From The Constitution, Wednesday, January 7, 1863 (volume 26, number 1306)
A great battle commenced near Murfreesboro on the 30th ult., and had continued five days. After heavy skirmishing on the first day, the rebels were driven back. At daybreak on the 31st, the fight was renewed with great fury. Gen. McCook’s corps was opposed to Hardee. After desperate fighting, with heavy loss on both sides, McCook retreated two miles. He rallied and was again driven back. The fight continued till ten o’clock P. M. The federal loss was very heavy. Gen. Rains was killed. Gen. Cheatham was taken prisoner. On Thursday the enemy fiercely attacked the centre of our line, but were severely repulsed. Late in the day they made another assault, but were again driven back. The remainder of the day was spent in maneuvering and skirmishing. Between three and four o’clock on Friday afternoon the enemy made another attack on our centre, but were gallantly repulsed. A general engagement immediately followed, in which the enemy fought with great obstinacy. The roar of musketry and artillery was terrible. Our men advanced with unflinching determination. Negley’s division charged without faltering, when the enemy gave way. Gen. Rosecrans now ordered an advance of the whole line just before dark. The men swept forward with great enthusiasm, but darkness soon made it impossible to press our advantage to a conclusion. At the end of this day the advantage was with us. Our losses since Wednesday morning amount to about four thousand killed and wounded, of which six hundred are killed.
There is little known yet of Friday’s fighting. The enemy attacked our left wing and were repulsed.
There has been an obstinate battle of ten days duration at Vicksburg. Gen. Sherman with his forces having passed down the river, landed near Vicksburg on the 20th ult. He was met by a large body of troops who gave battle, when a terrible conflict ensued, in which our troops claimed the victory. A series of bloody battles has followed, but without decisive result. The gunboats did not participate in the action, nor did Gen. Bank’s forces arrive to aid Gen. Sherman.
The celebrated iron-clad Monitor foundered at sea off Cape Hatteras on Wednesday the 31st. Four officers and twelve men were drowned.
Good News From Murfreesboro.
A dispatch from Louisville on Monday says, Murfreesboro advices represent the federal victory complete, the entire rebel army fleeing toward Tallahoma in great disorder.
An official dispatch from Gen. Rosecrans, dated Jan. 4, says, “I have to announce that the enemy are in full retreat. They left last night. * * We shall occupy the town and push the pursuit to-morrow. Our medical director estimates the wounded in hospital at 5,500, and our killed at 1,000.”
Vicksburg Ours !
Gen. Grant, in a dispatch to Gen. Halleck, dated Jan. 4, says the gunboats were engaging the enemy’s batteries. Gen. Sherman was inland three miles from Vicksburg, hotly engaged. From rebel sources he learned that the Grenada Appeal of the 31st says the Yankees have got possession of Vicksburg. Gen. Sherman was reinforced Sunday night by 9,000 men from Gen. Grant’s army, by way of the river. The whole federal force at Vicksburg is nearly 40,000.
The President’s Proclamation.
The Proclamation of the President declaring to be free all held as slaves in the rebel states was issued on the first of January. It is all that was expected or desired. The President has done just what he said he would do. He has not yielded an iota to the clamors or the demands of pro-slavery men, many of whom would rather see the constitution overthrown than any harm come to the peculiar institution.
The President proclaims emancipation as a war measure. This has become necessary. The war is between slavery and the Union. Both cannot stand. Slavery has proclaimed war to the knife with the Union, and one or the other must fall in this contest. The Proclamation announces a fact which has existed for more than a year and a half, that we are fighting not against the south, or the southern states, but against the peculiar institution of the south. Slavery is our great enemy in this war. It threatens our national life, and it has become time that the military and naval power of the United States should be directed towards its overthrow.
Signed.—The President has signed the bill admitting Western Virginia into the Union.
New Military Law.
The military law passed at the late session of the Legislature will be found to have many advantages over the old law, and we believe will be generally acceptable. No persons are exempted from military duty, except State Officers, Judges of the Supreme and Superior Courts, and a few officers of benevolent institutions. All others are liable to draft. The active militia, those who join voluntary companies, are relieved from their former liability to be called upon by the Governor for troops. At the utmost they can only be sent out of the state for three months. This will encourage the formation of voluntary companies, and will tend to give to this state as fine a body of well trained militia as has ever existed in Massachusetts or New York. And this is precisely what is needed. We hope under this new law to see a vast improvement in the militia of the State. Companies should be formed in every town, and especial attention given to the matter by our citizens.
The Law providing for soldiers in service out of the State to vote at the annual elections has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. In accordance with a resolution passed by the legislature, the Governor has issued a proclamation staying all proceedings under the law. Against this decision nothing is to be said. The opinion of the Supreme Court is final. It has been hoped by a large portion of the people of the State that a method might be devised by which the votes of the soldiers might be taken. It was hoped it might be done without infringing upon the spirit of the constitution, although it was evident that the letter of that instrument required votes to be given within the district or town. On account of this decision, there will be probably not far from twenty-thousand less votes counted next April than if the decision had been the other way.
Wounded Soldiers.—The following wounded soldiers from the 14th regiment, who belong in this town and vicinity, reached New Haven hospital last week, and some of them have been allowed to make a short visit home.
Charles S. Brooks, Co. B ; James Maher, Co. E ; Sergeant Horatio N. Shaw, Co. B ; Corporal Wm. H. Johnson, Co. B ; John E. Vanderwort, Co. B, of Durham, and Charles W. Prentiss, Co. I, 27th.
Funerals.—An unusual number of funerals were attended in this city last week. On Friday alone there were three.
Two Soldiers’ Funerals.
Saturday was a day of funerals. The remains of two brave sons of Middletown, killed in battle, were on that day conveyed to their last resting place with military and civic honors. The weather was pleasant for the season and a bright sun induced many to come out. At an early hour in the forenoon, there was a throng of people along Main street. In the forenoon was attended
The funeral of Robert M. Hubbard.
This was at the North Church, at 10 o’clock. Deceased was a member of Co. B, 14th C. V., and was killed at the battle of Antietam. The body had been temporarily buried near the battle field. It was disinterred and reached this city on Friday. It was taken to the North Church, where it lay in the porch until the funeral. He was a son of the late Josiah M. Hubbard. The funeral services were conducted by the pastor, Rev. Mr. Taylor. A passage of Scripture was read, after which a beautiful piece was sung by the choir. [Deceased was a member of the choir.] An able and interesting discourse was then delivered by Mr. Taylor. He spoke of war as often a necessity, and of the duties which such a state of things devolved upon a community—duties which we had no right to disclaim or avoid. The deceased left the peaceful avocations in which he had been engaged for the life of a soldier under a sense of duty alone. He went because he believed he ought to go, and he met his death as a brave man only can. After another piece of music by the choir and prayer, the body was taken from the church, and placed upon the hearse. It was received by the Mansfield Guard, Col. Starr commanding, which formed an escort to the grave. Colt’s Armory Band was in attendance. The Mayor and members of the Common Council were present at the funeral services, but did not go to the cemetery which was on Farm Hill. It was half past eleven when the procession commenced its march down Main street, conveying to their last resting place the mortal remains of as brave and noble a youth as any of the multitude who have fallen victims to this bloody rebellion. In the afternoon
The Funeral of Capt. Elijah W. Gibbons
was attended at the Baptist church. Capt. Gibbons, 14th Conn., Co. B, was killed at the battle of Fredericksburgh, near the close of the fight, and lived several days after. His body was embalmed, and lay waiting removal by his friends. By some means this was delayed, and the body was interred, and thus remained two or three days, when Mr. John M. Douglas went on and obtained it. He found it in good condition and looking very natural. [It may not be out of place to notice, by the way, that the Messrs. Douglas and the men in their employ generously contributed the means necessary for bringing on the body from Washington.] It reached here on Friday evening, and was escorted by a procession of citizens to the Baptist church, the bells of the city being tolled during the progress of the procession. A large concourse of people attended the funeral services. The spacious edifice was crowded. The body was in the porch exposed to view. On the coffin lid was a plain inscription of the name, age and occasion of death of deceased. Flags were wreathed above the coffin, and hung so as completely to enclose it. A daguerreotype likeness hung just above his head. The church was draped with black cloth. Flags were hung in festoons over the pulpit, and covered the organ. The pew of the deceased was covered with black, and flags were hung on the wall at the side. President Cummings conducted the services. After singing by the choir, he read a portion of the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians. A fervent prayer followed, when the choir sung a hymn, after which Dr. Cummings announced his text from Isaiah 25, 8. He made use of the first part of the passage, and illustrated that death is not the termination of a man’s life, but a transition from one state to another, that to the Christian it was a passage from an earthly state of trial and suffering to a heavenly state of joy and triumph. He alluded in most eloquent terms to the cause for which we are contending. It is a defensive war to maintain our liberties, our rights, and our Government against a wicked rebellion. In speaking on this theme the Doctor was intensely earnest and eloquent, and when he said that the war should be carried on without cessation till our cause was safe, he evidently spoke the wish and the purpose of the vast audience before him. He alluded to the Christian and social virtues of the deceased in touching language. Capt. Gibbons was an active member of the Baptist church and a teacher in the Sunday School. After the sermon was a short prayer, and the choir sung again in a most admirable manner, when the congregation was dismissed. The procession was then formed as follows : Mansfield Guard, twenty-five men, Col. Starr commanding ; Colt’s Armory Band ; Dr. Cummings ; Pall Bearers, among whom were Lieut. Broach, Lieut. Thompson of the 7th, and Lieut. Chas. O. Baldwin ; Hearse ; Mourners in carriages ; Mayor Warner and members of the Common Council ; Messrs. Douglas and workmen in their factory where deceased formerly worked ; Citizens. It was nearly five o’clock when the procession proceeded through Main street to Mortimer Cemetery. Three volleys were fired over the grave, when the body of the honored and lamented Gibbons was left to its long repose. He was a brave soldier, an esteemed citizen, an earnest Christian. May his example long live after him.
Obituary.—Died in Portland, on the 31st ult., Catharine M., wife of Rev. Andrew C. Denison, and daughter of the late Linus Coe, Esq., of this city. Few events of this nature have occurred which have produced a more profound feeling of regret and sorrow. Called away suddenly from a wide sphere of active usefulness, which she was well calculated to fill, her loss is felt to be great to the people of her husband’s charge to whom she had become in a remarkable manner endeared. She was distinguished for rare intellectual gifts, and for a clear perception of Biblical truths. She had remarkable social qualities, and her society was always prized by her friends. Although for a long time an invalid and suffering, yet she was ever uncomplaining and cheerful. Added to a naturally amiable and pleasant disposition was a meek yet decided Christian spirit, which made her eminently lovely in her character and active in her labors. She had many friends in this city. Her death was unexpected, but she was able to meet it with Christian composure and trust.
The funeral was attended on Friday at the 1st church in Portland. A large concourse assembled. Rev. Mr. Talcott offered prayer at the house. At the church Rev. Mr. Wheeler read passages of Scripture, and after singing by the choir addresses were made by Rev. Mr. Blood, of the Methodist church in Portland and Rev. Mr. Dudley of this city, the latter of whom offered prayer. The remains were brought to this city and interred in Mortimer Cemetery.
Sudden Death.—Hosmer H. Weld, of this town, a young man 17 years of age, son of Mrs. Weld the milliner, went to North Guilford the day before Christmas to spend a short time with his friends there. He was in perfect health when he left home. On Saturday he was taken with the scarlet fever, and on Tuesday following he died. His body was brought home and buried on Friday. He had for some time past worked on Mr. Grover’s farm in the west part of the town.
A Negro Estimate of Confederate Money.—Standing on the side walk with several officers, I saw an elderly colored man gazing intently on a 50 cent check. He turned it in every direction, and examined it carefully on both sides. I said to him, playfully : ‘You had better give that to me, you don’t seem to know what to do with it ?’ He looked at me, and was silent for a few moments, and then replied : ‘I think this is good ; but we had money about here for some time that it took 8000 men to make the people pick it up.’—[Corinth letter to Cin. Gazette.