From The Constitution, Wednesday, December 7, 1864 (volume 28, number 1406)
The enemy at 4 p. m., Nov. 30, made a heavy attack at Franklin, Tenn., with two corps, but after persistent fighting was repulsed at all points, with the loss of 6,000 killed and wounded. Our loss was about 500. A rebel brigadier and a thousand prisoners were taken. Parties from the front who witnessed the battle of yesterday, describe the attack of the rebel force as desperate. Four charges were made upon the federal line of masked batteries, in [illegible], four lines deep. Each time the rebels were repulsed with fearful loss. The fort is on the north bank, opposite the town. Extending up the river, and encircling the town, was the line of masked batteries.—Eye witnesses say that this engagement, in desperation and furious fighting, was hardly equaled by the battle of Stone River. Forrest was on the field, rallying his men. About 7 o’clock last night, heavy reinforcements reached Gen. Scofield, which caused a complete rout of the rebels. The city to-day is full of fleeing residents from Williamson and other counties south. They state that Hood was gathering up all the horses, hogs and mules he could find, and sending them south. There is a great panic among the negroes in the counties south of Nashville; numbers fleeing to the city for protection. The federal forces under Gen. Thomas retired from Franklin last night, and have taken position and formed in line of battle south of Nashville about three miles. Skirmishing has been going on all day, about five miles south of here.
Heavy cannonading can be distinctly heard in the city. Employes of the quartermaster’s department are under arms and in trenches. One hundred and seven officers, including one brigadier general, and one thousand prisoners arrived in this city this forenoon. They were captured in the fight last night near Franklin. A great battle may momentarily be expected.
We have later and important intelligence from Gen. Sherman. An official dispatch from Gen. Grant to Secretary Stanton, states that Richmond papers of Dec. 1, admits that Sherman’s entire army is now east of the Oconee, and is progressing toward the seaboard.
An important reconnaissance was made by the cavalry of Gen. Meade’s army. On Thursday Gen. Gregg’s Division advanced upon Lee’s supply depots on the Weldon Railroad, for the purpose of discovering if there were any troops moving South. Arriving at Stony Brook Station our cavalry most gallantly charged and captured the works together with two pieces of artillery, one hundred and ninety prisoners, and horses, mules and wagons.
The latest intelligence from Tennessee reports no further fighting and the situation perfectly satisfactory to our military commanders. Hood’s forces were thought to be demonstrating in the direction of Murfreesboro which caused no concern, as Gen. Steedman with a powerful force of veterans from Chattanooga would in that case close up on Hood’s rear, while Thomas attacked him in front. Further details of the battle at Franklin are given which show it to have been necessitated in order to get our trains safely across the Big Harpeth River. The repulse of the rebels was most complete and their loss fully as great as reported.—In all quarters, Gen. Thomas is regarded as complete master of the situation.
The Savannah Republican of the 30th ult., states that Gen. Sherman’s forces were a few miles beyond Millen, his cavalry having approached that place, but returned without molesting it. Sherman was resting his forces preparatory to his advance to the seaboard.
The United States forces which left Hilton Head under Gen. Foster, landed at Bird’s Neck, about twenty miles up Broad River, on the 29th, and a portion had marched toward the Savannah and Charleston Railroad, in the direction of Great Swamp, but returned after a skirmish. It was supposed that an attack to burn the bridge would be made on the 30th, and heavy firing on that day was heard, and a heavy smoke was seen in that direction.
A cavalry reconnaissance, from the Army of the Potomac, on Monday, returned with a large number of contrabands and twelve wagon-loads of barreled beef, captured while in transit and supposed to have been smuggled into the rebel lines from the James river.
It is not under a southern sun that we are to look entirely for the rebels, or for their acts of barbarism. Thousands of families at the commencement of the war left their homes in the south and came to the north to be from the danger incidental to an invested country. They are thoroughly rebel. It is not placing the number at too high a figure to say that in New York alone there are, of this class over 30,000. In every city throughout the loyal states they can be found. As the chances of success by their leaders is diminishing, and the national armies are closing steadily but surely around the rebellion, there seems to be not any thing in the catalogue of crimes which they dare not conceive or perpetrate. What seems to add to its enormity, there are men of northern antecedents so low as to aid them. But a short time since Secretary Seward informed the municipal authorities of our cities that the government had information of a rebel plot to invade the north from Canada, and asked them to be watchful. Then again, during election week, the city of New York was places in charge of General Butler. In both instances the opposition press raised a great hue and cry, scorning one and denouncing the other. What has been the result? The warnings of the Secretary, and the precautions of the General have been found to be wise and prudent. Our cities have since been invaded from a neutral border and attempts have incessantly been made by rebel emissaries to fire them. It is now too late to laugh at these facts; they stare us in the face. Prompt and decided action must be taken.
It is the duty of every Union man to be vigilant. Every city or town can produce its rebel sympathizer. They have neither the manliness nor courage to join their brethren in arms in rebeldom, but strike in the dark. The assassin’s knife or incendiarie’s torch are at their disposal. Oblige them to seek refuge further south; or if possible hand them over to the tender mercies of Gen. Dix, who treats them as spies.
On Monday evening, gas was left flowing or leaking in the house of a Mr. Pritchard in Waterbury. Upon entering the room with a light, the gas ignited, blew out the windows, tore off the doors, and gave the bluest sort of a complexion to the proprietor’s countenance.
Two yoke of oxen, valued at $500, owned by Mr. Norman L. Babcock of South Coventry, fell through their stable floor and were killed.
The famous barn of the Shakers in Hancock, Mass., was burnt on the 1st inst. It was one of the most complete agricultural structures in the country.
The great breach in the Erie Canal, twelve miles west of Rochester, which has caused a premature suspension of navigation for this season, was occasioned by the boring of a muskrat. In two hours after the small leak was first discovered, fifty thousand square yards of earth were washed out of the bank. One man lost his life in the flood.
Seven thousand acres in South Indiana have been taken by petroleum borers. There is “every promise of success.” …
The excavations at Pompeii have just led to the discovery of a temple of Juno, on the flags of which were scattered about more than 200 skeletons of women and children, who, during the eruption of Vesuvius, hastened to the temple to implore the protection of the goddess. …
A girl of sixteen, convicted at St. Louis, of repeated violations of the oath of allegiance, of carrying contraband articles across our lines, and of being a rebel spy, has had her sentence, which, according to the rules of war and the enormity of the offence, is death, commuted by Gen. Rosecrans to imprisonment during the war. …
A big cheese has been shipped from California for the use of the army. Its weight is 3,920 lbs. It was made from the milk of 600 cows, given at seven milkings, and is nearly six feet in diameter.
Exploded.—As George Coles, connected with the Union Mills Company, was driving down Main street, Monday forenoon, when in front of the McDonough House, there was a loud report, as if a pistol had been discharged, and Mr. Coles and the friend with him experienced a curious sensation “as if something had happened,” besides finding themselves plentifully showered with dirt. This fact was further confirmed by the appearance of the vehicle, one wheel being in a dilapidated state, the tire being bent and twisted and the felly and spokes knocked out. A small hole in the ground also showed that there had been a disturbance thereabouts. There was also the smell of discharged gunpowder. Pieces of glass, very thick and thin were found on the ground. To speak the plain truth, it was the opinion of those who heard the report, and saw the damaged vehicle, that there had been an explosion, caused by the contact of the wheel with some explosive substance lying on the ground. Whatever it might have been, it was a dangerous article to be “lying around loose,” and was a narrow escape for both horse and driver.
For the Constitution.
Mr. Editor : In common with others we felt outraged at some of the indecencies which marred the performance of the Minstrels on Saturday evening. We have no sympathy with those who condemn such exhibition as wholly wrong. The music, the comic action, the reproduction of Ethiopian manners and language, now and then, tend to amuse; and anything which will make a care worn, dollar-loving Yankee laugh twenty times in an evening, cannot but do some good. The fathers of the city build no Gymnasiums and open no public Library, or City Gardens, or temples of Art, or evening schools, or even a course of Lectures to interest the young. Our public amusements are imported, and our more local entertainments, as billiard, bowls, &c, are under the ban of society. We must choose one of two courses. Either purify these amusements or procure better ones. Let the good combine and either end could be gained. Let the owners of the Hall exercise that ownership which belongs to them and resolutely shut out any performance which is indecent and immoral. In remonstrating with one of the managers of this troupe, he acknowledged that some parts of his exhibition was objectionable and that he would gladly amend if the better part of the community would only stand by him. We cannot throw off this responsibility. The young are springing up around us and they must be amused. We respectfully and earnestly suggest to the parents and guardians of these youth, whether they can do better than elevate billiards and bowls and concerts into decent and refined entertainments. —Reform.
On the First of December, the old farmhouse of “Hunting Hill,” turned back its dial shadow, and recalled the scenes of 1814.
The ancient kitchen laid aside its moss-grown mantle, and twined again its wreath of orange flowers and myrtle.
In kitchen, drawing room, and parlor, “all around the chimney,” the oak and hickory blazed and crackled on every hearth, in cheerful, sparkling welcome, as in days of yore.
The faithful piano, lifted its time-honored cover, and sent forth its merriest notes in honor of “Auld Lang Syne.”
The tables groaned under their staggering load of good things, from land and sea; and lands beyond the sea.
A huge basket stood patiently overflowing with wedding gifts—comforts for the body, comforts for the soul. The good book of praise, and the aids to read it; and not the least important, a capacious album, containing sunprints of faces dear, interspersed with varied flowers, and an occasional engraving of the well-known knight of the beetle and wedge. Nor was the faithful horse forgotten, for there was harness complete, with whip and rein, and blanket good and strong.
Busy sons and daughters had stolen a march by night. The major-domo, a tried and valiant trooper, was for once, taken by surprise.
Five stalwart Brothers well attended, tied their trusty steeds at the outer gate, “a goodly companye.”
Fifty years ago, but not with sword or bow, this gallant knight, a maiden bright, a captive fairly made. These brothers gave assent, the prisoners was content—without parole, to his control a willing bride arrayed.
Fifty years pass, and they come again to prove the faithful keeping of the fair trust.
Fifty years have blessed their honored name with sons respected, and daughters beloved:–yea children’s children grace the festive scene, and beguile the weary steps of age.
In token of that union, strengthened by fifty circling years—of life’s early vows unbroken—of affection whose ardor the frosts of fifty winters have failed to chill—in token of a settled purpose to pass life’s remaining days in the same harmony and faithful love, they join hands again, and commence the last half of the century of married life.
As the highest mountain peaks gleam the brightest, as the clouds nearest heaven’s light shine with the purest golden glory, so may these reunions be well named “Golden Weddings.”
It is a pleasure to grasp the hand of the veteran pilgrims, and bid them a cordial God speed—“a golden journey to a City of Gold.”