From The Constitution, Wednesday, November 5, 1862 (volume 25, number 1297)
On the 22d ult., a portion of General Mitchel’s command made an attack on the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. The 6th and 7th Connecticut regiments were engaged in the fight. The object of the expedition was to cut off communication between Charleston and Savannah. The number of troops was about 4000, under command of Gens. Brannan and Terry. The project was only partially successful, on account of the enemy having obtained intelligence in season to make preparation for the encounter. The fight continued for several hours, and was gallantly sustained by our troops, who drove the enemy before them for miles. Reinforcements for the rebels came up from Charleston and Savannah, and our troops retreated in good order, carrying with them their dead and wounded. The loss of the enemy was severe. Ours amounts in the whole to 123—of whom 15 were killed, 106 wounded and 2 missing. Col. Chatfield of the 6th was severely wounded, and Lieut. Col. Spiedel was also wounded.
The accounts from the army of the Potomac indicate the purpose of the Commanding General to advance in force against Lee in Virginia. The news on Monday morning was highly important. Gen. Pleasanton had come up with and engaged the enemy’s cavalry. The fight lasted about five hours, when the rebels retreated to Union. On Sunday morning Gen. Pleasanton attacked them at Union, and the rebels again fell back. Another portion of our army took possession of Snicker’s Gap on Sunday.
The ravages of the pirate Alabama, or ‘290,’ are attracting universal attention. She is known to have captured ten or twelve vessels, most of which were burnt.
The aggregate number of persons who have taken the oath of allegiance in New Orleans is about 66,000.
Dr. Cheever objects to the President’s Proclamation that it comes too late and that it promises to take back even rebels, slavery and all, if they will come before the 1st of January.
The army of the Potomac will hereafter consist of three grand armies, 9 corps, 30 divisions, 70 brigades. The first grand army will consist of the corps of Gens. Reynolds, Porter and Franklin, under Gen. Hooker.—The 2d army consists of the corps of Gens. Couch, Wilcox, and Slocum, under Gen. Burnside. The third army will consist of the corps of Gen. Cox and two other corps to whom permanent commanders are not yet assigned, under Gen. Sumner.
It is said that General Burnside has advanced along the eastern base of the Blue Ridge, and made a junction with Sigel’s corps their pickets actually joining.
A gentleman intimately acquainted with the President emphatically declares that Mr. Lincoln has not the most remote intention of depriving General McClellan of the command of the army of the Potomac.
Narrow Escape of Bishop General Polk From Capture.—At the battle of Perryville Polk narrowly escaped capture about dark. Leaving his staff, he rode to the 23d Indiana regiment, which was maintaining a brisk fire. He mistook it for a Confederate regiment, seized the colonel by the shoulder and ordered him to cease firing on his friends. The Indiana colonel replied that he was not aware he was committing such a mistake, when Gen. Polk demanded his name. ‘Colonel of the 23d Indiana,’ was the reply. Gen. Polk at once saw that he was in for it, and fearing that the colonel might identify him as a Confederate officer again shook him roughly. Before the latter had recovered from his surprise, he put spurs to his horse and galloped away.
A Dastardly Act.—The Louisville Journal affirms the truth of the following :
‘About as low a meanness as we have heard of in the war occurred at Chaplin Hills. When the battle was over and the night had covered the dead and the wounded under the dark trees, it was natural for the friends on either side of the combatants to look after their dead companions, and especially for those who might be prostrate and languishing under wounds but still alive. At this time, sacred to humanity, the Bishop-General Polk stationed himself with a small and secret force under the shadow of the forest, by the side of the dead, hyena-like, and, when a benevolent and Christian heart came to look for his dead or wounded friend, he would take him prisoner, march him off and strip him ! This act, so disgraceful to human nature, is absolutely true and can be fully attested.’
A magnificent expedition is apparently on foot for the purpose of securing Texas to the Union, and opening that vast state to immigration from the North. Gen. Banks is in New York and is believed to be engaged in organizing the expedition. Several New England nine months regiments have been detained to join it. In conjunction with this expedition another is to proceed down the Mississippi under General McClernand, clear that river of all rebel obstructions, and thence proceed to Texas. The leaders in this grand undertaking possess the best of qualifications. General Banks has no superior, and McClernand is one of the most popular men in the west.
An Old Story.
The old story of the Crittenden Compromise, and how it would have saved us from this war if it had been adopted, has been again dressed up and put in circulation. The democrats say that the abolitionists brought on the war, and they rejected all means of conciliation. Now what are the facts ?
In the last Congress under Mr. Burngham, the democrats had a majority in the Senate, and so could have passed the Crittenden compromise if they had desired to do so. The democrats refused to sustain the compromise. Those very men who have been leaders in this rebellion would not give it their support. Six southern Senators refused to vote for it. They did not dare to vote against it, and so declined to vote at all. The fact was the leaders of the rebellion wanted no compromise and would accept of none. If they had wanted it, it would have passed. They refused to give it their aid, and it was defeated. They are responsible for its not having succeeded.
Another important fact is that the Crittenden Compromise did not come up in Congress till after secession had taken place. South Carolina had seceded long before Crittenden’s measure was reported. When that state went out it was asserted out of Congress and in Congress that all concessions and compromises were too late. The deed had been accomplished and there was to be no retraction, they said. It was very certain, that whatever virtue there might be in Crittenden’s plan under other circumstances, it was altogether too late to do any good then. The evil it was to prevent had already happened.
“If there had been no abolitionism in the north there would have been no rebellion in the south.”—Sentinel.
Well, what of that ? If there had been no sunshine for twelve months there would have been no yellow fever in Wilmington. If some things hadn’t happened then some other things wouldn’t have happened. But what of it ?
Arrests by the Government.
In time of civil war and rebellion like the present, Government has the right to make arrests in certain cases without the usual formalities of law. If it had not this right, it would have no power of self defence. It is a right which all governments have exercised at certain times, and no one but the enemies of the Governments have called it into question. But this is a right which should be exercised with extreme caution. The Government has made many summary arrests, some of which have been undoubtedly unjust, in which cases a speedy liberation has generally followed. We feel sure that no injustice has been intended by any member of the Administration, and that when wrong has been suffered it has been through false information. At his crisis in our national affairs men of candor and patriotism will see the necessity of submitting to some things which would be unbearable in a time of peace, and that in many cases individual rights must suffer for the sake of the public safety.
Railroad Generosity.—We have stated in a former issue that the New York and New Haven Railroad Company tendered a free passage to the remains of General Mansfield and those who had them in charge. The Hartford and New Haven Railroad Company should have been included in this statement. This company provided a car especially for the use of those in attendance upon the honored remains, and offered to run a special train from Berlin to Middletown. This generous offer was declined on account of arrangements previously made by which the body was brought over from Meriden.
The 14th Regiment. Letter From Gov. Buckingham.—Much anxiety has been and is felt here relative to the 14th regiment. The men have suffered extremely not only from casualties in battle, but from exposure, privation and sickness. These facts have been brought to the notice of Governor Buckingham. In a letter addressed to one of our citizens, the Governor writes—
Norwich, Nov. 1, 1862.
I am obliged for your favor. I think many of the evils which our men have suffered are being rapidly remedied, and I hope and pray that they may suffer no other privations from the imbecility of officers whether in our regiments or in the service of the U. S. The 14th regiment has now been relieved. All their clothing, &c. has been received. They have left camp with six days rations, and are now on the march.
W. A. BUCKINGHAM.
D. H. Chase, Esq.
This assurance of the Governor that the regiment has been relieved and their clothing received will tend to remove the anxieties of the numerous friends of the soldiers in this city and vicinity.
The Draft Postponed.
An order was issued on Monday postponing the draft from Wednesday the 5th to Wednesday the 17th inst. This postponement is to give an opportunity to secure volunteers to fill the quota.
The selectmen had made arrangements for the draft in this town on Wednesday. Warnings were sent around on Monday. There now remains about 50 of our quota to be made up. We have two weeks to raise this number. It ought to be done, and we hope will be done within that time.
Sworn In.—On Thursday last the officers and men on Camp Mansfield were sworn into the service of the United States. They were told that although they took the oath, they were not yet accepted by the Government and their term of nine months would not commence till they were accepted. This announcement threw cold water on the enthusiasm of some of the men. Many of them had been in the state service for about two months and when they enlisted had expected to get through and return home early in the summer. The prospect now is that they will have to be gone through the whole of next season until cold weather. Notwithstanding the disappointment, nearly all of them acquiesced like patriotic men as they are, and took the oath. Only three of four persisted in refusing. The 24th regiment means to do its duty whether its term be longer or shorter. What they ask is a chance to do something in the service of their country against this rebellion.
For the Constitution.
Mr. Editor : We send you a question for publication, which we should be pleased to have answered by somebody, as those in authority will not answer it ; a question mooted by men now some two months in the camp, and some of them in the guard house, because they insisted upon information on the point, to wit : “how long must nine months volunteers and those drafted for nine months serve ?” If you can raise an answer satisfactory to those interested, it may save a great deal of trouble hereafter. A Soldier.
The members of the Class of ’65, having learned with unmingled sorrow that their classmate, Lieut. George H. D. Crosby, died October 22d, 1862, at his home in Middle Haddam, from a wound received at the battle of Antietam, at a special meeting, unanimously adopted the following resolutions :
Whereas, An All-wise Providence has seen fit to remind us of our mortality by taking from us one whom we had learned to respect and love, therefore,–
Resolved, that while we deem him honored in having been permitted to lay down his life for his country, we feel that as a class we have sustained a severe loss.
Resolved, That we shall ever remember him with affection as a companion, as well as admire him for that noble patriotism that led him to the post of death.
Resolved, That we offer the sincerest sympathy to the bereaved parents and relatives of our late classmate, trusting that, while they mourn for one deservedly so dear, they are not unmindful of his entrance to a brighter world.
Resolved, That, in token of our esteem for the deceased, we attend his funeral, and wear an appropriate badge of mourning for the usual time.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family, and also to the city papers for publication.
J. O. Munson,
M. F. Stires,
Middletown, Conn., Oct. 24th, 1862.
Professor Reynolds was a very absent minded man about every day affairs. His mind was all wrapped up in books, and he cared no more about what the world was up to, than a pig cares about the Hottentots. One morning his wife, who differed widely from her spouse in this respect, was reading aloud from the paper an account of a horrible murder. A man had deliberately killed his whole family, consisting of some dozen members with an axe. Mrs. Reynolds laid down the paper with the exclamation, ‘The wretch !’ ‘Yes,’ said the husband, in a very quiet tone, looking up from his book, ‘he should be talked to.’