From The Constitution, Wednesday, January 25, 1865 (volume 28, number 1413)

War News.

The latest news from Fort Fisher is that after the surrender of the fort, the rebels blew up Fort Caswell and other minor works defending the entrance to Cape Fear river. At the time of her sailing, the smaller gunboats had entered the river and were actively engaged searching for torpedoes, preparatory to an advance against Wilmington.

Shortly after the capture of Fort Fisher a diagram containing a plan of the whole system of torpedo arrangements in Cape Fear river was discovered, and our naval officers were searching for a key to the diagram, by which means the infernal designs of the enemy would be completely frustrated.

A Philadelphia dispatch to an evening paper says: By the arrival of the steamer here we learn that our entire force under Terry, advanced on Wilmington, and were reinforced by a heavy column of veteran troops from the South, believed to be under Howard. No heavy fighting on the 18th and 19th, and it was thought that our troops were meeting with little or no opposition. An unconfirmed report was in circulation that Wilmington was evacuated and must be at once occupied by our troops. Light draft gunboats were moving cautiously toward Wilmington, fishing for torpedoes. No doubt our troops would soon take Wilmington, and the fall of Charleston was hourly expected.

Our Generals.

The war is now in its fourth year. It can safely be said that the great southern rebellion has run its race. During the first two years and a half, slow progress was made by the Union forces. It was almost a draw game. The victories of yesterday were cancelled by the defeat of to-day. Although we were more than holding our own, it was not enough consolation for the enterprising yankee spirit of the north. The cry of the copperheads that the ablest generals were with the south, was cutting to the north. Perseverance and patience are having their reward. The trials and experience through which we have struggled have developed great military genius and skill. Old heroes have stepped aside and given place to those of to-day. The tables have been completely turned during the last four years. Beauregard was then in the zenith, then came Polk, Hood, Bragg, Jackson, and Lee. By successful strategy and military science they laid general after general of the federal forces aside and roamed at will. They were determined to enforce the threat of Robert Toombs, and “call the roll of their slaves on Bunker Hill.” The scene has changed. One by one have the generals of the south been defeated, until but one remains, and his time will soon come. Generals Grant, Sherman, and Thomas head the roll. Among those who have won their way to military fame and distinction, Connecticut may claim not a few. But recently new laurels have been given to one of her favored sons. Brevet Maj. Gen. A. H. Terry, who commanded the land forces connected with the recent expedition against Fort Fisher. Thus it is. Through hard bought experience the ability of the Yankees to overcome obstacles is apparent, and is sure in the end to conquer. The south are learning it. The earlier they lay down their arms and submit to the laws, the easier will it be for them.

A Second Lieut. General.

The Congressional reports show a desire on the part of some official, to prosecute the enquiry on appointing a second Lieut. General. It may be done with the purpose of dividing the honors and laurels between Gen. Grant and Sherman, but whatever its object it is not expedient at present. At no time have we been favored with success in the prosecution of the war, as during the time in which Gen. Grant has had supreme control of military movements. The bare idea of falling back once more on the old style of a medley of commanders, makes on shake as in an ague fit. None of Grant’s predecessors were able to proceed further towards Richmond than on the line of the Rappahannock or Rapidan, although they commanded large armies. Lee kept them one and all within view of Washington. No sooner had Gen. Grant assumed command than an onward movement was commenced and carried out. The same obstacles that defeated his predecessors were placed in his path, but availed nothing. A combined series of front and flank movements were witnessed which drove the enemy miles from elaborately constructed fortifications until the federal forces arrived before the walls of Richmond. No backward step has yet been taken, but step by step advances are made which bring the army nearer the goal which will soon be theirs. Under the direction of Gen. Grant, our armies in various parts of the country have been making rapid strides into the heart of the southern confederacy. His fitness for the position which he occupies is shown in his discretion in selecting his officers. There has hardly been an instance of failure or misjudgment. While remaining before the battered walls of the rebel capital, he has planned campaigns, and allowed his lieutenants to reap the fruits of his victories. With the experience of the past, and the victories which are now crowning our arms, no patriot would wish to change the order of things, but decide to “let well enough alone.”

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President Jeffrard of Hayti proclaims that order is restored in the republic and the revolution vanquished. The death sentence passed on the traitors of the Cape Haytien rebellion of July last has been commuted. The republic is progressing satisfactorily.

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The Bishop of Treviso (Venetia) has published a pastoral letter strictly forbidding Catholics to attend the funerals of Jews.

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While engaged sawing wood by horse power at Palmer on Monday, Michael Alligate was accidentally thrown against the saw, which cut through his head and killed him instantly.

Local News.

Mayor’s Report.—We publish this week the report of his Honor, Mayor Warner on the affairs of the city during the past year.—An interesting feature of the report is that after the payment of all dues, there is a fair surplus remaining. It should be read by every taxpayer.

Mayors Annual Report.

Fellow Citizens: Your Charter and By Laws require me at this time to report to you the condition of your municipal government, a statement of its income and disbursements during the past year; the situation of its various departments with suggestions as to their administration during the coming year.

Treasury Department.

By the report of your Treasurer it appears that his receipts during the year past were

From taxes $6550.77
William R. Smith for sidewalk 10.23
Licenses 58.00
H. Clark St. Commissioner on Sidewalk acc’t 26.00
H. Clark St. Commissioner from grass on Union Park 6.00
Balance of old account 404.84
Town of Middletown on account Highway 1300.00 $8355.84

Disbursements.

The disbursements during the same time were

Cash paid upon orders and City debts $205.00
on hand to new acc’t 1150.84 $8355.84

City Indebtedness.

The amount of outstanding

Orders $629.31
Note of City to Orrin Gilbert 1127.00
Note of City to Savings Bank 1000.00 $2756.31
There are now due to City for taxes $2145.05
Balance of Cash on hand 1150.84 3315.89
Excess of assets over City debt $559.58

From this it appears that your city is now out of debt, having an excess of assets over its obligations of $559.58. When we consider that this result has been accomplished without any increase of taxation and against a constant inflation of prices until they have reached an advance of one hundred per cent. over former years, we think it is reasonable to assume that the state of your finances are in as satisfactory condition as you could reasonably desire.

The amount of orders drawn upon the City Treasurer for the year ending January 16th, 1865 is $5529.60

The items of said expenditures are on acc’t of

Mayor’s salary $200.00
Salary of Clerk and Treasurer 205.00
Compensation to Assessor 100.00
Salary of Street Commissioner 162.62
Police 424.75
Streets and walks 1431.37
Watering Streets 425.00
Cleaning walks & streets 184.00
Public Grounds 26.55
Compensation to Fire Department 412.75
Repairs for Fire Department 230.32
Gas for Street Lamps 158.26
Repairs for “ 81.43
Printing and advertising 57.50
Contingent expenses 233.58
Interest 127.62
Superintendent of St. Lamps 75.00
Miscellaneous 93.65 $5529.60

 

In my last report, I intimated to you that in my opinion, the expenses of every department for the past year would be increased necessarily at least twenty-five per cent. over that of the past year, are in excess of the preceding year only to the amount of $303.78 and much less than the expenses of the city during years prior to the war.

There is no department except that of “Streets and Highways”, in which any increase of expenditure is anticipated. The changes required in this department will require an appropriation at least double in amount over any recent year. We have no reason to believe, however, that the aggregate of your expenses for the coming year will be greatly in excess of the past. A tax of two mills per cent. upon last year’s assessment will be ample to provide for the demands upon your treasury for the coming year. By and with the advice of the Common Council I recommend that the same be the rate per cent of your tax.

Fire Department.

In equipments and material this department is the same as last year, and its general condition is much better.

The Chief Engineer of the department informs us in his report that the affairs of his department were perfectly satisfactory “both as regards men and material, and that each branch of the same co-operates with each other in perfect harmony.”

The officers and subordinates of this department are entitled to great credit for the present degree of efficiency of their several organizations attained in the face of many discouragements. They deserve the fostering care of the city.

Each department has applied to the Common Council for an increase of compensation. The Council were unanimous in acceding to the propriety and justice of their claim, and have recommended such an increase to be allowed by you at this time. In this I fully concur.

I desire to bring to your consideration, again, the propriety of purchasing a Steam Fire Engine for this city. Each year’s experience deepens my conviction of the propriety of such a course.

The loss by fire, during the year past amount to only nine hundred dollars, the year preceding only three hundred dollars. We believe that we argue rightfully from these facts a competent fire department and a degree of public morals.

Streets and Highways.

By the report of the Street Commissioner the expenses of this department amount to $1451.57. It is thought that the condition of your highways is perfectly satisfactory. The exhibit of the Street Commissioner in his report affords all the necessary evidence of the fidelity and economy of his management of this department. I feel it due to this officer in this connection to say that he has met my entire approval in the discharge of the duties of his office.

I desire to return my thanks to each officer connected with the city government, for their attention to their respective duties and their cooperation with me in everything calculated to effect the best interests of the city.

We have great reason to rejoice at the success which has attended every enterprise of our people and their prosperity and happiness during the past year. The increase of business enterprises in our city and immediate vicinity has been all that we could reasonably desire. No branch of business has failed to receive its proper remuneration, and the laborer has received his reward. The general calamity of pestilence has been by a kind Providence turned from us, and but the ordinary visitations of sickness and death have afflicted us. For these blessings and this measure of prosperity let us not be ungrateful.

SAMUEL L. WARNER, Mayor.

Middletown, January 16th, 1865.

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The Annual Report of the Board of Education of the Middletown City School District has been issued in neat pamphlet form. The following persons comprise the Board of Education: Hon. Benj. Douglas, President; Geo. W. Burke, Secretary; O. Utley, P. Fagan, J. M. Van Vleck, Stephen Brooks, C. F. Browning, E. B. Nye, Wm. D. Willard. Henry A. Balcam, M. A. is Principal of the High School. The number of boys registered for the year is 1000, average attendance, 584. Number of girls registered 1131, average attendance 660. The income for the year has been $8,255.90, including a donation of $901.84 from the estate of the late Elihu Spencer, Esq., who among his bequests to the public institutions remembered the interests of education in his native city. The expenses amount to $7,132.49. The report shows that the condition of the schools during the past year compare favorably with that of any former period.

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Balls.—The ball of the employees of Savage Fire Arms Co., on Friday night last, passed off pleasantly. The music by Colt’s band was fine, and the supper by “mine hosts” of the McDonough House most excellent.

The members of Mattabessett Engine and Hose Co. No. 1, will give their annual ball on the 17th of next month. Music by Third Artillery Band, J. P. Stack, leader.

The annual ball of Hubbard Hose Co., No. 2, will take place on the 22d of February.—Music by the Governor’s quadrille band.—Spencer prompter. Tickets, $2.50.

Died.

In Higganum, Jan. 16th, Mrs. Martha Humphreys, relict of the late Mr. Alvin Humphreys, aged 86 years. She had read the Bible through twenty-six and a half times, and was a worthy and consistent christian.

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Deceased.—Foster, the colored barber, known to most of our citizens, died at his residence in New Haven, on Friday morning last. His disease was small pox, contracted from the clothes of some furloughed soldier, while shaving. He had resided in New Haven about a year. We think it safe to say, that every barber’s shop in this city, (with one exception, and that from no fault of his,) was opened by him, with others now closed.

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1865 ad: Accept no substitutes!