From The Constitution, Wednesday, January 27, 1864 (volume 27, number 1361)

War News.

The news from Chattanooga is encouraging. Trains are now running regularly between that place and Nashville. The arrival of supplies is large and full rations are again issued to the troops. A large number of recruits are constantly arriving, sufficient to balance the number of veterans going home. The desertions from the rebel army are very numerous—150 deserting at one time on Monday last.—The rebel army at Dalton is reported to be 30,000 strong, and so reduced in supplies that they are killing their best mules for supplies of meat. Gen. Grant has arrived at Chattanooga.

The statement published that Longstreet had been heavily re-inforced from the armies of Johnston and Lee, seems to be corroborated. The Cincinnati Dispatch says, upon the authority of Capt. Ekin, a staff officer, who left Knoxville on the 14th inst., that not only had Longstreet been reinforced, but he was advancing upon the city, pushing Granger’s forces before him, and it was believed that our army would be compelled to fall back to its entrenched lines. The same authority says that a rumor was current that John Morgan with 5,000 cavalry was threatening our communications between Chattanooga and Knoxville.

Washington dispatches say that the order assigning Gen. Rosecrans to the command of the Department of the Missouri, and Gen. Schofield of the army under Grant, has been made out.

The U. S. Hospital Transport Cosmopolitan, from Port Royal on the evening of the 21st, with 222 sick and wounded soldiers from Gen. Gillmore’s Department, arrived at New York on Sunday. The bombardment of Charleston is steadily continued, with the effect of causing frequent fires and the gradual crumbling away of the houses within range of our guns. There is little firing on the part of the rebels, who seem averse to expending their ammunition. The work of raising the sunken monitors Keokuk and Weehawken was in progress, but not with rapid results. The sale of confiscated lands for the payment of direct taxes had commenced at Port Royal, and the bidding was spirited. The contrabands were foremost in the purchases.

A despatch from Cairo says that re-enlistments were taking place rapidly among the Western armies. Twenty thousand of the Seventeenth Army Corps have already re-enlisted, and it is reported that nearly all of the Sixteenth intend to remain in service.

Letters received from Port Hudson under date of Jan. 12 and 13, pronounces false all reports to the effect that captured officers from Gen. Ullman’s division of colored troops had been shot. The fate of one only is unknown. The rest are either in Libby Prison, or at a rebel rendezvous in Texas. The rebels in the vicinity of Port Hudson and Baton Rouge are becoming quite bold, and their picket lines are close to ours. An expedition was sent out by Gens. Ullman and Cooke, to endeavor to cut off a force of 2,000 rebels, who were making a stand about fifteen miles east of Port Hudson.

Re-Enlistment of Veterans.

The re-enlistment of regiment after regiment of our veteran volunteers is worthy of record. Those who manfully responded to the call for troops when the first alarm was given, who have endured hardships, facing death in many fierce contests; now, when their time of service is about to expire, declare themselves willing and ready to stand by the flag another three years. It is truly a sublime spectacle. From whatever state they come, in whatever fields they are now serving, whatever hardships they may have endured, they are determined, not by tens or scores, but by whole regiments, to stand by the colors for which they have so long and so bravely fought, until its supremacy over every rood of her soil is fully established. The regiments who have returned to this state are all re-enlisted men, and embrace, with but few exceptions, all who could pass an examination. When first they enlisted no bounties were paid, and they have fought through the hardest of the war with no remuneration except thirteen dollars a month. They know what a soldier’s life is, and yet, at the first opportunity they go in again, determined to see the contest through. They are entitled to the large bounties which they will receive.

But what a contrast there is in the willingness of our soldiers to re-enter the service, to the enforcement necessary to be used to keep the old soldiers in the rebel armies. Let the doubting ones read the acts under discussion in the rebel Congress, which are thought necessary in order to keep up their armies, and then contrast them with the doings of the soldiers at the north. A man with half an eye can see which side of the fence the golden egg lies.


The Conscription Bill at the south makes some trouble. The Raleigh Standard in bold and defiant language, threatens immediate rebellion on the port of North Carolina, as the result of the sweeping conscription, and declares that when North Carolina falls from the arch of rebel states, the whole structure must come down. The rebels have evidently reached the limit of human endurance. To venture beyond would be to lose all.


There are indications that the rebels are getting tired of employing guerrillas. A bill has been introduced into the rebel congress repealing the act authorizing “partizan rangers.” There is plenty of evidence to prove that the rebel rangers have plundered their friends about as often as their foes, and they have come to the sage conclusion that the thing don’t pay.


New Orleans.—The news from New Orleans is important. Gen. Banks has issued an order for a state election to be held on the 22d of February. He says he is fully assured that more than one-tenth of the population desire the earliest possible restoration of Louisiana to the Union, and declares so much of the constitution and laws of the State as recognize, regulate and relate to slavery, being inconsistent with the present condition of affairs, and inapplicable to any class of persons now existing within its limits, inoperative and void. He has appointed a convention for the revision of the constitution, to be held on the first Monday in May, 1864. Our forces have captured and garrisoned the town of Madisonville, La., on the other side of Lake Pontchartrain.


Mexico.—A battle is reported to have been fought on the 17th ult., at Morelia, in which the Franco-Mexicans took eleven pieces of artillery, and the principal chiefs of the Liberal party were slain. After the fight Juarez is reported to have fled from San Luis Potosi without any escort, probably for Monterey.


From Europe.—The steamship Etna, from Liverpool on the 8th and Queenstown on the 7th of January, arrived in New York on Sunday. The journals contain nothing striking concerning American affairs, with the exception of the London Times, which, in a characteristic article, endeavors to show that the Federal successes have been no successes at all, and consequently the war is apparently as little near the ending as ever. The Schleswig-Holstein question continued to be exciting, and there were increased apprehensions of an outbreak. On the afternoon of the day the steamer left Queenstown, however, the telegrams from Germany were less unfavorable, and a report had gained currency not only that proposals for conference had been agreed by France and England, but there is reason to believe they will be accepted by the German Powers. The unpopularity of the Mexican expedition is attested by the report of the Supplementary Credits Committee, which unanimously expresses the hope that an end should be put to the matter as soon as the honor and interest of the country will permit.


The class of medical students just graduated at New Haven numbers 15.

The underground railroad depot at New Haven is said to be flooded by the recent rains, and canal boats are seriously talked of to render the building of any use.

New Haven is preparing to hold a great Fair for soldier’s orphans, commencing on the 22d of February.

By the new Conscription Bill drafted clergymen who are opposed to bearing arms are detailed to hospitals as non-combatants.

John Morgan has established his headquarters at Richmond, and earnest efforts are making to raise him a new command.

The Boston Traveller publishes the following: Lieut. Geo. W. Caleff’s wife presented him with a boy on the 7th instant, weighing about ten pounds. It was born with teeth.’

The Richmond Examiner of the 11th inst. says: “Orders will be issued in a day or two to proceed to the immediate conscription of persons who have furnished substitutes. They will be put in the camp of instruction within ten days.”

There were four hundred and ten births, one hundred and eighty-four marriages, and four hundred and eight deaths, in Norwich in 1863.

The parties at work on the wreck of the Golden Gate, have recovered $654,000 of the treasure sunk with her.

The entire number of applications for pensions to 1st January is eighty-one thousand two hundred and eighty six.

Eleven hundred citizens of Newbern, N. C. have availed themselves of the President’s Amnesty Proclamation, taken the oath and given the parole required by it.

Gough, the temperance lecturer, has been lecturing acceptably in the camps. On one of these occasions, some eighty-nine soldiers came forward and signed the pledge.

Local News.

Recruiting,–Five volunteers, to apply on the quota of this town, have been recruited by Capt. T. R. Parker, who has an office in the Custom House. Capt. J. G. Crosby, opposite the McDonough House, has recruited three or four more. This since the 5th of January. It is the opinion of those who are good judges in the matter, that forty men more would fill up our quota. A gentleman in our office the other day, who thus far in life has always sustained his assertions, said that he would procure the requisite number of men if the town would pay him forty dollars a man.—Whether this is too much or too little, we are not the ones to decide, but it certainly is much less than many towns have been paying. It would also take but a part of the three thousand dollars which the town appropriated for this purpose. We mention these facts for the benefit of those whose business is to attend to it. Let’s have our quota filled, and as soon as possible.


Various Matters.—The “Middletown Gas Light Company,” will hold their annual meeting on the 2d of February. …

Daniel B. Hubbard has started a daily stage line between this city and Higganum.

The fine large brick house in Court street, below Main, is offered for sale. …

S. Gildersleeve & Son, of Portland, give notice that all accounts contracted after date, must not extend beyond six months. A good plan. Short credit makes firm friends.


Mr. Lyman’s Road.—Last summer David Lyman and others petitioned to our selectmen for a new road running directly through Durham swamps from Mr. Lyman’s new house. Our Board of Selectmen, of whom Mr. Southmayd was chairman, very wisely refused to lay out the road. A petition has since been brought to the Superior Court for the lay out of this road, and referred to a committee composed of Mr. Clark of Old Saybrook, Mr. Day of East Haddam and Sheriff Snow of Deep River. Testimony was heard before them last week in Durham. Why it was heard there, when if the road is built, Middletown will have to pay about six thousand dollars, and Durham about one hundred dollars, no one knows. The present road from Mr. Lyman’s house to Durham is one of the best in this town, and it seems the merest folly for us to squander in Durham swamps about six thousand dollars, when we have now a debt upon our shoulders of about ninety thousand dollars.—Com.

Mayor’s Annual Report.

Fellow Citizens: I am required at this time to present to you a report of the income and disbursements of our city during the year just terminated, the present condition of the several departments of its government; with suggestions as to their proper management during the coming year.

Treasurer’s Report.

The receipts of the treasurer during the year past were

From taxes, $3878.33

Town of Middletown for highways, 1300.00

grass on Union Park sold, 6.00

balance cash from last year, 139.50 $5423.83


Paid orders and upon city debt, $5018.97
Balance in treasury, 404.86 $5423.83
The amount of outstanding taxes unpaid is, $2575.00
The amount of outstanding orders, 2173.19
Excess of outstanding taxes, $401.81

The amount of orders drawn upon the city treasury during the year ending January 18th, 1864 is $5216.02

The items of said expenditure are for

Mayor’s salary, $200.00
Salary of Clerk and Treasurer, 205.00
Assessor’s compensation, 100.00
Salary of Street Commissioner, 150.00
City Attorney’s fees, 50.00
Police, 387.45
Repairs of streets and walks, 1167.19
Watering streets, 261.30
Cleaning d[itt]o 89.75
Public grounds, 5.48
Compensation to Fire Department, 629.59
Repairs for Fire Department, 325.19
Gas for street lamps, 843.34
Repairs for “  “ 65.10
Printing and advertising, 91.25
Contingent expenses, 216.24
Interest, 185.79
Miscellaneous expenses, 243.44 $5216.02

There is now due from the city

Note to Orrin Gilbert, $1100.00
Note to Savings Bank, 1000.00 $2100.00
Balance in the treasury, $404.86
Excess in taxes over orders, 401.81 $806.67
City debt at the present time over assets, $1293.33

It is believed that the above balance represents the exact state of your city finances as nearly as they can be ascertained.

There is scarcely any department of the city government, the expenses of which, owing to the present inflation of prices, has not been and properly should not be increased at least twenty-five per cent. over former years. Indeed the expenses of the street department ought to be increased more than that amount. Yet as I do not approve of taxation to defray anticipated indebtedness, and as your city is nearly free from debt, I recommend that your tax to defray the expenses of your city for the coming year be two mills per cent., which is the same as last year. …


Middletown, January 18th, 1864.


The Weather.—During last week we experienced the January thaw. It has cleared the ice from the side walks and roads, and made very uncomfortable promenading—but it has not warmed the heart of the ice-king yet. Monday morning the mercury was at 31 degrees; Sunday at 37 degrees. Average temperature of the week at sunrise was 28.


Children’s Arms and Legs.—A distinguished physician, who died some years since in Paris, declared: “I believe that during the twenty-six years that I have practiced my profession in this city, twenty thousand children have been carried to the cemeteries a sacrifice to the absurd custom of exposing their arms naked.” On this the editor of the Philadelphia Medical and Surgical Reporter remarks: “Put the bulb of a thermometer in a baby’s mouth, the mercury rises to 90 degrees. Now carry the same to its little hand; if the arm be bare and the evening cool, the mercury will sink to 40 degrees. Of course all the blood that flows through those arms must fall from 20 to 40 degrees below the temperature of the heart. Need I say, when these currents of blood flow back into the chest the child’s vitality must be more or less compromised? And need I add that we ought not to be surprised at its frequent recurring affection of the tongue, throat or stomach. I have seen more than one child with habitual cough and hoarseness, choking with mucus, entirely and permanently relieved by simply keeping the hands and arms warm. Every observing and progressive physician has daily opportunities of witnessing the same cure.”