From The Constitution, Wednesday, April 1, 1863 (volume 26, number 1318)
The Administration is said to be in receipt of reliable information that the rebels are preparing to abandon Richmond as the capital of the Confederate government.
Within the last few days, forty millions have been paid to the Army, and funds have been provided to pay off all the soldiers up to March 1.
General Burnside has taken command of the Department of the Ohio. He is understood to be taking his measures rapidly to arrest the rebels who are attempting to reach the Ohio through Kentucky.
Admiral Farragut succeeded in passing the rebel batteries at Port Hudson, and was between Vicksburg and that point.
A rebel despatch from Vicksburg states that two of our gunboats attempted to pass the batteries on the 25th, when one of them was sunk, and the other was supposed to be in a sinking condition.
Gen. Gilmore, with a strong national force, crossed the Kentucky river on Saturday, and drove the rebels from Danville in the direction of Crab Orchard.
The rebels attacked Williamsburg, Va., on Sunday and were repulsed. An attack was also made on Wingfield by the rebels, who were beaten off after a fight of an hour and a half.
The confederate adjutant general has decided that men with any portion of the blood of the white race are liable to conscription. This decision admits to the rebel army all the mulattoes and quadroons in the confederacy.
The Conscript Law and the Poor Men.
The Peace Democrats have commenced an attack on the Conscription law of Congress, because, as they allege, it makes a distinction between the rich and poor. The Mozart Hall Democrats, led by Fernando Wood, have proclaimed hostility to the act on this ground—one of their resolutions, passed formally at headquarters on Tuesday night, declaring that
“The people everywhere should be awakened to the infamous distinction which it [the Conscription law] makes between rich and poor, whereby the former is allowed to buy his freedom for the sum of three hundred dollars, while the latter, unable to command that sum, is to be torn away from his employment, his home and his family, and forced, at the point of the bayonet, into the ranks of the army.”
The tableau of the reluctant conscript pricked away from home by bayonets is calculated to be effective, and if the objection to the law, as thus presented, were well taken, its moral force would be greatly impaired. But the fact is otherwise. The complaint made of the law is wholly unjust, and the attempt to create prejudice against it must fail. The law does not fix three hundred dollars as the sum that any one must pay in order to obtain exemption from the draft. It gives to the Secretary of War discretionary power to fix the sum which shall buy exemption in each individual case, but in no case shall over three hundred dollars be demanded. The Secretary may require of a rich man $300 for exemption, and he may let a poor man off—one who deserves exemption for reasons of sickness and helplessness of his family—for the sum of $3, if he will. The language of the law is this :
“That any person drafted and notified to appear as aforesaid, may, on or before the day fixed for his appearance, furnish an acceptable substitute to take his place in the draft, or he may pay to such person as the Secretary of War may authorize to receive it, such sum, not exceeding three hundred dollars, as the Secretary may determine, for the procuration of such substitute.”
It is impossible for language to be plainer than this, and it scatters to the winds the wretched bit of demogoguism that Fernando Wood & Co. are about to poison the minds of their followers with. Beside this specific provision of the law, which enables the Secretary of War, by a sliding scale, to adapt it to the case of every man, according to his wealth or poverty, the law, in other respects, is full of humane exemptions intended to relieve poor families from too large a share of its burdens. The second section of the law contains exemptions, as follows :
“That the following persons be and they are hereby excepted and exempted from the provisions of this act : * * * The only son of a widow, dependent upon his labor for support ; * * the only son of aged or infirm parent or parents, dependent upon his labor for support ; * * the only brother of children not 12 years old, having neither father nor mother, dependent upon his labor for support ; * * the father of motherless children under 12 years of age, dependent upon his labor for support. * * Where there is a father and sons in the same family and household, and two of them are in the military service of the United States as non-commissioned officers, musicians or privates, the residue of such family and household, not exceeding two, shall be exempt.”
With such exemptions as these, which are of manifest propriety, and which preclude, as far as law can, the possibility of aged and inform parents, or orphaned children suffering—and with the discretion which is given to the Secretary of War to fix the sum of exemption money, in every case, as low as the condition and necessities of the drafted person may render proper—it cannot occur that any, the slightest, injustice can happen under its enforcement. It was intended to bear equally on all classes, according to their condition, and it does, in its letter and spirit, treat the poor as justly as the rich.
Mozart Hall, imagines, no doubt, that it has started out on a very promising tack in originating this impeachment of the Conscription act ; but so soon as the people, having their attention drawn to the subject, learn how wise and benign in its provisions the law really is, they will have a stronger reason than ever to distrust, as utterly false and disloyal, the opposition of the Copperheads to the necessary war measures of the nation.—N. Y. Times.
Only a few days now remain before the election—an election more important than any which has taken place for many years. The country is at war, not with a foreign foe but with a vast organized conspiracy and rebellion at home. The leaders of this rebellion aim at nothing less than the sundering of the Union and the overthrow of the Government. Should they succeed we should see an end of free republican government on this continent. In this State are those who sympathize with the rebels, and are opposed to any armed resistance to their designs. The Seymour democrats denounce the Government of the United States for carrying on a war against “their southern brethren,” the rebels. The issue of this election is made directly upon this question whether or not an armed assault upon our institutions shall be met by an armed resistance. The Seymour party demand that the Government shall submit, while the Union party demand that the rebels shall submit and lay down their arms.
Next Monday this question is to be tried in this State. It is a question of the very first importance, for it is no less than throwing upon the people the responsibility of deciding whether they will support the National Government in this war against the public enemy. No question of greater importance has ever been or ever will be tried at the ballot box. In five days this issue will be tried. Freemen of Connecticut ! are you ready for the question? Are you prepared to decide whether the noble State of Connecticut shall in this perilous crisis stand by the glorious old flag of the Union?
The Meeting on Friday Evening.
The meeting at McDonough Hall on Friday evening to listen to Judge Kelley and Col. Beard filled the hall, and crowds stood about the door unable to obtain seats. Capt. Hackstaff presided. Hon. Wm. D. Kelley, member of Congress from Pennsylvania, made a powerful speech, full of sound convincing argument. Among other topics he spoke of the conscription bill, and proved that it was not only a constitutional and necessary measure, but humane in all its provisions. Col. Beard said he had always been a democrat, and never voted any other than a democratic ticket. He entered the army at the beginning of the war, and since then had known no party, but his country. He spoke of the Seymour democrats in most scorching language, and denounced them for having “borrowed democratic robes to worship Jeff. Davis in !” The speech was a most able one, and could not be without good effect. We wish we had space for a full report of them both. Col. Wright, of Meriden, was present, but the hour had become so late did not speak. The spirit shown at that meeting indicates that the good cause is progressing well in Middletown.
A Great Fizzle.
The copperhead meeting on Thursday evening last was a complete fizzle so far as speakers was concerned. “Fernandy Wood,” Bragford of Penn., Iazy Tom of Hartford and Bond of New Haven were announced to speak, and a large audience, one third at least Union men, assembled to hear them. Judge of their disappointment when it was told them that Fernandy, Tom and Brag were all suddenly taken ill and would not be there. “Rats leave a sinking ship” and consequently there is a general stampede of copperheads speaker from the State. Bond did the speaking. We felt sorry for him for he was evidently not at home in his new company. However, he disapproved the conduct of the war, but went in for putting down the rebellion, which evidently did not set good upon the stomachs of his auditors. At half past 9 o’clock the thing was squelched and darkness and silence only remained in the Hall.
The Hope of the Rebels.
It is acknowledged by the rebels themselves that their only hope of success lies in the divisions at the North. They know and confess that so long as there is union in the northern states, there is not even a possible chance for them to succeed in overthrowing the Government. Read this extract from the Richmond Enquirer :
“The symptoms of disorganization which show themselves in the present federal states are of deep interest to us, and we ought to do all that we honorably and loyally may to give further impulse to the force which promises at some future time to break up the league of our enemies.”
This is plain enough. The way for men in Connecticut to help the rebels is to vote for Thomas H. Seymour. He stands at the head of that party which is opposed to the Government, and opposed to the prosecution of the war. Seymour’s election would cause joy in Richmond. The election of Buckingham would be a defeat to Davis and the rebellion.
Is this the man who after breaking the first ground for the Air Line Rail Road, and making a most strenuous speech in its favor, vetoed the bond bill of the road which virtually defeated its construction, and threw twenty millions of taxable property out of the State ? A.
A Vote for Buckingham.
Will be a vote in favor of maintaining the Government which was established by Washington and the fathers of the republic.
A Vote for Buckingham will be a vote for putting down one of the most infamous conspiracies in history.
A Vote for Buckingham will be a vote in support of the Government of the United States.
A Vote for Buckingham will be a vote of encouragement to our gallant soldiers in the field.
A Vote for Buckingham will aid in a speedy overthrow of the rebellion.
A Vote for Buckingham is a vote for PEACE AND THE UNION.
A Vote for Buckingham will be a rebuke to those in this State who sympathize with the rebellion.
A Vote for Buckingham will contribute to a victory which will cause joy in Washington and sorrow in Richmond.
A Vote for Buckingham will be a vote in support of law and order and against anarchy and civil war at home.
A Vote for Buckingham will triumphantly elect him !
Freemen of Connecticut ! you can protect yourselves effectually on Monday next by your votes. Your opponents denounce the laws passed by the last Congress, and say that if Seymour is elected some of these laws will never be enforced in Connecticut. What do they mean when they say this? They mean that Seymour will resist the United States Government, and if he resists it at all he will resist it by force. They mean then an armed resistance to the United States. Are the people of Connecticut prepared to enter into an armed contest with the military forces of the United States Government? Such a contest will bring ruin upon thousands of our fellow citizens, and bring the worst horrors of war into our very midst. Now is the time to protect yourselves against the disastrous consequences of a treasonable resistance to the laws. If you would protect your property and your families, vote for Wm. A. Buckingham. If you would uphold the authority of law in the country and in the State give your vote for Wm. A. Buckingham. Now is the time to protect yourselves in a peaceable manner. You can do it by your vote at the polls. If Seymour should be elected, your property and your lives would be placed at the disposal of a man who stands in a position of direct hostility to the General Government ! We repeat then, Freemen of Connecticut, now is your time to PROTECT YOURSELVES !
Vote For Warner!
The young man’s friend, a union war democrat, and you will never regret it. English has accepted, and stands upon the infamous secesh platform and is bound to be governed by it, while Samuel L. Warner stands on and by the Constitution of the United States.
In point of talent Warner is far ahead of English. The latter voted himself an extra mileage in the last congress without law or justice, although rich. Warner is honest and can’t be corrupted.
Vote for Warner, and thus strengthen the arms of the Government.
The Union Convention have wisely selected Judge Vinal as their candidate for the office of Judge of Probate for the Middletown Probate district. Judge V. has held the office a number of years, is an honest, faithful and upright man, and has the confidence of all who have had the occasion to do business with him.
The Seymourites have nominated John L. Smith, a very worthy man, but with no experience, and it is generally understood that he will appoint A. W. Bacon clerk. We hardly think that the voters of this Probate district will be willing under such circumstances to dispense with the services of an able and courteous Judge like Mr. Vinal.
We have no doubt of the election of Judge Vinal by an increased majority. Let all who have been befriended and saved much expense in business connected with the Probate office under Judge V.’s administration, rally to his support.
Samuel C. Hubbard.
Is the nominee of the Union men for Senator of the 18th district. He is head and shoulders above his competitor in every respect. He is a young man and worthy of the hearty support of both young and old. He should be elected and will.
The Union and Republican convention have nominated Wilbur B. Burrows Sheriff for this county—a good nomination and one which will be well received throughout the county.
The Sentinel says Richardson was not drunk when he addressed the copperhead meeting. Before we take his word for it, we would rather have some proof that the writer was capable of judging. If he wasn’t drunk the audience was. Either “Connecticut whiskey” was too much for him, or he was too much for the whiskey.
Look Out For Split Tickets!
The Seymourites are desperate and are trying all sorts of dodges to get votes. Examine every ticket carefully and every name on the ticket.
A Desperate Cause
Requires desperate means. The Seymourites will put forth all sorts of lies and slanders. Don’t believe them. It is the last kick of a miserable set of political mountebanks whose patriotism is measured by the offices they hold and the amount of money they can get from Government.
Money is being and to be used very freely by the secesh fraternity in the coming election. They boast that all the liquor shops have been bought, and that the Irish and Germans are to be all on their side because they have got the money to do it. We don’t believe the slander. Still we caution voters to be on the lookout for the rascals who would endeavor to buy them.
Twenty-Fourth Regiment.—We are glad to learn that Col. Mansfield and Lieut. Col. Allison, who have been sick, are getting better. The health of the regiment is good. Geo. N. Moses, from this city, writing from Baton Rouge under date of March 18, says :
“The movement on Port Hudson has commenced. The order for the troops to take up line of march was given this afternoon. Admiral Farragut and the fleet have also gone up.”
In addition to the promotions mentioned last week is Q. M. Cattaway to be 2d Lieut. Co. A. Company G formerly Capt. Edwards, is put into Co. D, Capt. Parker.
For the Constitution.
Death of a Soldier.
Died in Middlefield, March 25th, Luther R. Coe, of pulmonary consumption, aged 24. The death of this young man ought not to pass with the ordinary brief announcement. He had been for nearly two years a member of the 9th Regiment, New York State Volunteers. When the slaveholders’ rebellion first commenced, and the capital of the nation was beleaguered by the rebels, he forsook the peaceful pursuits of the merchant, enlisted for the defence and honor of his country, and induced many of his young associates to do the same. The intervening two years have been spent between the capital and its fierce assailants. His regiment has been foremost in the bloody encounters of northern Virginia from the first battle at Bull Run to that of Fredericksburg. The deceased, it is said, was in seven hard fought battles. He fought beside Banks up the Shenandoah, against the hordes of Stonewall Jackson. He fought beside Pope at Centerville, against Lee and Longstreet. He aided McClellan at Antietam to drive back the blood-thirsty invaders. But while many fell in the deadly encounter he escaped unharmed to return to this his native place, to die in the bosom of maternal affection. Middletown will remember her patriot martyrs ; and the deceased though occupying a subordinate position because of his youth, will hereafter, I doubt not, be honored with Mansfield, Gibbons, and all that may lay down their lives for their country.