From The Constitution, Wednesday, February 25, 1863 (volume 26, number 1313)
There was heavy skirmishing between the advance of Rosecrans’ and the rebel armies. The lines are drawing closer and closer, and a general engagement is threatened at any day.
Active operations are continued before Vicksburg. Gen. Gorman is clearing out the Yazoo pass, so as to make it navigable to the Blackwater. By this passage boats can reach the rear of Vicksburg.
The pirate Alabama has taken and burnt two American vessels, the brig Chatelaine of Boston and the bark Golden Rule. Another privateer captured and burnt the Schooner Hanover.
Some discontent had arisen among some of the officers of Gen. Bank’s command at Baton Rouge, in connection with the negro regiments. The New Orleans Delta had been suppressed by Gen. Banks.
The Washington Republican states that a command has at last been definitely arranged for Gen. Butler, and says there is no more important field of operations on the continent than the one which will be embraced within the new department about to be given him.
A despatch from Memphis dated the 21st says active hostilities commenced on the 18th at Vicksburg. The firing was commenced by the mortar boats and responded to by three Confederate batteries.
Gen. McKinstry, the quartermaster for Fremont at St. Louis, is to go the way of Fitz John Porter. The court that tried his case find him not guilty on some charges, but guilty on others, and sentenced him to be dismissed from the army.
Gen. Rosecrans on Peace.
Major General Rosecrans, in a letter to the Ohio legislature acknowledging the vote of thanks passed by that body to his army, administers a stern rebuke to those politicians who are calling for a peace with the rebels. Of the character of the war he writes :
“This is indeed a war for the maintenance of the Constitution and the laws : nay for national existence—against those who have despised our honest friendship, deceived our just hopes, and driven us to defend our country and our homes.”
Of the men who have brought this war upon us and of those who would now fraternize with those men he expresses the following very decided opinion :
“Let no man among us be base enough to forget this, or fool enough to trust an oligarchy of traitors to their friends, to civil liberty and human freedom. * * Wherever they have the power, they drive before them into their ranks the southern people, and they would also drive us. Trust them not. Were they able they would invade and destroy us without mercy. Absolutely assured of these things, I am amazed that any one could think of ‘peace on any terms.’ He who entertains the sentiment is fit only to be a slave : he who utters it at this time, is, moreover a traitor to his country, who deserves the scorn and contempt of all honorable men.”
Death of Hon. R. S. Baldwin.—Hon. Roger Sherman Baldwin died at his residence in New Haven on Thursday last. He was Governor of the state in 1844 and 1845, and was U. States Senator from 1846 to 1851. The father of Gov. Baldwin was Judge of the Supreme Court of the State, and his mother was a daughter of Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a native of New Haven, and graduated at Yale College in 1811. He was in the seventy-first year of his age.
Gov. Baldwin was one of Connecticut’s most distinguished citizens. He stood in the first rank of the legal profession, and was justly regarded as one of the ablest men in New England.
Town Meeting.—At the meeting held on Saturday afternoon to consider the expediency of issuing bonds of this town to the amount of the war debt incurred, a resolution was introduced to rescind the action of a previous meeting for the payment of the debt. After a long debate this resolution was finally laid on the table, and the meeting adjourned ; so that the matter remains just where it was before.
The meeting was adjourned one week to next Saturday afternoon. The indebtedness of the town for war expenses is $40,000.
Bodies Brought Home.–Sergeant S. M. Gaston, Co. D., 20th regiment, arrived in town on Saturday evening in charge of the bodies of Charles W. Brooke, of Haddam, and Owen Chapman, of Portland, members of Co. D. They died at Stafford Court House, Va., of typhoid fever. The former died on the 26th [sic] of Feb., was aged 26, and leaves a wife. The latter died on the 18th, was aged 54, and leaves a wife and children.
List of Articles.—The following is a list of the contents of a barrel packed Feb. 19th, and sent on by the Ladies of Soldiers’ Aid Society :
1 bed spread, 2 flannel gowns, 3 packages dried apples, 2 boxes lint, 1 can tomatoes, 4 pair stockings, 13 pair cotton flannel drawers, 1 pair cotton drawers, 2 pair mittens, 1 box bandages, 3 cans preserves, 3 pair slippers, 31 red flannel shirts, 9 second hand shirts, large bundle tracts and newspapers.
LETTER FROM CAPT. CROSLEY.
Capt. Crosley, of this city, on board the _________ wrote the following letter to his wife giving an account of an inhuman transaction on the part of the rebels. The letter is dated Elizabeth City, N. C., Feb. 10.
Dear Wife: We are still here in this God-forsaken country, and how much longer they will keep us here I don’t know, but I hope and pray it won’t be long for I have seen enough to sicken any one of this and all other places that these infernal rebels have anything to do with. Sunday morning, Lieut. Cox left the boat to go home after his wife and three dear little children. He lived out back of here about 10 miles. He was afraid to leave them there any longer, so Monday morning he took all of his things and started to come back. He had to come through the woods some part of the way and when he had got about half way a gang of guerillas came out of the wood and fired at them killing him and one of his dear little girls instantly, and wounding his wife so they don’t think she will live. After they fired the horses started to run away, but the little girl took hold of the reins and drove the horses on about a mile, when her father and sister fell out of the carriage, into the mud. It frightened Mrs. Cox so that she and the youngest fell out, but it did not hurt the child. But she (Mrs. Cox) being wounded and in the mud could not help herself. She begged them to help her out of the ditch, and finally one of them took hold of her and set her side of the fence and the child beside her. There they sat about an hour before any one dared to go to their assistance. The little girl that was driving the horses went on about two miles until she came to a house and stopped and told them that they had killed her father and sister, begged of them not to let them kill her. She is about eight years old. Only think of a girl of that age driving a span of horses five or six miles in these woods where the bridges are torn away and put brush and everything they could in the way. The one that was killed was about five, and the one that was thrown out with its mother was about two years.
The first we heard or knew about it, the horses and carriage came in all covered with blood. I tell you there was a great excitement here. They came in about 10 A. M., the bodies 4 P. M., and such a sight I never saw before and never want to see again. The little girl had a ball right through her head and the brains were all running out. He had seven balls and six buck shot in him. I helped to lay him out. He was a very nice man. All they had against him was, he was a Union man and had joined the Union army. Poor fellow, I saw him Sunday well and hearty, ate and drank with him, and Monday night helped lay him out a corpse. It is dangerous to be out after dark. Our gunner was ashore about dark when whiz went a ball close by his ear.
P. S. Mrs. Cox and child have since died, making 4 of the family.
We have got reinforcements to-day and the boat is going right back. Wm. C. Crosley.
Sudden Death.—Mr. Daniel Bailey, of this town, Maromas district, died very suddenly on Saturday. He rose in the morning apparently in his usual health, which had been good up to that time, and stepped into his wood house close by, when he was observed to be falling. Help was afforded him at once, but after a moment’s struggle he expired. He was 59 years of age.
Few are aware how extensive the manufacture of washing machines has become in this town. The Metropolitan Washing Machine Company are doing a business of over $100,000 a year. This business has rapidly increased within a short time past, and the prospect is that it will be much greater than it is now. Their machines have an extensive sale, and their popularity increases as they become better known. The Company is located in Middlefield Society.
Removal.—The Express office and the office of the American Telegraph Company were removed to their new quarters opposite the Post Office on Monday. The business of these offices had become so extensive that it was found necessary to give them better facilities than they have had. Their present room is ample in size, centrally located, and all the arrangements are nearly complete.
German Masque Ball.—The Germans are far ahead of us natives in getting up anything for genuine enjoyment. They have learned how to reduce amusement and recreation to a science. With us a ball is generally very costly, very brilliant, and very dull. Everybody feels bound to put himself on his good behavior, and instead of acting naturally must for once be genteel, which is not always natural. Our German neighbors attempt nothing of the kind. They go to enjoy themselves, and talk and laugh and dance, and care very little who sees them, or what the world says about them. They had a masque ball at Eagle Hall last week, which was German all over. It was a sociable, merry, laughable time. Some of the masks were ludicrous, and created a good deal of merriment. They had a good supper with a plenty of lager, which the “vrows” relished as well as their lesser halves. The whole affair must have passed off without damage to their consciences, their stomachs or their pockets.
The Weather for the last week has been very changeable, varying from quite a moderate temperature to the most extreme cold. Friday morning the thermometer registered 40 degrees. Saturday morning it stood at 16 degrees, Sunday at 7, Monday at 12, and this (Tuesday) morning at daylight it was 10 degrees below zero. A severe north east snow storm commenced on Sunday afternoon, which continued through the night. Sleighing in this neighborhood is now good. The river was frozen over again on Sunday.
Ice.—A considerable quantity of the precious material was gathered last week. On Wednesday between one and two hundred men were at work through the day and all night on Pameacha Pond. The present cold weather is likely to afford a fine chance to fill the ice houses.