From The Constitution, Wednesday, June 1, 1864 (volume 27, number 1379)
A dispatch from Gen. Banks, dated May 21st, on the Mississippi, was received to-day. It details the brilliant engineering achievement of Lieut.-Col. Bailey in constructing a dam across the falls of Red river, for the relief of the gunboat fleet, the particulars of which have already been made public. The army in moving from Alexandria to the Mississippi, had two engagements with the enemy—one at Maseroa, and one at Yellow Bayou, in both of which the rebels were beaten. Gen. Banks states that no prisoners, guns, wagons, or other materials of the army have been captured by the enemy, except that abandoned by him in the unexpected engagement at Sabine Cross Roads, on the morning of the 8th of April; that with the exception of the losses sustained there, the material of the army is complete.
Gen. Banks and his staff are at New Orleans.
At Guinney Station a farm house and out buildings were burned by our troops, in retaliation for the murder of Maj. Gravenstein of the 117th New York there, while wounded and a prisoner.
There is a company of 250 criminals from the Richmond prisons in the home guard, for the defense of Richmond.
An official dispatch from the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac at Mongohick Church, ten miles from Hanovertown, dated Friday afternoon, 5 P. M., has just been received. It states that our army was withdrawn to the north side of the North Anna, Thursday night, and moved toward Hanovertown, the place designated for crossing the Pamunky. At 9 o’clock Friday morning, Sheridan, with the First and Second Divisions of cavalry, took possession of Hanover Ferry and Hanovertown, finding there only a rebel vedette. The First Division of the Sixth Corps arrived at 10 A. M., and now hold the place with sufficient force of cavalry, infantry and artillery to resist any attack likely to be made upon him. The remainder of the corps is pressing forward with rapidity. Weather fine.
A later dispatch, dated at 7 o’clock this morning, (28th) from headquarters, Mongohick Church, has also been received. It reports that everything goes on finely; weather clear and cool; the troops came up rapidly, and in great spirits; and that the army will be beyond the Pamunky by noon. Breckinridge is at Hanover Court-house, with a force variously reported at from three thousand to ten thousand. Wickham’s and Lomax’s brigades of cavalry are also there. The dispatch further states, that after seizing Hanover Ferry, yesterday, Gen. Torbert captured seventy-five cavalry, including six officers; that the rebel cavalry is exceedingly demoralized, and flees before ours on every occasion.
The rebels are making the greatest struggle for success in the present campaign. They know that with them it is life or death. If successful, dim visions of future greatness float before them, and a nationality in which the aristocracy shall reign supreme. But if disaster befalls, their dreams vanish like mist before the rising sun. Everything else is of small moment compared to the safety of their capital. To secure that, and maintain the confidence of the troops, no device which art or subtleness could suggest, has been forgotten. Ever since the campaign opened, the rebel leaders have played upon the credulity of their men, and sustained their hopes by magnifying defeat into success. While they show their fighting qualities behind entrenchments, they are constantly compelled by the superior tactics and genius of the federal commander to face about and show their backs to the enemy. This by their generals is termed “complete success.” We do not predict the result. There is a feeling of confidence from the fact that one mind directs the federal army. Brisk and decisive blows are struck. The enemy is allowed no rest, but attacked both rear and front. Entrenchments deemed too formidable for direct attack are flanked, and the rebels are required to move on the double quick towards Richmond. No small part in this drama is performed by Gen. Sherman in the southwest. Marching from Chattanooga, he has entered a rich agricultural country, and if successful, as thus far he has been, he will inflict immense loss on the enemy. In his district are rich mines of salt petre and large iron foundries which have during the war supplied the rebels munitions of war. These will doubtless fall into his hands. A few miles to the rear of Richmond, guarding the railroad communication to the South, stands Gen. Butler, backed by a large army officered by able and experienced generals. A few weeks will decide whether the grip of the anaconda will tighten sufficiently to strangle the victim or he again slip from its grasp. The operations in progress are of fascinating interest, and in the highest ranges of intellect and strategy. The two ablest generals of the day are arraigned against each other, striving for the victory. Any hour may bring on a terrible battle, bringing woe to many a hearthstone. Whatever befalls, the nation is ready to stand by our armies and sustain them, confident that under the leadership of Lieut. Gen. Grant, they will ultimately win success.
The rebels are evidently dissatisfied with the movements of Gen. Grant. The winning way he has of keeping them facing towards Richmond, is not what was anticipated. Like old Zach. Taylor, he does not know when he is whipped. The Richmond Enquirer says, “any other General but Grant would have several days ago re-crossed the river and acknowledged himself whipped.” May he never see the day when he is one of those “other generals.”
The new cents are in circulation in New York. They are made mostly of copper, much thinner and lighter than the nickel cent.
A dwelling house in Essex, occupied by Mr. Gaston, adjoining the store of T. S. Hayden, was struck by lightning, and considerably damaged, in the storm of Saturday night, 21st.
In New London the building occupied as a young ladies high school, was destroyed by fire Monday morning. Mrs. L. M. Wyman, the principal, lost all the school apparatus, and the students most of their books. Other buildings in the vicinity were much injured.
Patrick Smith, Jr., a boy of six years, was missed from his home in State street, New Haven, on Friday, on search his body was found in a cistern on the premises.
There is official authority, it is stated, for the statement that the account given in an extra World, recently, of the alledged disaster to Gen. Burnside’s corps, was originated by Howard. The effect of this account, like the effect of the proclamation, was for the moment to depress government securities and facilitate stock speculation.
The bogus proclamation was prevented from going out to Europe in this way: The steamer had left its dock before its bogus character was fully known. A swift sailing steamer was sent which overtook her. Every paper was removed except those in the hands of passengers. An instrument was drawn up exposing the forgery, to be telegraphed to London on the arrival of the vessel.
The owner of the Chancellorsville property, a Union man of the John M. Botts class, says that as a result of having his lands fought over for two seasons, he has lost in cattle, grain and buildings at least $200,000.
Five whales have recently been caught on the south side of Long Island. Three were fastened to in that locality last week, and one of them was brought ashore from which twenty barrels of oil was made.
The Superior Court at New Haven, within a few days, granted five divorces. The record of the clerk of the court shows that the majority of the numerous divorces granted at the late term of the Court were for misconduct upon the part of soldier’s wives, while their husbands were far away.
The Air Line.—The company is now petitioning the Legislature for an extension of time to enable them to complete their road. Within the past few years the eastern section has been built, until now it is completed to Willimantic. Nearly all the old outstanding claims have been brought up, and the way is being made clear for a new trial. Much opposition is made against this extension, and to arouse the people, articles are inserted in certain newspapers that the Connecticut river is to be bridged just above the city, and sloop navigation impeded. This is all wrong, and Air Line company ask for no such powers. All they wish is an extension of the old powers, which permits a ferry to be established at the Connecticut river. In order to blind the people, and defeat the Air Line project, a petition has been made for a charter to build a bridge across the straits. Let the people of this vicinity understand this matter, and give their aid in the right direction. It has been the policy of the Legislature to grant petitions for the extension of time from the period when the first charter for a railroad was given.
The Hartford Courant gives a passing notice of Middletown—its natural beauties, “which may justly stir the pride of its inhabitants,” its present prosperity, but does not, justly, omit a side glance at the old fogies—the same that sent the Hartford and New Haven Railroad to Meriden, and bid against Col. Samuel Colt when he would gladly have erected on the Starr property at Staddle Hill, such a monument of enterprise and skill as he gave to Hartford.”
Middletown and New Britain Railroad.—This road is fast merging into completeness under the management of the contractors, Messrs. Clyde & Griffin, who have a large force at work. It is expected the road will be completed about the 1st of August.
The Weather.—Last week at the edge of summer, had a lower temperature than several weeks previous. The mercury at 6 a. m. stood at an average of 54 degrees. There was rain in the middle of the week preceded by some cloudy days. The latter part was fine weather.
Worms.—If Grant’s army can be compared in numbers to the army of worms in this vicinity, Richmond will certainly be taken.—Step where you will, you cannot avoid them; but they are over, around and on you. It is said that they will disappear by the 10th of June, which, if suggested to the President, might be made a day of thanksgiving.
Trot.—There will be a trot at Douglass Park, Wednesday afternoon, weather permitting, for a purse of $100, between “Gipsey,” “Milkmaid” and “Maud,” to commence at 3 o’clock.
The Carter Zouave Troupe will give one of their popular entertainments at McDonough Hall on Monday June 6th. They gave two performances in this city last winter, which drew crowded houses.
A Noble Answer.—In a sermon preached at Wesley Chapel, recently, Rev. Thomas Sargent, of Baltimore, stated that at a slave market in one of the Southern States at which he was present, a smart, active colored boy was put up for sale. A kind master, who pitied his condition, not wishing him to have a cruel owner, went up to him and said:
‘If I buy you will you be honest?’
The boy, with a look that baffled description, replied:
‘I will be honest, whether you buy me or not.’
This would, as Mr. Sargent said, do honor to any person of any age.