From The Constitution, Wednesday, August 24, 1864 (volume 27, number 1391)
Our losses at the fight on the Weldon railroad, Friday afternoon, is greater than heretofore reported. The number of prisoners taken by the rebels is now put down at fifteen hundred. Our troops were surprised, many being in shelter tents at the time, trying to escape the heavy rain.
It was occasioned by an attack from the enemy for the purpose of driving our troops from the Weldon railroad. Up to the latest accounts they had failed to accomplish the design. The 5th corps has been reinforced, and still maintains its hold, and no doubt will continue to do so.
Advices per City Point boat confirm the occupation of the Weldon railroad, after a severe fight. Our lines on the north side of the James river, are unchanged. Notwithstanding repeated efforts to dislodge our forces, the canal is progressing favorably. One hundred and fifty wounded have arrived at Deep Bottom. A battle is looked for at any moment as the enemy seem determined to regain possession of the road, while our forces are as determined to hold it. Prisoners belong principally to Beauregard and Hill’s corps.
Information from Fort Reilly, Gen. Blunt’s headquarters, say three ranches near Little Blue river have been burned by the Indians, the stock run off and the inhabitants killed. The Indians left behind them nothing but the bones of their murdered victims and the ashes of buildings. The citizens of Washington Republic and Clay count as have been armed by Gen. Blunt. Four hunters have been killed. Between sixty and seventy dead bodies of white men were seen between Big Milesbury and little Blue. No ranches were left standing between Big Sandy and Little Blue. The inhabitants between Fort Kearney and Denver have all fled. Four trains were captured by the Indians on Little Blue, and all the stock, 450 head of cattle, and a large number of mules were driven off.
Com. Buchanan who commanded the rebel fleet in Mobile bay during the late attack by Admiral Farragut, and was taken prisoner may close his career with that fight. The wound which he then received is reported dangerous, and his age is against him. He entered the federal service in 1815 from Maryland. In 1861 he was commandant of the navy yard at Washington, and after the inauguration of Lincoln was loud in denunciations of the men who had forsaken and betrayed their country in the hour of danger. The marriage of his daughter occurred about this time with much display, the bridal parties standing under the American flag, &c. Not long after, when Washington was threatened, many of the officers of the navy yard threw up their commissions and went over to the rebels, among them Com. Buchanan. He afterwards begged the President for permission to withdraw his resignation and enter the service, which was not granted. He protested that if he could not fight under the flag of his country he would not fight against it. Rebel persuasions and offers were too much for him, and now apparently at the close of life, he finds himself ignominiously defeated and taken prisoner while fighting against the flag which he had sworn to support.
The Peace Mission.
The interview between Col. Jacques and J. R. Gillmore, loyal citizens of the United States, and Jeff. Davis, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there was any probability for peace with a restored Union, has just been made public. They informed Mr. Davis that they were self-constituted envoys, without power or authority, but claiming to know the wishes of the government at Washington, they had, with its knowledge and permission, come within the confederate lines. The interview was pleasant but as far as accomplishing anything towards a settlement of our difficulties, it was a total failure. Jeff. Davis could not see that the south had done any wrong; if the north wished to stop the war, let them withdraw their armies and “let them alone.” They are fighting for independence, and will not submit to peace on any other terms. The great point was the right of self-government, which he admitted meant “independence.” One plan which the commissioners proposed, was, that two propositions be submitted to the people; one being “peace with disunion and southern independence,” and the other “peace with union, emancipation, no confiscation, and universal amnesty,” and that the government be bound by the decision. The proposition was not approved by Jeff. on the ground that if the last plan received a majority it would amount to nothing, “as one state was not bound by the acts of another.” Nothing was said of the north being bound by the vote, provided the first plan was carried. The gist of the whole matter is, that Jeff. Davis and his coadjutators are fighting for the supremacy of their doctrine, i.e. to do just as they please. With such principles they have been working for the last thirty years, and it will not be until the north fairly wakes up, throws off the lethargy now upon her, and devotes all her energies to the task, that such monstrous theories will be crushed, and armed resistance to the national government subdued.
One point in the interview is specially worthy of notice, that relating to the right of the majority to rule, which Jeff totally ignores. He says that the south seceded to “rid ourselves of the rule of the majority,”—We suggest that the members of the Chicago Convention, who claim to be the exponents of true democratic principles, discuss this subject, and give their opinion to the public.
By the decision of Jeff Davis, only one thing remains for the upholders of the national government. Destroy the military power of the south and peace will follow. This can only be done by hard fighting. The rebels still cherish hopes of gaining their independence, and the war must go on until their discomfiture is complete, and their hopes destroyed.
On the 12th inst., a well dressed, smart, intelligent woman, with an eye to business, appeared at Portsmouth, N. H., with four substitutes which she had brought with her from Baltimore. She sold them soon after her arrival to the brokers for $900 each.
The Constitutional Amendment.—The returns from the various towns on the constitutional amendment, allowing soldiers of this State to vote in the field, come in slowly. The vote, however, is about three to one in favor. In 43 towns it foots up, Yes, 10,036; No, 3,003. Let the soldiers remember, that those who have voted against their rights, are those who call themselves Democrats.
Town Meeting.—An adjourned town meeting was held on Saturday afternoon when it was Resolved, That a road be constructed from the Haddam Turnpike near Mr. Hubbard’s slaughter, in an easterly direction to intersect a laneway running from near Benjamin Miller’s in South Farms, northerly by the Cartridge works of D. C. Sage.
The report of the committee on providing means for filling the quota of the town was read, and without taking any action the subject was referred to an adjourned meeting to be held this Tuesday evening.—Let every one interested be present. The time is short and quick action is necessary if the quota is to be filled.
The Enrollment.—An opportunity is still afforded to all persons who have been improperly enrolled to have their names erased from the lists. Aliens and those over forty-five or under twenty years can apply at the provost marshal’s office in this city and have their papers made out. Those by disease or other causes unfitted for military duty, must apply at headquarters in New Haven. Let it be attended to at once and the lists corrected. Our quota can thus be reduced to some extent, as a re-assignment of quotas will be made to the several districts previous to a draft.
For the Constitution.
ANOTHER OF THE GALLANT 14TH REGIMENT FALLEN.
Wm. Wallace Miller of Company B, 14th Reg’t Conn. Vol’s., was shot whilst on picket duty at Deep Bottom, about 10 miles from Richmond, Va., on the 15th inst., and died on board of the Hospital Boat on the way to City Point, where his remains were buried (they will be removed to this city as early as practible.) He was a native of this city, aged 20 years the 12th of June last. Beloved and respected by all who knew him. The south church sunday school scholars with whom he was long associated, will recollect him with interest. Fired with patriotic ardor, he, a boy of only 17 years, went forth to the war with the 1st Conn. Artillery, in Co. G., and remained with them one year, before he was old enough to enlist, when he came home, and the 14th Reg’t being about to be raised in August 1862, he could not keep back and at once enrolled himself in Co. B., Capt. Gibbons, and went forth and has bravely fought in all the bloody Battles where that brave Regiment have met the foe; at South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburgh, Chancellorsville, Gettysburgh, Bristow Station, Norton’s Ford, Spottsylvania, the Wilderness, Mine Run, and some fifteen or twenty skirmishes; through all these conflicts he bravely stood; one after another of his Regiment cut down around him until now his time has come, and as brave a soldier has fallen as ever filled a heroe’s grave. His adjutant, W. B. Hines writes, “I am sure I don’t exaggerate when I say that there was a universal feeling of sadness in the regiment at this event. ‘Billy’ was known to nearly all of the officers and men, and every one liked him he was so kind and obliging and always so pleasant.”
In one of his last letters home, he says “I am willing to die for my Friends and Country!” He, brave boy, has fallen! but his memory shall be embalmed in our sorrowing hearts. B. D.
Middletown, August 22d, 1864.
Police Court.—Before Justice Willard, State vs. William Smith, vagrancy and drunkenness; sent to workhouse thirty days.
State vs. Sarah E. Bailey, assault and battery, fined 25 cts. and costs; paid up.
State vs. Elizabeth Hills, assault and battery; plea not guilty; judgment suspended sixty days.
Before Justice Putnam, State vs. Michael Kent, assault and battery; fined $2 and costs; paid up.
State vs. James Bailey, for same offence, fined 25 cts. with costs, which he paid.
State vs. Patrick and Michael O’Neal and James Leonard, assault and battery with breach of peace; fined $7 and costs each, and thirty days at Haddam.
State vs. Lewis Hudson, drunkenness and resisting an officer; fined $3 and costs; paid up.
Look Out For Rogues.—Late Saturday night Mrs. Goodell, a widow lady living in Liberty street, was awakened by a noise in her yard, which was caused by some person making himself free with a certain pear tree therein standing. Without ado, the undaunted lady discharged the contents of a pistol at the intruder which had the effect of making a “change of base” highly important. Fruit demands a high price these times, as midnight prowlers find to their sorrow, even if the charge is a blank one.
Dennis Murphy, of Newport, R.I., whose second wife was killed in May by a carpet thrown on her head, and his third wife, to whom he had been married four weeks, was drowned on the 24th of July, was married again on the 7th of August to a woman whose former husband was killed four week previously in battle. Murphy was married to the second wife in six weeks after the death of his first.
A good one is told of General Grant. As he was in the cars on his way to the front, a newsboy came in crying out, “Life of General Grant!’ One of the General’s Aids pointed to the General, and told the boy he guessed that man would buy a copy. The boy approached the General, who asked him carelessly, “Who General Grant is?” Boy replied, “You must be a d—d greeny not to know General Grant!” The General, after that, of course, bought his life!