From The Constitution, Wednesday, June 10, 1863 (volume 26, number 1328)

PORT HUDSON.

Much interest attends the operations at Port Hudson. Many Connecticut troops are there, among them the 24th regiment, Col. Mansfield. The accounts from there state that on the 21st, General Augur was engaged in a nine hours’ fight in the rear of Port Hudson. The rebels were thoroughly whipped : a large number were killed and wounded, and one hundred were taken prisoners. General Augur’s losses were twelve killed, and fifty-six wounded. The enemy was driven three miles, and General Augur bivouacked on the field of battle.

General Banks has united his forces with those of General Augur, who fought the battle of Port Hudson. On the night of the 24th, Farragut’s mortar fleet silenced several of the enemy’s guns. Port Hudson is now being closely besieged by the forces of Banks, Augur, and Porter, and no doubt seems entertained of a capitulation before very long. The army before Port Hudson is in excellent condition. The garrison besieged does not number more than ten thousand men. On Wednesday, May 27, a regular assault was made, Gen. Weitzel on the right, Gen. Grover next, Gen. Augur next and Gen. T. W. Sherman on the left. Gen. Banks commanded in person. A rush was made at the fortifications, and attempts to take them by the bayonet were made in several places. The fighting was desperate, and our loss heavy. What the definite result was the correspondents could not learn in New Orleans, but it was reported favorable, and the fighting with the same vigor was to go on the next day, both Banks and the army being determined to take the place. The lowest estimate of our loss is between 2,000 and 3,000. Much of the fighting was hand to hand over the intrenchments. A naval attack was made simultaneously.

On the right Weitzel took and held formidable batteries of the enemy and turned them against them. The other intrenchments do not seem to have been carried permanently. The fight lasted till 5 P. M., when our troops withdrew to their first position. Many regiments are mentioned as distinguishing themselves, but conspicuous is the 3d Louisiana, (colored) Col. Jack Nelson, which attracted great attention by their undaunted bravery. They fought with the desperation of tigers, it is reported, losing 600 of their number.

A large number of officers were killed and wounded. The only Connecticut man mentioned is Col. Kingsley, of the 26th, who was severely wounded in the jaw.

The Contest On The Mississippi.

Two points on the Mississippi have for some time been the centres of interest for the whole country, Port Hudson and Vicksburg. They are the two strong points of the rebels in the great valley of the West, and on their ability to hold these is staked a continuance of their power in all that vast region. The capture of these places involves the rebel abdication of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Tennessee. In all that region the war will be substantially at an end, at least as concerns the movements of large armies and the fighting of great battles.

It has been supposed by some that if the rebels are driven from Port Hudson and Vicksburg, they can fortify other positions on the Mississippi. North of Vicksburg the shores are low and the ground level, and no position could be found where a strong fortress could be erected. South of that place the presence of a numerous fleet of gunboats would render it impossible for the enemy to erect any works capable of offering much resistance.

Some concern is felt lest Gen. Johnston shall compel the Gen. Grant to abandon the siege, Gen. Grant himself does not seem to be in the least troubled about it. The rough nature of the country gives Grant great advantages in holding at bay any force which can be brought against his rear. In addition to this, one wing of his army rests on the Mississippi, and he draws his supplies directly from the river, while Johnston would be compelled to obtain his by tedious land conveyances. Reinforcements and supplies can be forwarded to Grant in any required number and quantity. It is not improbable that Johnston has been reinforced. If this is so, more men should be sent to Grant, for there is no conceivable reason why he should not receive all the help he wants.

_________________________

Suppression of Newspapers.—By order of General Burnside the publication of the Chicago Times, a noted secession sheet, had been suppressed, and the circulation of the N. Y. World was prohibited in his department. The President has revoked the order forbidding the publication of the Chicago Times, and Gen. Burnside has withdrawn his restrictions upon the World.

_________________________

Gov. Seymour, of New York, was applied to by a committee of colored men for aid in the organization of a colored regiment for active service. The Governor is reported to have declined because “he had too much sympathy for the blacks to consent, as the position they must occupy would be one of extreme danger, and would lead to dreadful and unnecessary sacrifice of life.” He must have remarkable sympathies for black men to be so much more tender of them than he is of white men. He would have no hesitation in organizing a white regiment even though it may be exposed to “extreme danger.” The Governor of Massachusetts, who has raised and sent off a colored regiment, does not thing any more highly of black men than of white men. In that respect he is unlike the Governor of New York.

_________________________

The Massachusetts Colored Regiment.—A Boston despatch of Thursday says :

“One of the most exciting and demonstrative local military events of the war was the departure of the 54th regiment (colored) to-day for South Carolina. The ranks were entirely full, the men in regular United States uniform, splendidly equipped, and headed by a full band of colored musicians. After being received on the common by Gov. Andrew and staff, the regiment embarked on the new steamer De Molay, and will at once leave. The march of the regiment through the city was attended by enthusiastic cheering, and such vast crowds as lined the streets have seldom before been seen. The men marched well and presented a soldierly appearance.”

_________________________

A Colored Regiment in this State.—There is a disposition among the patriotic colored people of this State to form a regiment as has been done in Massachusetts for the service of the national government. It is stated that in New Haven two or three meetings have been held to consider the question, and they have written a letter to the Governor on the subject. We have no doubt the Governor would favor such an enterprise, and help it forward with all his influence. According to the last census, there are in this State 8,627 colored people. Of these 4,136 are males of all ages. It is apparent, therefore, that a regiment of colored men must embrace about all the able bodied men. It is doubtful whether there is a sufficient number in the State to form a regiment, and it is very certain that a full regiment could not be formed, for nobody expects that every able bodied man will consent to go. A better way would be to form companies in this and other states, to be afterwards consolidated into regiments.

_________________________

It is estimated that the expiration of the terms of soldiers during the summer and fall will lessen the numbers in the army by 180,000 men. Many of these will re-enlist. It is hoped that a sufficient number of negroes will be enrolled to render a draft this summer unnecessary.

_________________________

Naval Academy.—In the naval academy at Newport are 392 midshipmen. Of these 12 are from Connecticut, among whom is Henry L. Mansfield, of this city, son of the late General Mansfield. The annual examination was held a few days since, when the Hon. Edward Everett delivered an eloquent oration before the members of the Academy.

Local News.

Death of Soldiers.—Mr. Jehiel Johnson, of this town, South Farms, who had been a member of the 24th regiment, was drowned in the river at New Orleans. The dead body of a soldier was found floating in the water, and on being taken out, it was identified as that of Mr. Johnson. The jury of inquest decided that it was a case of accidental drowning. He went out with the regiment as a drummer, and some time since was taken sick, and sent to the hospital at New Orleans. Having partially recovered, he obtained his discharge and was expected home. He, of course, received his pay, which is said to have been about $125. Nothing had been heard from him for three or four weeks, when intelligence was received that his body had been found as above mentioned. He had a wife and several children.

John B. Lewis, of Co. A, 12th regiment, died in the hospital at New Orleans on the 26th of April. He belonged in this city, was a printer and was engaged in Mr. Pelton’s job office at the time the war broke out, when he first enlisted. He performed his duties faithfully as a soldier.

_________________________

Death of a Soldier From Portland.—On Thursday last the body of Heman Demay reached his home in Portland. He was a member of Co. D, 20th regiment, and died in camp near Washington on the 31st ult. His age was 29 years. The funeral was attended at the 1st Congregational church in Portland on Sunday afternoon. President Cummings preached the sermon.

_________________________

Another From the 14th.—We learn with regret of the death of Austin Judd, of this town, South Farms, a member of the 14th regiment. He died on Friday last in the hospital at Washington. Mr. Judd was wounded in the hand at the battle of Chancellorsville. The wound was not considered at all dangerous at the time, but became very troublesome, and disabled him from all active duty. He was also taken sick, but no apprehensions were felt by his friends until last week, when his wife went on to see him. She reached his bedside but an hour before he died. His death is a heavy calamity to her and a sad bereavement to his child. Mr. Judd was highly respected in the community where he lived, and leaves a large circle of friends.

_________________________

Dr. Casey.—We regret to learn that Dr. W. B. Casey, formerly of this city, Brigade Surgeon, has been compelled to resign his position in the army in consequence of a disorder caused recently by an injury received while performing a surgical operation. The prick of an instrument has poisoned one of his arms, and it may prove a serious matter. He has arrived at his home, in East Haven.

_________________________

The Colored People in this city have been a good deal exercised lately on the subject of enlisting in the army. The question was up in debate in their “Lyceum” last week, and was discussed pro and con. We believe there is the best of feeling on the subject, and if a company should be raised in this vicinity the colored people of Middletown would furnish their proportion of able bodied recruits.

_________________________

Police Court.—Before Justice Putnam.—Samuel Paxton was arraigned on a charge of theft, S. L. Warner, attorney. Paxton had stolen nineteen dollars on Tuesday last from Captain Freeman T. Crowell, of the schooner J. S. Curtiss, lying at the dock in this city. He had got off as far as New Haven, when Officer Brooks telegraphed to the chief of police to have him detained. This was done when Officer Brooks went down, arrested him, and brought him here for trial. He plead guilty to the charge, was fined $5 and costs, and sent to Haddam in default of payment.

Paxton was also brought up on another charge of stealing from Joshua S. Hallett, mate of the J. S. Curtiss.  Plead guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of $5 and costs. In default of payment, sent to Haddam.

State vs. Patrick Cranney.  W. T. Elmer, attorney. This was a case of assault and battery on John Cranney. Fined $5 and costs, which were paid.

State vs. John Cranney. John was charged with a breach of the peace. He plead guilty to the charge, was fined $3 and costs, which he paid.

_________________________

Tragedy in East Hartford.—On Sunday night, Mr. William Steele of East Hartford, in a fit of insanity, killed his wife and child and then killed himself with a razor. He had recently been at work in this town.

_________________________

Drowned.—On Saturday afternoon Henry C. Bacon, a son of the late Capt. Henry C. Bacon was drowned while bathing in Little River. It is said that he could not swim, and was wading close by the shore, where he supposed he was quite safe, but where the bottom suddenly descends and the water becomes very deep. The body was not found until Sunday morning, when Mr. Franklin Babcock succeeded in recovering it. His mother had been absent for several days, and returned the same morning that the dead body of her son was brought home. He was a promising lad and about 13 years old.

_________________________

The Weather during the week past has been cool for the season, the mercury at 6 o’clock in the morning ranging from 50 to 54 degrees. No rain of consequence had fallen up to Sunday and the ground had become very dry, and the fields were suffering from drought. We had had several storms of the “dry” kind, with plenty of clouds but no water, but on Sunday afternoon the rain came. It commenced about three o’clock, and continued through a part of the night.

_________________________

“Shoddy!”—This simple word formed the exclamation of a friend of ours, a few evenings since, when a mutual acquaintance presented himself, arrayed in what he seemed to consider a very handsome suit of clothes.—But the rain had visited our beau and made sad havoc with his broadcloth—not the real Saxony, as he thought it, but what his friend and ours justly designated—“Shoddy!” It need scarcely be added that the unfortunate wight had not patronized F. B. Baldwin of Nos. 70 & 72 Bowery, N. Y. If he had, how different would have been his fate.

_________________________

Ice Cream Advertisement