From The Constitution, Wednesday, October 29, 1862 (volume 25, number 1296)
Last week has been unusually barren of news. The army of the Potomac has not yet made a forward movement, except by reconnoisances. Predictions are made almost every day that offensive operations are to be commenced, and the public is waiting impatiently to see some of these predictions fulfilled.
The campaign in Kentucky is over. Bragg has been driven out of the state without a battle. The result of the campaign is very unsatisfactory, and Gen. Buell has been removed from command. Gen. Rosecrans takes his place.
The draft in Pennsylvania occasioned extensive riots in Schuylkill county among the miners. Five thousand rioters armed themselves with guns, pistols and other weapons. At first the affair had a serious aspect, but the difficulties were finally adjusted, and after two days of excitement the men generally resumed work.
The capture and occupation of an island in Galveston Bay is reported.
Gen. Curtis telegraphs to Gen. Halleck from Pea Ridge in Arkansas, that finding the enemy had encamped at Pea Ridge, he sent Gen. Blunt westward with one division, while himself moved toward Huntsville with the rest of his forces. Gen. Blunt, after a hard nights march, attacked the rebels from four to five thousand strong, on the morning of Oct. 22d, and totally routed the enemy capturing all their artillery and a large portion of their equipments. The rebels precipitately fled beyond the Boston mountains.
A gentleman who has arrived in Cleveland from Nashville says there are enough United States troops in that city under Gen. Negley to protect the place against any force.
It was announced in the Baltimore American yesterday that Pleasanton’s cavalry of the army of the Potomac had crossed the Potomac. Burnside’s corps had also crossed over. Troops on Bolivar Heights were under marching orders to move Monday.
Galveston, Texas, was occupied by the federal troops on the 5th inst.
It is stated that Gen. Wise is on the march to Yorktown with 20,000 rebel troops.
Gen. Buell has been relieved of his command of the army in Kentucky, and Gen. Rosecrans appointed in his place. A great many others will also be relieved at the change. With a fine army at his command, Gen. Buell has made a complete failure.
Bragg and Buell.—The Richmond Whig says that Gen. Bragg’s attempt to do anything in Kentucky was “a complete frizzle.” Bragg had better retire into private life. Buell is pretty generally acknowledged to be below par in military talents, but he is more than a match for Bragg.
The people can endure anything but delay. They have shown a perfect willingness to expend their money, and have without hesitation responded to every call for troops. They have endured and suffered, and can endure and suffer yet longer, provided they can see the means which they have furnished properly used. At this juncture there is no use in concealing the fact that there is a growing state of uneasiness among the loyal people of the north. It is felt that there has been something wrong in the general administration of affairs. The activity and success of the Government have not been in proportion to the means which have been furnished. After a year and a half spent in gigantic expenditures and noble self-sacrifices on the part of a great people, we still find Washington threatened by a powerful rebel army.
It has been stated that the reason General McClellan achieved such brilliant successes in Maryland was because he was for once left untrammeled by official and officious interference at Washington. It may be so. It looks probable. The time had come then when intermeddlers must stand back, and some man of action and nerve and ability must take the helm. The army has again come to a stand-still. It is waiting for shoes or for clothes or for something else. We are daily told of indications of an advance. So we were twelve months ago. The accounts from the Potomac in October, 1861, are almost identical with those of October, 1862. We seem to have gone around in a circle and come back to the original starting point. Is the coming winter to be a repetition of last winter ?
We said there is a growing uneasiness among loyal men. It is not that they are any the less loyal. They will stand by the national cause to the last, and will expend every dollar they possess rather than submit to terms dictated by the south. The loyal men of the north are not to be intimidated by the rebel armies neither will they be turned aside from their purpose by any vacillation or hesitation at Washington.
Who is responsible for the delays from which we have suffered cannot now be known. Cabinet councils are a profound secret. A National general may be bound hand and foot and left to the tender mercies of the enemy, and nobody knows who did it. State secrets are kept close pro bono publico, and no one may interfere. Not till the war is over and history takes up her pen will the authorship of certain works by discovered. But the people do not want to find fault. They will not if they can help it. They are disposed to blame no member of the Administration. They will overlook many mistakes. All they ask is an exhibition of firmness and energy. Armies and money have been raised. Let these be used. Let vigor and activity pervade every department. The North is conscious of strength more than enough to crush this slaveholders’ rebellion. It is impatient that it cannot put forth its strength.
Not the Reason.—The Providence Journal thinks the want of shoes and clothing is not the reason why the army of the Potomac does not move. With our immense supplies and our overflowing resources it cannot be that the army is in such want of these articles as to stop military operations. This would argue a criminal, almost a treasonable negligence in more quarters than one.
The President’s Proclamation
The President’s Proclamation has had a much more favorable reception than its most ardent friends could have anticipated. Opposition was most feared from two sources—from the army and from the Border States. Much to the general surprise and gratification, the Government has discovered that it will receive support precisely where it had expected opposition. Many of the leading men in the Border States have already expressed their approval of the important step taken by the President. Especially is this the case with Maryland and Missouri. The public is already acquainted with the sentiments of many prominent men in the army. They will support the proclamation and enforce it when the proper time arrives. It was said that many army officers would resign, when the proclamation of emancipation should be made. Not one has resigned, or will do so. Among the soldiers it is enthusiastically received, and will inspire them with new courage and hope. All things conspire to show that the issuing of that proclamation is the most effective blow which the President has yet struck at the rebellion. It is thus far a complete success.
The rebels are by no means averse to arming the slaves, provided they can do it with safety to themselves. Their fear has been that the blacks would turn against their masters. The absurd notion prevalent at the north that negroes will not make effective soldiers is laughed at in the south. Slaveholders would arm their negroes at once if they thought they could trust them ; and there are indications that they mean to make the experiment, and run the risk. The Richmond Examiner urges the planters “to allow their slaves to join the army, and recommends that a draft be made to enforce them into the ranks.”
Death of Lieut. Crosby.—Lieut. George H. D. Crosby, of Company K., 14th Conn. regiment, died at his home in Middle Haddam on Wednesday last the 22d inst. He was wounded at the battle of Antietam, a rifle ball having gone entirely through his body, but was able to reach home where notwithstanding the best of care he gradually failed during a period of three weeks.
Lieut. Crosby entered the Wesleyan University a little more than a year ago, and occupied a good position in his class. Ever since the war commenced he has shown a strong disposition to enlist, but was restrained by the wishes of friends. In the latter part of the spring, the calls issued by the President and the Governor overcame all objections, and he entered heart and soul into the work of raising a company of volunteers. He opened a recruiting office in this city, and in a few weeks removed it to Middle Haddam where he labored with unceasing energy until he had raised the requisite number of men. He received a commission as second Lieutenant. We saw him just previous to his departure for Washington, full of enthusiasm and ardor. This was but two months ago. His regiment was immediately ordered into battle. On the field of Antietam Crosby drew his sword for the first and the last time. From the beginning of the battle till he received his death wound, he fought nobly, encouraging his men and leading them on. And for half an hour after he was wounded, while he lay helpless on the ground, without regarding his own condition, he kept constantly exhorting his comrades to do their duty. We believe no nobler spirit fell that day then he. Generous, brave, and ardent, wholly devoted to the national cause, above all reproach, he had every requisite for rising to a high and responsible place in the public service. But his career was short. From the halls of college to the field of battle was but a single step, and his young life was laid on the altar of his country. His age was 19 years and 11 months.
The funeral was attended at the Episcopal Church in Middle Haddam on Friday at 11 o’clock. It was one of the largest funerals ever attended in that place. The Mansfield Guard from this city were present. His class in college, and other students, President Cummings and members of the faculty, attended. The services were conducted by Rev. Mr. DeKoven of this city. An address was made by Rev. Dr. Cummings.
Mansfield Guard.—We understand that this company are to hold a meeting this (Tuesday) evening, for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety and expediency of a more permanent organization. For the credit of this town, we earnestly hope that the members of the company will decide that a permanent organization is expedient, and that our young men, and old men too, will second their efforts and place the company on a firm basis. It is due to the memory of gallant and heroic Mansfield that there should be no further delay in this matter.
Discourse on the Death of General Mansfield, by Rev. John L. Dudley.—Many of our citizens heard this sermon, delivered a month ago at the South Church. All will now have an opportunity of reading it at their leisure. It is published in a very neat and becoming manner, and has prefixed a fine portrait of the General. This discourse is an eloquent tribute to the memory of one of Connecticut’s most distinguished sons, and one whose name will always be cherished by the citizens of Middletown. It was evidently written con amore, and some portions are touchingly beautiful. There will undoubtedly be a large demand for it.
Large numbers from the city visit the camp every pleasant afternoon. The men have their overcoats and appear finely on parade.
Several arrests of soldiers straggling from camp were made on Sunday. Small squads were sent in to “kidnap” the stragglers, and make them keep the day in a proper manner, and in the right place.
On Sunday afternoon, just as people were going home from church, a blue overcoat with a soldier inside was seen to go down Centre street in considerable haste. In about a quarter of a minute after, a pair of shoulder straps darted down the same street. When last seen the shoulder straps were gaining on the overcoat. Public curiosity was aroused although it was Sunday, and people wondered what was in the wind, and whether the overcoat and shoulder straps had been to church, heard something which troubled their consciences, and were going home in this excited condition. A few had the impression that the shoulder straps meant to “nab” the overcoat. We rather incline to that opinion.
Storm.—A severe north-east rain storm commenced here on Sunday and continued until Monday night.