From The Constitution, Wednesday, November 18, 1863 (volume 26, number 1351)
There is no startling news from the Army of the Potomac. The rain on Saturday night was incessant, but it had not greatly impaired the roads. Gen. Meade was in Washington in protracted consultation with President Lincoln.
The steamship Arago, from Charleston Bar on Thursday last arrived yesterday. There is very little of interest in her advices. The bombardment of Sumter has been continued at intervals. No grand movement has as yet been instituted. The monitors remain passive. The public will do well to be moderate in its anticipations of exciting events in this locality, for the indications do not favor brilliant achievements at present.
Advices from New Orleans, to the 7th inst., have been received by the arrival of the steamships Columbia and Continental. The report of the attack by the rebels upon the advance of Gen. Washburne’s division in the Teche District, is confirmed. The enemy was driven back with a loss of 200 prisoners and 100 killed. Our loss was 40 killed.
A Santa Cruz de Teneriffe journal of the 17th ult., says that the rebel pirate Georgia put into that port on the 15th ult., from the Cape of Good Hope. She required provisions and fuel. The authorities were disinclined to show her much favor. She landed fourteen prisoners taken from her last prize, the ship Bold Hunter.
Prisoners At The South.
From the reports which are coming to us, and from the tone of the southern journals, we are beginning to awake to the fearful truth that to the horrors of captivity and the established inhumanity of the southern chivalry towards the unfortunate men who become their prisoners, are now to be added the terrors of a slow death by starvation. The food question has become the great problem. A letter dated in April last, and written by the rebel commissary general to the rebel Secretary of War, predicted that unless “something was done,” starvation would exist among the people and army. At the date of the letter, the crops, in a large portion of the south, were so far advanced that no change or improvement could be hoped for. Since then, “something has been done,” but it has not bettered the condition of the southerners; the trans-Mississippi states have been severed from the confederacy and no more furnish supplies of food or men; East Tennessee, with its stores of grain and meat, has fallen into our hands; a large part of Alabama and Mississippi are of no practical value as a source of supply to the rebels, and other changes have been made, all of which tend to narrow down the food-producing limits of the “southern nation,” while the process of “crowding the mourners” is still going on to an alarming extent.
The rebels confess that they are reduced to the last extremity, and in the full belief that “charity begins at home,” its inhuman policy in regard to the unfortunate prisoners is stated. They do not propose to parole them; and there is but one other solution; they are to be deliberately starved! The Richmond Enquirer, with a bold face, says :
“There is here, if not a scarcity, at least a great dearth of provisions, and not less of fuel; while as to the medicines, they are contraband of war, and our enemies use extreme diligence in keeping them from us altogether. We would assure those Yankee soldiers that death on the field of battle were far better than captivity here this Winter, and would accordingly counsel them also not to be taken alive.”
Nearly two hundred prisoners arrived at Annapolis a few days ago, in a most terrible condition from the want of food, and from ill treatment; several had died on the voyage, since then forty-five have died, and many more are so low that they cannot recover; they were a detachment from the Libby prison, the condition of which is represented as most horrible. Putting this and that together, what other conclusion can be arrived at than that there is a scarcity of food. It is not because the price is high, that makes a scarcity, for the abundance of paper money would remedy that. The rebels in justice to themselves should parole these prisoners; but they will neither do this nor exchange them. While no civilized power will recognize them, they stand upon their dignity as a “power,” and upon some foolish technicality keep these brave men in suffering and want. The Richmond Examiner says, the government will not agree to exchange them, and it has but one solution of the difficulty, and that is to “thin them out with scant fair.”
It is hoped there will be wisdom enough at Washington to find a remedy for this evil. Immediate action is necessary; let it be prompt and decisive, and pay at least one installment towards the debt it owes to the brave men who have volunteered to sustain its national honor.
Maryland.—The fate of Maryland as a slave state is sealed. The success of four out of five Emancipation candidates for Congress, and of the Emancipation candidate for State Comptroller by a large majority, places it beyond doubt that a convention will soon be called to provide for the speedy abolition of slavery. No argument is needed to show that the rebellion has given it the fatal blow, and signed its death warrant in that State. The Rhode Island Journal thus predicts the future of that state :
“What a career now opens before Maryland, a State combining so many and so wonderful advantages. Her splendid bay, her water courses, her central position, her connection by railroads with the west and southwest, her fertile soil, her beautiful and salubrious climate, these ought soon to give her a development and prosperity which were denied her while slavery weighed her down with its heavy burden. Much as she has suffered from the ravages of war, she will be a thousand times repaid by the deliverance which the war has brought to her, and by the brilliant rewards which shall come to her through her purification and regeneration.”
Mexico.—News by way of Havana states that the Interventionists have been defeated recently in various engagements by the troops of the Juarez Government, and that the party of the Republic was rapidly gaining strength and the support of the people. Gen. Comonfort was at the head of the National troops. Guerrillas had attacked the mail coach and English express from the City of Mexico to Vera Cruz, capturing all the correspondence, among which were important communications for the Mexican Commissioners now in Europe. The Franco Mexican forces had entered upon a new campaign, and the friends of intervention are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Maximilian, whose presence they hope will restore peace by the bringing about of confidence in the stability of the new regime.
Quota For Middletown.
The quota for Middletown to raise on the last call for three hundred thousand men, is 116. Until the 5th of January is given to volunteer. Then comes a draft. It would seem to be for the interest of ALL to aid in raising the volunteers. New recruits receive in state and national bounty, six hundred dollars! Veterans one hundred dollars more. Let Middletown promptly raise her quota.
Death of Geo. E. Goodspeed.—George E. Goodspeed, of the firm of G. E. & W. H. Goodspeed, died at his residence at Goodspeed’s landing, East Haddam, on Monday. Mr. Goodspeed was well known in the State, having, in connection with his brother, been engaged in mercantile and shipping interests many years. He has been President of the Bank of New England since its existence. His funeral will be attended from St. Steven’s church, East Haddam, on Wednesday afternoon, at 2 o’clock.
Apoplexy.—Edward P. Camp, of Durham, and a member of the Legislature, was prostrated by a stroke of paralysis on Thursday night last, at the City Hotel. He lingered in a state of apparent consciousness, but totally unable to move muscle or limb until Sunday morning, when he breathed his last. His death will be severely felt in the community where he lived, as he was a man of a noble, generous mind. He was 55 years of age.
Narrow Escape.—Mr. Nathaniel Smith and his family, residing in College street, had a narrow escape from fire on Sunday morning. About four o’clock they were awoke from a sense of strangulation, and found the room filled with smoke. The floor and ceiling of the room were found to be on fire, ready to break out. By energetic and prompt action, it was extinguished. The gas pipes had been repaired on Saturday, and it is supposed that fire had been communicated to the wood work at that time.
The Alert Club, composed of young ladies has been organized, and the following officers chosen. President, Mrs. Nellie Douglas, Secretary, Miss Hattie Woodward, Treasurer, Miss Nellie Tobey. The club has a large number of members. We understand that they propose having a course of lectures this winter.
On the Stormy Ocean.—Some days since a party of ladies and gentlemen went on a sailing excursion down the river. Everything passed pleasantly until on their return, as they were nearing their desired haven, a sudden squall arose—the winds blew and the waves rolled. From some unaccountable cause the vessel became unmanageable and a sea broke over the craft filling it half full. The pump was out of order, and there was nothing with which to bail but an old basket. The situation of the party was rather perilous. They were, however, soon discovered, and a boat going to their assistance placed them on “terra firma.”
The Weather.—The past week has exhibited many changes in the atmosphere. It was a stirring together of the elements, apparently preceding settled winter weather. Friday morning the thermometer was at 30, at noon at 58. Tuesday and Wednesday cold winds prevailed. Saturday and Monday were very rainy. The average temperature for the week at sun rise was 36.
McDonough Hall.—We would call the attention of our readers to the advertisement of Ellinger & Newcomb which appears in another column. It is not often that such a rare combination visits our city. The three little pigmies which form a part of their exhibition, if we may believe the flattering notices given them by a host of contemporaries, are actual wonders. They discount the Tom Thumb party thirty per cent, the little commodore being two inches shorter and six years older than the famous $30,000 Nut of Barnum’s. In conjunction with these big little people, is the parlor opera troupe of Mons. Lavallee, prominent in which we may mention the names of W. B. Harrison, who is too well known as the great extemporaneous poet, delineator and humorous lecturer, to need any remarks of ours. Mr. Murphy, the great tenor, is pronounced by musical critics the best tenor singer on the American stage. Mons. Lavallee, the world renowned pianist, and Miss Ellinger, the charming vocalist. These two companies appear in conjunction, making a combination that is equaled by few and excelled by none. Look out for a rush at McDonough Hall.
The Fakir of Ava has been giving a series of entertainments during the past week to crowded houses, and has distributed a large number of presents. Chas. E. Putnam secured a handsome chamber-set of furniture; John Ramsey a set of silver plate; a cooking stove for Mr. King; Mr. Huntington (colored) became owner of a horse; Mr. Phelps received a ton of coal. A tin cup, awarded to the homliest man, fell to O. Utley. Mrs. Salena Smith received a silver card basket as the handsomest woman.