From The Constitution, Wednesday, March 16, 1864 (volume 27, number 1368)

War News.

A letter dated Knoxville, March 5th, says the rebels are beyond Granville, still slowly retreating. They lately shot seven deserters, and are relentlessly hunting down conscripts. They have sent 40 pieces of artillery to the Great Virginia Salines, which place they will doubtless stubbornly hold, under Buckren and Breckenridge, and from it threaten Kentucky. They are not fortifying, however.

A dispatch from Chattanooga of March 4th, states that our army has returned from its reconnoissance, and now holds a position in advance of our old lines. The army is in splendid condition.

Col. Harrison, who, from Bald Face Ridge, had a full view of the rebels, estimates the force there on Friday, at 30,000, nearly all of whom came up from the river on Thursday afternoon.

Another special dispatch, dated Chattanooga, 7th, says the rebel cavalry have retired, and our forces now hold Nickjack Gap.

A collision occurred between two freight trains in the vicinity of Stevenson, Ala., Saturday night, killing four ladies and two men and wounding several others.

A large force of rebel cavalry attacked ninety-three men of the 3d Tennessee, at Panther Springs, on the 5th inst. Our loss was two killed, eight wounded, and twenty-two captured. The rebel loss was thirty killed and wounded.

The Richmond papers give an account of Colonel Dahlgren’s death, and Major Cook’s capture.

The Richmond papers of to-day say that on the 6th inst., Gen. Sherman was at Canton, on the Mississippi Central railroad—that he has taken a large number of negroes, and leaves the country impoverished.

The papers also state that the confederates have ordered all of Gen. Kilpatrick’s officers whom they have captured, to be placed in irons.

The President, Wednesday afternoon, presented Major General Grant with his commission as Lieutenant-General.

The ceremony took place in the cabinet chamber, in the presence of the entire cabinet and other distinguished officers. The President addressed Gen. Grant thus:

General Grant:–The nation’s appreciation of what you have done, and its reliance upon you for what remains to be done in the existing great struggle, has now presented this commission, constituting you Lieutenant-General of the Army of the United States. With this high honor, devolves upon you also a corresponding responsibility. As the country herein trusts you, so under God it will sustain you. I scarcely need to add, that with what I here speak for the nation, goes my own hearty personal concurrence.

To which Gen. Grant replied:

Mr. President:–I accept this commission with gratitude for the high honor conferred. With the aid of the noble armies that have fought on so many fields of our country, it will be my earnest endeavor not to disappoint your expectations. I feel the full weight of the responsibilities now devolving on me, and I know that if they are met it will be due to those armies, and above all to the favor of that Providence which leads both nations and men.

The President then introduced the General to all the members of the Cabinet, after which the company was seated and about half an hour was spent in social conversation.

Kilpatrick’s Raid.

Notwithstanding the copperheads proclaim Kilpatrick’s raid a failure it is not so regarded at the South. The Richmond journals betray the terror which the raid excited, and admit the injury it inflicted. The falsehoods which they publish and threats of revenge upon the prisoners, are evidences still more substantial. They demand that our men shall not be treated as prisoners of war; and some even insist that they must be blown to pieces from the mouths of cannon. Such is not the punishment of men who have failed, and is only counseled by men who feel their cause to be desperate, and become cruel as they grow weak. The treatment which the body of Col. Dahlgren received outstrips savage barbarity. It was not only mutilated but thrown into a ditch after it had lain for an entire day exposed to the insults of the Richmond mob.

Gen. Kilpatrick not only severely punished the enemy by the destruction of railroads and stores, but nearly succeeded in a greater purpose. For seven days no public business was done in Richmond. All the departments were closed, and all the men employed by the rebel government were forced into the ranks for its defence. For many months we have not had such a revelation of terror and helpless fury of the conspirators.

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Colonel Dahlgren’s Body.—Dahlgren’s body was boxed up at Walkerton on Sunday and brought to Richmond, with the object, we understand, of its positive identification, and the establishment of the fact of the finding of the infamous documents upon it, all of which has been attested by witnesses. Henceforth the name of Dahlgren is linked with eternal infamy, and in the years to come defenceless woman and innocent childhood will peruse, with a sense of shrinking horror, the story of Richmond’s rescue from the midnight sack and ravage led by Dahlgren. It would seem something of the curse he came to bestow upon others lighted upon his own carcass, when it fell riddled by avenging Southern bullets. Stripped, robbed of every valuable, the fingers cut off for the sake of the diamond rings that encircled them, when the body was found by those sent to take charge of it, it was lying in a field, stark naked with the exception of the stockings. Some humane person had lifted the corpse from the pike and thrown it over into the field, to save it from the hogs. The artificial leg worn by Col. Dahlgren was removed, and is now at General Elzey’s headquarters. It is of most beautiful design and finish.

Yesterday afternoon the body was removed from the car that brought it to the York River railroad depot and given to the spot of earth selected to receive it. Where that spot is no one but those concerned in its burial know or care to tell. It was a dog’s burial, without coffin, winding sheet or service.—Friends and relatives at the North need inquire no further; this is all they will know—he is buried a burial that befitted the mission upon which he came. He has swept through the city of Richmond on a pine bier, and ‘written his name’ on the scroll of infamy, instead of ‘on the hearts of his countrymen,’ never to be erased. He asked the blessing of Almighty God on his mission of rapine, murder and blood, and the Almighty cursed him instead.—Richmond Examiner.

Secretary Chase declines to be a Candidate for the Presidency.

The New York Evening Post publishes the following letter of Mr. Chase, declining to enter the Presidential canvass:

Washington, March 5th, 1864.

My Dear Sir : In reply to a friendly letter from you I wrote you briefly, not long ago, about the wishes expressed by many that my name might be favorably regarded by the people in their next choice of a President, and closed by saying that should our friends in Ohio manifest a preference for another, I should accept their decision, with the ready acquiescence due from one who has been already trusted and honored by them beyond merit or expectation. The recent action of the Union members of our Legislature, indicates such a preference. It becomes my duty, therefore, and I count it more a privilege than a duty, to ask that no further consideration be given to my name.

It was never more important than now that all our efforts, and all our energies, should be devoted to the suppression of the rebellion, and to the restoration of order and prosperity, on a solid and sure foundation of union freedom and impartial justice; and I earnestly urge all with whom my counsels may have weight, to allow nothing to divide them while this great work, in comparison with which persons, and even parties are nothing, remains unaccomplished. Cordially your friend,

S. P. Chase.

Hon. Jas. C. Hall, Senate Chamber, Columbus.

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The Great Metropolitan Fair

In New York will open on the 28th of this month. It will surpass anything of the kind held in the country. The nett receipts of the fairs which have been held in a few of the cities have been from 100,000 to $400,000. It may be asked, what can New York do? Among the many contributions is one from Bonner of the New York Ledger, of his famous trotting mare Lady Woodruff, to be sold at auction. There is to be a Connecticut Department in which the “nutmeg state” will be well represented. The farmers have not been forgotten and are cordially invited to contribute.

Great Fire in Meriden.

A destructive fire occurred in West Meriden on Tuesday, 8th inst. It was first discovered in Andrew’s Exchange building and C. E. Wilcox & Co’s grocery. There are no fire engines in Meriden, and the fire having its own way, passed from Andrew’s block to contiguous buildings till the Collins’ block, the old Meriden hotel, and W. A. Butler’s dry goods store and dwelling were enveloped. An explosion of chemicals in one of the buildings caused the walls to fall outward, injuring several persons who stood near, and causing the death of Mr. Porter Edgerton, an engraver. The buildings are a total loss. The entire loss of property is put at $75,000; insurance $50,000. About $28,000 in Hartford offices. Origin of the fire not known.

Local News.

Our Quota.—It is probably safe to say that the quota of this town is full. Within fifteen days, ending last Thursday, Lieut. J. G. Crosby, authorized by the selectmen, had procured 134 men. The selectmen examined the books at the office of the provost-marshal in New Haven, on Saturday last, and as we understand, are satisfied that Middletown is free under the two last calls, besides having a small surplus. Good for the selectmen, if they have paid a little more than would have been necessary provided the matter had been taken hold of earlier.

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Rifle Practice.—Col. Rowland, who is now at work in this state, organizing companies of riflemen, delivered a lecture in this city on Monday night of last week, for the purpose of giving an interest to the subject and organizing companies in this place.

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Middlefield.—S. M. Hewlett, Esq., the celebrated temperance lecturer, will deliver a lecture in the Congregational Church in Middlefield on Wednesday evening, the 23d inst.

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The First Meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank of Middletown, was held at the office of W. & B. Douglas in this city, on Thursday, the 10th inst., for the choice of Directors, when the following persons were elected: Benjamin Douglas, C. F. Collins, A. M. Colegrove, S. L. Warner, A. B. Calef, John Stevens, Henry S. White, Edward Savage, Even Davis.

At a meeting of the Board of Directors subsequently held, the following officers were elected, viz:

President, Benjamin Douglas.

Vice President, C. F. Collins.

Secretary, A. B. Calef.

The capital of the bank is 100,000 dollars, and is taken by over 100 stockholders.

The first installment of 30 per cent on the capital stock has been called for to be paid on or before the 1st of April.

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Police Court.—Before Justice Clark, on Tuesday, the following cases were tried :

State vs Thomas and Mary Cook, for vagrancy. Found guilty. Fined $1, costs, and 30 days in work house.

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The Weather.—Last week was full of bright, warm days. Friday was rainy. Frost is entirely out of the ground, and wheeling is not pleasurable. Tuesday morning the mercury was at 24 degrees; at noon, 48. Average temperature of the week at sunrise was 34 degrees.

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The River.—The recent rains and mild weather which we have had, have caused a rise in the river.

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The New York Boats.—The Granite State came up Thursday morning, and the City of Hartford Sunday morning. Both boats have been thoroughly repaired the past winter, and with the exception of the City, which is commanded by Capt. King, are officered the same as last year. Fare to New York, $1.75; from Hartford to Rocky Hill, 35 cts; to Middletown, 40 cts; to all places below, 65 cts.

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The Masquerade and Fancy Dress Ball of the E. O. E. R. W. R. C.’s was quite a success. The costumes were of great variety, and the various parts were acted out with much credit. Financially, the “Exclusive, Out late night, Epicurean, Ransacking, Way-to-Ruin Club,” were the gainers by some $50.

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Liquor ads, 1864