From The Constitution, Wednesday, September 14, 1864 (volume 27, number 1394)
The latest intelligence from the army of the Potomac is that on Friday the batteries on the right and centre of our lines kept up a lively fire at intervals through the day. The enemy attracted by the noise made by the cars as they passed toward the front, endeavored without success to interrupt the operations of the road. The rebel picket line just west of the Jerusalem plank road was attacked on Friday night by the Second Division and nearly the whole line captured. The movement was a complete surprise to the rebels, who made vigorous but unsuccessful efforts to regain the lost ground. Fifteen hundred will cover, it is reported, our losses from all causes during last week.
Gen. Rousseau is concentrating his forces in Tennessee. It is reported that the rebel Gen. Dick Taylor has crossed the Mississippi with the intention of joining Wheeler. Tennessee is said to be filled with straggling rebels who plunder indiscriminately.
General Averill under date of the 10th says, Early retreated this morning toward Winchester, I am on his heels. I have whipped Vaughn’s cavalry and captured all his train, which was not burned, and taken two battle flags. He has no artillery. I have cut off Imboden.
Capt. Green communicates to the Navy department the particulars of several successful boat expeditions from the barque J. L. Davis, Griswold commanding on the station at Tampa Bay.
Firing was kept up all day on the 10th on the centre and right. The rebels seem excited by the surprise of last night and appear determined to annoy our pickets as much as they can. It was the 20th Indiana and 99th Penn. cavalry that made the charge and took the rebel line of pickets.
Lieut. Col. Mickel, of 29th Indiana, was shot through the hips and died on the field.
The prisoners captured say they were asleep at the time and our men were on them before they had time to resist.
John H. Morgan, the noted rebel guerilla, whose death has recently been announced, was born near Lexington, Kentucky, in the year 1826. He was the eldest of seven children. Their father was engaged in the manufacture of Kentucky jeans, which he conducted profitably, and on his death his sons continued the business. John Morgan engaged in land speculation at Superior City, and lived the life of a southern man of fortune. From his youth up he was noted for his daring, reckless riding, and skill in all athletic exercises. When he joined the rebellion it was as captain of a mounted company, and soon made himself conspicuous as a guerilla. He was promoted to Brig. General. In stature he was large, well proportioned, full six feet high, with light auburn hair and heavy moustache and beard. He had been twice married, and leaves several children.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
President Lincoln, in his celebrated proclamation, beginning with these words, made a mistake that ought not to have escaped the pen of an experienced politician. He is willing, he there says, to negotiate for peace upon the basis of a restoration of the whole Union, and an abandonment of slavery. The first point, a restoration of the Union, nearly all agree is very well, but many ask, by what right does he impose the other condition, an abandonment of slavery?
True, the whole thing is plain enough, but “none so blind, as those who will not see.” Suppose he had said that he was ready to treat for peace on the basis of a restoration of the Union, and the enforcement of his proclamation of January 1, 1863, commonly called his emancipation proclamation! This would have meant the same thing, and would have been much better. The emancipation proclamation was issued in good faith, as a war measure, and very many bondmen have availed themselves of the offer there made, and the promise must be kept. As a war measure, that proclamation has had a momentous influence on the character of the dreadful struggle, and probably was the measure, more than any other thing, which has turned events in favor of the loyal cause. Can he now ignore it? Can a man occupying so exalted a position as that of President of the United States of America issue a solemn proclamation of such momentous import, January 1, 1863, and then take it back in August, 1864? Can the Commander in Chief of the army and navy of the greatest nation on earth thus trifle with those whom he had appointed to rule? Common sense says No! Truth and justice emphatically says No!
Plainly then this is the foundation of his right to use the language he did, in regard to slavery. Indeed there was no real necessity of his referring to this subject, particularly, more than to many others. The emancipation proclamation was issued, as is claimed, by competent authority, and cannot be recalled. It was perfectly competent for the commander in chief of the Federal forces to use this war measure against the foe, but having availed himself of it, and secured the advantages intended, he cannot now undertake to avoid the consequences, even though by so doing he might the more readily secure peace, which all so much desire.
As a matter of course, there is an important legal question yet to be decided, which may at any time come before some of the state courts, but the ultimate decision will be with the Supreme Court of the United States. This question has reference to the validity of the celebrated Emancipation Proclamation; and it is a question of such gigantic proportions as few earthly courts ever had before them, and from the decision of which consequences may be expected to result which no human mind can foresee or fully estimate!
President Lincoln then has nothing more to do with the subject by any third action; and some time ago he intimated as much, in saying that the matter was with the courts.
Will the Supreme Court of the United States show itself equal to the mighty occasion? Let us be hopeful!
LOOK OUT FOR IT!
The old game is to be tried once more.—The copperheads in full sympathy with the southern traitors, are about to enter the campaign under false colors. In order to gloss over the peace platform of the Chicago convention, the Albany Argus explains the meaning as follows: “The Union armies are not called upon to make one step backward. The blockade will be maintained, Atlanta will be held; if Mobile is in our hands by the 4th of March next, it too will be held. The Weldon Road will remain in our possession, and the approaches to Richmond, which we command will be retained and guarded by us.” Does the editor of the Argus intend to say that the men who persistently denounced the war, boldly advocated the doctrines of the South and who framed the resolutions on which the candidate of the Chicago convention stands, are ready to take the war into their own hands, and hold by force of arms, as they would have to be held, the advantages which our armies now hold. Does the editor imagine that sensible people can be deceived into the idea that the south would negotiate with their copperhead friends under such circumstances? No. Instead of asserting the truth they are playing their old tricks. Years ago, in order to carry Pennsylvania, the democrats paraded on their banners, “Polk, Dallas, and the Tariff of ’43,” while at the south it was “Polk, Dallas and Free Trade.” As might be expected, when the election was carried Pennsylvania found herself cheated out of her tariff. So it will be now if the copperheads should by any possible means carry the coming election. The South would demand their independence, and the northern copperhead doughfaces would give it them. Our armies would be ignominiously withdrawn, our successes ridiculed, and the power and strength of the government paralized. Deny it was they will, this is their intention.
New York, Sept. 12
The gold market is unusually excited and a fierce contest is raging between the bulls and bears. The price opened at 226 1/2, and declined to 214 1/4, but recovered to 215 with a weak feeling.
The Commercial’s Washington special says; Contractors are clamoring for pay, but the treasurer is withholding all other payments in order to pay soldiers.
Success has attended the movement in this country for the establishment of a college in Syria. The sum of one hundred and three thousand dollars has been secured.
Hull Colburn, of Clinton, was so severely scalded by falling into a tank of boiling oil about a week ago, that he died of his injuries Monday morning. His age was 24 years.
Drowned.—John Andrews aged 11 years, son of Capt. Gideon Andrews of Portland, was drowned in the river opposite this city on Friday last.
Accident.—James C. Cooke, employed at the Cartridge Shop, was severely injured on Monday. He was engaged in repairing a machine for the manufacture of metallic cartridges, and was carelessly using his knife in forcing through a cartridge, when it struck fire. An explosion took place, scattering in every direction some forty bullets, also chisels and implements of every kind. Mr. Cooke had the fore finger on his left hand taken off, and the second split open, besides receiving severe injuries on his face and body from the flying articles. It was strange that he escaped with his life.
Improving.—Union Park is undergoing repairs. The walks are being raised, trees trimmed and replaced where needed, and fences repaired. With a little care and attention it can be made an attractive spot.
Correction.—In our police report of last week the name of Michael Conran was used in a case of assault and battery. It should have read Michael Conden. Mr. Conran is a law abiding citizen, and the error should not have occurred.
There are 7,000 more women than men in New Hampshire.
Crinoline at the Opera.—The Paris correspondent of the London Star writes:
The director of the Opera has just set his face against crinoline and thus caused a shortlived mutiny among the ladies who sing there in the choruses. When these sat down in the places appropriated by the stage manager very often an exposure of boots and stockings took place, not always of a kind to harmonize with a court or the boudoia of some princess. Most frequently the stockings of the coryphées were the worse for wear and boots and shoes in the same condition. The first time the decree went forth prohibiting crinoline, none of them would obey it. During the first act of the opera in which these hoop-loving ladies were to appear, they insisted on wearing their “cages.” After they retired the scene which ensued behind the scenes surpassed the drama that went on before. The manager stormed, and threatened fines and dismissal. All but one ceded to this very cogent way of reasoning. After shedding floods of tears and before the third act was announced, this unit was prevailed on to submit. The principal actresses, however, still persist in wearing crinolines; but as the manager has made up his mind to exclude these garments from the opera the Leonoras and Valentines must soon learn to do without them.