From The Constitution, Wednesday, May 13, 1863 (volume 26, number 1324)
We publish elsewhere detailed accounts of the operations of Gen. Hooker’s army.
Our arms in the southwest have been attended with brilliant success. Admiral Porter, acting in concert with Gen. Grant, has captured Grand Gulf and Port Gibson. On Wednesday, Gen. Grant’s main army was thirty miles up the Big Black river, marching on the rear of Vicksburg.
Col. Grierson has made a splendid cavalry raid in Mississippi. Commencing in the northern part of the state, he went southward and struck the railroad 30 miles east of Jackson. He then continued his course towards Hazelhurst, on the New Orleans and Jackson railroad. At this point he tore up the track. He then moved eastward on the Natches road, where he had a fight with Wirt Adams’ cavalry. From this point he moved to the New Orleans and Jackson railroad to Brookhaven, ten miles south of Bahala, and when last heard from he was three miles from Summit, ten miles south of Brookhaven, and was supposed to be making his way to Baton Rouge.
He had spread excitement throughout the state, destroying railroads, trestle works, and bridges, burning locomotives and railroad stock, taking prisoners, and destroying stores of all kinds.
Further accounts concerning Gen. Stoneman’s expedition show that he was nearly nine days within the enemy’s lines, he visited nine different counties, destroyed all the lines of communication so that they cannot be used again for weeks to come—all this and considerable more with the loss of only two men killed, and not over fifty wounded and prisoners.
Arrangements have been made for the return of the wounded of Gen. Hooker’s army that fell into the hands of the enemy.
The latest news this, Tuesday, morning furnishes very little in addition to the above. It is stated that Gen. Halleck is to take the field in person. Gen. Grant had invested Jackson, Miss., and the rebels had no way of getting out of Vicksburg but by cutting their way through the national forces.
General Hooker’s Army.
Public attention is now concentrated on the movements of Gen. Hooker’s army. The news of the first crossing of the Rappahannock was received with intense interest, and the brilliant results which immediately followed were hailed with the greatest enthusiasm. But the unexpected intelligence which followed that the army had retreated to its old positions, and the enemy had repossessed Fredericksburg was a damper on public expectation. The impression was gaining ground that somehow we had been beaten. But on Saturday afternoon and evening there was a wonderful change. The news flashed over the wires that Hooker had re-crossed the river, and it was announced as probable that Richmond was taken ! The news of the advance of Hooker’s army is confirmed. Lee’s communications with Richmond are cut off, and he is now probably on the retreat.
The capture of Richmond is not improbable. Previous military movements, and certain facts which have leaked out, indicate that the rebel capital may have been taken.
FROM HOOKER’S ARMY.
Return of the Troops.
They Again Cross the River.
On Monday there was no battle, although considerable skirmishing was going on. Hooker was engaged all day in strengthening his position with a second line of rifle pits. Gen. Sedgwick was attacked on Fredericksburg Heights by a greatly superior force of the enemy and driven across the river with considerable loss. Through Monday night apprehensions were felt of an attack upon our lines, and our men were kept constantly on the watch. The night passed, however, without a battle. On Tuesday morning serious apprehensions were felt for the safety of our army. The men had brought with them but eight days rations and these were nearly consumed. The terrible rain storm, which then prevailed, had already raised the river several feet, and it might soon be impassible. Nothing had been heard from Stoneman, and it was possible that the enemy’s communications with Richmond were still perfect. Gen. Lee’s army occupied a strong position in front of our lines, and had retaken Fredericksburg. Gen. Hooker called a council of his officers, and it is understood that all concurred in the opinion that the army must be got across the river again as speedily as possible. The order for retreat was reluctantly given, and the difficult passage of the river was made in the course of the night. On Wednesday our troops marched back into their old quarters, the enemy re-occupied Fredericksburg, and things were in the same relative position as before the movement.
The following official announcement, dated May 8, has been made by the Secretary of War :
The President and the General in Chief have just returned from the army of the Potomac. The principal operations of General Hooker failed, but there has been no serious disaster to the organization and efficiency of the army. It is now occupying its former position on the Rappahannock, having re-crossed the river without any loss in the movement. Not more than one-third of General Hooker’s force was engaged. General Stoneman’s operations have been a brilliant success. Part of his force advanced to within two miles of Richmond, and the enemy’s communications have been cut in every direction. The army of the Potomac will speedily resume offensive operations.
(Signed) EDWIN M. STANTON.
Secretary of War.
General Hooker is reported to have made the following statement, in substance, probably to the President the evening of the 6th : He has re-crossed the Rappahannock with his entire army and occupied the old encampments without the loss of a wagon or an ounce of provisions.
He has taken one more gun than he has lost; he has lost in killed, wounded and missing, about 10,000 men. Other accounts represent it even smaller, and believes the enemy’s loss to be much greater, as do other eyewitnesses of the fighting. Twenty-five hundred prisoners are in Gen. Hooker’s hands.
He has shattered and demoralized the rebel army, while his own remains well organized and in good heart. He is himself tranquil and in good spirits.
Gen. Stoneman accomplished the destruction of all the enemy’s railroad communications with Richmond, and one party went as far as James river destroying the Lynchburg canal. A portion of his force went to within two miles of Richmond.
This was the condition of things up to Wednesday and Thursday. On Saturday the startling news was announced, which has been confirmed, that HOOKER HAS AGAIN CROSSED THE RAPPAHANNOCK. This was accomplished on Friday, his men carrying eight days rations. It was also announced, but the news has not yet been confirmed, that GENERAL KEYES HAS TAKEN RICHMOND, having advanced upon it from Yorktown. It is stated that 10,000 national troops arrived at Fortress Monroe on the 5th inst., and were immediately moved forward in the direction of Richmond.
Stonewall Jackson will fight no more battles at present. He was so severely wounded in the left arm that amputation was necessary. He has been removed to his country house fifteen miles distant from Richmond.
Connecticut Killed and Wounded.—We notice in the list of casualties in Hooker’s army, Capt. Benton, Co. I. 5th, killed; Thomas W. Parker, Co. I. 5th ; James E. Rogers, Co. E, and J. C. Barrows, Co. E, 14th, wounded ; Col. Rose, 20th, Col. Noble, and Lieut. Col. Walter, 17th ; Corp. J. C. Twitchell, Co. E, 20th, wounded ; Lieut. Andrew Upson, E, 20th, missing and supposed killed ; Capt. E. D. Dickerman, Co. I, 20th, wounded slightly ; Lieut. H. S. Caldwell, Co. D, 20th, missing and supposed killed ; William L. Ames, Co. E, 20th, wounded in mouth ; Sergeant Major J. S. Root, 20th, killed ; Sergeant S. N. Gaston, Co. B, 20th, wounded in hand ; Corp. Henry B. Gleason, Co. E, 20th, arm ; D. W. Hart, Co. E, 20th, jaw ; Lieut. G. W. Sherman, Co. B, 20th, hand ; Lieut. Griffeth, 20th, killed.
In a late fight at Suffolk, the 16th Conn. suffered considerably. B. F. Blakeslee, Co. A, wounded in head ; Capt. Tennant, thigh ; R. Powers, leg ; A. S. Hatch, finger ; J. B. Martin, shoulder ; J. King, temple ; Serg. S. Parkett, Co. D, shoulder and thigh ; Joseph Rivers, Co. I, head ; Jamse E. Martin, Co. F, shoulder and neck ; H. Barber, Co. A, killed. Of the 15th Conn., J. B. Parker, ankle ; and J. Greenland, thigh. Capt. R. H. Rice, arm, and J. Brocken, of the 11th Conn.
We have received nothing direct from the 14th regiment, but learn from indirect sources that it was engaged in four days hard fighting. A member of the regiment writing to Waterbury says—“about 100 of the 14th went into the fight, forty of whom are wounded.”
This Tuesday morning, we have received a list of the casualties in the Fourteenth regiment, during the engagement of May 3d. None are reported killed. Several from this town are reported wounded. The casualties in Co. B are as follows:
Capt. James L. Townsend, wounded, side, slightly ; 1st Lieut. Henry P. Goddard, head, slightly ; Corporal Henry S. Brooks, shell wound in leg ; Thomas Cupper, gun shot in side ; Cyrus Priest, gun shot in shoulder ; Austin Judd, gun shot in hand ; Edward Stroud.
The negro regiment in Massachusetts is now nearly full, and it is thought will be ready to leave for the seat of war in a fortnight or three weeks.
Arrest of C. L. Vallandigham.—This notorious individual was arrested at Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday morning by a detachment of soldiers. Considerable resistance was made to his arrest, and his friends attempted to get up a riot. They burned several buildings, cut the telegraph wire, and are reported to have destroyed the bridge on the Xenia road. Vallandigham was taken to Cincinnati.
Fenwick House Burned.—Early Thursday morning, the Fenwick House, at Saybrook Point, took fire and was entirely consumed. Only a part of the furniture was saved.
Daily River Line.—So far as we can learn there is no prospect of a day boat on the river this season. The line has done moderately well, heretofore, the people had got used to the convenience, and don’t like to give it up. It was exceedingly handy all along shore. But if we can’t have a boat, not even the John Gilpin, why – we can’t, that’s all, and the public must submit. Steamboat craft have risen in price within the last two years, and generally pay better under the patronage of Uncle Sam than on the old lines.
Serious Accident.—Mr. Horace C. Lathrop, who resides in High street, met with a serious accident yesterday, Monday. He was driving through Main street, and when near Court his horse took fright and suddenly started off on a full run down towards the river. The sudden start and the partial upsetting of the wagon threw Mr. Lathrop out with considerable violence. He was rendered senseless, and was taken in to Foster & Vinal’s drug store, where proper restoratives were used. He was much bruised, but is thought not to be fatally injured.
G. W. Coite, Esq., has sold his fine residence on High street, and intends removing to Hartford.
The Weather.—Average temperature for the week at 6 o’clock A. M., 48 degrees. A cold north-east rain storm prevailed most of the week. The coolest morning was Thursday when the mercury stood at 36 degrees; the warmest is this, Tuesday, morning—mercury at 64 degrees. Yesterday was a very warm day, at 2 p. m. the thermometer showing 86 degrees, thus giving a range of fifty degrees during the week, a thing not unusual in our New England climate.
A lady who had read of the extensive manufacture of odometers, to tell how far a carriage has been run, said she wished some Connecticut genius would invent an instrument to tell how far husbands had been in the evening when they “just step down to the post office.”
Hundreds of people are in a state of the most feverish anxiety concerning the marriage of Tom Thumb and Miss Lavinia Warren, and are ready to give almost fabulous sums for a peep at the ceremony. This is one on dit of the affair. There is another, and a far more important one, namely—that all the gentlemen who nurse the hope of coming off extra fine on the day, have made a point of ordering their clothes from the man who can make them the best—F. B. Baldwin, of Nos. 70 & 72 Bowery, N. Y.—Leader.