From The Constitution, Wednesday, October 28, 1863 (volume 26, number 1348)
Advices from Gen. Ewing’s expedition are received. After marching 76 miles in 24 hours Ewing reached Carthage on the morning of the 18th inst., where he expected to encounter Shelby’s whole command, but the latter passed there the previous night for Nashville.
In the evening, a company of 30 men were sent out to collect stragglers and they were captured with their horses, arms and equipments. Among the prisoners captured are Maj. Pitcher and other officers, and men of seven different Missouri regiments. Throughout the pursuit, and especially during the last fifty miles of the trail, the roads were found to be lined with Shelby’s broken down horses, stolen fresh ones having been substituted in their stead.
The rebel army in force has again crossed the Rappahannock. This movement took place on Saturday morning, when a body of the enemy’s infantry made the transit of the river on two pontoon bridges, near Rappahannock Station, of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and driving back Gregg’s cavalry division, which suffered severely, had a short engagement with two of our infantry brigades. These in turn seem to have fallen back, as the rebel force pressed forward seven or eight miles and attacked the cavalry under Gen. Diven, near Bealton Station. At this point we are told that the fighting was severe, but the result is not announced. In the fight near Bealton Station, Major Taggart, of the Second Pennsylvania cavalry, formerly a member of Gen. Kilpatrick’s Staff, and reputed to have been the best swordsman in the army, was killed.
A Richmond Dispatch of the 24th inst., received at Fortress Monroe, says that the number of Union prisoners in that city on Friday last amounted to 12,000. A telegram from Charleston, dated the 23d, reports everything quiet, and Gen. Gillmore engaged in putting the finishing touches upon for fortifications. The Dispatch ominously concludes that “stormy times may be expected soon.”
Gen. Grant has issued an order assuming command of the Military Division of the Mississippi, and announcing that his headquarters will be in the field.
Richmond papers of the 21st inst. admit the defeat of Gen. Lee at Bristoe Station by Gen. Warren, and say that their loss was about one thousand in killed and wounded.—Rebel Gens. Cook, Posey and Kirkland were among their wounded. Lieut.-Gen. D. H. Hill has been removed from his command in the rebel Army of the Tennessee. Gen. Polk charges him with the cause of his failure to carry out Bragg’s orders in the battle of Chickamauga.
The steamship Morning Star arrived last evening from New Orleans, bringing dates from that city to the 17th instant. The journals contain very little news of army movements, but we learn that the advance of our forces had crossed the Vermillion River, and for a week prior to the 16th instant there had been considerable skirmishing, without many casualties on either side.
During the past week, Gen. Rosecrans has been removed from the command of the Army of the Cumberland, and Gen. Thomas appointed in his place, who is subordinate to General Grant. The causes which have induced government to remove Rosecrans are not known. There has been nothing in his brilliant career to throw a shadow upon his ability and his conduct. It is, perhaps, best in the present emergency that one mind should guide the operations in the southwestern states. Gen. Grant has, by his service in the field, proved his pre-eminent fitness for the great work now placed before him. He has shown himself possessed of the highest order of generalship; has overcome the most gigantic obstacles; has never been defeated; and has never advanced but to victory. That the campaign in Georgia and Tennessee transcends in importance every other, the movements of the rebels clearly indicate. Jeff. Davis himself has gone thither, to inspire the army with enthusiasm, and it is hinted, to take command in person. Troops from every part of the south have been concentrated there. Our Government has not been backward to send forward reinforcements and to put the best General in command of all the operations. That is the essential point, and we can have no better assurance of victory than in the size and quality of the army and genius of the commander. An old saying, “victory is given to the strongest battallions.”
Quota.—Provost Marshal General Fry has notified Gov. Buckingham that the quota of Connecticut under the President’s call for 300,000 volunteers, will be 5,432. This quota is based on the enrollment of the first class, and is exclusive of any deficiencies of the State on the present draft or former calls.
A New Gun Powder.—An extraordinary blast was made by a newly, late invented gunpowder, at the celebrated Middlesex Free Stone quarries, Portland, Conn., a few days ago. The block of stone removed, measured 25 by 30 feet, eight feet thick; the hole was six inches by eight feet deep, and the quantity of powder used, was about eight pounds. Mr. Eddy, the foreman, says that he had been quarrying for forty years, and was much pleased with the result. The powder was sent on here by Mr. S. N. Bradley, of the agency, No. 15, Dey street, New York city. It would seem that this powder can be manufactured and sold with a good profit, at from $2.50 to $3.00 per keg. The improvement in this, over the ordinary powder appears to consist in an additional powerful chemical element, being compounded with a portion of the ordinary materials, now used in making powder. This new invention and combination of new materials for gun and blasting powder, was patented Jan. 6th, 1862, and is one of the results of the war, as it had led intelligent chemists and business men to look over the chemical field for new explosive materials, and the result in this case, bids fair to lead the old combinations handsomely. As the combination is so simple, and the labor so easy, the powder can be made by small capitalists in large quantities; a capital of $1000 being sufficient for all necessary buildings and fixtures to make 100 kegs a day, with two ordinary laborers; and will afford a handsome profit to the maker, and also furnish a powder for all culinary uses at a less price. The powder has been used by Mr. Strong at Shaler & Hall’s quarry, and did the work well and thoroughly. Mr. Bradley, the agent for the inventor, called on us and explained the invention, and we wish him success. We understand Mr. Leibar, the inventor, was formerly an editor in Norristown, Montgomery, Pa., where he now resides.
Death of Mrs. Sarah S. Spencer.
This excellent lady was the mother of the late Hon. Elihu Spencer, and widow of Elihu Spencer, Esq., who died about forty-three years ago. Her husband was a lawyer by profession, and a son of Hon. Isaac Spencer, for many years Treasurer of this State, and grandson of Gen. Joseph Spencer, of East Haddam, who was a distinguished officer in the army of the Revolution. Mrs. Spencer possessed a vigorous, clear, well-balanced mind, highly cultivated and enriched by varied readings. Her moral character was above suspicion. Although never formally connected with any denominative church order, yet as was justly said of her son, her life has afforded a brilliant example of that true charity and benevolence which are peculiar to the christian character. Her principal aim was to do good, by feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, and comforting the afflicted. A few days previous to her death, she caused to be set apart several hundred dollars for benevolent objects, and particularly to a list of poor persons whom she was accustomed to aid. She also directed in her will that several hundred dollars be given to benevolent purposes. Her last sickness was long and painful, yet she bore it without a murmur, and met her death, which occurred on the 8th inst., with the utmost fortitude and resignation. “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.”—Com.
The Committee appointed by the town to aid the drafted men, have finished their work. The committee consisted of Samuel Babcock, Origen Utley, Alfred Hubbard and Benj. W. Coe, Esqs. Of the $40,000 appropriated, they have expended about $7,000. Each drafted man has received something, according to his necessities, and as far as we have learned, no one has found cause for complaint. One person received $300, as he entered the service, another received $230, the price paid for a substitute. The committee are entitled to great credit for their judicious management.
Various Matters.—Cool weather is now making us a visit, and intimates that if his call is a short one now, he will come again very soon. In order to be prepared for him, just visit the stores of S. Stearns & Son, Ward & Rutty, and examine their excellent assortment of Furs. A word to the wise is sufficient.
H. Woodward, besides having a “cure for every ill” at his drug store, 124 Main street, has a nice assortment of Fancy and Toilet articles. Ladies, no charge for looking at them.
The adjourned town meeting will be held on Saturday afternoon next, at two o’clock.
The Selectmen and School Visitors will meet next Monday, for the abatement of taxes.
Last Sunday night was the coldest of the season. Ice, quite thick, formed in many places.
Persons wishing to find out the “time o’ day,” can procure an informer at the store of J. S. Fairchild, corner of Main and Court sts.
Duprez & Green’s Minstrels will give one of their “entertainments” Saturday evening.
Colored Festival.—The members of the A. M. E. Z. Church held a festival last Wednesday evening. All who went report it to have been pleasant and orderly. The tables displayed a handsome variety of edibles and confectionary; all of which they sold, realizing a sum of sixty dollars above expenses. We take pleasure in recording the success of their enterprise. The evening was fine; remarkable for the occasion, and owning probably to an enlightenment in public opinion.
The Weather.—Last week it was pretty uniform. The mercury ranged from twenty-six to forty-nine degrees. Saturday was the only stormy day. The average temperature at sunrise was thirty-six degrees.
Early Closing.—The grocery stores will close during the winter at eight o’clock, Saturday evenings excepted.