From The Constitution, Wednesday, October 12, 1864 (volume 27, number 1398)

War News.

The rebels have disappeared from Altoona. Our victory there on the 4th was complete. Rebel surgeons surrendered their hospitals into our hands with from 400 to 600 wounded. An entire division attacked Altoona under Gen. French. Lieut. Amster 10th Wisconsin Battery lost a leg. Gen. Bradly telegraphed from Bridgeport, that the gunboat Gen. Thomas had arrived from Decatur, Ala., with news that Forrest’s train had been captured, and our forces are between him and the shoals, and that he was falling back towards the river.

In a recent dispatch it was mentioned that Gen. Sherman was taking means to protect his communications from the rebel forces operating against them. Dispatches received last night show the fulfillment of this expectation. Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas was sent to Louisville to organize the troops in his district and drive Forrest from our lines, while the attention of Gen. Sherman was directed to the movement of the main rebel army in the vicinity of Atlanta. On the 4th of October the rebels had captured Big Shanty, and were followed closely up by Sherman. On the 6th a severe engagement was fought by our forces under Gen. French, in which the rebels were driven from the field with heavy loss, leaving their dead and wounded in our hands. Gen. Smith, who left here the 5th, telegraphs that the enemy retreated last evening from Altoona, moving in the direction of Dallas, leaving his dead and from 400 to 600 wounded in our hands. Our loss is about 100 killed and 200 wounded. The railroad bridge near Ringgold was washed away yesterday.

Satisfactory reports of the operations in progress before Richmond and Petersburg have been received, but details are not at present proper for publication.

A dispatch from Gen. Stevenson reports an officer of Sheridan’s staff just arrived. Gen. Sheridan was still at Harrisburg. His supply trains were going on all right, occasionally intercepted by guerrilla parties, the only rebel force on the road.

A dispatch from Secretary Stanton gives the particulars of a rebel assault, on Friday, upon Gen. Butler’s lines, the repulse of the enemy after a severe engagement, by the Tenth Corps, under Gen. Birney. It appears that the rebels, about 7 o’clock, Friday morning, made an unexpected and vigorous attack on the cavalry of Gen. Kautz, and drove them, inflicting a small loss of men, but capturing his artillery, consisting of eight guns. The enemy then swept down the intrenchments upon Gen. Birney, by whom they were repulsed with heavy loss. At 3 p.m., Gen. Butler assumed the offensive, sending Gen. Birney, with two Divisions, up the Darbytown road. The enemy retreated, and Gen. Birney occupied the ground from which Kautz had been driven in the morning.


The rebel guerrillas have an ugly machine for throwing trains off the track. It is something like the frog used in getting cars on to the track. When placed on a rail it can scarcely be distinguished from the rail itself, and no engine can pass over even at the lowest rate of speed, without being thrown off. Six engines were thrown from the track this side of Atlanta before the cause was discovered.


Three of the Lake Erie pirates, officers in the rebel service, have been arrested in Sullivan county, Indiana, and taken to Indianapolis. They had receipts for making Greek fire and the chemicals for preparing it in their possession.


The Provost Marshal of Louisville and all his assistants have been arrested for kidnapping negroes and selling them as substitutes. The rules of the War Department prohibits most emphatically Provost Marshals or any of their attaches from being directly or indirectly engaged in the procuration of substitutes.

Some Things Worth Knowing.

In McClellan’s letter of acceptance he says: “All the arts of diplomacy must be exhausted in the attempt to procure a reconciliation between the rebels and the government.” There are some things connected with the result of the approaching election which it becomes moneyed men and all who have the best interests of the government at heart to consider. Would McClellan, if he should be elected, be the proper person in whose hands interests of such vast importance might safely be placed? Is he a statesman and diplomatist? Important questions would arise if the adjustment of the difficulties by diplomacy was attempted. The present administration has been called by the adherents of McClellan weak and vacillating. How is McClellan on those points? The New York Evening Post gives the opinion of one who knew McClellan well in early life, and has watched his course in subsequent years:

“The great danger which will attend his elevation to the Presidency will arise from the pliancy of his temperament. He always was and is now, by the constitution of his mind, a mere receptacle of the thoughts and purposes of other men. He never had an original idea or an independent volition. He was always a satellite of some stronger will, and acted only as he was impelled and guided by others. In his academic life he was the follower of such men as G. W. Smith and Fitz John Porter; in military life he has been guided by men of the same class; in domestic life he is ruled by the women about him, and in political life he will be blindly led by the counsels of Wood and Vallandigham.”

At the ratification meeting in New York Fernando Wood said that McClellan, if elected, “would entertain the views and execute the principles of the great party he represents. He is our agent, the creature of our voice, and as such cannot if he would, and would not if he could, do otherwise.” This is the opinion of all the leaders of that party. If McClellan should be elected it would virtually be giving power into their hands. What would be the result? They from the first have opposed the war, the issuing of paper currency, the funding of the national debt; in fact every thing connected with the progress of the war. If in power would they pursue a different course? They have claimed that the debt of the South would be paid. Would they not give their aid to such an event, even at the expense of the north? Capitalists and all others who have interests connected with the credit of the government should consider these questions.


A traveler’s Insurance Company has been started in Hartford. Capital, $250,000. You wish to go on a journey, you insure yourself in this company, and if the train goes off the track, and cuts you into splinters, it is a thousand dollars cash in your pocket.

Local News.

Town Meeting.—At the adjourned annual town meeting, held Saturday afternoon, Dr. Chas. Woodward, chairman, the following business was transacted. Two dollars per day and expenses were allowed the selectmen.—Town clerk’s salary raised $75 with an addition of $40 for office expenses. Treasurer’s salary raised from $50 to $150. Board of Relief, $2 per day. Col. John Wyse, just elected treasurer, after the reading of his report, tendered his resignation to the selectmen, giving as one reason, that while the duties of the treasurer were as arduous as that of either one of the selectmen, the remuneration ($150) was too small in comparison with that which one of the selectmen was receiving (between $500 and $600). The annual reports were read and placed on file. The indebtedness of the town is $123,000. A tax of 10 mills on a dollar was laid. A highway tax of ¾ of a mill and a school tax of 3 cts. on $100.


Gen. Geo. B. McClellan came in town Thursday morning. He is the guest of Joseph W. Alsop, Esq. On Friday evening he was serenaded, Colt’s Armory Band of Hartford and the several drum bands in this vicinity being engaged for the occasion. The General appeared, thanked the crowd and retired.


Wesleyan University.—Isaac Rich, of Boston, has offered to put up a library building to cost not less than $25,000, for the use of the Wesleyan University in this city, if the library fund now amounting to $11,000, be increased to $25,000. Efforts are being made to secure the requisite sum.


For Mt. Holyoke.—The senior class of Wesleyan University intend taking in a few days, a trip to Mt. Holyoke and Mt. Tom.


Mr. Geo. W. Garrison wishes to return thanks to the citizens for their liberal donations to the Freedmen at the south. $4125 in money was collected, together with three barrels of clothing.


The Annual Fair of the Middlesex County Agricultural Society was held in McDonough Hall on the 5th and 6th inst.

Although a County Fair, there was scarcely a contribution to the Hall from any other place than Middletown. For this reason, as well as for want of interest on the part of our citizens, the display was not large. So far as the products of nature were concerned, the Apples, Pears, Quinces, Grapes; the Potatoes, Turnips, Cabbages, Carrots, &c. were fully equal in quality to anything we have ever seen. Of manufactures and other evidences of domestic industry and taste, the contributions were few, but deserving of mention.—Conspicuous on the east side of the Hall, was the contribution of the Savage Fire Arms Company, a board with all the hundred single pieces that go to make up the Government Musket, in burnished detail, and a specimen of the complete weapon on each side, the whole surmounted with a fine portrait of Gen. Grant, and draped with the Stars and Stripes.

A case of several hundred insects, essentially of domestic culture, as many of them were raised from the chrysalis by the exhibitor, C. Barnes.

A pencil Drawing by Miss Lilly Pelton which deserves praise. The young artist may well feel encouraged with her early success. She bids fair to make a mark in this department. This was the only specimen of pencil work we noticed.

James H. Taylor exhibited a very handsome wreath of shells mingled with mosses.

A wreath of flowers very carefully pressed by Miss Helen Chapman.

Two mono-chromatic drawings by I. C. Eaton.

On the south side of the Hall, were three handsome bedquilts in piece-work exhibited by Mrs. Winslow, Miss F. D. Hubbard and Mrs. W. Miller.

There were two ottomans, one of hair cloth and worsted by Mrs. C. Skinner, the other, the more elaborate of the two, worked in raised worsted and beads by Mrs. S. W. Russell; an afghan by Mrs. Jane Merwin; two neat blankets by Mrs. S. W. Russell; with cassimere and articles of clothing from the store of Benham and Boardman.

Mr. F. A. Hart exhibited a stand of Hoop Skirts, suspenders, braces and supporters. It is a pity human nature should need any such things, and if it conducted itself as it ought, the latter could be dispensed with.

A luxurious looking sofa cushion by Miss Annette Hall; a large breakfast cape by Mrs. I. C. Eaton, very pretty, also a tidy by the same lady; another handsome worsted tidy by Mrs. Virginia Miller; two cake tidies, a worsted lamp-mat and tidy, both of the same pattern by Miss Maria Ward; a lamp mat by Miss Ida Miller; a pair of comfortable mittens, a pair of woolen hose, a pair of cotton hose very firmly knit, by Miss Hannah Crowell; a pair of worsted hose by Miss Harriet Crowell; two pair mixed woolen hose and woolen yarn by Mrs. F. W. Steuben; white woolen yarn by Mrs. Charles Hubbard; mixed woolen and while woolen yarn, with thirteen yards of linen, by Mrs. E. Boardman; one pair of woolen hose and one of cotton by S. G. Ely, and in striking contrast with these, by Mrs. E. J. Crawford, a pair of the smallest of small socks for some dear little feet that never ran to wickedness, but will perhaps—alas!

Under the head of embroidery ware—an infant dress, handsomely worked by Miss Ellen Shey; another very pretty, by Mrs. G. H. Prior; a tatting collar by Mrs. E. J. Crawford, a linen thread collar of fine quality, and worked handkerchief by Miss Almira Ward; a pair of neatly worked pillow cases by Miss Ann D. Hall; a robe de nuit, embroidered in a pretty pattern, by Miss F. D. Hubbard; a set of handsome toilet mats made of cord, by Miss E. Ward; Mrs. Susannah Lee, a lady of eighty-one years, displayed as an evidence of unimpaired facilities, a pair of tow silk hose, and one of flax, spun and knit by herself; Miss Alda A. Holloway, a little girl four years, exhibited pieces of patchwork, which though not as handsome as other specimens of needle work, deserve special mention, inasmuch as they were done by such little inexperienced fingers. Skill and taste were manifested in the beautiful articles turned from wood by Henry W. Skinner; a miniature rustic chair and picture frame made of twigs, by Miss Mary G. Brewer; a wreath of hair work by Miss Rhoda Savage; a vase of beautiful wax flowers true to life, by Miss Mary E. Hall; a handsome shell basket and cross by Miss Mary Miller; a glittering bead basket by Miss Hattie Woodward; hair flowers by Henry C. Beebe; a very large hair wreath in hair of every tint by Mrs. H. N. Rutty; a novel picture frame ornamented with putty by Miss Sarah Ward.

Mrs. E. J. Crawford exhibited a beautiful bouquet of worsted flowers which were very pleasing. A case of confectionery of almost every variety was exhibited by W. R. Arnold. It was impossible to test the quality of the candies, though many little hands made fruitless efforts, and many eyes looked longingly upon them. By Master William Newton, a case of curious coins about two hundred in number. A well-wrought miniature coffin by Charles Hills, happily too small for any practical purpose. E. Rockwell exhibited articles of Fancy Stationery and samples of book binding. The culinary department was represented by contributions of pies, cakes, bread and biscuit, which were nearly all tasted away.

It is to be regretted that so little interest is shown by the people of this County on our annual exhibitions. If each would do what he could, and all come with a disposition to co-operate in promoting the praiseworthy objects for which the society was instituted, general improvement and individual satisfaction and enjoyment would be the result.


The following is an extract from a letter written by Hon. Daniel S. Dickinson of New York, in answer to an invitation to attend a Union meeting:

“Believing General McClellan entitled to fair treatment, I am quite inclined to censure those who are proposing to distort his comely proportions by placing one foot in the sliding slippery surrender structure of Chicago, and the other on a vigorous prosecution of a patriotic war ‘on conservative principles!’ It requires too much tension of muscle, and is entirely unjustified at the present price of ready-made clothing. The Colossus of Rhodes though made of brass nearly equal to that of Chicago, fell in attempting to stand astride a much narrower gulf than separates these points, and as the general is well read in history as well as classic fable, he will have no apology for attempting an exploit of such unusual daring. Hoping for the success of the Union cause, and believing that our good land is to be rescued from the grasp of the despoiler, I am sincerely yours.”


1864 grocery ad

1864 Autumnal Festival