From The Constitution, Wednesday, January 18, 1865 (volume 28, number 1412)
Fort Fisher Taken !
Fort Fisher taken on the 15th inst. Captured 2000 prisoners and 70 guns. Fort and everything in our hands.
The Fortress Monroe correspondent of the Norfolk Old Dominion gives the following intelligence about Sherman’s operations, which we find nowhere else: “I learn that the expedition which went up the Savannah River the other day, met with great success. When about sixty miles up the river, a large force was landed, which was marched to the Columbia and South Carolina road, when about ten miles of the road was completely destroyed. The expedition met with little or no opposition. Gen. Foster’s forces captured a company of South Carolina militia in the vicinity of Hardeeville. They had been in the field but two weeks, and did not seem to relish hard fighting overmuch. This successful expedition is part of the grand project which has for its object the complete isolation of Richmond. And not many weeks will pass before Sherman will have entire possession of all the railroads connecting Virginia with the cotton States.”
In the rebel House of Representatives, on Wednesday last, Mr. Miles of South Carolina, introduced a series of resolutions declaring that all attempts by States to negotiate a peace are revolution, and that they (the Representatives) are firmly determined to continue the struggle until they achieve their independence.
Richmond papers of the 13th inst. chronicle the arrival of Hon. S. P. Blair in that city, but withhold the particulars of his visit. They profess to regard his mission as an attempt on the part of Mr. Lincoln to set the rebel Government wrong before the world, by proposing terms of peace which he knows they cannot accept.
Death of Edward Everett.
The country was startled on hearing of the death of the nobleman and patriot, Edward Everett. He died at his residence in Boston, of apoplexy, on Sunday morning. He has left a noble record. A gentleman of high intellect and power, he has used his voice and influence in favor of the right. No orator in America excelled him. His death will be felt as a public affliction. The funeral will be attended on Thursday.
It is stated that Gen. McClellan will leave in the steamer China during the first week in February, for an European tour. He will be gone a couple of years. He has declined the offer of a private vessel tendered to him by his friends. He will make a thorough study of the military science in Europe.
Gen. Butler Relieved.—Maj. Gen. Benj. F. Butler has been relieved of the command of the Army of the James and ordered to report to Lowell. In relinquishing his command, he issued a farewell order, in which he intimates that he was relieved for declining to shed the blood of his troops in assaults which he deemed useless.
Fourteen hundred of the rebel prisoners confined at Elmira, N. Y., are between 14 and 18 years old. Many of them are just learning to read.
The Constitutional Amendment.
The proposed Constitutional Amendment for the abolishment of slavery throughout the United States is before Congress. There is but little chance of the passage of the amendment but as there will be in the next Congress a two-thirds majority for it, it is well to give the opposition a chance to place themselves on the record. The argument given against its adoption is that it is a violation of the inherent rights of the States, although it may not conflict with the bare letter of the Constitution, yet it is a usurpation by a majority of the States over a minority, which was not contemplated by the framers of the Constitution. Such argument will not stand the test. Have the opposition any doubt as to what were the intentions of those who founded and established this government?—Did they enact laws with the view that at some future day they might be so construed as to separate the government into two confederacies? Slavery existed when this government was formed. Our fathers acknowledged it—framed such laws as were necessary, with the expectation that it would gradually be abolished. They knew its evil influence and wished to avoid the strife which it would cause if suffered to extend. In those days moral truths had an influence and kept the tempter at bay. But as the country grew and prospered, the old leaven worked away, and new actors with high aspirations came before the people. To accomplish their ends they espoused the cause which would place and keep them in power. That cause was slavery. Waxing strong and insolent, they pushed it beyond its limits. Who would pretend to say to-day, that the framers of the Constitution legislated to have human slave labor complete with the honest labor of the young men of this country; or that bloodhounds and the whip were to be kept to make the word of the master law. If such scenes had come before them, they would have legislated against the evil. It has plunged the country into a bloody war, and cast gloom and sorrow into thousands of homes. What honest heart can cavil about the constitutionality of blotting out so dire an evil?
Military.—1st Lieut. Samuel M. Mansfield, of the U. S. corps of engineers, has been appointed to a captaincy in that corps. For the past few months he has been engaged in superintending the construction of fortifications at New Haven and Newport. In addition to this, he is now engaged in recruiting for the U. S. Engineer corps. Capt. Mansfield is a faithful soldier. His friends in this city will hear of his advancement with pleasure.
Died in Camp at Chapin’s Farm near Richmond, January 4th 1865, after an illness of 12 hours, Lieut. Frederick W. H. Buell of Co. H., 21st Regt., Conn. Vols., and son of Wm. G. Buell, Esq. of East Hampton, aged 25 years.
With the above announcement came the remains of one borne from the camp where he had so long and bravely maintained his country’s honor and defence, one noble in character and who gave bright promise of continued usefulness in whatever department he might be placed. There is mourning in camp by comrades for a loved leader suddenly cut down by an invisible foe—there is mourning at home over a loved son and brother, over an affectionate husband whose remains they have tenderly laid to rest,–there is mourning too among sympathizing friends who knew and appreciated his worth and feel that they also share in the sore bereavement. As an officer while attentive to his duty he was loved for his unvarying kindness by which he became so much endeared to his command. In enumerating his good qualities they can best be summed up in the brief words—He was a Christian! Vol.
The annual City Election took place on Monday. It was a quiet affair. The opposition expended their strength last fall, and hardly showed themselves during the day. The city registry list shows 1110 votes. Of this only 504 votes were polled, 365 being Union. The ticket headed “democratic,” was concocted by private individuals, no caucus being held, and was intended to win on its merits, yet three of those on the ticket voted Union. …
Various Matters.—Good crossing on the river for foot passengers or heavy teams.—The ferry boat not running. …
Sidewalks are nowhere in these days of ice and sleet. A good clean sidewalk entitles the owner to the thanks of the street commissioner and the public in general.
Skating.—There has been good skating the past week on most of the ponds and streams in this vicinity, also on the river. During the moonlight evenings of last week, the Pameacha pond was crowded. The ladies enjoy the excitement equally as well as the sterner sex. That’s right; improve the opportunity.
For the Constitution.
THE RESIGNATION OF CAPT. C. M. CLARKE, AND DR. E. A. PARK.
Some of our readers may have heard, and all will hear with surprise, that Provost Marshal Clarke and Dr. E. A. Park, Surgeon of the Board of Enrollment 2d Dist. Conn., have resigned their offices. Both of these gentlemen have been deservedly popular with all who have had business to transact at their office, and both have been eminently loyal, honest and faithful to the trust imposed upon them.
The New Haven and Hartford papers have entered into the matter warmly, the former in favor of Capt. Clarke and Dr. Park, the latter in favor of Col. Sewall, Provost Marshal General of the State, by whom they were obliged to resign their positions. Amid the cloud of dust thrown in the eyes of the readers of these papers, some truths will crop out and from these and other sources we will endeavor to give a correct account of this affair.
The trouble has been long brooding. The former Provost Marshal Gen’l did not entertain any very amiable feelings toward the New Haven office. On his removal and the appointment of Col. Sewall in place, he seems to have endowed Col. S., with all his prejudices against it, which he has carried out with four fold intensity, continually finding fault, and making complaints to Gen. Fry against Capt. C., and all concerned. It is on record that members of the Board have been charged with shameful incompetency, and dereliction from duty, which if true would disgrace them as men, and call for their immediate removal.
Sometime in Dec. last a veteran soldier applied to the Board to be re-enlisted. At the time of presentation he had a slight skin disease, and had some teeth knocked out by a gun shot through both cheeks, received in battle. The Board refused at the time to take him, but some days after gave him another examination and accepted him. The Camp Surgeons rejected him, and Col. S. promptly reported the two gentlemen, Capt. C., and Dr. P. to Head Quarters. An order was received by them from Col. S., to come to Hartford last Friday, Jan’y 6th, first train. Messrs. Clarke and Park obeyed the summons and were ushered into the presence of the P. M. G., and were received in such a manner as left them no other alternative but to resign, which they did. Their friends hearing of this treatment and knowing it to be unjust have made such representations to the War department, as has induced Gen’l Fry, much to his credit, to refuse to accept their resignations and Capt. C., will no doubt resume the duties of the office.
Col. Sewall has stated that no charges have been made involving the integrity of these gentlemen or any one connected with the Board. What then is the trouble?
From all we can learn the case above referred to was the culminating point in Col. S.’s pent up wrath and malice against Capt. Clarke and Dr. Park, this has however been disposed of by Dr. Jewett of Knight’s Hospital and the Surgeon of the 6th Reg’t C. V., who gave the soldier (Caswell) an examination on Wednesday at the Hospital, and fully sustained Messrs. Clarke and Park in accepting him, the Surgeon of the 6th Reg’t remarking that he “wished he had a regiment of such men.”
We learn that another charge was the “enlistment of men wholly unfit for the service.” How far this is true may be seen by the subjoined report made by Drs. Casey and Peck, Surgeons at the conscript camp who re-examine all men passed by the several Boards of enrollment in this state. …
It will thus be seen that the charge of “inefficiency and incompetency,” is thoroughly ventilated by able Surgeons. It will be seen that these “inefficient and incompetent men,” have done more business and with more ability than any other office in the State, and the public will see that the complaints of Col. Sewall are not based on facts.
The integrity of Messrs. Clarke and Park has not been assailed. Col. S., nor any other man would not dare to impeach it. Nothing really has been brought against them. Prejudice without cause, a sour disposition, and a meddlesome spirit seems to have actuated the person making the trouble. We think that in the end he will find that “the biter has been bit.”
We have no doubt but that Capt. Clarke, and Park will come out of this trouble stronger than ever. The whole district is in their favor, and if a vote was to be taken upon accepting their resignations there would be a unanimity of votes, against it perfectly surprising. …
Dr. Park has been on duty every day. Having been requested so to do by Capt. Pease temporarily in charge. This would show that the charges against him of incompetency, were unfounded, as they really are.