From The Constitution, Wednesday, April 15, 1863 (volume 26, number 1320)

War News

ATTACK ON CHARLESTON.—Admiral Dupont commenced the attack on the fortifications in Charleston harbor on Tuesday, the 7th. News received through the week was uncertain and unsatisfactory. On Monday it was learned definitely that the attack by the iron clads had failed. The fleet found it impossible to pass Fort Sumter on account of obstructions in the channel, and on reaching a point between Sumter and Moultrie, became exposed to a fire from five different points. They stood it for thirty minutes. Five of the iron clads were more or less disabled. The Keokuk was sunk. The casualties in the fleet were very few. The land forces were not engaged.

At the latest accounts there were still apprehensions felt for the safety of Gen. Foster.

The steamer Dudley Buck, from Newbern, the 9th, brings a report that it is expected Gen. Foster will have to surrender from want of provisions. His force at Washington consists of 1200 men.

There has been an extensive bread riot at Richmond. Three thousand women and their followers defied the military and civil authorities, and broke open and plundered public and private stores in search of food. There have been similar riots at Atlanta, Ga., Raleigh, and at Salisbury, N. C., and at Petersburg.

Gen. Foster in North Carolina, has been in a “tight place,” and in danger of capture by the rebels who had surrounded his camps. His situation was very critical.


From Europe.—The Polish forces under Langiewietz have been defeated, and the prospect is that Russian power will again be established over Poland.

An important debate had taken place in the British parliament regarding the fitting out of the pirate Alabama. Lord Palmerston declared that the Government had done and would do all in its power to enforce the law, and that if they had seized the Alabama no cause could have been substantiated against her.

The Next Congress.

One of the good results of the election in this State is to secure a Union majority in the next Congress. So far as elected, the Union men have 86, and the democrats 72. Among the latter are several who will co-operate with the Government in putting down this rebellion. There are yet to be elected in Vermont 3, in West Virginia 3, in Missouri 1, in California 3, in Maryland 5, in Kentucky 9. These will give a majority of Union Republicans.

It is rare that any Administration has a majority in Congress during the last half of its term. It is natural it should during the first half, for the same popular sentiment which caused the election of the President, caused the election of a majority of the members of Congress. After the first two years a reaction has usually produced a change in the political complexion of the national legislature.  It will not be so with President Lincoln’s Administration. Through the four years of his term he will have the support of the people’s representatives. This fact shows that popular determination to put down the copperheads in the north, and crush out the rebellion in the south.


The total vote of the State is 79,356. Buckingham’s majority is a little over 7000. The Senate will stand 13 republicans and 8 democrats—the House, 140 republicans to 93 democrats.


Under Water.—The New York World rejects the counsel of Mr. Fernando Wood, who is a special advocate of extreme measures against the Government. In a reproof lately administered to Fernando, the World says : “What is more unwise than to ask the democratic party to step off its own platform upon a plank one end of which is under water in Connecticut !” Just so, the thing has gone down, and all on board. The democratic party won’t be able to stand on the Connecticut planks any longer. They are non est, not to be found, submerged, gone to Davy Jones’ locker.


Greenbacks.—The copperheads say that the splendid result of the 6th of April was produced through the plentiful use of greenbacks in the state. The charge is any thing but complimentary to their own party for it implies that democrats sold their votes !

Middlesex County.

The county did well in the election. Seymour barely had a majority, and the vote for sheriff was so closely contested that for several days it was impossible to tell with certainty who had been elected. This is good for the “old stronghold.” It encourages the idea that we are to see better things in this county than heretofore.

For the Constitution.

McDonough Hall.

The article in the last Sentinel charging the Union party with hiring McDonough Hall for the express purpose of keeping it from the copperheads is false in every particular.

The facts in the case are just these. The Union party had arranged for a meeting on that night for a last rally some three weeks previous, and immediately engaged the Hall, agreeing to pay for it if they did not use it.

The committee arranged to have Mr. Warner, assisted by other speakers, close the campaign on that eve. Owing to a disappointment in a speaker for Portland, the committee requested Mr. W. to speak there instead of in this city, and immediately sent for speakers to Hartford and New Haven. It was not until 4 o’clock P. M. Friday, that it was decided that no speakers could be obtained.

The committee held a consultation, and it was proposed to offer the Hall to the copperheads, but the committee decided that they would keep the Hall, as the outrageous conduct of some of that party in turning off the gas and setting fire to a barn to break up the meeting when Miss Dickinson was speaking, did not entitle them to any courtesy from the Union party. If they did not have the Hall, no one is at fault but themselves; when they learn to treat their opponents with proper respect, they may be entitled to some consideration. It may be proper here to state that the proprietor of the Hall had nothing to do with the matter. He did come to the committee and ask them to give it up, but on their refusal he had no more to say. It may not be improper to say also that we understand that the copperhead party have not paid for the use of the Hall, which they hired for the same Eaton to speak in some four years ago.     * * *


Dr. Bruce.—We have received the following note from Dr. Bruce :

Boston Navy Yard, April 11, 1863.

Sir : At the earnest solicitation of friends in the service, I have been induced to return for a brief season to my former position in the naval service. Many friends expressed to me their regret at my leaving your city.—They could see no necessity for my leaving. In a pecuniary point of view there was no necessity for the step ; for my success while I remained in Middletown went far beyond my most sanguine expectations. If my friends will be patient, I will return in a few months not to leave again soon.

All  persons holding bills against me will oblige by handing them to Mrs. Bruce in College street.      W. G. Bruce.

As’t Surgeon, U. S. N., Steamer Niphon.


The River.—There is quite a freshet in the river, cause by the melting of the snow at the north. Yesterday the water was rising at the rate of two inches an hour. This morning, Tuesday, it was ten feet above low water mark, and still rising.


The Weather.—The average temperature at half past six has been 35 degrees. There have been one or two warm days. On Saturday at noon the thermometer stood at 62 degrees and on Sunday at 66 degrees. It is remarkable that we have had no rain during the week. The roads have become dry and are in good condition for travel.


Aurora.—Those who happened to be out on Thursday evening had an opportunity of observing a splendid exhibition of Northern Lights. The auroral columns extended nearly to the zenith, and were at times very brilliant.


Returned.—A large number of soldiers who had been home on a short furlough returned on Wednesday.


Recently, Secretary Chase of the Treasury Department, found upon a desk in his office what at first appeared to be a picture of an ‘infernal machine,’ looking very much like a goose, but which on further examination proved to be a drawing of an ingenious invention for turning gold eagles into ‘greenbacks,’ with the Secretary himself operating it, and slowly feeding it with ‘yaller boys’ at one end, while the government currency came out at the other end, flying about like the leaves of autumn.—While he was examining it, the President came in as he daily does, for consultation. Mr. Chase handed him the drawing, and as the roguish eye of our Chief Magistrate recognized the likeness of the Secretary, he exclaimed—

‘Capital joke, isn’t it Mr. Chase ?’

‘A joke,’ said the irate financier, ‘I’d give a thousand dollars to know who left it here.’

‘Oh, no,’ responded Mr. Lincoln, ‘you would hardly do that.’

‘Yes, I would.’ asserted the Secretary.

‘Would you, though ?’ inquired the President with that deliberate manner that characterizes him when he is really in earnest, ‘Well, which end would you pay from?

A very intelligent definition of transcendentalism is given by one who is, we think, a transcendentalist. He says : ‘Transcendentalism is two holes in a sand-bank—a storm washes away the sand-bank and leave the holes.’

When George Stephenson, the celebrated Scotch engineer, had completed his mode of a locomotive, he presented himself before the British Parliament, and asked for the attention and support of that body. The grave M. P.’s looking sneeringly at his invention, said :–‘So you have made a carriage to run only by steam, have you?’—‘Yes, my lords.’ ‘And you expect your carriage to run on parallel rails, so that it cannot get off, do you?’ ‘Yes, my lords.’—‘Well, now, Mr. Stephenson, let us show you how absurd your claim is. Suppose that when your carriage is running upon these rails at a rate of twenty or thirty miles an hour—if you are extravagant enough to suppose such a thing possible—a cow should get in the way? You can’t turn out for her—what then?’

‘Then ‘twill be bad for the cow, my lords!’

‘Remember, madam, that you are the weaker vessel,’ said an irate husband. ‘Exactly !’ said the lady, ‘but do not forget that the weaker vessel may have the strongest spirit in it.’

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