From The Constitution, Wednesday, September 9, 1863 (volume 26, number 1341)
Advices from White River, Ark, are to the effect that the advance of Gen. Steele’s army on the 28th drove the rebels across Bayou Metairie, killing and wounding about 100 and capturing 250. Our loss was 30.
Advices from Charleston three days later—to the 4th—are received, by the arrival at Fortress Monroe of a Government dispatch steamer. The rebel flag was still flying over Sumter, but the work was a perfect ruin.—Another advance against Wagner was made on Thursday last, when seventy-five rebels were “dug out” of their rifle pits and captured.
An official dispatch from Admiral Dahlgren was received by the Navy Department Saturday. The Admiral reports that the siege of Charleston was going on satisfactorily. The Monitors were standing fire well, although the rebels had rained upon them a tempest of shot and shell.
A dispatch from Gen. Rosecran’s army dated on the 3d inst., states that the army was then well across the Tennessee, and occupied a strong position several miles south of the river, no resistance to the crossing having been shown by the rebels. Reconnoissances to Trenton, Ga., had failed to discover any rebels, and the report was that they were entrenched to the eastward of Chattanooga.
President Lincoln’s Letter.
We publish on the first page the letter of President Lincoln to the Springfield Convention. He hits, as he always does, the very heart of his subject. The letter does not propose, as many thought it would, a new policy. It mainly translates into plain speech, what had before been made obvious by plain facts. His purpose is to suppress the rebellion, and in his judgment it will only be done by the force of arms. The strength of the rebellion is in its army. Destroy it, and the main pillar of the confederacy is gone. The proclamation he thinks is constitutional—says the war has progressed as favorably for us since, as before its issue. As to the matter of freeing negroes, he says “when we have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will then be an apt time for you to declare that you will not fight to free negroes.” The letter is admirable, and ought to be read by all.
Death of John B. Floyd.
John Buchanan Floyd, familiarly known as “thief Floyd,” died at Abingdon, Va., on the 26th ult. He was born in Virginia in 1805, graduated at South Carolina College, studied law, removed to Arkansas to practice, returned to Virginia, was elected to the Legislature in 1848 and 1849, was made Governor in the last named year, and again in 1855, was Presidential elector in 1856, voted for James Buchanan and made Secretary of War in 1857. Here he was the ready and constant tool of the traitors who were then plotting their treason. To the last moment he gave his energies to the cause of the rebellion, and when he could do no more, “stole” away from Washington.
His faculty for making an escape by sneaking off was unrivalled. The best illustration of his proclivities was at Fort Donelson, where he abandoned his troops to capture, and made away with his own precious person. He has been in disgrace ever since that affair. No man in the rebellion has been so thoroughly despised as Floyd, and the contempt and scorn have been well deserved.
The President has determined to fill the Cadetships at West Point that are left vacant by the operation of the rebellion by the appointment of deserving young men from the army. Gen. Grant has received orders from Washington to send in the names of soldiers in his army who are qualified for the position, and are of proper age. Examinations of candidates are being made by Gen. Sherman. The idea is excellent. Those who are chosen will combine every element of success, as they will be selected solely for their ability and without regard to political effect. The young cadets now at West Point will also have comrades who have been in actual battles having enjoyed the baptism of fire. There is no scarcity of proper material in the ranks of our army. Gen. Sherman, who is a severe schoolmaster, reports that there are a surprising number of young men qualified for the cadetship.
Meriden.—The Meriden Recorder says :–The Gas Company are laying their main pipes in the principal streets of the town.—Thirty buildings are in process of erection.—Some forty of the employees of the Meriden Britannia Co. struck for higher wages last Thursday ; the company refused to accede to their demands, paid them off, and the malcontents immediately left.—The dwelling house of Mr. Isaac Hubbard was burnt to the ground on Monday.—A Musical Convention, commending Tuesday, Sept. 22d, continuing four days, will be held in the Town Hall.
Mr. Newton : Sir, Please give room in your paper for the following extracts of a letter, written by a grand daughter of Mrs. Abiah Johnson of this city, now in the 96th year of her age. Her son, Mr. Henry Johnson, used to occupy the house where Mr. Benjamin Miller now lives, and removed to New Albany, Kentucky many years since. She says :
“When I last wrote, all was peace and quietude, but since that time all has been trouble and civil war. When this civil war broke out, Father and all the boys stood on the side of the union, and standing thus, they were subject to all the ravages and ill treatment that secession and guerrillas could invent. On the 4th day of April, one year ago, eighty of these demons, in the form of human beings, rushed in upon brother William and two other men, while eating dinner in father’s house, and murdered them all in a most brutal manner, and mangled their bodies when dead. From that time, father never dared to sleep in his own house. On the 26th of August, my sister Moriah died; she had been sick about two months when William was killed, but was getting better, and when that took place the excitement consequent upon such an occasion, caused a relapse from which she never recovered. During all this time father was not permitted to be at home, and not even to attend the funeral of his children. About the middle of October, we all (except brother John who is in the army), started to this State (Ill.) to find a land of peace.
“Father had to leave everything in Kentucky, and is here now on the wide spread prairie, trying to take a start and make a living.
Cor. Of the Constitution.
Headquarters, Department of the Gulf,
New Orleans, 26th August, 1863.
Dear Sir : A word or two concerning the 24th Connecticut may not be uninteresting, to you, and to the numerous friends at home, who are probably waiting anxiously their return from this far off portion of the sunny South and its scenes of war and bloodshed.
It is a matter of regret to me, and I presume it is the same with our friends at home, that we are not with them at the present time, or at least on the way there ; but such is not the case, and they must not look for us one moment sooner than the second week in September, and then there is nothing certain about it, still it won’t be far from that time, probably.
But for the unfortunate circumstance of the regiment being sent to Ship Island on some temporary duty, we should have been home ere this, as our name was put down on the list with five other regiments, (among them the 23d and 25th), to proceed north immediately, but this order for two regiments to repair to Ship Island came, and the lot fell on the 24th, and the 12th Maine, which to me was not surprising I must say, for as soon as I heard of the order, I was prepared to hear that we were among the lucky ones. Wherever hard work was to be done, or privations to be endured, there the 24th Conn. was to be found, and nobly has it performed all the duties assigned it. It deserves a right royal welcome home, and I hope our kind friends will remember us.
The regiment has just been ordered up to this city, and when it arrives here, I presume preparations will be immediately made for sending it home. But there is quite a deal to be done, to get a body of men off, and consequently some days must elapse before we can be fairly on the way, so, as I said before, we need not be expected before the second week in September certainly.
Presume Mr. H. D. Hall has arrived home from his flying visit to this city ; unfortunately he missed seeing members of the regiment, but gave me a call, which was as pleasant for me as it was unexpected.
Have heard of no more sickness or casualties among them, during their short sojourn at the sea side, and presume all are well; at least I hope so. And praying to be with you all soon, I make my bow, and say good bye until we meet.
Geo. N. Moses, Clerk Headquarters.
Quite a large gathering of the citizens of Middletown and vicinity took place on Wednesday afternoon, of last week, the occasion being the balloon ascension of Prof. George Brooks. The steamer, Parthenia, brought down some two or three hundred excursionists from Hartford, accompanied by the Governor’s Guard Band. At about two o’clock, the inflation of the balloon commenced on Main street opposite the Court House, and at twenty minutes past four every thing was ready. A dog belonging to Mr. Gabrielle of the Douglas House, was attached to a parachute and fastened to the car, and amid the shouts of the multitude, at the word “let go,” the balloon rose majestically in the air. It ascended almost perpendicularly a mile, when it met a current of air and was wafted across the river. The dog had more of an ascension than was intended on account of the river, but as soon as the balloon was safe on the Portland side, he was cut loose and came down on the farm of Mr. Geo. Stanclift. He was immediately picked up and found to be all safe and sound. After remaining up about three quarters of an hour, Prof. Brooks descended some five miles from this city, on Collins Hill, a very rough and uneven spot. Persons watching him from this city, saw the balloon descending below the hill, and then rise again, which was probably caused by the breaking of the rope, attached to the anchor which caught in a tree. Some men being near by, they went to assist, and in a short time Prof. Brooks landed safely on terra firma. He arrived in this city at half past 8 o’clock in the evening.
The day being cloudless, the ascension was beautiful. Messrs. Brooks and Mr. Bassett of Hartford are entitled to much credit. The Hartford excursionists left the wharf at 5 o’clock, reaching home at 9.
Sewing Machine Factory.—The brick building on Causeway Hill, has been leased to a company for the purpose of manufacturing the Finkle & Lyon sewing machine. Mr. Samuel B. Hubbard of this city has the agency.
The Freshman Class in Wesleyan University numbers forty.
There are several buildings in the course of construction in this vicinity. J. Hotchkiss is erecting a fine residence on his property just south of Pameacha bridge. E. F. Sheldon is about to build a large warehouse on the vacant lot on Main street, near Washington. Messrs. W. & B. Douglas are putting up a large building on their premises. E. W. N. Starr has erected a fine brick house on Mt. Vernon street. W. W. Burr is about to build on Church street.
The Weather.—Friday and Monday were the warmest days of the past week, the mercury standing at sixty degrees early in the morning. Thursday there was a dense fog until afternoon. Wednesday and Saturday were cool. The average temperature was fifty-two degrees.