From The Constitution, Wednesday, February 15, 1865 (volume 28, number 1416)

War News.

The news from the Army of the Potomac is not yet definite as to the object or results of the new movement. The Second and Fifth Corps obtained a well advanced position on Sunday, and held it, despite the efforts of the enemy to dislodge them. The greater part of the Sixth and Ninth Corps arrived on the ground Sunday night. On Monday afternoon Crawford’s division of the Fifth Corps was pushed forward, and drove the rebels from a point known as Dabney’s Mills, about two miles beyond Hatcher’s Run. Here the rebels made a determined stand, and about 5 o’clock made an attack in front and on the flank of the division, and caused it to fall back some distance to a line of works thrown up by the Second Corps on Sunday, where our men reformed, and aided by the Third division of the Sixth Corps, the enemy were in turn driven back. The fighting was quite severe while it lasted, and the enemy being the attacking party suffered severely. Our loss was from 300 to 500. About 120 prisoners were captured, among whom was one rebel Colonel.

Richmond papers of Friday, the 10th inst., admit that the forces of Gen. Sherman were dangerously near Branchville, and it was understood that Richmond papers of Saturday contain the definite statement of the capture of that important position. The fall of Branchville involves the evacuation of Charleston as a military necessity on the part of the rebels. The Richmond Whig of Friday mentions a rumor, which then had received no official confirmation, that the Confederate forces had already been withdrawn from the city.

Intelligence from the Army of the Potomac reports no further fighting. On both sides the dead have been buried and the wounded taken from the field. Our troops continue to hold the line recently wrested from the enemy, and are engaged in fortifying it in a very elaborate manner. The Richmond papers of Friday admit the movement to be a complete success.

Gen. Grant was in Washington Saturday, and testified before the Committee on the conduct of war in regard to the exchange of prisoners. He said that the matter was now entirely in his hands, that he had made an arrangement for the exchange to go on man for man, until the entire number held by one side or the other, should be exhausted, and that the delivery of our men would now go on at the rate of three thousand or more per week, the Salisbury and Danbury prisoners coming first. Gen. Grant afterwards visited both Houses of Congress in session, and was received with marked distinction.

A large mass meeting was held in Richmond last Thursday, the object of which was to rouse the people of the insurgent States to a proper sense of their danger. Several of the most prominent rebel statesmen addressed the meeting—among them Messrs. Hunter and Benjamin.

Taxation.

The recent decision by the United States Supreme Court that the stocks of the federal government are exempt from local or state taxation, will be an inducement to make the stocks of the government sought after. Taxation has always been avoided if possible just as large dividends and per centage have been sought after. It is natural to invest money where it will pay best. None will receive the decision of the Court with more satisfaction than stockholders of insurance companies and banks. It is estimated that from one third to one half of the entire insurance capital is invested in government securities. But to every reasonable and thinking man the question must come, in what way can the necessary amount be raised to meet the current expense of government and state? The money must be forthcoming. If companies and individuals cannot be taxed upon one kind of property, the full amount must be raised upon other property, and to effect it is to treble the per centage upon what is taxable. If the taxable property is reduced one third, the per centage of tax must be advanced in the same ratio. The offer of the government to take the earnings of the people at a fair per cent. free from taxation, is liberal, and should be properly appreciated; but the lender does not escape scot free. What difference is there between a tax of one mill upon the whole capital, or of two mills upon half of it. The wheels of the general government and state machinery must be run let the burden come where it will.

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Seven-Thirties.—No better investment can be made by banks, bankers, capitalists, or any one who has fifty dollars or more to invest in a safe, prompt-paying investment, than by purchasing 7-30 notes. It is emphatically the “People’s Loan,” and should attract the attention of all. They are issued in convenient form, and the interest can be calculated at the rate of a cent per day on every $50, which can be converted, after August 15th 1867, into gold bearing five twenty bonds. Messrs. Fisk & Hatch, the well-known Government Loan Agents, 38 wall st., New York, receive orders for these popular notes, or will send them through either of the banks in this vicinity.

Conflagration in Philadelphia.

A large fire commenced about 3 o’clock on Wednesday morning in the coal oil works on Ninth and Federal streets, Philadelphia. About fifty dwellings were consumed, occupying two squares on both sides of Ninth street, besides a few on Federal and Wharton streets. Fifteen lives are reported lost. The streets were at the time flooded with snow, water and oil. The oil ran along the streets in full blaze, setting fire to the lower portions of dwellings, preventing the escape of inmates. The oil that escaped from the burning barrels poured over into Ninth street and down to Federal, filling the entire street with a lake of fire, and igniting the houses on both sides of Ninth street for two squares, and carrying devastation into Washington, Ellsworth and Federal streets. Five squares of houses, if placed in a row, were on fire at once. The scene is represented to have been one to make the stoutest heart to quail: men, women and children were literally roasted in the streets. Capt. Joseph H. Ware, who occupied a dwelling in the vicinity, with his wife, five daughters and two sons, met with a sad misfortune. They all succeeded in getting into the street from the house, just as they left their beds; but, mournful to relate, found themselves in a river of fire. The family became scattered. Mrs. Ware had her youngest child, a beautiful little girl in her arms, and was endeavoring to save her. She fell, when herself, her little child and another daughter about fifteen years of age, were burned to death in the street. Capt. Ware and his two sons escaped, but the other three daughters are missing.

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The snow is from four to five feet deep in the northern part of Maine, Vermont and New York. Along the seacoast of Maine it is about two feet deep. In the White Mountains region snow has fallen to a great depth.—Some of the drifts in the roads are from twelve to fifteen feet deep, and the snow is so dry that the wind blows it into the most fantastic shapes.

Local News.

Income Tax.

The Special Income Tax, collected in this 8th Division, towns of Middletown and Cromwell, amounted to $23,091.70. The following are the names of those returning $2,000 and upwards:

Alsop. Clara 5,877 Latimer, Mary Ann 4,252
Burr, Geo. W. 3,585 Mansfield, Louisa 2,857
Camp, Daniel W. 2,073 Mutter, M. W. A. 5,862
Camp, Wm. S. 3,282 Parsons, S. H. 10,583
DeKoven, Henry 2,238 Pike, R. G. 3,587
DeKoven, Margaret 2,572 Roberts, E. H. 2,493
Douglas, Benjamin 9,180 Sebor, Charles R. 7,584
Hotchkiss, Julius 21,784 Smith, A. O. 2,470
Hubbard, Asa 2,396 Southmayd, Alfred 2,427
Hubbard, C. C. 5,374 Stearns, Samuel 2,420
Hubbard, G. T. 5,573 Stevens, Elisha 6,270
Hubbard, George S. 2,990 Stevens, John 6,044
Hubbard, Henry G. 53,814 Stocking, Justus 19,381
Hubbard, Jane 6,650 Terrill, M. W. 33,179
Hubbard, Sam’l C. 5,541 Tyler, C. C. 2,897
Hulburt, Geo. H. 2,394 Vansands, L. D. 2,616
Jackson, E. 8,615 Watrous, Jos. M. 6,009
Johnson, Ira N. 2,400 Watkinson, J. H. 8,726
Lyman, David 43,521    “   (trustee) 3,838
Lyman, Wm. 5,500 Wilcox, Eben 6,636

Wilcox, William 4,567

There has been assessed and collected since Sept. 1862, in Middletown and Cromwell, over $200,000. The Manufacturers tax in the two towns, ranges from $6,000 to $10,000 per month.

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The Weather.—Snow has fallen 4 inches depth, south of here some 100 and 200 miles, the past week. It has been intensely cold for February. Sabbath morning the mercury indicated four degrees above 0. Monday four degrees below. Tuesday morning four above with a clear atmosphere and bright sun.

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Various Matters. … Skating still continues good. On Saturday there was a large gathering of young and old people on the river, opposite the city.

Tuesday, 14th Feb., “Valentine Day.”

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Immersion.—John Ramsey, an employee at the Sage Ammunition Works, while returning to the city Saturday evening on the ice, received a cold bath by venturing too near an unsafe spot.

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Our Firemen.—Our firemen are a jolly set, and must have their amusements. Just as often as the season comes, must the violin and bow be called into requisition. They work better for it, whenever their services are required for the public welfare, and as their services are entirely voluntary, they expect the public to encourage them in their amusements. The annual ball of Engine and Hose Co., No. 1, takes place this week Friday, that of Hubbard Hose Co., No. 2, on Wednesday of next week, the 22d. Both of the Fire companies are here represented, and our citizens will do well to assist them in meeting their expenses. A generous benefit would be acceptable to the boys.

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James Lawrence, of Boston, has given $2,500 for the additional equipment of the laboratory of the scientific school at Harvard College, which is in addition to the sum of $50,000 is a permanent fund for the benefit of the chemical and engineering departments. Mr. Lawrence’s father, Abbott Lawrence, founded this school by the gift of $50,000, and added a bequest of $50,000 more at his death.

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Prof. H. S. Quinn, of New York, arrived at Quincy a few days ago on skates, having skated all the way from St. Paul. He left St. Paul on the 9th of January, and reached Quincy on the 23d, traveling the whole distance of 850 miles in fourteen days, stopping on the way to deliver lectures. He found ice smooth and beautiful, and clear of air holes. He had a clean stretch from St. Paul to Quincy, and he bowled down the globe over five degrees of latitude, without meeting an impediment.—It is one of the most extraordinary feats on record.

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Never despair, says Prentice. If the stream of your life freezes over, put on skates.

Dunning notice, 1865