From The Constitution, Wednesday, October 26, 1864 (volume 27, number 1400)
A great battle was fought and a splendid victory won by Sheridan against Longstreet on the 19th at Cedar Creek. Forty-three pieces of artillery were captured, and many prisoners, among whom was the rebel Gen. Ramseur. On our side, Gens. Wright and Ricketts were wounded, and Gen. Bidwell killed.
Later intelligence from Gen. Sheridan says: “I have the honor to report that my army at Cedar Creek was attacked this morning before daylight, and my left was turned and driven in confusion. In fact most of the line was driven in confusion with the loss of twenty pieces of artillery. I hastened from Winchester, where I was on my return from Washington, and found the armies between Middletown and Newtown, having been driven back about four miles. I here took the affair in hand and quickly united the corps, formed a compact line of battle just in time to repulse the attack of the enemy, which was handsomely done at about 1 P. M.
At 3 P. M., after some changes of the cavalry from the left to the right flank, I attacked with great vigor, driving and routing the enemy, capturing, according to the last report, forty-three pieces of artillery and very many prisoners. I do not know yet the number of my casualties or the losses of the enemy. Wagons, trains, ambulances and caissons in large numbers are in our possession. They also burned some of their trains. Gen. Ramseur is a prisoner in our hands, severely and perhaps mortally wounded. I have to regret the loss of Gen. Bidwell, killed, and Gens. Wright, Grover and Ricketts, wounded.
Affairs at times looked badly, but by the gallantry of our brave officers and men the disaster has been converted into a splendid victory. Darkness again intervenes to shut off greater results. I now occupy Strasburg. As soon as obtained I will send you further particulars.
The St. Louis Democrat of Saturday has a special from Jefferson City, which says that Gen. Curtis has been fighting Price’s advance all day on the Little Blue river, ten miles from Independence. Curtis holds a good position, and will stand for a regular engagement if Price will continue the conflict. Rosecrans will be near, or at Lexington. Lamine bridge will be repaired and trains running to Warrensburg in two or three days. Everything is working finely. Reinforcements will be at the right place at the proper time. Gen. Sanborn is reported skirmishing with Shelby to-day between Boonesville and Waverly.
Gen. Butler has carried his point in respect to the use of colored Union prisoners of war in the rebel trenches. Gen. Butler, it will be remembered, put an equal number of rebel prisoners at work in the Dutch Gap Canal. On Friday Gen. Lee officially notified Gen. Butler that these negro soldiers had been taken from the works and sent back to Richmond to be treated properly as prisoners of war. Gen. Butler at once relieved the rebel prisoners from further labor upon the canal. The oath of allegiance was then offered to them, when one-fourth of their number took it.
Twelve of the St. Alban’s raiders, including the leader, have been arrested in Canada. The leader claims to be a Confederate officer, and claims that the neutrality of British soil, was violated by his capture.
The Votes of Soldiers.
The name of every soldier qualified to vote should be registered fourteen days before the day of election, or at least before Wednesday of the week next preceding the election. Let every one who has a friend or relative in the army see that his name is registered. Soldiers in hospital in the State or members of the Veteran Revenue Corps, must return to their respective homes, or their votes cannot be secured. The names of all such should be forwarded to the State Central Committee. Those at home on furloughs which expire on the day before election, should report at once to the Central Committee.
The recent election in this state, has resulted in the adoption, by a small majority, of a new constitution which embraces the overthrow of slavery. This is an important result. The many evils resulting from the establishment of slavery which have kept that state from advancing in prosperity and wealth are now removed. Maryland is free, and with the new life and vitality which will soon be manifested in all her arts and interests, will take her place in true stability and national independence, among the free states. But this is not all. Another important point has been gained. The present rebellion in the southern states originated from the fact that new guarantees for the extension and protection of slavery was claimed by them. Maryland was then a slave state, and all her sympathies and interests were supposed to be with the south. But after nearly four years of war, she has by independent action, abolished slavery, and proclaimed in favor of a national government established by free institutions and free principles. It is a proud achievement. It conclusively proves that the evils which the aristocratic southerners wished to inflict upon the nation are falling upon themselves, and sooner or later, their boasted strength and power will dwindle away, and vanish like mist before the rising sun.
Samuel Chittenden, brakeman, injured by the shore line railroad accident, died in New London, Monday night.
On Saturday afternoon, the body of Miss Amelia Hayes, who had been missing since the evening of the 8th, was found floating in the water near one of the docks in New Haven. She was the daughter of Samuel G. Hayes, 26 years of age.
At a railway station in England recently, a traveler stopped for refreshments, and very voraciously drank off a hasty plate of soup, in which was a nail. He suffered in great pain and soon died.
The adherents of McClellan in the West, are called “little mackerels,” particularly since the recent elections in Ohio and Indiana.
A French chemist has discovered that a depressing effect upon the action of the heart is caused by smoking.
The Russian government encourages marriage among its soldiers, provides the couple with a house, supports them, rears their children, but takes away all the boys at a tender age and sends them to military garrisons, there to be trained for the army. There are 800,000 of this kind of soldiers now in the Russian army.
The harp is being introduced into the church of England choirs.
The Messager du Midi states that Baron de Rothschild possesses the most voluminous collection of begging letters that any financier ever received. They form a complete series. Among the number is one lately addressed to the Baron, containing the very tempting proposition that for the bagatelle of 50,000f, the writer would engage to show how he could prolong his life to the age of one hundred and fifty years. The following is the Baron’s reply: “Sir—It has frequently happened to me to be threatened with death if I did not give a sum of money. You are certainly the first that has ever asked for it in proposing to prolong my life. Your proposition is, without doubt, far better and more humane. But my religion teaches me that we are all under the hand of God, and I will not do anything to withdraw myself from His decrees. My refusal, however, does not in any way attack your discovery, from which you will not fail, I hope, to profit yourself. Regretting that I cannot accede to your proposal, I sincerely congratulate you on the one hundred and fifty years which you are called on to live in this world. Accept, &c., J. de Rothschild.”
McDonough Hall was crowded to overflowing on Thursday evening last, to listen to the address of Miss Anna E. Dickenson, which was a fine production. Wm. T. Elmer Esq., presided. The Alert Club, under whose auspices the speaker was procured are entitled to great credit. The sum of $330 was secured, over expenses.
The copperheads of this vicinity, propose celebrating, on Wednesday evening, with torch light procession and speaking at McDonough Hall, their coming defeat in November next. They think it will look better before, than after the 8th proximo.
Fish-y.—Mr. Cary Stocking of Cromwell, showed us, last week, a fine pickerel, weighing nearly a pound, which was caught by him while fishing in the river for dace, with a fine hook and dough. Fishermen have luck.
Portland.—Mr. George White of Portland, was attacked by a bull last Thursday, and severely injured.
For the Constitution.
Mr. Editor:–Why is it that Middletown cannot retain some of its enterprising young men at home? Why is it no inducements are offered them, to give their talents and energies to the improvement and advantage of their own city?
It is because of the narrow minded policy that originated many years ago among the old residents and capitalists of the place, and which has unhappily continued to the present day, of denying young men every opportunity of making themselves either a name or fortune at home and driving them, as it were, by force, to seek among strangers those opportunities which every ambitious young man will find somewhere. How much farther advanced would your city have been, had a different policy been pursued. I trust when the ‘Air Line’ shall have become a matter of fact, (which I learn is not far distant,) with the rapid increase of manufacturing which the demands of the country require, and which your city offers so many favorable opportunities for, and which must of necessity be improved, whether encouraged by your citizens or not, that the young men will arise in their might, put their shoulders to the wheel and force stupid old Middletown to take her place in the ranks with her rivals on either side of her. Until she does, her inhabitants can neither ask or demand the people of the state to recognize the right which her location in the centre of the state ought and does give her to demand, the removal of the capital to where it would otherwise naturally and justly belong, and which would be followed by other desirable advantages. Although the people do not seem to try to help themselves, nature is working hard for them in closing the channel of the river above, which will soon make Middletown the head of navigation. The numerous mineral resources which abound in the vicinity, together with the location which affords unusual facilities for a market, either by mail or water, and which are far superior to many towns that have rushed by her in progress and enterprise, render it certain that with a little energy on the part of its inhabitants, it might increase rapidly in wealth, population and resources. Her educational advantages are superior, and there is no reason why she should not shake off the lethargy under which she has so long suffered, and take a proud stand among the sister cities of her state.
The way to do it is plain. Encourage your young men to remain at home by furnishing them facilities for business, or any new enterprise in which they take an interest, even if it does sometimes seem visionary to old fogy eyes. Was there any great project ever started that was not at first thought visionary or impracticable? Keep your young men at home. One enterprising young firm like that which graces the banks of your river, and whose works give the only appearance of life and activity to the stranger approaching the city by water, is worth a regiment of some of your rich but antiquated old fogies who can see nothing through their selfish and parsimonious eyes but the almighty dollar in their own pockets.
Away with such a policy as drove the Hartford and New Haven Railroad through Meriden, when by a little effort, its route could have been changed, and the business of Middletown been more than doubled—that refused a location for Colt’s factory, hoping to obtain a few dollars more for the site—that closed the only respectable hotel at the time in the place, rather than let its inmates take a drink, openly, at its bar, instead of sneakingly and meanly behind the door—that will allow its people to take hundreds of dollars to Hartford to enjoy a celebration of the fourth of July, rather than appropriate fifty dollars for a celebration, at home, and in a hundred petty ways, keep down every effort in the shape of enterprise or public spirit, which would indirectly but surely bring thousands into the place.
I have been led to express these ideas, from noticing how many prominent men Middletown has furnished to the world—mercantile, manufacturing, financial, and rail-road interests are all prominently represented by Middletown boys—what a pity for the place, that some of them could not have been kept at home, but like the stereotype expression so often used in resolutions of a mortuary nature “what is your loss is their gain.”
Feeling a natural pride in the success of the place, my early days having been spent there, I cannot but hope that the rising generation will see the errors of their grandfathers and by a liberal and enlightened policy make Middletown, what she might have been years ago, an active, thriving and prosperous city. –F.
At a tea-party the conversation turned upon intemperance. The lady of the house expressed her abhorrence of the habit, and was very proud to say that her husband had never been under the influence of liquor.
The lady’s son, a little four-year-old, sitting at the foot of the table, upon hearing this assertion and wishing to refresh his mother’s memory, called out, “Oh! ma! don’t you remember when pa came home drunk, and you wouldn’t sleep with him?”
The effect may be imagined. Thirteen-inch shells were tame in comparison.