From The Constitution, Wednesday, March 4, 1863 (volume 26, number 1314)

War News

Two brigades of rebel cavalry, under command of Gen. Stuart in person, made a raid across the Rappahannock at Kelly’s Ford. They were promptly met, and forced to retreat with a loss of several officers and men.

A party of guerillas in the vicinity of Richmond, Ky., were encountered on Wednesday by a detachment of National troops, and thoroughly whipped—about 250 being captured.

From Vicksburg we learn that the mortar vessels continued their fire on the rebel batteries, and were promptly replied to. Work was progressing on the various cuts, and a scow had gone through the first canal, finding six feet of water. Another of our gunboats, the Indianola, ran the blockade on Friday night, the 13th, apparently without being injured.

We have news from Port Royal to the 25th ult. Preparations for the movements against the enemy were still in progress. The misunderstanding relative to Gen. Foster’s forces had been arranged.

From the valley of the Shenandoah it is stated that a party of our cavalry had pushed, contrary to orders, beyond Woodstock, and were routed by the rebels. In a race of some twenty miles, some 200 were killed or captured.

The latest news from Vicksburg is to the 23d ult. The expedition to Yazoo had penetrated to Moon Lake on the 23d. Temporary obstructions had been erected here by the rebels which could be easily removed.

Deserters from Gen. Bragg’s army pass through Louisville daily.

The Two Conventions

The Convention held in Hartford on the 18th ult. by the copperhead democrats has been compared with the Convention held in that city during the war of 1812, and which has had anything but an enviable reputation through the country. There are some points of similarity, and if the first Hartford Convention was actually treasonable in its designs as many suppose it to be, the parallel would be complete. But we regard the first assemblage as eminently patriotic and loyal when compared with the second. Then the country was engaged in a foreign war, and there was no danger of the overthrow of the government or the dismemberment of the Union. Had there been the least threatened danger to these, the men who composed the first Hartford Convention would have rallied instantly in support of the government, and no truer patriots would have been found than they. But we have no defence to make of their proceedings. Their object undoubtedly was to hinder in the further prosecution of the war with Great Britain. It was an unpopular assemblage at the time, and has been unpopular ever since, because it took ground against the government in time of war. The last Hartford Convention assembled at a time when the constitution and the Union are in peril, and when it is the duty of every patriot to come forward and sustain them. If the designs of this convention could be carried out the Union would be dismembered and the government overthrown. Sympathy is strongly expressed for the rebels. Their very style and language are adopted. The Union is called a Confederacy, and a special plea is made for their doctrine on state rights. They indicated that they would if possible repudiate the public indebtedness, that they would resist the laws passed by Congress, and that they would oppose the officers of the Government in the performance of their duty. One of the members, Mr. Gallagher of New Haven, said in a speech at a caucus meeting of the delegates, that if officers of the United States should attempt to interfere with his liberty he would “kill ‘em, damn ‘em.” The expression is neither refined nor elegant, but is forcible. While Mr. Eaton speaks of the rebels as his “southern friends,” and would help them all he can,  Mr. Gallagher has daggers for the officers of his own Government, and in the style of language with which he is most familiar calls out to “kill ‘em, damn ‘em, kill ‘em.” There was no mistaking the animus of the convention. One will seek in vain for a single loyal sentiment uttered. Neither in speeches nor resolutions can such a sentiment be found ; but throughout them all there breathes a spirit of the most determined hostility to the cause of the American Union.

If the first Hartford Convention has been odious on account of its opposition to a foreign war at a time of comparative internal security, the second will be execrable through all future time on account of its open and avowed sympathy with a treasonable rebellion and hostility to the General Government.

Mr. Eaton’s Speech.

“The doings of this Convention will awaken lively emotions in the South. He had never lost sight of his friends there. The resolutions we have adopted will cause a thrill in the hearts of our Southern brethren. Thomas H. Seymour is a man whom the brave men and lovely women of the South love, honor and esteem. The conservative men of the North will grasp the demon, abolition, by the throat, strangle it, and invite our brethren at the South to unite with us !”

The above is an extract from a speech delivered before the Hartford Convention of Feb. 18th by Wm. W. Eaton. It shows very clearly where the sympathies of the leading men of that Convention were, and that they loved their “southern brethren” a good deal more than their own government and the Union. Mr. Eaton was the principal man of the Convention and had more control over its proceedings than any one else. He had much to say, and it is remarkable that he said not one word in support of the cause for which our armies are fighting. Not by anything that he said or did was the least loyalty shown to his own government. But on the other hand he “never lost sight of his friends in the South.” Oh, no ! Mr. Eaton never loses sight of them, and he means to give them all the assistance in his power. He and Thomas H. Seymour will see what they can do this spring towards turning Connecticut over to the rebels. They mean to deserve what Eaton says Seymour now enjoys—“the love, honor and esteem” of the “brave men and lovely women of the South.

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The Providence Daily Post has been a bitter opponent of the administration—almost as bitter as the Hartford Times or New Haven Register; and we presume that neither of those sheets will have the audacity to declare that the Post is not a Democratic paper. But as bitter as the Post has been, it is shocked at the open and blatant treason of the Connecticut Copperheads. Read the following comments from the Post:

“If the Democratic party in Connecticut succeed in electing the State officers nominated at the convention in Hartford on Wednesday, on the platform there constructed for them to stand upon, we shall be surprised. The resolutions adopted have not one word of condemnation for the course of the rebels, and could not have been more severe on the whole course of the administration in prosecuting the war, if adopted in a convention in South Carolina.”

The Congressional Nomination.

The republicans and Union convention for the nomination of a candidate for Congress in this district is held in New Haven this week on Wednesday. Who will be the nominee it is as yet impossible to tell. He will of course be a man who will give a firm and decided support to the Government in its measures for putting down the rebellion, and who has afforded such a support from the beginning of the war. The nomination belongs to this county, and we presume our New Haven friends will readily concede this. We have in mind a gentleman whom we should be glad to see nominated and who we believe to be the right man for the place. Although not originally a republican, he had been surpassed by few if any in the ardent and fearless support he has rendered to the Administration of President Lincoln in the contest with this rebellion. Regardless of old party lines, he has like Butler, Dickinson, and Sprague given himself wholly to the cause of the Union. We allude to Hon. Samuel L. Warner, at present Mayor of this city. He is a gentleman of great popularity and influence in this section, and would receive a large vote in the county and the district. We hope to see him nominated by the convention.

We regard the election of Congressmen this spring as a matter of vast importance. It is to our members of Congress that the Government must look mainly for support in the dangerous crisis through which the country is passing. They in fact constitute a part of the Government itself. The democratic convention which nominated Mr. English has adopted the Seymour platform, and Mr. English stands forth as the opponent of the Administration, and bound to withstand it in all its efforts to put down the rebellion. It is essential, therefore, that we have a man who will above all other things represent the loyal sentiment of the district, and who will call forth a full vote of all those who will sustain the Government in this war. As Mr. English stands on the Hartford Convention platform, so the candidate must stand squarely opposed to him on the platform of the Union and the Constitution. We need a bold, fearless, and energetic man of tried fidelity to the Government, and of decided ability, to lead the canvass for Congressman in this district this spring, and to represent us in the national legislature during the next two years. For these reasons we have suggested the name of Samuel L. Warner. We have done this without the least reference to old party lines, and solely with a view to the single and all-important issue now before the people of this State. We feel assured that he will unite the Union sentiment of this county, and that he can be elected by an overwhelming majority over any man who stands on the platform of the Hartford Convention.

An Enquiry.

For the Constitution.

Mr. Editor : Will you permit me a small space in your paper to enquire why the Board of Education of this city neglect to comply with the instructions of the District, to establish a school for the especial instruction of colored children? It is now some six weeks since the district in a most emphatic manner made known its wishes. And if I am informed aright, no action has been taken. On the contrary every means seems to be employed to thwart the district’s wishes. Would it not be well for the residents of the district to investigate this matter, and see how their agents are acting? And more, if such agents are unwilling to conform to instructions, to call a public meeting and request them to resign, that some may be appointed, who will be willing to consult the interests of the schools, and the directions of the majority? It seems to me high time that this matter was attended to. Our schools are already too much crowded, the houses small, badly constructed, and miserably ventilated. In the primary school in William street where only one teacher is employed, the daily attendance I am told is about seventy, and of these eighteen are colored. Now it must be evident to every one that in such a condition no school can be profitable, or even beneficial. There is not a farmer in this town who would crowd as many cattle, even hogs into such a small space, as we are crowding our children. And the Board of Education are doing a very serious injury to the children of this community in refusing, for some personal motives, for I can ascribe it to no other, to carry out the vote of the district.

As one of the patrons of the public school I demand the reason for such a state of things. The citizens of this city are not penurious enough to rob their children of the best possible means of education, and if the Board want money to improve and elevate the schools let them ask for it. But in the matter now under consideration, this want does not stand in their way ; they are authorized and directed to establish such a school ; not next month or next year, but immediately, and why they refuse or neglect to do so, we want to know. They are directed to procure rooms for such a purpose, and no limitations as regards situation, are placed upon them. Surely then, there is no possible excuse for this delay. Let us hear the reason from the Board ; and let those who cannot comply with the instructions, give place to those who can. Surely the emoluments of the office are not such as to make it desirable for those to hold it, whose action is contrary to the known will of the district.   *   *   *

Local News.

Town Meeting.—At the second town meeting held last Saturday to consider whether the town should issue bonds for the war debt, no decision was reached, but it became pretty evident that the disposition of the meeting was decidedly in favor of issuing the bonds. This is the plan adopted by many of the towns in the State, and is the simplest and safest method. Besides, it gives an opportunity for secure investments here at home which we believe will be eagerly seized by many. A committee was appointed to examine the subject, and report at an adjourned meeting to be held next Saturday afternoon. The committee are : Benjamin Douglas, Edwin Stearns, Alfred Hubbard, Horace D. Hall.

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The body of William Russell has at last reached here from Washington. The funeral will be attended this afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Scotch church. Rev. Mr. Dudley will conduct the services. The burial will be in Mortimer Cemetery. Deceased resided in Water street.

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The Fakir of Ava is holding levees at McDonough Hall which are crowded every night. His performances are as curious and wonderful as ever. He gives gifts with almost royal munificence. Monday evening he made many presents, some of them very valuable. A good horse found a new owner, and many other good things were included in the distribution. He will be at the Hall this [Tuesday] evening. Those who have been there once will want to go again, and those who have not been there may not have another opportunity.

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The Stereoscopticon will be exhibited on Wednesday night at McDonough Hall. For the benefit of those who are unacquainted with the merits of this wonderful invention we append the following extract :

“It was supposed that the height of art was reached when the Stereoscope was invented, but it has been entirely eclipsed by the Stereoscopticon. The machine is so devised that it gives the Stereoscoptic effect in an immensely magnified form. By a combination of powerful lenses, sunpictures are thrown upon a large screen and penciled there so true to nature, giving the most minute detail, that it requires considerable persuasion to believe that it is not nature itself. Landscapes, statuary, architectural works of art and views from all parts of the world are there set before us in all their natural splendor, etc.”

The one advertised for Wednesday magnifies a picture of 6 square inches 10,418 times! on a screen 21 feet high illuminated by a Drummond Light equal to 300 Solar Lamps. A novelty of this kind will crown McDonough Hall to its utmost capacity, and those who wish to get a good sight had better apply early for reserved seats; those on the right wing of the Hall can be had at Mr. Putnam’s, those on the left at Mr. Barnes’ Bookstore.

If it draws as well here as it did in Hartford and New Haven, many will go home, being unable to gain admittance.

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Sleighing.—There were about two days of pretty good sleighing last week, Tuesday and Wednesday, when almost every body appeared inclined to go on the run on runners. It was lively in Main street. There were all sorts of turnouts, some of them very plain and could’nt have cost their owners much, and others quite the contrary. There were some fast horses on the street, and fast men behind them, and consequently there was some fast driving. And there was rather too much of this for the public safety. A little boy was knocked down and run over, and it was a wonder that he got off without being killed or seriously hurt. The snow in certain places was a good deal drifted, and so of course there were some capsizes. We saw one old gentleman travelling on the outside of his sleigh which would keep at an angle of 45 degrees in spite of all he could do. A worthy couple up town were summarily and suddenly unseated and deposited in a deep snow bank. They were surprised but not hurt. We heard of another case, but wont vouch for its truth, where a man was turned into a snow drift and entirely disappeared from view. If he was not dug out at the time, his whereabouts were probably discovered a day or two afterward when the snow had thawed off.

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Celebration Under Difficulties.—The Sophomore class in Wesleyan University celebrated Washington’s birthday under some difficulties. To say nothing of the snow drifts which were quite as bad as Virginia mud for moving their cannon into position, they found when they went to fire a salute at noon that somebody had spiked their gun ! The difficulty looked insuperable, for they knew of no other piece in town that could be had. But Sophomores were never known to surrender. So they “took the bull by the horns,” that is to say, they put the spiked gun on runners, and slid it down to Stroud’s foundry, where a drill soon removed the obstruction. The gun was hauled back again and got into position in time for the salute at sunset. On Washington’s birthday the Sophomores are adequate to any emergency.

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The Weather.—The average temperature during the week at sunrise has been 29 degrees. On Sunday the weather was most disagreeable, being a mixture of snow, rain, and hail. Last Friday was “observation day” when we had rain and sunshine mixed up sufficiently to make it a fair index of the weather for the present month.

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The River.—The ice in the river has been broken up by the warm weather, and on Monday was moving down stream in large fragments.

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The following appeared on a letter from a soldier, addressed to a young lady : ‘Soldier’s letter and nary a red. Hard’tack in place of bread. Postmaster shove this through. I’ve nary a stamp, but seven months due.’