From The Constitution, Wednesday, October 21, 1863 (volume 26, number 1347)
There have been rumors of battles all the week.
On Thursday there was skirmishing all along the lines of our army, and some firing also on the old Bull Run battlefield, but there was no general engagement. Our army, Thursday night, was in line of battle. The whole baggage and transportation train was sent to the rear, and the suttlers were ordered to Alexandria. The skirmishing on Thursday was principally for position, and the report is that, in every instance, Gen. Meade succeeded in getting the advantage.
From information received from the army of the Potomac, Friday night, it appears that a body of the enemy were seen passing southward, opposite Blackburn’s ford, Thursday night, and our batteries shelled them. They replied for half an hour, and then disappeared. They made no other demonstration on Thursday, though it was rumored that one corps of the enemy was approaching Fairfax by the Chantilly road, and our heavy batteries were sent out in that direction.
The latest dispatch informs us that the Army of the Potomac is now within the defences of Washington, but the position of Lee’s army is not made known. The rumored withdrawal of the rebel forces to the Rappahannock is not a fact, and that there is truth in the statement that the rebels are in force at Manassas Junction, and have sent reconnoitering parties thence into the Shenandoah Valley, though whether with a view to operations there, we cannot conjecture. There has already been some skirmishing with rebel cavalry in the Valley.
A dispatch from Chattanooga, Oct. 15, announces that both armies had remained quiet for the preceding three days, in consequence of the heavy and increasing rains. The official reports of the killed and wounded in the battles of Chickamauga foot up a grand aggregate of about 16,000. Thirty-six pieces of artillery were lost, and a few wagons.
A Memphis dispatch states that the rebel Richardson, with 1,800 men, had been compelled to retreat by the Third Michigan Cavalry, under Lieut. Col. Mercer, from the Tallahatchie River, in Northern Michigan, to Okolona. The command of the rebel Chalmers is also reported to have been routed and scattered by Col. Hatch, and driven across the Tallahatchie.
Correspondence from New Orleans to the morning of the 10th inst. informs us that Gen. Banks has taken the field, and that the Nineteenth Army corps reached Vermillion River, a few miles south of Vermillionville, the morning of the 9th. It was thought that there would be no delay in crossing. There was sharp skirmishing, and some prisoners were taken from the enemy. Their loss is not known. Lieut. Col. Cowan, of the Third Texas cavalry, was wounded.
The Rebel Defeat in Northern Georgia.
Recent events show that the rebels made a perfect failure at the battle of Chickamauga. They gained no advantage, lost heavily in men and morale, and have been unable to resume the offensive since. But copperhead journals at the north still speak of these battles as “terrible reverses,” “disastrous defeats,” &c. to the Union army. In this, they are in perfect accord with the rebels, as they not only wish, but are determined to have one of these “disasters” which the southern journals say would cause the peace men of the North to “assert their manhood” and speak out again as they did before the news from Gettysburgh and Vicksburg “choked their utterance.” A few quotations from southern papers will show what the rebels think of the late battles. The Richmond Examiner says :
“The results were not all we had reason to anticipate from the success in the field. The enemy hold Chattanooga and East Tennessee, which were the prizes of the battles.”
Another paper says :
“If our victory ends with Chattanooga, it is comparatively unimportant.”
Mr. Baldwin, one of the Ohio ballot agents in the Army of the Cumberland, brings back the following report made by rebel prisoners :
“Prior to the battle, Bragg addressed them, telling them they had come to retake Chattanoga, drive Rosecrans across the river, and deliver Tennessee from the Yankee invader. Failing in this was, they said, to fail in everything but absolute defeat in the field.”
In one thing to the Union men and the rebels agree, and that is that “Bragg was defeated,” and all that is left for the rebel sympathizers at the north is to dilate on the issue of these battles, to magnify our losses, and insist that we have met with a “terrible defeat.” Their purpose in all this is evident. It is to aid the rebels to accomplish their ends by the success of the democratic party in the recent elections. To do this they disparage our brave soldiers and their deeds : they make capital of the distresses and the perils of their country and of the constitution : they belittle the heroic struggle, and shake their heads and groan with anguish as they bewail the desperate hazards of our armies, and announce the fearful doom that awaits them.
All this they do willingly for the sake of their “southern friends,” who, the moment they achieved their independence, would turn upon and spit at them.
The recent elections will, we trust, keep them quiet for a while. The people have declared with a loud voice, that they have no sympathy with copperheadism. Let them take warning.
General McClellan’s letter, coming as it did, on the eve of the election in Pennsylvania, does not seem to have had the effect which was predicted for it. If it had any, it was just opposite to what was intended. McClellan, in issuing this letter has made a grand mistake. Two years ago, he stood first among our generals, and in the hearts of the people. His wishes were as laws, and this very policy which he now refutes, was then by him deemed necessary and received his hearty support. The masses have been unwilling to give him up, and when the Government laid him on the shelf, the copperheads thought it was a fine opportunity to make a “point,” and immediately began extolling him to the skies. Little Mac received these honors as a private citizen should, quietly, and has not until recently, informed the public as to how he stood politically. But now, on the eve of an important election, undoubtedly influenced by his copperhead advisers, he has boldly come out in favor of a man who has never supported the government, is opposed to the prosecution of the war, and is willing to compromise with the rebels in arms. Either McClellan has made a great mistake, or the people of Pennsylvania have not appreciated his advice. His favorite candidate has been defeated by an overwhelming majority. Little Mac had better be thinking of making another “masterly retreat” and commencing again on a “new basis.”
The Providence Journal says that McClellan is the same kind of a politician that he is a general. He does not strike until it is too late to hurt any body but himself.
Another Call For Troops.—The President has issued a call for three hundred thousand volunteers. About twelve weeks will be given to raise the troops. A draft will be commenced on the 5th day of January, 1864, in such districts as shall have failed to raise their quota. Another opportunity is given for enlistments. The copperheads opposed the draft on the ground that it prevented men from volunteering, as they could get more money by going as substitutes. How is it now, will they come forward and aid the government in raising the men?
14TH REGIMENT.—The following letter from Chaplain Stevens, of the 14th regiment, C. V., to a friend in this city, we have been allowed to publish.
Near Bull Run, Oct. 15th, 1863.
Dear Brother H : As it may be convenient for you to give information to Middletown people regarding the casualties which occurred to our regiment yesterday, I add a line for you containing the best information I can write now. Our division was engaged in a sharp skirmish yesterday morning at Auburn, and two divisions of our corps, the 3d and 2d, were engaged in a pretty severe fight of three or four hours, in the afternoon near Bristow Station. In the afternoon our casualties were twenty-six killed, wounded and missing. Two only were killed, so far as we have ascertained; among them Charles S. Brooks, of Co. B. Please inform those who can notify his friends if you can. He was a fine pleasant fellow and had been with us but a short time since he returned from the hospital. No other one of Co. B, from Middletown, was injured I believe. Henry Frisbie is missing, though we expect he will turn up yet. He was not in any fight, but during the skirmish at Auburn he went to the rear, having charge of some things of the officer he serves. I will notify Mr. Frisbie’s family when we hear from Henry. It may be no letter will reach Middletown before mine, and people may be uninformed regarding our casualties, and if you will circulate this information in case you do not know that others have, it may allay some anxiety. We came to this place after the fight last evening, and are here awaiting orders, somewhat expecting to march to Centreville, and some of us quite in need of “Hardtack”. You don’t know what a GOOD appetite is, I’ll wager. We handsomely repulsed the rebels yesterday in both fights. Undoubtedly they intended to hinder us and damage us considerably, for they attacked the head of our corps each time. They were finely whipped and their purpose completely foiled. They suffered considerable loss yesterday P. M., as the number of dead lying on the field, and the wounded and unwounded prisoners testify.
Friday morning, Oct. 16th.—All right. Our regiment remains where it was yesterday. We expected a fight with infantry but the rebels did not cross the Run and only cavalry was engaged. Our cavalry got the advantage of the rebels finely and drove them well. No casualties in our regiment yesterday. Frisbie not heard from yet. Fine storm this morning. Some picket firing through the night and this morning. H. Stevens.
Military.—Among the casualties at Morris Island, is that of Thomas C. Dimock, Co. B, 7th regt., who was wounded by the bursting of a shell, which fractured the leg, causing amputation just above the knee. He is a son of L. Dimock of this city.
Corporal Charles S. Brooks, Co. B, 14th regt. C. V., a son of Talcott S. Brooks, of this town, is reported killed in the battle at Bristow Station.
The following is a list of killed and wounded in the 14th regiment:
Killed—James McLaughlin, Co. F ; Corp. Chas. Brooks, Co. B ; Frederick Smith, Co. E ; Sergt. Charles McAlbatten, Co. F.
Wounded.—J. Conners, Co. C, hand ; Wm. C. Brown, Co. F, hip ; T. Tucker, Co. F, hip ; P. Ducest, Co. F, leg ; Lieut. W. D. Fisher, Co. F, contusion.
Sergt. Jona. Scranton, G, leg ; John Doly, G, head ; George Morrison, G, leg ; Henry Redfield, G, leg ; Thomas Doyle, G, foot ; C. F. Conway, H, foot ; Orlando C. Pritchard, B, thigh ; John Smith, leg ; A. Flood, K, leg ; J. Doyle, K, thigh ; Sergt. J. N. Adams, foot.
Mr. Elisha T. Sage, of Cromwell, having been drafted, presented himself for examination before the Board in New Haven. He got exemption papers October 3d, on the ground of having three brothers now in the United States service. October 10th he again presented himself, with the assurance that he wanted to enter the army any way. He was accepted and given a four days’ furlough, and promptly reported to camp.
We are authorized to say that the statement in the last Sentinel that the Marshal and his assistants received $30 for every person arrested as a deserter is not true. Neither do they receive anything for the arrest of a real or fancied deserter, but their regular salaries and actual expenses. Try again boys. Keep your eyes open for “Lincoln’s Press Gang.”
Officer Campbell has “kidnapped” three deserters since our last issue, who have been duly forwarded to headquarters, and from there to Fort Trumbull. All good Union men, so we won’t hear anything from the copperheads.
The Sentinel Braves’s threaten to resist if any of its friends are kidnapped by the Provost Marshal or his assistants. We trust they won’t do any such thing, unless assured of the help of Ex-Collector Lucas. It might be dangerous.
Wesleyan University.—Catalogue for 1863 4 is published, which shows the Institution to be prosperous. The number of students is 142. Seniors 25, Juniors 43, Sophomores 28, Freshmen 36. Rev. Joseph Cummings, D. D. is President. The faculty is composed of efficient and able men. John Johnston, LL. D., is Fisk Professor of Natural Science. Other names comprising the Faculty are F. H. Newhall, J. M. Van Vleck, C. S. Harrington, J. C. Benschoten, R. G. Hibbard.
The Weather.—Some days last week were Indian summer-like. There was great variation in temperature. Tuesday morning the mercury stood at thirty two, Monday at sixty degrees. Wednesday there was a difference of thirty degrees from sunrise till noon. The average temperature of the week at sunrise was forty-eight degrees.