From The Constitution, Wednesday, March 18, 1863 (volume 26, number 1316)
On the morning of the 9th inst., a rebel cavalry force entered Fairfax Court House and captured some hundred horses and carried off one of our Brigadier Generals. Col. Johnston was commander of the post, and succeeded in escaping by taking refuge in a hay loft. They secured a quantity of plunder before their presence and character were discovered.
Accounts from Charleston awaken much interest. It is confidently believed that an attack will soon be made. Fort McAllister was bombarded for twenty hours by our iron clads when they withdrew to Port Royal.
It has been discovered that the rebel pickets along certain portions of the line on the Rappahannock are one half negroes and one half whites. The negroes are armed and uniformed like the whites.
A dispatch from Memphis states that a fight has taken place on the Yazoo river, in which 7000 rebels were taken prisoners and eight transports were captured.
In Northern Alabama the rebels are much troubled by the presence of large numbers of Union men. Wayne county is said to be full of them, and they have recently been joined by many deserters from the rebel army.
The accounts from Vicksburg state that it is believed the rebels must soon capitulate or suffer a worse fate. Gen. Rosecrans had telegraphed to Washington that a report had reached him to the effect that the place had already been evacuated.
It is now certainly known that the rebels blew up the Indianola in consequence of a fright occasioned by a bogus Monitor sent down the river in front of the batteries by Admiral Porter.
The news from Gen. Rosecrans is of a gratifying character. His army are in excellent condition, and good spirits.
Gen. Hunter has issued an order directing the drafting of all the able bodied negroes in his department between the ages of 18 and 50 not otherwise employed by the Government to garrison the various forts and posts.
The Action of the Legislature on Speculation in Gold, Silver and Bills of Exchange.—The bill introduced by Judge Dean, of the committee of ways and means, on this subject, we understand, meets with general approval, and is calculated to assist in carrying into effect the enactments of Congress. It will doubtless pass, and when it goes into effect gold and silver may still be bought and sold, but cannot be so recklessly speculated in by parties not holding a dollar of either.
The action will be immediate, for no moneyed corporation will be likely, after the notice given by its introduction, to place itself in the position of setting forth in its next quarterly report that it has violated its provisions and the act of Congress. Every citizen must rejoice in this check to reckless speculation, and much credit is due to Judge Dean, as the Democratic leader, for his prompt action in assisting to sustain the government in protecting the people.
N. Y. Com. Adv.
Who Brought On This War ?
No charge can be more groundless than that which has so often been made and is now constantly reiterated that this war was brought on by the republicans. Two or three facts are sufficient to settle this question beyond all controversy.
When South Carolina seceded, the republicans were in a minority in Congress, and were unable to carry forward and enforce any party measure. For no public act of the last Congress which assembled under the administration of Mr. Buchanan was the republican party responsible. At the time that the southern states seceded from the Union and were arming themselves for the impending conflict, the democratic party had possession of every branch of the Government.
It has been said that the Crittenden compromise failed on account of the opposition of the republicans. It is not so. The measure was defeated by southern democrats. The democratic party had the power to pass that compromise, if they had pleased to do so. Its adoption, however, would have interfered with the rebel programme, and a sufficient number of southern votes were withdrawn to defeat it.
The Peace Congress which assembled in the winter of 1860-1 was attended by representation from the northern and the border states, but the seceding states refused to send delegates. Why? They said they would accept no concessions; they had gone or were going out of the Union and would stay out, and were prepared to maintain their independence at any cost.
During the winter of 1861 they seized the forts and arsenals of the United States, appropriated the public funds, fired upon the Star of the West, organized the rebel government, and inaugurated Jefferson Davis. All this was done under the administration of Mr. Buchanan and while a democratic Congress had full sway at Washington. Up to this time not a single act had been done by a republican President or a republican Congress.
When Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated, the war had already in fact commenced. The rebel government was organized, and repeated hostile acts had been committed. Scarcely was the new President fairly in his seat when the attack was made upon the garrison at Fort Sumter by order of Gen. Beauregard.
The facts prove that the rebellion was the result of a long premeditated and deeply laid conspiracy. It was part of the plan to break up the democratic party, which was accomplished at the Charleston convention, and consummate secession before a republican administration could interpose any opposition. The rebel leaders entered upon this conflict with a full preparation for the bloody scenes which were to follow. To accomplish the schemes of their wicked ambition they have forced the nation for self-defence into the fiercest war of modern times, have deluged many a field with blood and brought mourning to many a household. The unconquerable loyalty and patriotism of the people will crush those unhallowed schemes, will re-assert the authority of the constitution over all the States, and establish the Union beyond all danger of future secession. When this shall be done the motto of the Union re-established will be the aspiration of all true men from Maine to Texas—Esto perpetua.
The Campaign has now actively commenced in this State. We are glad to see that Union men are taking hold of the work before them with zeal. That is right. The election in this State must be carried through unceasing activity and vigilance. Let every town have a thorough organization, and let every man feel that he has a duty to perform for his country.
Civil War Threatened.
The copperheads threaten resistance to the government. They threaten to resist the payment of national taxes. They threaten to resist the conscription law. They threaten armed resistance to U. States officers in making summary arrests. These things they threaten in case Seymour shall be elected. But if they shall not succeed in electing Seymour and carrying out their plans at the ballot box, they give us to understand that they shall resort to “other remedies.” Read what the Register says :
“The people will carry their protest to the ballot boxes, and if that shall fail, they would indeed by craven if they did not look for other remedies.”
Here is what James Gallagher, a delegate to the Hartford Convention from New Haven said :
“A friend of mine asked me what I would do if Marshal Carr should undertake to arrest me. I said I would kill him, damn him. I would kill him.”
The Sentinel also counsels resistance and instigates civil war in the following language :
“The only protection remaining to the people rests in the ballot box, (first,) and if that shall fail [that is if they can’t elect Seymour] in their own strong arms and stout hearts.”
There is no mistaking language like this. The copperheads would invoke all the horrors of civil war at our doors. Let every man who would sustain the laws take warning in time.
Copperheads and the Rebels.
The course pursued by the Connecticut copperheads is very satisfactory to the rebels at Richmond. The services which T. H. Seymour is rendering here in New England to the cause of disunion are considered by Jeff. Davis quite as valuable as those rendered by Gen. Bragg in Tennessee. He sets a high value on his subordinate in Hartford. Here is what the Richmond Dispatch, speaking for Davis, says of Seymour’s letter of July last :
“The letter, depreciating a war of subjugation, is worthy of that able statesman and estimable gentleman. He has maintained a consistent position during the war, and will be in after times remembered as one of the very few men at the North who had the reason, humanity, and courage to object to the character and purposes of the atrocious crusade against the South.”
A man who stands in such high favor at Richmond can not be a friend of the Union, and no friend of the constitution and the Union can consistently give him his support.
The Sentinel proposes four questions for us to answer : (1) whether the emancipation proclamation, (2) the bill creating the new state of Western Virginia, (3) the appropriation in aid of emancipation in Missouri, (4) the recent conscription law are constitutional? We have no hesitation in answering all these questions in the affirmative, except the second, about which we have in previous articles expressed some doubt. Will the Sentinel now please answer whether in its opinion there is any constitutional method of maintaining the Union against an armed rebellion? And also whether if the conscription should go into effect the Sentinel would advise people to resist it?
A Draft.—The Seymour journals of this state are circulating the story that the government has decided to draft six hundred thousand new troops under the conscription law. It is not so, and there is no probability of a draft being ordered at present. The conscription law was passed as a precautionary measure, and if the operations of the government are not interfered with by a factious opposition from northern secession sympathizers, the law may never be called into force. The most that was expected of it was that it might be resorted to in case of necessity to keep up the numbers of the army now in the field until next autumn, before which time it is believed the rebellion will be subdued.
A Soldier’s Letter.
The following is an extract from a soldier’s letter, a member of the 27th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, to a friend in this place :
Falmouth, VA., March 9th, 1863.
“There is no certainty about this climate at this season. The sun may rise without a cloud upon the sky, and it will set in the midst of a furious tempest—a tempest I say—not a storm as is customarily seen in New England. Then the poor soldiers have to take the brunt of it. Those at home in their comfortable houses apparently forget the draw backs which such storms occasion, or they would not grumble so much about the delay in moving the army. I notice in the papers that there is beginning to be some faith put in the formerly supposed mythical delays. They realize that there are such things as heavy rains, and Virginia mud. I sincerely hope that there may soon be a scarcity of this latter commodity. When it does dry Fredericksburg will probably be ours a week after. Hooker will at least try to make it so. There is one thing I like about him—he keeps his own counsel. Moreover he says ‘he will not tell even his own men when he intends to move.’ At that same time Burnside’s address to the army previous to the attack on Fredericksburg was being read here, the rebels were making fun of it on the other side. It amounted to nothing more than a warning to the enemy that we intended to attack them. This I know to be the fact. I pray that Hooker may succeed, for our army here has indeed been unfortunate—traitors at home—traitors abroad—traitors in camp have all conspired to defeat us. Our trust can be in God alone, and may He not desert us in our extremity. The army is ready and willing to fight, and when it defeats the enemy here, then let the traitors at home beware ! I have heard men here say they would as soon shoot their own neighbor as they would an opposing rebel, if they stood on the same platform, and they will do it too. The traitors at home are coming out too openly to succeed. They are but bringing the just wrath of an incensed people upon them. When they attempt to tamper with the soldiers who have gone forth to defend their homes and liberty, they overstep the mark and if not careful they will find the weapons of those who once lived side by side with them turned against them, and their own homes laid desolate ere they are aware of it. I do not speak carelessly or unadvisedly. You should have heard some speeches made before an indignation meeting of western troops, especially Ohio men, held here a short time since. I wish too the traitors at home might have heard them. They might then have formed an idea of the storm they were gathering for themselves. One of the speakers I allude to, spoke exceedingly fiercely and bitterly against the peace man. His audience showed by their faces as well as by their shouts, that they heartily approved of what he said. This is the spirit of all the troops that I have come across. There may be a few individual exceptions, but this is all. I wish the patriots at home could have the spirit to say that their souls were their own. The time will come soon I hope. G. E. T.
St. Patrick’s Day.—This festival occurs to-day, the 17th. In this city we learn there will be no procession as heretofore, but that services will be held at the Catholic Church. It is presumed there will also be sundry private observances of the day in honor of St. Patrick and in remembrance of old Ireland.
Removal.—Bundy & Williams are about to remove their business from this city to New Haven. As daguerreotypists they have no superiors in this state, and their removal will be a loss to Middletown and a gain to our neighbors of the elm city.
The Selectmen were in session yesterday and admitted forty-two new voters.
They will meet again on Thursday next, the 26th inst., and all who wish to be admitted to the privileges of freemen may then make application.
The Weather during the past week has been much colder than any other week during the winter. The average temperature at sunrise has been as low as nine degrees. On Friday the mercury descended to 8 degrees below zero, and on Saturday to four degrees below. This Tuesday morning it stood at zero. There is a large body of snow on the ground and the sleighing for the week past has been good.
The River.—For perhaps the sixth time since the 1st of December the river froze over a week and a half ago, and the ice has been growing firmer ever since. Foot passengers crossed opposite the city on Saturday. At no time during the winter have teams been able to cross on the ice. The ferry has been open through the whole season—a remarkable fact. At present, there are no signs of a break-up of the ice, and navigation is postponed indefinitely.
Sliding.—The boys had a fine time during the cold weather last week with their sleds on Court and College streets. It was capital sliding, and a pair of good runners could make quick time from High to Main streets. There has been very little of this kind of sport this winter.
Perilous.—We notice that our old acquaintance Rev. Mr. Woodruff, formerly of this city, intends to give a lecture in Waterbury this week on “The Perils of Marriage.” Mr. Woodruff is capable of dealing with almost any subject, but he must be a bold man if he can calmly discuss this. It is perilous, very.
An M. D. on the War.—The following is copied from the town clerk’s office in Hartford. It is a return made by Dr. D. Crary, who was a delegate to the late Democratic Congressional Convention. We commend him to the attention of the soldiers. Mr. Owen died in the service of his country. Here is the return :
[Certificate Birth, April 25, 1862, by D. Crary.]
Father—Leverett B. Owen, North-Main street.
Occupation—“Off South murdering as many of our brethren there as possible.”
This is the doctor who stated that he hoped that every soldier that enlisted from Hartford would be killed.—Courant.