From The Constitution, Wednesday, May 6, 1863 (volume 26, number 1323)
The latest news from Gen. Banks is by the steamship Creole which arrived on Saturday. The previous accounts are confirmed that he had occupied Opelousas, and taken possession of Washington. The rebel fort at Butte la Rose, on the Atchafalaya, sixty miles north of Brashear City, capitulated to our gunboats on the 20th.
From Western Virginia we learn that the National forces under Gen. Mulligan had been repulsed near Fairmount, and the rebels had occupied Morgantown in large force.
A force of rebels at Monticello, Ky., was attacked and defeated on Friday by Gen. Carter, who crossed the Cumberland below Somerset. The fight is said to have been a severe one.
The accounts from Gen. Hooker’s army are highly exciting and very favorable. His forces had crossed the river at several places, and driven in the enemy’s pickets. Slight skirmishes had occurred. The crossing was at some distance up the river, and it appeared to be the design of the General to get in the enemy’s rear, and compel him to leave his entrenchments. News was received on Monday which brought events up to Saturday morning. There had been some hard fighting, but all in our favor. Gen. Hooker had led his army across the Rappahannock above Fredericksburg toward Chancellorsville, a small village a few miles west of Fredericksburg. Near this place three battles took place on Friday. The first was an attack upon the enemy by Gen. Sykes’ Division. He drove them a mile and took fifty prisoners. This was at 12 o’clock, and lasted an hour and a half. At 4 the enemy fiercely attacked Sykes, but Hooker himself was on the ground, and the enemy were driven back. At half past six, the enemy charged upon our batteries and were severely repulsed. During the night our troops constructed earthworks to enable them to hold the positions they had gained.
[We publish elsewhere further accounts of Gen. Hooker’s successful operations.]
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
Hooker’s Success !
Fredericksburg Taken !
The news received yesterday from Hooker’s army is most encouraging. His right wing had got in the rear of the rebel position at Fredericksburg, and the enemy was forced to leave the entrenchments and meet Hooker on ground of his own choosing. The left wing of our army had taken possession of Fredericksburg. The following is the Tribune’s account in an extra :
Our news by mail from the Rappahannock is up to Sunday morning. At that time our left wing was in possession of Fredericksburg and of the first line of redoubts on the hill behind it and was feeling its way to the second line. The river was crossed and the redoubts were carried with great ease and with very slight loss of life. The rebels had marched away in the direction of Chancellorville, ten miles above Fredericksburg, to attack our right wing, and were posted, leaving at first only 10,000 men, and subsequently not more than 5000 to 7000 in their works, as was ascertained by a reconnoissance from Lowe’s balloon.
A great portion of our Falmouth batteries were engaged on Sunday, with the rebel batteries firing across the river and city. The firing, both of musketry and cannonading on the right, in the direction of Chancellorville was very heavy. The enemy had been forced to fight on the ground of Gen. Hooker’s choosing, as he promised his soldiers in the general order published this morning should be the case. It was believed in both wings of the army that Gen. Stoneman’s expedition sent to cut the railroad between the rebels and Richmond had proved successful, thus cutting off the only path of retreat. So confident was Gen. Hooker at Falmouth of success that in conformity with his orders a force had already commenced to rebuild a bridge over the Rappahannock. The troops are in the finest spirits and everything looks propitious.
The Herald has an extra giving dates up to 11 A. M., Sunday, with the important statement that the rebels’ stores in the rear of Fredericksburg and at Stoneman’s Station have been burned, and gives the following rumors :
That our right had captured sixteen pieces of artillery, that the Irish brigade had taken three rebel batteries, that our cavalry were tearing up the railroad tracks in the rebel lines, destroying rebel property, crossing their country, carrying consternation and dismay to the rebels, and that our forces advanced a mile yesterday, driving the rebels, and were still driving them with great slaughter.
Sunday, 11 A. M.
There is heavy cannonading on our right.
The Commercial Advertiser says it has received information from a highly creditable source which warrants the hope that Gen. Hooker has cut off the retreat of the rebel forces at Fredericksburg, and that they may be captured or destroyed.
While our columns have crossed the Rappahannock and others yet remain before the city, it is believed that Stoneman’s cavalry have got between the rebels and Richmond, and will cut off supplies and arrest their retreat in that direction.
It is also understood that a strong division has been made from Suffolk in the direction of Richmond, and that it is by no means impossible the rebel capital may, before the close of another week, be surrounded and invested by the Union troops.
Gen. Hooker’s Success.
Gen. Hooker has fairly outgeneraled the enemy, and compelled them to leave their fortifications at Fredericksburgh. This is a master stroke, and has taken the country as well as the enemy by surprise. The accounts we publish show that his plans have been attended with complete success thus far, and we shall look for the most brilliant results. He has an army that can be relied upon, and the army has a general who commands their entire confidence.
For the Constitution.
Letter From Chaplain Wightman.
Battle-field Bayou Teche, April 14th, 1863.
Mr. Editor : For the information of the friends of the 24th Regt., C. V., permit me to say that our forces engaged the Confederates this morning and were victorious. The 24th as yet are on the reserve ; not a man is hurt. Several regiments have suffered considerably. The battle was sharp and short, if indeed it is now over. The 91st N. Y. was first in the fight. Two of those who were wounded have since died. Others of that regiment are being buried on the field where they fell. The 25th Conn. was in the thickest of the fight and has suffered accordingly. Particulars I have not learned, and have not facilities for ascertaining at present. The 159th N. Y. had its Col. and other officers wounded. The 13th Conn. took the rebel colors and one piece of artillery and perhaps two pieces. The gunboat Diana which was captured a short time ago thro’ the disobedience and probably the drunkenness of its commander, was burned and blown up about an hour ago. Fearing it would fall into our hands the rebels set it on fire. Another transport has blown up since I began the last sentence.
Chas. Rigbey is the only sick man with us. The rest are at Baton Rouge, at N. Orleans, at Bayou Boeuf, and at Brashier City. We landed and engaged the rebels on the flank, i. e. Grover’s division, while Weitzel attacked them in front at Franklin. The two Generals are now in communication and will probably now join forces. No guns are to be heard, the wounded are gathered and the dead are being buried. We hope the fight is over. Much love all the absent send to their friends at home.
J. C. Wightman, Chap. 24th C. V.
P. S. Of the 25th Conn., ten are killed and seventy-six wounded, some slightly ; among whom is Sergeant Keyes who is wounded in the right hand.
There is no state in the Union so actively engaged in operations against the system of slavery as Missouri. It is actually believed that the anti-slavery sentiment of that state is even in advance of that of Massachusetts, which has always been in advance of every other state in the Union. The people of Missouri are determined to get rid of the institution. They see that it has been the great obstruction in the way of their prosperity, that it has been a bar to immigration, that it has crippled their industry, and kept them far in the rear of the neighboring free states. They offered for sale some of the finest lands in the country for agriculture, but they failed to get buyers and allure settlers, while in Illinois and Iowa poorer lands were readily taken at higher prices. Men would go through the state to Kansas, rather than buy farms and settle where they would have to work in competition with slave labor.
Two years ago the pro-slavery sentiment of the state was strong. When the rebellion broke out Missouri was claimed by the rebels, and actually given over to them by those who happened to be in authority. By the energy and genius of Lyon and other patriots, the plans of the conspirators were foiled. The traitors were driven from their places, there was a rally of Union men to the national standard, and it was soon demonstrated that the rebellion and slavery were both doomed to the same fate in that state. A large majority of the people are in favor of emancipation, and were hoping that they might have help from the Government. Some wish for immediate emancipation. The failure of Congress to pass the appropriation recommended by the President was a disappointment, and was likely to be a serious hindrance in the way of the emancipationists. But the Governor has called together the old State Convention which has never dissolved, and committed the subject to them. Some action will undoubtedly be taken by this Convention for the speedy extinction of slavery, and the State of Missouri will soon stand forth as one of the free States of the Union.
Pameacha Bridge.—Preparations are now being made to finish the work on the Pameacha Bridge. Substantial walls of stone will be built on each side, and these will be surmounted by an iron railing. The road will also be graded at each end, and the approaches to the bridge will thus be rendered easy and pleasant. When finished it will be a work of which the town may well be proud. The cost has not greatly exceeded the original calculation. The amount already expended is $12,500. It is estimated that the improvements yet to be made will amount to $1000 more, making $13,500 in all. A special town meeting is called on next Saturday afternoon, at which an additional appropriation will be made to complete the bridge.
Portland.—All honor to the Ladies of Portland ! We learn that they have established there a Loyal League, on the same basis as the “Loyal League of the women of Hartford.” Last Tuesday they held a large and enthusiastic meeting and unanimously elected the following officers :
President—Mrs. F. W. Russell.
Vice Presidents—Mrs. Erastus Brainerd, Jr., Mrs. Daniel Crittenden.
Secretary—Mrs. Joseph Hall, Jr.
Treasurer—Miss Abby White.
Executive Committee—Mrs. C. H. Sage, Miss Jane Fuller, Miss C. A. Brainerd, Mrs. Alfred A. Overton, Mrs. Francis Bolton, Miss Lilly Hall, Mrs. Horace B. Willcox.
We hope the ladies of Middletown will follow the noble example of their patriotic sisters across and up the river. They may be certain that the movement is a just and praiseworthy one from the fact alone that it is sneered at and vilified by the Sentinel.
By the fluttering of the wounded birds it is easy to see that the Ladies Loyal Leagues are having a splendid effect all over the country. Ladies of Middletown to the rescue.
Hard Case.—A child, Agnes Frasier, aged 2 years and 5 months, died in Portland on the 29th. At the same time the mother and two other children were sick all in one room, which presented a scene of the utmost destitution and misery. But for the interference of the neighbors the whole family might have perished.
Fare Raised.—The fares on the Hartford and New Haven Railroad were raised on Friday. It now costs $1.10 to go to New Haven, and 55 cents to Hartford.
The Weather.—Average temperature for the week at 6 o’clock A. M., 47 degrees. There has been no rain until Monday evening, and the roads had become dry and dusty. Trees are putting out, and cherry and plum trees are in blossom. It looks now as if we should have an early season.
Barnum holds a National Dog Show at his museum in New York this week. He offers $2500 in premiums.
Who ?—The editor of the Waterbury American received a dollar through the post office from this city, but does not know who sent it. Who was it?
Whatever may be the motives of interested parties, in attempting to disguise the fact, that thousands of the people in Rebeldom heartily desire a return to the Union, it cannot be denied that such is indeed the fact. A multitude of reasons might be assigned for this, but one (an exceedingly potent one) will do for our present purpose. That unquestionably is to be traced to the inability of the gay Southerners to clothe themselves as they were wont—in plainer parlance, they cannot send their orders to F. B. Baldwin, of 70 & 72 Bowery, N. Y.; and that is affliction indeed.