From The Constitution, Wednesday, June 3, 1863 (volume 26, number 1327)
Vicksburg is not yet in the possession of our forces. Government has received official intelligence from Gen. Grant up to May 25, Monday, stating that the siege was progressing satisfactorily, and that he considers himself abundantly able to maintain the investment and at the same time repel any attack upon his rear. News not official to the 26th is that affairs remain unchanged. No severe fighting appears to have taken place since Monday, the 18th, our forces during that time being engaged in bombarding the town. The attack on Friday, the 22d, was not made by the entire army as reported, but by a force under Gen. Blair, which assaulted the principal rebel battery and failed to capture it.—Gen. Grant’s base of supplies is on the Yazoo, and is perfectly secure.
The expedition up the Yazoo river has been perfectly successful. Admiral Porter announces that three powerful steamers and a very large ram were destroyed at Yazoo City, and a fine navy yard of the rebels was burned. The property captured and destroyed amounted to over two millions of dollars.
It is stated that Gen. Banks has crossed the Mississippi with his army at Bayou Sara.
Gen. Burnside’s headquarters are to be removed this week from Cincinnati to Hickman Bridge, Ky.
The news from the frontier is that a considerable force, supposed to be under Gen. Price, crossed the Arkansas on the 20th near Fort Gibson, and after a severe fight were driven back by Col. Phillips.
Latest from Vicksburg.—News has been received to the 27th. Three assaults had been made by our forces upon the rebel stronghold. The last assault was made by Gen. Sherman with 20,000 men, in which we lost 600 killed and a large number wounded. Our outer line is within 100 yards of the rebel works. No apprehensions are felt by Gen. Grant of any serious attack on his rear. It is the opinion that the city will be taken by regular siege approaches.
It is required that the enrollment under the conscription act shall be completed by the first of July. This enrollment must include all able bodied men between the ages of 20 and 45 years, not exempt by law. Those enrolled are divided into two classes. The first class includes all unmarried men between 20 and 45, and all married men between the ages of 20 and 35 years. The second class comprises all married men between the ages of 35 and 45 years. Colored men will be regularly enrolled and described in the lists. The draft is to take place under the direction of the board of enrollment, which is to consist of the Provost Marshal, and two others who shall be appointed by the President of the United States, one of whom is to be a regularly licensed and practicing physician. Among those exempt are the only son of a widow or aged parents dependent upon him for support ; where two or more sons are liable, the mother may choose which shall be exempt ; the only brother of orphan children under 12 years of age, and the father of motherless children dependent on him for support. Where two or more of one household are already in the service, the rest liable, not exceeding two are exempt.
Certificates from surgeons are to be sworn to before a justice of the peace. Examinations are to take place in the presence of the Board of Enrollment.
No hesitation should be felt on the part of those who are exempt in making their cases known in season, so that their names shall not go on the list. It will save trouble to themselves hereafter, and will greatly facilitate the work of making a just allotment of those who are liable to military duty.
In this connection we would mention that it is rumored that Gov. Buckingham is trying to have the 21st Connecticut transformed into a nine months regiment on the ground that this State has furnished more men than her quota required. The object of this proceeding is to render Connecticut subject to a draft on the first call for troops under the Conscription Act.—Sentinel.
Gov. Buckingham has no authority to make any such change as spoken of above, neither has the President. A letter received from the Governor denies that there is any truth in the above statement.
Immigration.—The immigration to this country this season has been very large, we believe larger than ever before. It is estimated that 50,000 foreigners have already landed on our shores, since the season commenced. On one day, less than a fortnight since, more than 3500 landed at the port of New York alone!
It may appear strange that such an immigration should take place while war prevails and just before a conscription to fill the ranks of the army. But there are a great many strange things connected with this war. Business thrives more than ever, and we see nothing but prosperity around us. High prices are paid for labor, and laboring men are sure of finding a plenty of employment at liberal remuneration. This fact attracts crowds from the overfilled towns of Europe, where labor is scarce and wages are low. A majority of the immigrants are from Ireland. It is believed that soon large numbers will come from Germany.
Emancipation in St. Louis.—At a late election in St. Louis, the vote stood for immediate emancipation 5,228 ; for gradual emancipation and no emancipation, 2,081.
Vallandigham in Secessia.—Vallandigham was taken early last week below the Union lines at Shelbyville.
He discussed the matter cheerfully and indifferently until he approached the nearest rebel picket, commanded by Colonel Webb, of the 8th Alabama, when he became perceptibly affected.
Upon taking leave of his companions, he said: “I am a citizen of the United States and loyal to them. I want you to understand that you have brought a prisoner to the Confederate authorities.”
His remarks to Colonel Webb, into whose charge he was delivered were, “I am a citizen of the state of Ohio and of the United States. I am here by force and against my will. I therefore surrender myself to you as a prisoner of war.”
Colonel Webb remarked that he had read his speeches, but did not like him ; that he could not receive him within the Confederate lines, but would permit him to remain until he had ascertained the pleasure of the authorities.
The Federal escort then left Vallandigham, who was informed by General Rosecrans, before leaving Murfreesboro, that if he should return in the same way (by flag of truce) the President’s orders to carry his original sentence into effect would be executed. Vallandigham’s speech to the rebel Colonel was a very ingenious stratagem, by which he expected to prevent his reception by the Confederate authorities, and secure himself the credit of martyrdom as a persecuted loyalist.
Various Matters.—Rev. N. J. Burton, of Hartford, is expected soon to give an address before the Ladies Loyal League in Portland.
The work of numbering the streets was necessarily delayed for a few days last week. It will now be prosecuted as speedily as possible. All dwellings within the city limits will be numbered.
The lecture which was to have been given at McDonough Hall on Tuesday evening did not come off, and so was put off indefinitely, because the lecturer had put off to parts unknown. The fact was that he impersonated other distinguished men so well on Monday night, that he himself became impersonal on Tuesday night.
The College Boys are to give a concert at Rocky Hill on Tuesday (this) evening, and will sing in Cromwell on Thursday evening. Lovers of good music in Cromwell should improve their opportunity.
There is always a crowd at the Post Office on the arrival of the evening mail, and on several occasions a few rowdies had made considerable noise and some disturbance, rendering it unpleasant for those who were waiting for the mail to be distributed. We are glad to notice that the nuisance has now been abated and people may wait in quiet for the delivery of their letters and papers.
A valuable horse fell down in Main street in front of the McDonough House, and died almost immediately on Thursday. The cause was not apparent to outsiders, and must have been best known to the horse at the time.
Rev. Mr. Ames, a student in the University, gives a lecture in Berlin on Wednesday evening. He was a seaman on board whale and merchant ships for more than four years, and will tell of things he has seen. He intends to give lectures in other places.
A pleasant thing at this season of the year is a trip to New York on board the “City” or the “Granite”; or, if you like it better, some fine morning take a sail up the river on the Water Lily.
Some have said that goods can be purchased cheaper in Hartford than in Middletown. Without going into the merits of that question, we would just say that it is our opinion that a purchaser of dry good cannot do better anywhere than at N. V. Fagan’s in this city.
Police Items.—Before Justice Bacon.—George Dickerson was up for the grave offence of removing Mr. Foster’s barber’s pole. No good proof was brought against him and he was discharged. Michael Murkle was also arraigned for having carried off that pole. He said he was not guilty, and there was no proof that he was guilty, and so he was discharged.
Before Justice Clark—George Walmsley, a colored man, was charged with beating his wife. Found guilty, and fined $2 and cost. Paid all charges, and was released.
Two vagrants, man and wife, were sent to Haddam work-house by the Mayor.
The Enrollment.—In this and many of the neighboring towns the enrollment has already commenced. The following are the enrolling officers in the sub-districts in this vicinity :
Sub-District City of Middletown—R. V. Singleton.
Town of Middletown and Chatham—Alvin B. Coe.
Portland and Cromwell—Lieut. Archibald Campbell.
Haddam and Chatham—L. P. Summers appointed, and declined on account of ill health.
East Haddam—E. C. Bingham.
Incidents.—The enrolling officer called at a house the other day in the upper part of the city to ma[k]e due inquiry concerning the inmates. Biddy came to the door, and as soon as she found out what he wanted, talked up to him pretty sharp, said she would never tell him who lived there, and he had better leave. The officer reasoned with the excited Biddy, who finally said—“Well, I’ll go and ask Mr. L. if he’ll see ye.” She had said just enough, and the officer was satisfied without any further enquiries.
At another house when he went in, the inmates all rushed out the back door except one woman. After trying in vain to persuade her to give him the desired information, he offered to treat her to beer if she would tell him. She promised she would. After the treat she told him if he would just step around to the grave yard he would find the man’s name on the tombstone there !
Coming This Way.—A large number of Irish emigrants, just landed at New York, came up by the boat last week, but most of them went on to Hartford. We hope the next load will stop here. They are wanted. There is room enough for them, and a plenty of work to do. People are paying outrageous prices for labor, and it would be a great relief to see a small army of broad shouldered and hard fisted Irishmen walk into town some fine morning.
Dry.—The streets and roads are very dry and dusty, and what is more important the crops are in danger from drought. Very little rain has fallen for two or three weeks past, and much of the corn that was planted is said to be in the same condition as when put in the ground a fortnight ago. Many rain-water cisterns have given out for the first time in years. On Sunday there was a small sprinkle, but the clouds blew over early in the evening.
Middletown.—It is now the first of June. Gardens and ornamental grounds are in prime condition. Shade trees are in full leaf. Middletown is in full dress for the season. We assert that she is the most beautiful city in the state of Connecticut.
Sewing Women in London.—The London Times thus speaks of the condition of sewing women in London, and represents a state of things truly deplorable :–
“The young female slaves of whom we speak, are worked by gangs in ill ventilated rooms, or rooms that are not ventilated at all, for it is found by experience, that if the air be admitted it brings with it ‘blacks’ of another kind, which damage the work upon which the seamstresses are employed. Their occupation is to sew from morning to night, and night to morning—stitch, stitch, stitch, without speech—without a smile—without a sigh. In the gray of morning they must be at work—say at six o’clock, having a quarter of an hour allowed for breaking their fast. Their food served out to them is scanty and miserable enough, but still, in all probability, more than their fevered system can digest. From six o’clock then till eleven, it is stitch, stitch. At eleven, a small piece of bread is served to each seamstress, but still she must stitch on.—At one o’clock, twenty minutes is allowed for dinner—a slice of meat and a potatoe, with a glass of toast and water the each workwoman. Then again to work—stitch, stitch, stitch, until five o’clock, when fifteen minutes are again allowed for tea.
“Their needles are again set in motion once more—stitch, stitch—until nine o’clock, when fifteen minutes are allowed for supper—a piece of dry bread and cheese, and a glass of beer. From nine-o’clock at night until one, two and three o’clock in the morning, stitch, stitch ! the only break in this long period being a minute or two—just time enough to swallow a cup of strong tea, which is supplied lest the young people should ‘feel sleepy.’ At three o’clock A. M. to bed ; at six o’clock A. M. out of it, again to resume the duties of the day. There must be a good deal of monotony in the occupation. But when we have said that for certain months of the year, these unfortunate young persons are worked in the manner we describe, we have not said all. Even during the few hours allotted to sleep—should we not rather say a feverish cessation from toil?—their miseries continue. They are cooped up in sleeping-pens, ten in a room, which would perhaps be sufficient for the accommodation of two persons. The alternation is from treadmill (and what a treadmill!) to the Black Hole of Calcutta! Not a word of remonstrance is allowed or is possible.
The recent death of the venerable Lyman Beecher is doubtless a very distressing circumstance to his family and friends. But we question whether it can compare with the loss of such a man as F. B. Baldwin, of 70 & 72 Bowery, N. Y., where habits of clothing, furnished to thousands of our citizens, have made his name synonymous with fame. Happily the contingency referred to seems to be exceedingly remote; so “viva Baldwin, long may he flourish!”