From The Constitution, Wednesday, December 30, 1863 (volume 27, number 1357)
The United States steamer Massachusetts arrived at Fortress Monroe Sunday morning, fifty-four hours from Charleston Bar, with two hundred and forty discharged men, forty-four sick and sixteen rebel prisoners, captured on the rebel steamer Cheatham. The Massachusetts has on board a portion of the rebel obstructions from Charleston harbor, forwarded to Washington by Admiral Dahlgren.—Nothing of importance had occurred since the sailing of the last steamer. There had been but little firing between the land batteries the last few days. The Ironsides and monitors were all lying safe at their anchorages.
We have New Orleans advices to the 19th inst. There was no stirring news, but affairs in Texas were very encouraging. Large numbers of people were giving in their adhesion to the Union. Gen. Washburne was moving upon Indianola and Lavacca, and would probably occupy them without resistance. It was believed that our troops would soon concentrate at San Antonio for the final attack upon Magruder. The health of the troops was good.
On the morning of the 23d, a flatboat that runs between Memphis and the Arkansas shore in the capacity of a ferry, went to Overton on a regular trip, and seeing no signs of life about the landing, landed. She had hardly touched shore, when a party of guerrillas, sixteen in number, rushed down to the landing and commenced firing upon her passengers and crew. She was immediately pushed out, and the crew and many of the passengers pulled out their revolvers, and used them.—Two bullets struck the commander of the flat, killing him instantly. A body of troops were instantly sent over, but the band of vagabonds had departed.
An important expedition left Beaufort, S. C., a few days ago, under command of Gen. Seymour. It is conjectured that Savannah is the place of destination.
Death of General Corcoran.—A dispatch from Lieut. Col. Thomas M. Reed, dated Fairfax Court House, Va., Dec. 22d, says :–
General Michael Corcoran died at half-past eight this evening from injuries received from a fall from his horse.
Brigadier General Corcoran was born in Ireland, and was about forty-five years of age. He has been a resident of this city for ten or fifteen years past. He was among the first to engage in the present struggle and went forth in response to the first call of the President as colonel of the 69th New York national guard. His capture at the first battle of Bull Run, his subsequent imprisonment in rebel dungeons, his patriotic conduct during that imprisonment, his subsequent release and reception in New York and other cities are all familiar to the public. In consideration of his eminent services and patriotism, he was commissioned brigadier-general by the President, while yet he remained in the hands of the enemy. On his return to New York he raised a brigade with which he again took the field, and has since been stationed most of the time in the vicinity of Suffolk, Va. He was married but a few weeks.
The Recovered States.
Mr. Ackeley of Ohio, has introduced a bill in Congress, which will probably command the earnest attention of the present session, as relating to the government and education of the repossessed districts of the rebellion. The bill accords with the President’s message and proclamation; authorizes the loyal citizens to organize State Governments, and provides for provisional military government over the country in rebellion. The President will appoint for every rebel district a military governor, who will have the civil administration until state governments can be formed and Congressmen are elected. When the people desire a state government the military governor is to order and enrollment of the loyal electors. If the number is equal to one-tenth of the voters at the Presidential election in 1860, the military governor shall order the election of a State Convention, which shall be authorized to form a State Government, provided that it is in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, and the President’s proclamation of January 1, 1863, and that slavery be forever abolished and prohibited. The new Constitution is to be submitted to the people, and after its adoption, Senators and Representatives to Congress are to be chosen. All the laws of the former Constitutions of the districts, making a distinction between black and white persons, are abrogated, and any infringement of individual freedom is to be punished as kidnapping. Such are the general features of the bill, which will doubtless form the basis of a discussion upon an important question.
The loyal legislature of Western Virginia, have passed an act, the preamble to which states the necessity of changing the constitution so as to conform to the provisions of the President’s proclamation. The constitution of the state debars the legislature from acting on the subject of slavery, and the disordered state into which the districts of the Supreme and Circuit courts have been thrown by the organization of Western Virginia in a state, it is deemed necessary that a constitutional convention shall be held. The General Assembly have therefore enacted that an election of delegates shall be held January 21st, 1864, to commence at Alexandria on the 13th of the ensuing February. At this election any voter who has not adhered to the rebels since September 1st, 1861, may be chosen to the convention, and every loyal citizen who has not assisted the rebels since January 1st, 1863, is entitled to vote. Three commissioners in each county will be appointed by the Executive to count the votes and give certificates. Any voter who is challenged must take the oath of allegiance to the United States, and declare that he has not voluntarily borne arms against the Union, or in any manner assisted the rebels.
Thus it is, as our armies are making great strides towards crushing the rebellion, the loyal people in the states which have been the theatre of this war, are evincing an earnest desire to so reconstruct those states that the evils which have brought so much misery and woe upon them, may be entirely discarded. They know that they can never come back into the Union with the germ of disunion in the future. In returning to their allegiance they must prepare for the abolition of slavery and begin the establishment of that common interest, north and south, which is indispensable to the peace of the republic.
A Significant Fact.
One of the most significant facts brought out by the war, showing a great change in public opinion, is the opposition which slavery is receiving from residents and former slave owners of slave states. It is evident that in many of the slave states the opposition to slavery is gaining ground at a rate surprising even to those who have most desired to see a party of emancipationists spring up at the south. In the border states this anti-slavery feeling is spreading to an alarming extent. In evidence of this, we have only to read the journals of those sections. One of the ablest journals in Nashville, whose editor was formerly a slaveholder, is most determined in its hostility to slavery, and firm in the faith that the institution must be destroyed, root and branch, in order to have a permanent peace. At a convention recently held at Nashville, Tenn. every slaveholder present voted against a proposition to ask the President to compensate loyal slave owners for their negroes, who should enlist. The Baltimore American, one of the leading journals in Maryland, with great earnestness insists that slavery be exterminated from the cotton growing states, and says that its desire for such a consummation is all the more intense because the cotton states plunged into the rebellion with the intention of making the border states the field of battle and making them bear the brunt of the war. It now tells the cotton states that the slavery which they were so ready to sustain at the expense of the blood and property of the border states must now go down. Alas for the south; the very weapon which they used to accomplish their diabolical treachery is now to be taken from them.
The dwelling house of Thomas Donailan, in Middle Haddam, was destroyed by fire last Tuesday evening. Loss, $400—no ins.
A rabid secession female, calling herself Mrs. Shields, arrived from St. Joseph a few days ago, and has since been shipped to Dixie, where she can ventilate her secession opinion more freely than here.
To Persons Liable to Draft.—Provost Marshal Gen. Fry, has decided that a person who becomes 35 years of age after July 1st, 1863, and is married, will be liable to draft. Those who become 35 before July 1st, and are married, will not be liable to draft under the 1st class.
Aliens who desire exemption, must 1st, procure the certificates of the clerks of the Superior Court and United States court that they have never been naturalized or declared their intentions so to be. They must then make certificates stating the time when they came to the U. States, where they landed, how long they lived in each place they went to, that they have never voted, &c. These statements must be corroborated by two respectable persons, heads of families, sworn to before some proper person, and lodged with the Provost Marshal of the district in which they live.
If it is proven that any alien has voted in any election, whether naturalized or not, he will be held for service in case he is drafted.
This includes all elections, whether city, town, state or national.
It will save persons claiming exemption, some trouble and expense, by applying to the Provost Marshal for all needful information respecting exemptions.
It is quite likely that the first and second classes will be included in the next draft.
Recruiting.—We were in error last week in stating that no volunteers from this town had passed examination at New Haven the previous week. Lieut. John G. Crosby, recruited six men, all of whom passed. Thus far twenty-one men have been recruited, to apply on the quota of this town. The number required is 116. A meeting will be held this Tuesday afternoon, at the Town Hall, to devise ways and means to fill our quota, and it is hoped that every one liable to a draft will be present. Many are in hopes that the draft will be postponed. Don’t be deceived. It is said that Gov. Buckingham has received an “official telegram” from Washington, saying that “a law has been passed to the effect that no bounties except such as are now provided by law shall be paid to any person enlisting after January 5th.” But a short time remains. Enlist now, and receive the large bounties which are offered.
In Middletown, Conn., Nov. 25th, 1863. Waldo Frank Vinal, a member of the Senior Class of Wesleyan University.
At a special meeting of the class, the following Resolutions were adopted :
Whereas, it has pleased God, in his wisdom, to remove from us an esteemed friend and classmate, therefore,
Resolved, That while we recognize the hand of an all-wise Providence, we deeply and sincerely mourn the loss of one, whose talents and manly qualities peculiarly fitted him for a friend and companion.
Resolved, That we rejoice in the hope that he was fully prepared to meet death, and that “our loss is his gain.”
Resolved, That while we ever cherish his memory we will give earnest heed to his dying exhortation, “To so live that we may meet him in a better world where sorrow and suffering are unknown.”
Resolved, That his relatives and friends have our deepest sympathies in this hour of sad bereavement.
Resolved, That copies of these resolutions be furnished to the relatives of the deceased, and for publication in the Hartford Calendar, Zion’s Herald, and the papers of this city.
H. G. HARRIMAN,
H. C. M. INGRAHAM, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxCommittee.
WM. S. TODD,
Wesleyan University, Dec. 25, 1863.
The members of the Class of 1865, having received with deepest sorrow, the intelligence of the death of their classmate, Howard C. Beale, on the 21st of November, 1863, at his home in Hudson, Me., at a special meeting, unanimously adopted the following resolutions :–
Whereas, God in his inscrutable providence, has taken from us a companion beloved : therefore
Resolved, That we are sensible of a great and irreparable loss in the death of one so manly and amiable in all his associations.
Resolved, That in removing this, the fourth of our number who has been called from earth, the mysterious providence of God has taught anew a lesson of warning to us who remain.
Resolved, That while we sincerely mourn his loss, we rejoice in the triumph of his death, giving such undoubted evidence that he departed to be with Christ.
Resolved, That we tender our heartfelt condolence to the afflicted relatives and friends.
Resolved, That in token of our loss, we wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.
Resolved, That copies of these resolutions be transmitted to the family of the deceased, and to the officers and students of the University, and that the resolutions be published in the Bangor Whig and Courier, the Zion’s Herald and Wesleyan Journal, the Christian Advocate and Journal, and Constitution.
SIDNEY K. SMITH,
CHAS. H. LANE,XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Committee.
GEORGE L. WESTGATE,
Middletown, Conn., Dec. 17, 1863.
Police Court.—Before Justice Clark.—State vs. Patrick Grimes, drunkenness, fined one dollar and costs, and for want of funds, went to work house in Haddam.
State vs. John Kane, vagrancy, sentenced to work house 30 days.
State vs. Lucy Ann Kane, vagrancy, sent to work house 30 days.
State vs. David Crowell, assault and battery, and breach of the peace. Plead guilty, fined $300 and costs. Paid up.
State vs. Cuningham, assault and battery, and breach of peace, being engaged in the row Thanksgiving night. He waived an examination, and bound over to the next Superior Court.
Look Out For Your Horses.—One of our citizens stepped into a store the other evening leaving his horse hitched in front. He was not in the store a minute, when on coming out, he found his carriage occupied, and his horse just starting off. He managed to seize the horse by the bridle, and politely invited the occupants to alight, which they did much to their discomfiture.
New Britain and Middletown Railroad.—We are authorized to say that the amount of stock required to be raised in Middletown for the road has been subscribed. New Britain will take her part, and the road will be immediately put under contract, and finished next spring. That this road will be of great benefit to New Britain and Middletown there is not a doubt. Credit is due Hubbard Bros., for their energy and perseverance in aiding to bring the matter to so successful an issue.
The Weather was quite cold last week. Wednesday morning the mercury stood at zero. Indications on the thermometer did not rise above single figures until Sunday, when the mercury was at 28 degrees. There has been good skating on Pameacha pond. Merry Christmas was a clear, pleasant day. On Monday several inches of snow fell and rain set in. Average temperature of the week at sun-rise was 12 degrees.
The Ice in the river has been quite strong during the past week; heavy teams have crossed since Thursday.
Don’t forget “our Carrier” when he wishes you a “Happy New Year,” and presents his Address.