From The Constitution, Wednesday, August 12, 1863 (volume 26, number 1337)
The rebel General Joe Johnston was at Enterprise and Brandon, Miss., with his army, where it was thought he would remain unless Mobile was attacked. He is said to have lost ten thousand men by desertion since the fall of Vicksburg.
Lee, in a general order, calls on all officers and soldiers to return, and appeals to the patriotism of the South to send forth every man capable of bearing arms. Jeff. Davis has also issued an appeal to officers and soldiers of the army.
From Vicksburg we learn that Gen. Grant is organizing negro regiments there. Everything is reported quiet on the Mississippi.
All the rebel officers in our hands are being gathered together at Johnson’s Island, Sandusky, where they will be kept until a satisfactory reply is received from the rebel authorities in answer to the President’s order of retaliation.
The draft is finished in Philadelphia. Out of a population of 567,000 there have been drawn 18,000.
Accounts from Charleston to the 4th inst. state that the siege was then progressing favorably in every respect. The grand attack on Sumter was expected to open in the course of the week, the preparations being nearly complete. Buoys had been located for the Monitors, and the position of the Ironsides was within five hundred yards of the fort.—On the 2d, 500 rebels were captured. Gen. Gillmore had received reinforcements.
Great suffering prevails in Richmond among the poorer classes in consequence of the scarcity of provisions. Coal sells at $80 a ton, and other necessaries at equally exorbitant rates.
Everything is reported quiet with the Army of the Potomac, and is likely to continue so for some time to come. Lee’s whole army is said to be strongly entrenched on the south bank of the Rapidan.
Measures are reported to be on foot to clear the entire territory west of the Mississippi river of rebels.
Proclamation of Gen. Meade.
Headquarters Army of the Potomac,
July 13th, 1863.
The numerous depredations committed by citizens or rebel soldiers in disguise, harbored and concealed by citizens along the Orange and Alexandria railroad, and within our lines, call for prompt and exemplary punishment.
Under the instructions of the government therefore, every citizen against whom there is sufficient evidence of his having engaged in these practices will be arrested and confined for punishment or put beyond the lines.
The people within ten miles of the railroad are notified that they will be held responsible in their persons and property for any injuries done to the road, trains, depots or stations, by citizens, guerrillas, or persons in disguise, and in case of such injury they will be impressed as laborers to repair all damages.
If these measures should not stop such depredations it will become the unpleasant duty of the undersigned, in the execution of his instructions, to direct that the entire inhabitants of this District and county along the railroad be put across the lines and their property taken for government use.
Maj. Gen. Command’g.
The depredations having been continued, a number of citizens suspected, or known to be complicated in these transactions, have been promptly arrested.
The Victory in Kentucky.
Some of the first and most glorious victories of the war were in Kentucky. The leaders of the rebellion had calculated to carry this state with them, or at least make it the battle-ground where contending armies should lay waste its fertile fields and destroy its cities. What Virginia has already become, it was intended should be the lot of Kentucky. But the rebels calculated without their host. In order to carry out their programme, it was essential that the people of Kentucky subscribe to the rebellion. But the people of Kentucky would not subscribe to the rebellion. There were a few traitors like Buckner who were anxious to sell the state over to the confederacy, and they used all the arts of which they were masters to persuade the people to leave the Union. A comparatively few followed the fortunes of these men, and raised the standard of revolt. The battle of Mill Spring on the soil of that state followed immediately by the decisive battles of Forts Donelson and Henry, settled the question for Kentucky. The rebellion was fairly crushed out, not by force of arms alone but chiefly by the loyal sentiment of the people. Several insane efforts have since been made to involve Kentucky in the fortunes of the rebellion, but her citizens have been firm and unyielding in their loyalty to the Union.
This good old state has now placed upon the record another glorious victory for the national cause. This time it is a bloodless one and is achieved with the ballot rather than with bayonets and bullets. The people of Kentucky have passed through an ordeal which has put them to the severest test. The party which sympathizes with the rebellion had taken the ground of opposition not to the government of the United States but to the Administration and its war policy. It was substantially the same ground which was taken by the copperheads of Connecticut last Spring. The whole plan was insidiously devised, and was intended to obtain if possible a victory for the rebellion on the falsest pretences. But the people of Kentucky were not to be deceived. They saw through the treacherous plot. The plans of the rebels were exposed. Measures were taken to guard the ballot boxes, and give every citizen the privilege of voting without being assailed or interfered with. The result is an overwhelming majority in favor of the Union cause. This result is exceedingly important since it is the clear and unmistakable expression of the popular will. By this act Kentucky allies herself by bonds which can never be broken with the fortunes and the policy of the American Union.
And what is more, by this popular vote Kentucky gives assurance that she will ere long be in the list of free states. It is fully comprehended there that the policy of this Government is decidedly adverse to slavery, and that a cordial support of the Administration was equivalent to a declaration in favor of emancipation. It will not be long before Kentucky, following the noble lead of Missouri, will divest herself of the incubus of human servitude. Aided by her vast resources, by her commanding central position, Kentucky under the influence of her institutions, is destined to reach a high place among the great states of the Union.
The Death of Yancey.—The rebels have lost another of their prominent leaders. William L. Yancey of Alabama is dead. He has been one of the most violent haters of northern institutions, and was one of the original movers of secession. For the last few years he devoted his time to the work of exciting the southern mind against the north. By his speeches and his pen he labored unceasingly to embitter sectional feelings, and bring about a separation. He has lived long enough to see the bloody results of his work, and the disasters it has brought upon the south. He has not lived long enough to meet on earth the just retribution which awaits such traitors as he. Yancey has earned a reputation which will be a curse to all who shall hereafter bear his name.
Cotton Bales.—The garrison at Fort Sumter hung out cotton bales to protect the walls against our cannon balls. But their own guns set the bales on fire, and they had to cut the cotton loose. The whole plan proved a failure. King cotton don’t do what was expected of him for the help of the peculiar institution.
The Draft in New York.—Gov. Seymour wrote to President Lincoln asking for a delay of the draft in New York, on account of errors in the enrollment and that the conscription law might be passed upon by the Supreme Court. The President wrote in reply that time was all important now, that while he should be waiting to suit Gov. Seymour, Davis would be completing his conscription, and therefore the draft in New York must go on.
Divorces.—The Superior Court, at its late term in Hartford, granted no less than twenty-one petitions for divorce ! It is surprising how many people get tired of matrimony, and how ready they are to sunder the silken bonds [or break the yoke] which binds them together. A difficulty arises which causes both parties to see at once that there is a positive “incompatibility of temper,” and that they made a huge mistake when they assumed the marriage vows. The Superior Court offers an easy remedy. It will untie any of these knots which have become troublesome, and set the parties as free as before. By this means marriage is divested of many of its terrors, and individuals may venture upon it for a short or a long term just as they please.
The Draft in Middletown.—For the relief of those who are on the anxious seat we would state that the draft for Middletown will probably take place a week from Saturday next, which will be the 22d inst. It may possibly occur sooner than that, but it is not likely. The city of Middletown embraces the 28th and 29th sub-districts, and furnishes 152 ; town of Middletown and Durham, 30th district, 95 ; Portland and Cromwell, 31st district, 77 ; Chatham and Haddam, 32d district, 70 ; East Haddam, 33d district, 54. The draft for all the towns in this Congressional district will take place at the State House in New Haven.
The 24th Regiment – A Reception.
The gallant 24th is expected to arrive home during the present week. Col. Mansfield, in a letter received Saturday from New Orleans, writes that the regiment was prepared to start for home immediately, and that he expected to be in Middletown this week. Let our citizens be prepared to give them a becoming reception on their arrival. Let us show that we appreciate their valuable services in nobly sustaining the union cause, and gaining at Port Hudson one of the grandest triumphs of the war.
Various Matters.—Although we have passed through a season of unusually wet weather and are now having the most sultry and hot weather of dog days, yet the health of the city is reported good. There is very little sickness.
An effort has been made in town to raise the price of milk. Hope it won’t succeed. Milk is high enough now.
Hosts of people have gone out of town to escape from the heat. If they find a cool place, wish they would let us know.
It is stated that Mr. Charles Douglas has bought out the interest of Mr. Seth S. Hall in the Livery business, which will be conducted as heretofore by Mr. Douglas and Mr. Charles E. Hall at the old stand in Court street.
Rev. J. B. Pierson, formerly of this city, now of Plymouth, has been drafted.
There will be an excursion to Sag Harbor on Thursday in the Sarah S. B. Carey. Music by the Governor’s Guard Band.
That familiar institution, the watering cart, was about town the latter part of last week.
Lieut. Broatch, of the 14th regiment, reached home on a short furlough on Saturday.
The heat on Sunday was intense, mercury at 93 and no air stirring. It was the most uncomfortable day of the season. The attendance at the different churches was smaller than usual.
The late severe rains had washed the streets badly in many places, and the street commissioner is busy making repairs.
The propeller Charles Benton broke a shaft coming up the river Sunday morning.
Sunstroke.—We learn that Armstrong Bond was sunstruck while working in the field on Monday afternoon. He resided in Cromwell.
Several workmen in the Quarries were also affected by the heat.
A Dull Month.—Middletown is always dull in August, and it is as dull as usual this year. Business along Main street is anything but brisk, very few come in from the country, everybody is willing to get through the hot weather as easily as possible. We believe there is not a school in the city in session this month. It is vacation in college, in the High School, in the district schools, and in all the private schools that we are acquainted with. Nobody will study in August who can help it. Clergymen exchange pulpits or go out of town. Lawyers and judges have a habit of adjourning courts over to cold weather. Doctors can’t exchange nor adjourn nor go out of town. They are generally most busy in the warmest weather. Usually there is a considerable number of visitors in town from the larger cities to spend the hot months. There are not so many of them this year as formerly.
Dan Rice’s Great Show.
All who like fun and enjoy this kind of pleasant amusement, will be glad to notice that Dan Rice’s “Big Show” is advertised to exhibit in Middletown on Thursday, August 13th, afternoon and evening. Dan has the reputation of being the best and most accomplished Showman in the world, and in every village and city where he exhibits, his tent is crowded by delighted audiences who flock to witness the wonderful performances of his trained horse Excelsior, Jr., and other attractive features of Dan’s Show. As a witty jester in the ring, Dan has no equal, and taken all together, his entertainment is pronounced by the press everywhere, a first class institution. As this is the first, and will probably be the only show of the kind which will visit Middletown during the present season, everybody will, of course, go out and “take the children,” even if they don’t care anything about seeing the performance themselves. It will delight the youngsters, and is “warranted” not to hurt sensible people of more mature age.
New Music.—Putnam has at his bookstore a piece of music adapted to the times, entitled “How are you, Conscript.” Call and look at it, and you will be pretty sure to want a copy. Words and music are by Frank Wilder.