From The Constitution, Wednesday, April 20, 1864 (volume 27, number 1373)

War News.

On Tuesday morning, April 12th, the rebel Gen. Forrest attacked Fort Pillow. Soon after the attack Forrest sent a flag of truce demanding the surrender of the fort and garrison, meanwhile disposing of his force so as to gain the advantage. Our forces were under command of Major Booth, of the Thirteenth Tennessee (U. S.) Heavy Artillery, formerly of the First Alabama Cavalry. The flag of truce was refused, and fighting resumed. Afterward a second flag came in, which was also refused. Both flags gave the rebels advantage of gaining new positions. The battle was kept up untill 3 P. M., when Major Booth was killed, and Major Bradford took command. The rebels now came in swarms over our troops, compelling them to surrender. Immediately upon the surrender ensued a scene which utterly baffles description. Up to that time, comparatively few of our men had been killed; but, insatiate as fiends, bloodthirsty as devils incarnate, the Confederates commenced an indiscriminate butchery of the whites and blacks, including those of both colors who had been previously wounded. The black soldiers, becoming demoralized, rushed to the rear, the white officers having thrown down their arms. Both white and black were bayoneted, shot or sabred; even dead bodies were horribly mutilated, and children of seven and eight years and several negro women killed in cold blood. Soldiers unable to speak from wounds were shot dead, and their bodies rolled down the banks into the river. The dead and wounded negroes were piled in heaps and burned, and several citizens who had joined our forces for protection were killed or wounded. Out of the garrison of six hundred, only two hundred remained alive. Among our dead officers are Capt. Bradford, Lieuts. Barr, Ackersstrom, Wilson, Revel and Major Booth, all of the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry. Capt. Poston and Lieut. Lyon, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, and Capt. Young, Twenty-fourth Missouri, Acting-Provost-Marshal, were taken prisoners.  Maj. Bradford was also captured, but is said to have escaped; it is feared, however, that he has been killed. Among our wounded officers of colored troops are Capt. Porter, Lieut. Libberts and Adjt. Lemming. Six guns were captured by the rebels, and carried off, including two ten-pound Parrotts and two twelve-pound howitzers. A large amount of stores was destroyed or carried away. The intention of the rebels seemed to be to evacuate the place, and more on toward Memphis. Many of our wounded were shot in the hospital. The remainder were driven out, and the hospital was burned. On the morning after the battle the rebels went over the field, and shot the negroes who had not died from their wounds. Gen. Lee arrived and assumed command at the beginning of the battle. Previous to which Gen. Chalmers directed the movements. Forrest, with the main force, retired after the fight to Brownsville, taking with him the captured funds. While the steamer Platte Valley lay under flag of truce, taking on board our wounded, some of the rebel officers, and among them Gen. Chalmers, went on board, and some of our officers showed them great deference, drinking with them, and showing them other marks of courtesy. Many of those who had escaped from the works and hospital, who desired to be treated as prisoners of war, as the rebels said, were ordered to fall into line, and when they had formed, were inhumanly shot down. Of 350 colored troops not more than 56 escaped the massacre, and not one officer that commanded them survives. Only four officers of the Thirteenth Tennessee escaped death. The loss of the Thirteenth Tennessee is 800 killed. The remainder were wounded and captured.

Three other negroes were buried alive by the rebels at Fort Pillow, making five in all. All were wounded but one. He was forced to help dig the pits, and was then thrown in and covered up. The gunboats are constantly “patrolling,” and taking every precaution to prevent the rebels from crossing the river here, by destroying all the skiffs and sinking all other craft that could be used for that purpose. There is not much said, but there is a general gritting of teeth among officers at Memphis when the massacre of the brave garrison at Fort Pillow is alluded to. Several officers have been heard to say that unless the Government takes retributive steps, they will consider it their duty to shoot every man of Forrest’s command they meet, and take no prisoners. The soldiers threaten to shoot Forrest’s men now in Irvin Prison, if they can get a chance. This is the general feeling. The main body of the rebels left Fort Pillow on Friday morning, and their rear guard in the afternoon, after destroying all the ammunition and everything else destructible. Late advices from Duvall’s Bluff report the country infested with guerrillas, who constantly robbing the people and committing all manner of depredations. Mr. Nixon, State Representative from Franklin County, has been murdered, and the Representative from Arkansas County kidnapped, as nothing had been heard from him. On the 11th 400 Texan cavalry attempted to surprise a camp of 240 Federals at Roseville, on the Arkansas River, but were repulsed with the loss of 12 killed and a large number wounded. Our loss was 5 killed.

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The exciting discussions which have taken place in the House of Representatives respecting the language of Mr. Long and Harris, have had the effect of drawing the dividing line between the two wings of Democracy in Congress. Fernando said that there was no such thing as a War Democrat, and although there was a good deal of wriggling, the dose was swallowed by nearly all. The indications daily strengthen that the two factions of Democracy will find it almost impossible to work together in the coming Presidential campaign.

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The Tax Bill.—The Ways and Means committee have completed the tax bill. It is to be printed before reported. They have adopted a proposition to impose a tax upon all brokers sale of stocks, bonds, merchandize, &c. The tax imposed upon distilled spirits is $1.25, on tobacco 30 cents per pound with graduating scale. The committee estimate that the bill will raise three hundred millions of revenue.

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Confederate cotton is found at Rouen to be packed with iron and shot, to make it weigh heavier. The French dealers in the article complain loudly of the cheating of the blockade runners. No honor among thieves!

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The omnibus fare in New York has been raised to ten cents, which makes some grumbling among the patrons of that institution.

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Railroad Accident.—The evening express train from New York, due here about eight o’clock, did not arrive here Saturday night till after eleven o’clock, owing to an accident on the New York road. The freight train on the Naugatuck railroad coming north at about five o’clock, ran into the draw of the bridge at Bridgeport, which had been left open for a vessel to pass. The track-master stood upon the bridge and gave such warning to the approaching train as he could, but it was not heeded. The locomotive and three cars were precipitated into the river, one car went partly over the draw and hung by a coupling, and another was thrown from the track on the bridge. There were but four men on the cars which went over, and they escaped uninjured by jumping into the river.

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The 30th regt. C. V., colored, has been ordered off by the war department, probably for Annapolis. The regiment numbers 356 enlisted men and 14 line officers.

The longshoremen of New London are on a strike. They demand 30 cents per hour for work.

Gold in New York on Saturday, sold at 176 3/4.

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Gov. Buckingham has given Yale College the sum of $20,000.

Local News.

Newport News, Va., April 11th 1864.

Editor Constitution: Nothing of an exciting character has transpired at this post of late, until a few nights since a circumstance happened, in the account of which the readers of your paper may find interest in reading.

About two o’clock on the morning of the 9th, a boat from Rebeldom succeeded in passing our picket boats, and getting in the vicinity of the U. S. Frigate Minesota, and the explosion of a torpedo soon after, disclosed the fact that the object was the destruction of this noble vessel. Luckily, however, it was not near enough to greatly damage the frigate.—The alarm was immediately given, and several shots were fired at the unknown craft, but owing to the darkness of the night, she succeeded in making her escape. It was a daring attempt on the part of the rebels, and had the night not been so very dark, she no doubt would have been captured, as our navy are vigilant, and constantly on the watch for blockade runners.

Preparations are seeming to be made in this department as well as others, for an active spring campaign, and the result of the election in Conn., shows that the people will support the government, and are in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war.

Very Respectfully,     W. E. C.

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The Draft.—Our Quota.—The draft which was ordered on the 15th of this month, has been postponed. By an official statement of the number of volunteers received in this congressional district up to March 1st, it is shown that Middletown was deficient at that time some 83 men. The selectmen inform us, that since then they have furnished the number of men required, and that by the books at the Provost Marshal’s office, Middletown’s account is square under all calls.

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Wendell Phillips will deliver his lecture on “Reconstruction” before the “Young Men’s Literary Union” on Friday evening. Many in an audience will listen with keen pleasure to his oratory who will not approve the sentiments in it. He is a bold and sincere advocate of one great right, but a singular politician.

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Sad Accident.—A sad accident occurred on Monday afternoon, near G. W. Guy’s store in Southfarms. A pair of horses belonging to Alfred Brainard, attached to a wagon loaded with Felspar from the quarries in Haddam, while left standing in the road for a few moments, became frightened, and starting on a run, overtook the factory team of the Russell Man’fg. Company, containing two men and Charles Singleton, a son of Samuel Singleton, aged 10 years. The concussion was so great that the men were thrown from their seat, and the lad falling under the horses, received injuries, which will probably prove fatal. The back of his head was broken and large pieces of his skull were taken out. He was attended immediately by Dr. Blake, and everything was done to alleviate his sufferings. The men escaped without injury, but the factory team was considerably damaged.

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For Idaho.—We understand that some twenty persons in this vicinity, intend to start for Idaho soon. A party of six leave on Monday to join others who are making the necessary preparations on the frontier. May success attend their new enterprise.

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The first shad of the season was caught at the mouth of the river some two weeks since. About time their descendents made their appearance in this vicinity.

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Trout.—A couple of young men of this city went trouting Monday, with fair success, catching eight good-sized trout, one of which weighed a pound and a quarter. Not bad.

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The Weather last week continued chilly though mostly pleasant. The sunshine is warm and mellow, but cold winds are about. Yet it is glad Spring. Many weeks ago those little apostles of faith, the birds, in their tree galleries with full orchestra, invoked her favors; now she has called to her court wild flowers, tree blossoms, and new springing grass. The temperature throughout last week did not vary much. Its average at sunrise was 35 degrees.

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1864 remedy