25, number 1292)
There has been very little change in military affairs within the week. No portion of General McClellan’s army has yet crossed the Potomac, although full preparations appear to have been made to do so. The rebels are concentrating their forces at Winchester, which place is designated as their base of operations. On Friday, a reconnoisance from Shepherdstown to Harper’s Ferry found the roads open and returned with thirty prisoners and Lieut. Col. Lee of the 33d Virginia regiment.
A sharp engagement has taken place between the national forces under Col. Sibley, and the Sioux, near Yellow Medicine. The Indians were defeated with a loss of thirty killed and many wounded.
Gen. Wadsworth, recently nominated for Governor of New York, was serenaded on Saturday night, and made a speech. He said he believed the Union of the states could and would be maintained, and he was in favor of a most vigorous war policy.
THE PROCLAMATION OF EMANCIPATION.
President Lincoln has issued a proclamation declaring that after the first of January, 1863, all slaves in states then in revolt against the Government of the United States shall be free. This proclamation is not unexpected. The President has been blamed for not having issued it before, for it has long been felt that nothing but this could strike at the heart of the rebellion. The proclamation has at last been made, and will be welcomed with joy, by thousands who believe that this slaveholder’s rebellion can be crushed only by crushing out that system in behalf of which the south commenced this war. It is the most important paper which has issued from the Government for the last thirty years. If the southern states continue in the position they now occupy, their whole social condition will then be revolutionized. Nearly four million of slaves will be made free men, and a new order of things must be instituted for the sustenance and employment of this vast population. We can scarcely realize that but three months will intervene before this vast social revolution will take place.
It is well known that the President would never have issued a proclamation of this nature, unless he believed it was absolutely necessary. His conservative course hitherto and his well understood opinions with regard to gradual emancipation, make it certain that he did not decide upon this step until he was thoroughly convinced that it was the only course open to him to pursue. His object is to restore this Union. If he can restore it and save slavery, he has said he should do it. If slavery stands in the way of a restoration of the Union, he will strike down that institution without any hesitation. He believes it does stand in the way of the restoration of peace and harmony, and he has determined to remove the obstacle if there is power enough in the nation to do it.
The southern states now remain in rebellion at their peril. The north has accepted the issue which they themselves have presented. At the beginning they announced that they were fighting to establish the supremacy of the slave power in this continent. We professed not to believe them, and declared that our war was for the Union without regard to slavery. For a year and a half the Government has ignored slavery, or has touched it in the most tender manner. Now it has become clear as a sunbeam that the only way to save the Union and constitution from complete destruction is to strike directly at this institution. All honor to the President for the bold and noble stand he has taken !
But it must be remembered that this is but a proclamation which he has issued. It remains for the nation and the nation’s armies to give it force. Everything depends upon the success of our arms for the next few weeks. Much remains to be done by our Generals in the field and by the people at home. Let the Government now have the united and enthusiastic support of all loyal men, and let all other considerations sink before the grand object of rescuing the country from its present peril.
In his second proclamation the President declares that all persons who shall aid the rebels, or shall discourage volunteer enlistments, or resist militia drafts, shall be subject to martial law, and that the writ of habeas corpus is suspended in respect to all such persons.
This proclamation shows the length to which the rebellion has gone, that the Government is compelled to take the sword and rule by power rather than by law, that old constitutional barriers and landmarks are removed, and that the salvation of this country depends now on the patriotism, firmness and wisdom of our rulers. Everything is committed to them. They can wield a tremendous power, untrammeled as they are by the restraints of law, and being absolute masters of the most magnificent army in the world. When the people surrender the writ of habeas corpus, they give up the strongest safeguard of personal liberty. When martial law is declared, constitutional law is for the time annulled. Arms rather than laws govern the republic.
But some people are asking, will the people submit to all this ? Will they tamely submit to see their liberties annulled at the mere dictum of the Government ? They certainly will submit. They would rather President Lincoln would rule with absolute power for a few months than that Jeff. Davis should overthrow the constitution and break up the Union. They would prefer that martial law should bring traitors in the loyal states to a speedy and sure punishment than that the traitors get the upper hand. They would much prefer that the writ of habeas corpus should be temporarily suspended than that it should be finally and everlastingly destroyed. The people of Connecticut did not object to their charter being carried off and temporarily “suspended” in the Charter Oak at Hartford, when Major Andros went there to seize it. And they will not object to the arbitrary course of President Lincoln now that the rebellion with its formidable power is attempting to lay its hand on the government. The people have demanded that the President should act with more decision and energy. We are glad to see that he is doing it, and means to treat traitors as such and hold them to a strict account.
A Sad Loss
The death of Robert Hubbard, killed in action on the 17th, will be felt as a great loss by a large circle of friends. He was a young man of remarkable amiability combined with great decision of character. He was the only one killed in Capt. Gibbons’ company. His father, Josiah M. Hubbard, has one other son who is in the army for three years.
The Fourteenth Regiment
Report of Lieut. Col. Perkins, Commanding.
Headquarters 14th Regt. Conn. Vols.
Bivouac near Sharpsburgh, Md., Sept. 19th, 1862.
To Col. Dwight Morris, commanding Second Brigade, Gen. French’s Division :–Please find herewith enclosed in accordance with your orders, report of battle of 17th September, as follows:–
We broke bivouac at camp near Reedsville, Md., on the morning of the 17th Sept., taking position on the right of your command, according to orders, and marched about two miles by flank, when we formed line of battle and moved forward at a distance of about a half mile, when we became engaged, our position being in a cornfield, west of Wm. Rulett’s farm house. The enemy occupying a position on the summit of a hill to our front, the 5th Maryland regiment being slightly in our advance. I reserved my fire until they broke, which threw three companies of my right wing into confusion ; when we opened fire from the left and center and immediately proceeded to rally the right, which having been effected, we held our position under a severe cross fire, for nearly three hours, during which time my horse being disabled, I was obliged to continue with my command on foot. I cannot omit saying that during the time above mentioned, my right and centre was broken twice, but rallied on the colors and formed in good order, and when ordered to retire, moved from the field with precision ; after which, we accompanied you to support Gen. Kimball who was retiring for ammunition, and took position near a stone wall east of farm house, holding the same until ordered to support Col. Brooks. During the movement while marching by flank, a shell was thrown into our ranks killing several of our men. The ranks were at once closed, the regiment moving forward at quick time and in good order. At this time and during the remaining thirty-six hours being under your immediate command, requires no further detail.
Where all behaved so well, it may seem invidious to particularize, but I feel bound to mention Captain Blinn, of Co. F., and Captain Willard, of Co. G., who fell at their posts, gallantly cheering their commands ; also 1st Lieut. Coit, commanding, and 2nd Lieut. Crosby of Co. K., were severely if not dangerously wounded, leaving that company without a commissioned officer. Acting Adjutant Lucas and A. A. General Ellis, together with Maj. C. C. Clark rendered great assistance in rallying the command, under a galling fire, at which time the horse of A. A. General Ellis was disabled. Serg. Mills, color bearer, was severely if not mortally wounded, while bearing and waving aloft our standard, and his place was filled by Lieutenant Comstock, of Co. H., who with Sergeant Foot, of Co. I., retained them till the close of the action. Our colors are riddled with shot and shell and the staff broken. Capt. Gibbons, of Co. B., deserves notice, who finding the farm house occupied by a large force of the enemy, ordered his company to advance and fire, scattering them and driving a portion of them into the cellar, where by closing the door, a large number of them were captured.
As you are aware, our men hastily raised, and without drill, behaved like veterans and fully maintained the honor of the Union and our native state.
I have the honor, sir, to be your obedient servant, S. H. Perkins,
Lieut. Col. Commanding 14th Reg. C. V.
Casualties in the 14th Regt. C. V. During the Action of Sept. 17th, 1862, With List of the Missing.
Captains Jarvis E. Blinn and Samuel F. Willard
Co. A—Privates : Thaddeus Lewis, Michael Maddigan, Wm. H. Norton.
Co. B—Private Robert Hubbard.
Co. C—Corporals : Henry Keeler and David Mix, Privates : Michael Keogan and John Smith.
Co. D—Privates : Russell Griswold, Wm. P. Ramsdell, Henry Tiley.
Co. F—Sergeant Fred R. Eno.
Co. I—Corporal Richard L. Hull. Private Edmund I. Field.
Co. K—Privates : Benj. Fuller, Henry Yerrington.
1st Lieut. James B. Coit; 2d Lieuts. Geo. H. D. Crosby and Wm. J. Sherman.
Co. A—Corporals : Wm. E. Craig and Edward L. Hummiston. Privates : Joseph Alix, Henty E. Bachelor, George Bunyon, Alfred Brown, Joel N. Bradley, Francis Curtiss, Edward Hill, Duncan McCann, Chas. H. Platt, Stephen D. Skidmore, Fred Taylor, Fred Tatre, Edward A. Wilcox.
Co. B—Corporals : Fred R. Beebe and David Maitland. Privates : Samuel G. Camp, Hiram Fox, Chas. H. Galpin, Joseph McClusky, Hugh McBrayne, Benj. C. Wilcox.
Co. C—Corporal Lucius Curtiss. Privates : Theodore Byington, Wm. E. Goodrich, Chas. T. Hamilton, Theodore M. Hill, John Jones, Seth Percy, F. J. Percy, F. J. Robbins, James Tobin.
Co. D—Privates : John Abbe, A. S. Bowers, George W. Colburn, George W. Corbitt, Wm. H. Corbitt, Ellis Griswold, August Gross, Henry F. Hospodsky, James Henderson, Anson D. Newell, H. W. Orcott, George F. Sloan, Joseph Stafford, Alfred A. Taft, Henry Talcott, Samuel Talcott, Christopher Waldo, Thomas Wilkie.
Co. E—Sergeant Henry C. Miller. Corporal Edmund Smith. Private Richard West.
Co. F—Privates : Henry Alcott, John L. Bartholemew, Henry Beach, Francis Cavanaugh, Peter Frazier, Victor Holcomb, Geo. H. Lewis, Eliphalet Packard, Hiland Parker, J. Frank Smith.
Co. G—Sergeant Henry A. Pendleton. Privates : George H. Doane, L. A. Dibble, John Hurd, John Parks.
Co. H—Sergeants John A. Tibbitts, Thomas J. Mills. Privates : Thomas M. Ames, Silas S. Fox, John Minor.
Co. I—Corporal George W. Baldwin. Privates : Raphael W. Benton, Henry M. Rossiter, John Ryan.
Co, K—Corporals Edward Dercy, John R. Webster. Privates : S. D. Allen, George W. Babcock, H. H. Brainard, John Bayhan, Nelson Belmont, Wm. Carrol, Peter Devine, Jacob Dyetch, Selden Fuller, John Harren, A. T. Simonds.
Co. A—Privates : Leveritt Campbell, Anthony Daniels, Wm. Powers, Joseph White.
Co. B—Private George Brown.
Co. C—Privates : Manfred Gibbon, Clark L. Hurd, Dwight Russell.
Co. D—Privates Daniel Crombie and Frank D. Maine.
Co. E—Privates : Edwin Healy, Lucian B. Holmes, Wm. F. Lovejoy.
Co. G—Private Horace Stevens.
Co. H—Privates : Christopher Brown, John Goddard, Lewis G. Lature, John Lunger, Edward McCaffery, Edward Mitchell.
Co. I—Privates : Gilbert S. Betts, Lewis Muller, Sylvester J. Taylor.
Co. K—Corp’l N. P. Rockwood. Privates : F. Chadwick, T. Farrell, O. Kibbe, E. Maynard, C. Risley, E. Weeks.
Don’t Fail to be at theTown Meeting next Monday.
Explosion and Three Lives Lost.
Our citizens were startled on Sunday night between 12 and 1 o’clock by a loud report which shook their dwellings and indicated that some great calamity had occurred. The night was cloudy and dark and it was impossible to discover the cause of the disturbance. In the morning it was discovered that the boiler of a steam tug lying at Fisk’s dock had blown up, and that three men had been instantly killed.
The name of the unfortunate boat was the Monitor, of Troy, N. Y., Capt. Edward R. Sprung. The boat was to leave at 2 o’clock, and fires had been kindled at about 10 to get up steam. The engineer, George H. Jones, had given particular orders to the fireman to be watchful and had directed the cook to sit up with him so that he might not drop to sleep. The captain had also shown unusual anxiety lest something should happen, and had sat up till a late hour. But, strange as it may appear, all hands on board went to sleep, and left the fires burning briskly under the boilers ! Precisely that result happened which any one might have foreseen. The boiler exploded with a terrible report at the hour we have mentioned. The upper works of the boat were torn to pieces, and the hull sunk to the bottom. The only survivor of those on board was the engineer, who first found himself with his head just above water and his feet entangled in the wreck. He managed to extricate himself, and went immediately to the house of Mr. Elisha F. Bidwell, in Washington street, who was pilot of the boat, and was going on board at 2 o’clock. Nothing could be done until morning when efforts were made to obtain the bodies of the unfortunate men. The bodies of the fireman and cook were found under the timbers and taken out. They were badly crushed and much disfigured. A jury of inquest was summoned. Not a trace has been found of the captain.
The Monitor had been engaged as a tug boat on the river during the summer. Everything was as it should be about her boiler and machinery, and the calamity was apparently the result of carelessness. Pieces of the boat were thrown in all directions, and into the yards and on the roofs of neighboring buildings.
Pameacha Bridge is gradually approaching completion. It is a noble piece of work and will be a splendid monument of the enterprise of Middletown. The work has been delayed considerably by the enlistment in the army of some of those who were engaged in it. A general wish has been expressed that the bridge might be raised two or three feet higher than the original plan contemplated. This would be a great improvement, and it is hoped it will be done.
New Toll Bridge—One of the greatest of conveniences and the most Yankee of contrivances is the toll bridge across the creek on the way to Camp Mansfield. It is a sort of pontoon bridge, that is to say it floats on the surface of the water, provided a too heavy individual does not get aboard, when it ceases to be a bridge at all. That bridge collects a toll of one cent, which with five or eight hundred passengers a day, will pay a very fair percentage on the original outlay, and might afford a margin for improvements. Thin people are advised that the bridge is perfectly safe, but any gentleman or lady whose weight is more than two hundred avoirdupois had better walk around by the road even if it is a hot day.
Returned—About a fortnight ago a full company recruited in Chatham and vicinity was ordered to remove from Camp Mansfield and take up their quarters in Norwich. They did not like the arrangement, but obeyed orders and went. It soon was clear that a mistake had been made. Those men were not adapted to the latitude of Norwich. They were as much out of place as a Laplander would be in Africa, or an ebony gentleman at the north pole. The men did not sleep nights. They were inclined to something like somnambulism, and through the day were much “indisposed.” The cause might be in the atmosphere of Norwich, or possibly it was the ghost of Uncas. The case was considered at headquarters, and as a sanitary measure an order was issued for the return of the company to Camp Mansfield. They arrived by the evening train on Thursday night, and were welcomed with loud demonstrations of respect by their old comrades in arms. We are happy to learn that the sanitary condition of the company has rapidly improved.