From The Constitution, Wednesday, November 25, 1863 (volume 26, number 1352)
On the 14th inst. Gen. Longstreet crossed the Tennessee and was attacked by General Burnside, who drove the rebels back to the river. Gen. Longstreet then crossed the remainder of his force, and renewed the battle next day. Gen. Burnside retreated slowly, renewing the battle day by day until the 17th when the object of the fight having been obtained (to enable all our trains to get in advance,) our troops fell back to Knoxville, where they are strongly entrenched. Gen. Sanders was wounded.
One of Gen. Banks’ Staff officers writes to a friend at Washington that a large quantity of cotton was captured near Brownsville, and the expeditions had been sent up the Rio Grande to gather in all they could find. It is thought that 250,000 bales will be thrown into the market by the occupation of Texas. The Union men of Brownsville, who hailed with delight the capture of the place by our forces, are forming themselves into defensive organizations, and rendering valuable service as scouts.
From the Army of the Potomac a skirmish is reported with Moseby’s guerrillas, who, dressed in National uniform, attempted a raid on the railroad, near Bealston, but were driven off by detachments of our cavalry. Lee’s army is variously estimated at from 35,000 to 75,000 men. Nothing else of importance is reported.
Our Armies in the West.
The junction effected by the army of Gen. Sherman with that of Gen. Thomas at Chattanooga, will probably make the position of the Federal army in that region safe beyond a peradventure. Three grand armies are now assembled together. As to what ‘will be done’ will soon be determined by Gen. Grant, who will not long wait before giving Gen. Bragg occasion for battle, or to practice his retrograde movements. Gen. Thomas occupies Chattanooga, the line of fortifications surrounding it, and Missionary Ridge to the southeast, thus protecting his left flank. Gen. Hooker occupies that portion of Lookout Mountain which commands the Tennessee, thus covering Thomas left flank, and protecting his supplies. The position of General Sherman is probably on Hooker’s right, in a southerly direction so as to threaten Bragg’s flank at Rome. The situation is one of the utmost importance.
Gen. Bragg has without doubt been largely reinforced since the battle of Chickamauga. Detachments from Longstreet and Hills corps have been sent to him. It is thought that Longstreet’s corps has been sent to make a demonstration for Gen. Burnside, and that it will join Bragg again when there is occasion for its services, unless Gen. Thomas should cut his line of railroad communication. If Longstreet should thus be cut off, Gen. Burnside would be relieved of all embarrassment, and his army be effectively joined to the grand army all moving under one controlling head. In that case, the troops being all veteran in the service, we should look with confidence for good news from that quarter.
On Thursday of last week the battlefield of Gettysburg was dedicated as a national cemetery. A nobler tomb could not be given the brave men who fell while fighting for their country, than the ground they held against storms of artillery, and the fierce incessant charges of the foe, which broke the power of the rebellion, and strengthened the cause of our country. The President of the United States, the Governors of the several states, and thousands of people were present to witness the ceremonies. Hon. Edward Everett delivered a most thrilling and eloquent speech on the occasion.
Frederick Sherman, a substitute broker in Bridgeport, has been put under $200 bonds for trial before the Superior Court, for the false imprisonment of a colored man who refused to be a substitute.
The Richmond papers in speaking of our prisoners, deny that they are ill-used, but admit that they are suffering for want of food, and broadly intimates that the people are suffering as much as the prisoners. Our government has been allowed and has sent a large amount of clothing and rations to our prisoners, which has been received and distributed.
In the Paris Moniteur, the official organ, Napoleon professes to have received very satisfactory accounts from the new enterprize. These account represent that “order reigns everywhere; trade revives; confidence is restored; the local militia suffice to maintain order; and Juarez, as an abandoned fugitive, was about to seek an asylum in some remote land; his adherents were scattered in all directions, and that great enthusiasm for the situation was displayed by the populace.
If these statements are true, it would indeed be good news for France. But if true, why did Marshal Forey, before he quit Mexico, suspend the judicial tribunals, place the country under martial law, and suppress all but his own official press. These facts are mentioned in the official organ, and therefore are not to be questioned. In other Paris journals, it is suggested, as a feeler, that if Maximilian should not go to Mexico, the best thing France could do would be to retain it as a colonial appendage. To do this, France would have to expend a large sum of money, besides maintaining a large army. In Algeria, an army of 100,000 had to be kept for years, and it would require in Mexico, at least twice as many. France has already spent two hundred millions to get back twelve, and if she tries to get back the two hundred, it is hard to say where she will bring up. Their treasury is not full by any means, as it is said “that M. Fould’s report will state that but for the Mexican expedition the budget would show a large surplus.” Mexico has by no means been conquered, and Napoleon will find that it will cost more to maintain his position, than the benefits to be derived will justify.
The Sewing Girls held a meeting in New York last week, which was attended by about five hundred. Statements were made which show that their scanty earnings are entirely insufficient to supply them, at the present rates, with the common necessaries of life. Wages are lower now than they were a year ago, when expenses were not half so great. Then they received a dollar a hundred for making hoop springs; now the prices range from fifteen to twenty cents per hundred. Sixty cents a dozen is paid for finishing skirts, and to finish half a dozen is a hard days’ work. Wages range from one dollar to three dollars a week, while the price of board was stated to be from two dollars and a quarter to three dollars. Some of the girls said that they considered themselves fortunate if, after paying their bills, they had twenty-five cents left from their week’s earnings. A movement is on foot to organize an association for the purpose of securing a fair remuneration for their work.
The ladies of the Soldiers Aid Association of Hartford, propose giving the soldiers at the Invalid Camp a Thanksgiving dinner, to those that cannot join their family circles on this national day.
Recruiting is going on finely in Hartford. In New Haven nearly fifty men volunteered last week. James Brewster, Esq., has by his efforts and inducements secured a number of new recruits. Efforts are being energetically put forth. Would that this example were followed in this city, and thus raise our quota, so as to prevent a draft taking place in January.
Thanksgiving.—Thursday next, will be observed throughout the country, as a day of National Thanksgiving.
The Weather.—There was a good deal of cloudy and stormy weather last week. Tuesday and Saturday were very rainy days. Friday was warmer, the thermometer standing at 60 at noon. Average temperature of the week at sunrise 41.
Eclipse.—There will be nearly a total eclipse of the moon on Wednesday morning. It will last 3 h. 20 m.; the greatest obscuration will be at 4:08 a. m.
Help the Sick and Wounded Soldiers.
The following letter to Mrs. Benj. Douglas of this city, will tell its own story.
U. S. Sanitary Commission,
Woman’s Central Association of Relief,
10 Cooper Union, Third Avenue.
New York, Nov. 19, 1863.
Dear Mrs. Douglas. * * * * Our supplies of all kinds are so low that we want all our Associate Managers to make every effort to revive the Sewing Circles. What hope have we of speedy aid from you? If our women only knew the urgent requisitions from the South and South Western hospitals which we cannot meet, they would strain every nerve to forward garments and supplies. There is an overwhelming call for quilts, blankets, sheets, bed and pillow sacks, woolen shirts, drawers, socks, dried fruit, jelly and pickles. Mrs. Dr. Marsh writes, under date of Oct. 11th, “Plead with the women at home not to relax their exertions for the comfort of these poor brave men who can have no hope of enjoying home comforts excepting a thousand miles away. If you could know how bleak the North wind has been for the last three days, you would rejoice that you have furnished us such warm flannel clothing. I did not appreciate the hardships of a soldier’s life while in the enjoyment of my own fireside.” Can you not interest the churches to mention these facts, and to obtain contributions for material, on or after Thanksgiving? We will gladly aid you in any way. I hope you will succeed in interesting everybody, man, woman and child, for never before were we in such straits. We have received very nice quilts from Rhinebeck, patched by little girls. Every family has its refuse bits and nothing should be omitted to relieve the sufferings of our brave and sick soldiers. Earnestly yours in this holy cause,
Julia B. Curtis,
Member Committee on Correspondence.
The public are respectfully informed that the managers of the Soldier’s Aid Society, will be in attendance at their room, over the Post Office, from 10 A. M. to 4 P. M. on Friday, Nov. 26th, for the distribution of work. Ample supplies are already prepared, and everyone who can render any assistance is urgently requested to call and receive work.
By order of the President.