From The Constitution, Wednesday, April 13, 1864 (volume 27, number 1372)
The following is a synopsis of General Orders, No. 17, recently issued from Head Quarters of the Army of the Potomac:
First—In view of the near approach of the time when this army may be expected to receive active operations, corps and other independent commanders will cause public and private property, for which transportation is not furnished by existing orders to be sent to the rear with as little delay as practicable.
Second—All sutlers and their employees will leave this army by the 16th instant, and should any sutlers be found with the army after that date, their goods will be confiscated for the benefit of the hospitals, and their employees be placed by the provost marshal at hard labor.
Paragraph third provides that after the 16th instant no citizen shall be allowed to remain with the army except government employees and members of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions, and registered newspaper correspondents.
Paragraph five revokes the authority heretofore delegated to corps commanders to grant furloughs and leaves of absence except in the case of re-enlisted veterans; and with this exception no leaves or furloughs are to be granted save in extreme cases until further orders.
Later news from the Red River Expedition is received in Cairo and New-Orleans, by steamship, which left the latter place on the 3d inst. On the 23rd of March, Gen Smith’s forces had a fight with the rebel Gen. Dick Taylor’s army, 12,000 strong, on the Cane river, 27 miles above Alexandria, in which the rebels were defeated with a loss of 200 killed and wounded, and 501 prisoners.
A dispatch from Louisville reports that nineteen rebels, belonging to the Third Kentucky rebel Cavalry, of Forrest’s command, came into Hopkinsville, on the 7th inst., and took the oath of allegiance. They report that on March 26th, when between Mayfield and Paducah, Forrest disbanded the Third, Seventh and Eighth Regiments, Kentucky Cavalry, and permitted them to go home.
News from Memphis to the 8th, reports Forrest moving southward with his trains and plunder, and Grierson as watching and harassing his columns, though not strong enough to attack Forrest in force.
By order of the war department no volunteer recruit shall be rejected on account of height who is at least five feet.
Shall the National Convention Be Postponed.
The Convention of the great Union Party, for the nomination of a candidate to succeed Abraham Lincoln, has been called for the 7th of June, and is to meet in Baltimore. Is this too early? Many think it is, and that the meeting should be postponed. What are their reasons?
1. The nation is engaged in a gigantic civil war, such as was never before seen; and all its energies are needed for this alone. To go into a heated controversy, in regard to the next presidency, just at this time, may be disastrous to the national interests. Let the meeting of the convention therefore be postponed, at least three months!
But the election cannot be postponed! The selection of a man to fill this exalted and most responsible position is an imperative duty of the American people; and this duty must be performed within the next six months or a little more. The performance of the duty may be attended with peril, but it cannot be avoided. What essential difference then can it make whether the names of men deemed qualified for the place be presented a little sooner or a little later? Heretofore these nominating conventions have usually been held as early as the month of May.
But is it to be expected that the war will be prosecuted with any less energy because of the proposed nomination? As a humble individual, I hope not; but certainly it is possible. This might be expected if any prominent commander in our armies should be selected as a candidate, and especially if the two great parties should each select its candidate from among leading military men. But even in this case, I think it would be expected that a General, placed in such a position, would at once resign his place in the army.
But the Convention, it is believed, may be fully trusted in this thing!
But suppose that some man in civil life should be selected, as Mr. Chase, whose name, we know, has been brought prominently forward. Will the war, in consequence, be prosecuted with any less vigor than at present? It is not, I think, understood that this distinguished gentleman lacks anything in zeal in this matter! Nor is it probable, considering the present temper of the Union Party, that any man of less zeal for the prosecution of the war will be selected!
2. A nomination at so early a period may produce divisions in the party, now constituting the majority, and thus weaken the hands of the Administration, just at a time when all its energy is needed to bring the war to a successful issue. This might be considered as included under the other head, but it has been brought forward as a distinct proposition.
It is true that disastrous divisions may take place in the present Union Party whether the convention shall meet at the time appointed or not, though we certainly hope for better things! But will such a division be any the more likely to take place because of the holding of the convention? I think not, but just the reverse. As for the opponents of the war, in the present condition of our national affairs, we leave them entirely out of the account, as not possessing sufficient influence to entitle them to consideration. But there is no possibility of ignoring the disposition of the great mass of the people constituting the Union Party, in regard to the next incumbent of the high office of President of the United States. It is most unmistakable that Abraham Lincoln shall be his own successor, for this time at least! The principal duty of the convention to assemble will be very simple—merely to put in the nomination, in the regular way, the worthy name that has been mentioned.
But it is not to be overlooked that there are some of our own party who would prefer another candidate, nor is their honesty or good faith to be questioned, or their opinions to be treated otherwise than with consideration and respect. But unless we greatly misjudge these men, this is all they ask. If the majority decide against them, in selecting some other candidate than the one who would be their first choice, he will notwithstanding receive their cordial support.
Now in these circumstances an early meeting of the convention is desirable as conducing to unity of action, rather than division.
It is true, there is the radical German element of the west, which may make some opposition, if not conciliated, to the nominee of the approaching convention; but it is to be hoped that the good sense and well known patriotic spirit of the people will in the end prevail.
We say then in conclusion, as the result of some thought on the subject: Let the Convention be held at the time appointed.
The Constitutional Amendment.—The proposed constitutional amendment, permanently abolishing slavery in all the States and Territories of the Union, passed the Senate by a vote of 38 against 6. The measure has yet to come before the House of Representatives, after which, if there agreed to, it goes before the Legislature of the several States.
The emigration for the past three months reaches the high figure of 25,475; for the same period last year it was 9,551. Ireland sends 13,359; Germany, 6,045; England, 3,484; and from other countries, 2,587. The largest arrivals were in March, being 13,905.
Parties in Hartford, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill and Glastenbury, propose to form a joint stock company for the establishment of a ferry from Wethersfield to Curtisville, (Glastenbury), to be called the “Glastenbury, Wethersfield and Rocky Hill Steam Ferry Co.,” with a capital of $10,000.
The Union Meeting.—Owing to the press of election matters we omitted to mention the Union meeting on Friday evening, the 1st inst. There was a large gathering at the hall. The speakers were Gen. Richard Busteed and Hon. R. Andrews of New York. Gen. Busteed had but just commenced his speech when the alarm of fire was given. Upon ascertaining the locality of the fire, the General said he would postpone his speech one hour in order to let the audience lend their assistance in aid of Capt. Hackstaff; but as for giving up altogether, the thing could not be thought of, for which three rousing cheers were given him by the audience. At the specified time the hall was filled again, and two able and telling speeches were delivered, which brought forth good fruit on the Monday following, and at a late hour the meeting adjourned. The Union party know no such word as fail.
Up the Amazon.—The lecture of Rev. J. C. Fletcher on Monday evening, at McDonough Hall was well attended. The lecturer entertained his audience for over an hour with thrilling descriptions of life and incidents on the southern continent. His manner is pleasing, and his lecture instructive. We hope to have the pleasure of hearing him again.
The Weather the past week had a Marchy aspect, though rather pleasant. Friday was the brightest, warmest day. Sunday it rained, no doubt. Monday was rather stormy. Average temperature of the week at sunrise was 33 degrees.
The River.—Owing to the recent storm, the river has risen about three feet above low water mark.
Mr. Editor: I have, to-day, been most unjustly deprived of my right to vote, where I have always heretofore voted, and where I have always held my residence. I was told by the very amiable gentleman, who watched the box, and contemptuously pushed away my ballots, (not before glancing at the character of the tickets, however,) that my name had been erased from the list, because I had no right to vote; that inquiry had been made at my residence, and that a domestic had left the door, and consulted with somebody within, concerning the matter, and then informed him I had no residence there. He concluded that the testimony of the domestic was decisive, and my vote was rejected. Now it is well that the public should understand, how copper-headism blinds the conscience, and warps the judgment. It is not true that the girl, a young domestic who knew nothing about the matter, left the door, nor did she consult any one, but simply answered on her own impression, no, to all his questions. In view of this fact, and the further facts which I stated at the polls, and proved by gentlemen who were present, that I had always voted here, even without a challenge; that I had never changed, nor had yet intended to change my residence; that my name was enrolled here for the draft; that my business away was that of deacon over two churches, six miles apart; that a portion of my time at short intervals, was spent here; that here my headquarters; that my mending, and a large part of my washing were done here; my wearing apparel was made here; part of my support was here; and a large part of my movable property was here. I submit that a clearer case of fraud was never before established, even against the self-styled honest democracy who always seek to gain by chicanery and fraud, what they know can not succeed by honest means. I trust we shall soon be delivered from the rule of men who are so forgetful of the solemn oath they have taken on assuming the duties of office.
S. B. Duffield.
Middletown, April 4th, 1864.
Telegraphic.—Public attention is now being called to a new line of telegraphic communication with Europe, extending from the coast of Salvador, via Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands, to the north shore of Scotland. The longest distance from shore to shore is less than five hundred miles, which is a less distance than cables are now successfully working in the Mediterranean. The route was explored in 1860, by Col. T. P. Shaffner, and again in 1861, and reported that no obstacles were found to prevent success. It is said that the United States Telegraph Company have offered to furnish the amount of money required to complete it, and that they will form a connection either at Quebec or on the coast of Labrador.
Newspapers in Great Britain.—The statistics of the newspaper press of Great Britain for the present year, show a total of 1,250 newspapers now existing, thus divided: England 919, Wales 37, Scotland 140, Ireland 140, British Isles 14. Of daily papers 72 are published, two thirds in England; Wales only supports a single daily paper, Scotland 9, Ireland 14. These figures show an increase in ten years of one half. The entire number of Magazines, including quarterly reviews, &c., is 537—of these 196 are of a decidedly religious character, leaving 341 to represent literature, science and art. Previous to the war, the number of newspapers in the United States was estimated at about 3,000.