From The Constitution, Wednesday, February 24, 1864 (volume 27, number 1365)

War News.

A dispatch from Huntsville, Ala., gives the statement that a heavy battle is reported to have taken place between the forces of Gen. Sherman and the rebels under Polk, near Brandon, Miss. in which Polk was whipped, and lost 12,000 in prisoners alone. The same dispatch says that Gen. Dodge has frustrated an attempt on the part of a large force of rebels to cross the Tennessee River at three separate ferries. The enemy are believed to have been Rhoddy’s command. Our loss is reported to have been slight.

A dispatch from Cairo gives further details concerning the brilliant advance of Gen. Sherman’s army. It passed through Jackson, Miss. in two columns, driving the enemy so precipitately across Pearl River that he left his pontoons and two pieces of artillery behind him. Our forces seized provisions and supplies, and swept on, reaching Meridian in the short space of ten days after leaving Vicksburgh.

The greatest cavalry expedition of the war has started from Memphis and Corinth, and is now moving into the vitals of the South. It is under command of Gens. Smith and Grierson. It is a part, and the precursor of Gen. Sherman’s movement from Vicksburgh towards Jackson and Meridian, and its mission, we presume, is to cut the railroads, in Alabama and Mississippi, so as to isolate Polk’s army at Meridian.

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The Herald correspondent says that there is a movement of the rebels along the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, but whether they are preparing to advance or resist an attack from our forces is not known. It is understood that there is to be no change in the command of the Army of the Potomac. General Meade will retain the position for the next campaign.

King Cotton.

Before the war the southerners and their sympathizers at the north, had much to say about the omnipotence of King Cotton. They loudly declared that if necessary they could bring not only the north, but all Europe, to terms, by threatening to cut off the supply of cotton. They drew graphic pictures of the desolate appearance of our manufacturing towns, of suffering and starvation of operatives, and of riots and anarchy which would necessarily ensue. Three years of war has given them a terrible experience, and taught them the folly of their former teachings. They see the north to-day, prosperous and busy. The war, instead of diminishing, has increased her manufactures, and the blow which they intended to strike us and the rest of the world, has fallen on themselves only. So apparent has this become, that the journals at the south have recently discussed the subject. One of them says:

“This theory of our southern statesmen has been fairly and fully tested. For three years have we, with commendable self-denial, forborne the use of these sleeping energies of which we are possessed. King Cotton has been bound down in double irons—Lincoln blockaders—whilst we embargo this unfortunate arbiter of civilization. Our policy subordinated to Lincoln’s policy, holds this captive monarch in solitary confinement, there to waste in neglect and disease. Meanwhile the machinery of the world is fast adapting itself to fabrics from other materials, and when our king is restored to liberty, a thousand interests will obstruct his resumption to power.”

Union State Convention.

The Convention to nominate a ticket to be presented to the Union electors of this State, met in Hartford on Wednesday the 17th inst. It was a large and enthusiastic gathering, composed of men who had determined in times like the present, to stand firm and united in support of the true and only principles by which this country can be preserved. The old ticket, without a dissenting voice was re nominated. Loyal and patriotic resolutions were passed, among which was one approving of the policy of President Lincoln, proposing him as a candidate for re election and recommending the delegates appointed to the National Union Convention from this state, to favor his nomination. The rebels at the south and arch traitors among us, will be untiring in their endeavors to accomplish their object. It only remains for us to be united and determined and we shall not only have success this spring, but a final triumph next fall.

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The New York papers have attempted to charge the 14th C. V. with breaking bodily in the late reconnoisance across the Rapidan. This fact is, and ought to be known, that the Garibaldis were ordered to make a charge upon a nest of rebels, and those individuals, strongly posted, made the Garibaldians fall back with loss. Gen. Hayes, commanding the division, then said: “Send me the 14th, they won’t break;” and the 14th did come up, made the charge gallantly, drove the rebels from their position and held it until dark, when they were ordered to fall back. This statement concerning the 14th is substantiated by the best authority.—Hartford Post.

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Military.—Captain Broatch of the 14th C. V., with two corporals and two privates of that regiment, compose the detachment which has been ordered from the field to assist in the discipline of the Grapevine Point Camp. The Captain, still suffering from a wound in the hand received at Morton’s Ford, has received a leave of absence from the medical authorities until he shall be able to go on duty. The corporals and privates are now at the camp. Also, a detachment from the Second Heavy Artillery has arrived, consisting of four enlisted men in charge of Lieut. Franklin J. Candee of Co. D, who with his men will at once report for duty.

On Thursday eleven men passed the Examining Board, only one of whom counted on New Haven’s quota. Two of them were for Haddam, six for Clinton, one for Waterbury and one for Derby.

Four veterans of the gallant 27th C. V., re enlisted on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, through the Marshal’s office.

At Hartford, on Wednesday, fifteen recruits were accepted at the Provost Marshal’s office, not one of whom counted for that town’s quota.

One hundred and fifty thousand dollars was paid in one day, recently, at the Paymaster General’s office, in the shape of three hundred dollar bounty checks. The State Paymaster visits New London frequently to disburse these checks to the recruits gathered at the Fort.

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Among the casualties in the 14th Conn. Vols. during the late reconnoisance across the Rapidan, not before reported, is Capt. Walter M. Lucas, Co. D, wounded in the leg; H. D. Orcutt, Co. D, wounded in the breast and since died; John Daniels and Thomas Kelly, Co. I, killed; Capt. D. J. Davis, Co. F, wounded and missing; Serg. Myers, killed; Serg. A. Allen, killed.

Local News.

Washington’s Birthday.—The Students of Wesleyan University celebrated Washington’s Birthday with a literary festival in McDonough Hall last evening. It is their usual honorable custom, and the proceedings last night met more than common appreciation. The hall was densely crowded, many ladies, even, were obliged to stand. It was no show of useless heroism that animated the meeting, nor mockery of war-tried ensigns that embellished it. A portrait of Washington taken from life, was canopied by our national colors and flanked on either side by the ownerless sword of Antietam, and the flag of Port Hudson. Dr. Cummings opened the exercises with a few excellent words, then followed reading of the Farewell Address by R. H. Rush. An Oration by G. L. Thompson was good in substance, clearly and well delivered. The Glee Club furnished three or four pieces of music that were beautiful. The occasion was worthy of the day, and the actors are worthy of high praise, as it showed that the emotion that only creates beauty in physical strength, is essential and inseparable from mental culture.

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Our Quota.—The tenth of March is fast approaching. The conscription act has been amended and become a law, and it becomes the citizens of Middletown to ascertain how they stand in regard to the coming draft. We cannot rely upon the surplus of other towns—each town must fill its own quota—the surplus of one town will not be permitted to count on the deficiencies of another. As far as can be ascertained, it will be necessary for Middletown to raise about one hundred men. They have their choice between a draft or enlistments, with the large bounties. Government is in earnest for the troops.

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Middlefield.—An insane man, named Harvey King, who escaped from the Hartford Insane Retreat week before last, was found on Sunday in Middlefield. He had been for several days an occupant of an old unoccupied house, and had obtained meals of the neighbors near by. He was taken back to Hartford.

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The Carter Zouave Troupe will appear at McDonough Hall on Friday evening. It is their first appearance here. They have had many highly complimentary notice from the press in other places. The troupe is composed of young children sixteen in number, from eight to thirteen years of age, who play on instruments, perform military evolutions, sing ballads, with a variety of other amusements.

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In the communication last week on “David Lyman’s Road,” 14th line from top, it reads, and some will be very difficult. It should read, and none will be very difficult.

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Dentistry.—Messrs. Parmelee & Graham, well known to the community as proficient, and skillful in the art of Dentistry, have formed a business connection, and are now prepared to receive orders at their rooms opposite McDonough House. They invite special attention to their mode of making artificial teeth from Vulcanized Rubber.

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The Weather.—The last seven days contained a week of very cold weather. Wednesday evening the mercury fell to two degrees below zero. Thursday and Friday the sun rose at 8 degrees below zero. Average temperature of the week at sunrise was thirteen degrees.

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Webster and Green.—The two most atrocious and for a while mysterious murders recently committed in this State, had their origin in a like cause, in view of which they suggest an admonition against the first steps of imprudent or extravagant living. The motive of Dr. Webster in killing Dr. Parkman, and of Green in killing young Converse, was to escape financial embarrassment. It probably never entered into the dreams of either of these men that they should ever take human life, and take it on cool calculation, as the only way left to escape social disgrace. It was the fear of losing their position of respectability that led their cold and selfish hearts to seize on the dread alternative. By a reckless course in business matters they involved themselves in a web of circumstances from which, as it appeared to them, the only deliverance was the commission of the greatest of crimes, with the hope of being able to conceal it; they risked the gallows to save reputation and exposure. They played a desperate game and lost it, as those who gamble with the devil always do, sooner or later.

Boston Transcript.

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A case has been on trial in New York, lately, in which one of the witnesses testified that he was a stock operator, and that, upon a capital of $285 he had done a business of $200,000. By paying a small margin to the broker he was enabled to operate largely without running any risks. He invariably received or paid the difference, as the occasion demanded, so that the stock itself never passed through his hands.

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The daughter of W. H. Bell, of Swanton Falls, Vt., died two or three days since from the effects of laughing gas, administered by a travelling dentist. She was 17 years of age.

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