From The Constitution, Wednesday, March 1, 1865 (volume 28, number 1418)
Charleston was evacuated by the enemy on the night of the 18th, leaving the several fortifications uninjured, besides 200 guns which they spiked. The evacuation was first discovered at Fort Moultrie, in the morning at 10 a. m. Part of the troops stationed at James Island crossed over in boats and took possession of the city without opposition. Previous to the enemy evacuating they fired the upper part of the city, by which six thousand bales of cotton were burned and it is supposed that before they could subdue it, two thirds of the city will be destroyed. A fearful explosion occurred in the Wilmington depot, by which several hundred citizens lost their lives.—Cause unknown. The building was used for commissary purposes, and situated in the upper part of the city. Admiral Dahlgren was the first to run up to the city, where he arrived at about 2 o’clock p. m. Gen. Q. A. Gilmore followed soon after in the steamer W. W. Coit, and had an interview with Gen. Schimmelfinnig, he being the first general officer in the city, and for the present in command.
Our troops entered Wilmington on the morning of the 22d instant. After the evacuation of Fort Anderson Gen. Schofield directed Cox to follow its garrison towards Wilmington, while Terry followed Hoke on the east side of the river. The latter took up a new line, four miles from Wilmington, but was so closely pressed by Terry that he could send no troops to the west side. On that side the rebels made a stand behind Town Creek, but on the 20th Cox crossed his troops below them on a flatboat, attacked them in the rear and routed them, taking two guns and three hundred prisoners. On the 21st Cox pushed to the Brunswick river, opposite Wilmington, where the bridges were on fire, and on his arrival the rebels began burning the cotton and rosin in the city, and left it that night. Our captures, including Fort Anderson, amount to about seven hundred prisoners and thirty guns. Citizens state that the rebels burned one thousand bales of cotton and fifteen thousand barrels of rosin.
Admiral Porter sends to the Navy Department an account of the operations of the fleet in the Cape Fear River. Immediately after the evacuation of Fort Anderson, the fleet under his command pushed forward as rapidly as possible toward Wilmington. After sounding and buoying out the middle grounds at Big Island, he succeeded in getting two gunboats over, and opened fire on Fort Strong, the fort commanding the principal obstructions, where the rebels had also sunk a large steamer, the North Eastern. Our fire soon drove the rebels away from the fort. On the night of the 20th inst., the rebels sent down two hundred floating torpedoes, but the Admiral had a strong force of picket-boats out, and the torpedoes were sunk with musketry.
The 22d of February, 1865,
Will be a day to be remembered in the annals of American history. The mind while wandering back to the years in which the noble Washington and compeers fought for national independence, and the establishment of one country and one destiny on these western shores, can trace through intervening years, the hand of a kind Providence, which has guided and upheld, until in this, the year 1865, the hopes long wished for and cherished, are appearing within our reach. The drawback to our true prosperity has been rolled away. Its foster brother, treason, is being crushed and driven from the land. Victory upon victory over the enemies of our country has been won by our armies on many battlefields, and will continue to be won until the last foe is subdued. We now have an idea of what our forefathers endured in establishing this government, and shall their children refuse to retain what was bequeathed them? The 22d of February will now have a new charm—for on that day of the present year could have been summed up the conquest of the state which has breathed forth hatred to republican and democratic institutions, and the re-possession of those forts which first belched forth with fire, the bitter fruits of secession. Hereafter “Old Glory” will wave from their ramparts with majesty and power.
The Fourth of March, 1865.
On the Fourth of this month, Abraham Lincoln will be inaugurated in his second term of office, chief Magistrate of the United States. When he first took the oath of office the sky looked threatening, and a terrible civil war was coming steadily on. But he was the man for the hour. Buckling on his armor, he has met the rebel hordes at every point, and at the close of his first term can claim that he has done his duty. The states which then defied the national power, now lie at the mercy of our armies. Within the last two weeks, every seaboard town has passed from rebel hands. What a contrast to four years ago. Then with hardly a ship at her disposal, or an army at command, a united north has fought the greatest conflict of the age, and has come out, victorious. In strength and power, she is to-day, surpassed by no other nation. As Abraham Lincoln commences his new term, it will be as the President of a free and united people. May we hope that wisdom will still be given him, that he may guide this noble ship of state safely through every storm until she reaches a haven where peace, unity, and prosperity, shall be her portion.
An old scissors grinder in Manchester, N. H., died on the 16th, and was supposed to have been in destitute circumstances, but an examination of his effects disclosed a bank book, showing a credit of $3000.
Some villains tried to burn a saloon in Stamford the other night, by lighting a pile of papers upon which they had poured a quantity of whisky; but the whisky had so much water in it that they gave it up.
The celebration of Washington’s birthday was observed in New York with unusually imposing demonstrations. The fall of Charleston added to the enthusiasm. Several regiments paraded, and in the evening fireworks were exhibited in several parts of the city.
A case of juvenile depravity has just been developed in Louisville, Ky. Caroline Miller, a girl thirteen years old, deliberately poisoned her father with arsenic, after having made an unsuccessful attempt to kill him with rat poison. Her excuse was she thought she might have a better home and less work to do if her father was dead.
Kate Gorman, No. 104 Prince street, New York, an attractive female, who has been a pickpocket ever since her eleventh birthday, and realized $45,000 from her operations was arrested on Wednesday and committed.
The New York merchants have decided to celebrate the national successes, next Saturday, March 4th, by meeting in the open air on Union Square, a military review, processions, salutes and bell ringing, to close with fireworks in the evening.
During a sudden and violent temperance spasm at Natick, Mass., Monday, a grand simultaneous movement was made by constables on all the rum shops and $400 worth of liquor seized. Half of it was stolen a night or two after, from a place where it had been stored.
The Pittsburgh Chronicle decides that petroleum oil will be exhausted when the ocean is and not before.
February 22nd.—The students of Wesleyan University observed Washington’s Birthday with the usual firing of cannon in the day, and in the evening by a literary and musical entertainment at the Methodist church. Our only public hall that is desirable for such uses was secured for another celebration, and the ideas of reverence to the place some had, prevented them from decorating any further than to hang up one large flag. Every kind has a duplicate that there may be no loss; so the tribute, esthetic, combined our colors, red and white and blue, displayed by the genius of its graceful and spontaneous artists, music and oratory. The choir who sang were selected from the choirs of different churches.
The exercises began with singing “The Nation’s Prayer,” then followed prayer by Dr. Cummings, then “Ship of State,” a duet with male voices. A. F. Nightingale read the “Farewell Address” in a fine manner, the choir sang a “National Hymn,” and then came an oration delivered by S. K. Smith. Its subject was Washington, as character; that by whole truthfulness, love of just freedom, and wisdom that worships Deity, he was “Father of his Country;” that the greatness of his mind, benevolent, prophetic, has since been and will remain always the genius of the American people. The oration was altogether a pleasant one. “Our Native Land” was sung to “Auld Lang Syne,” Elder Pillsbury pronounced a benediction, after which we accomplished the squeezing out. May Wesleyan ever flourish!
The 22d of February was duly observed in this city, aside from its observance by the students of Wesleyan University. The good news of the possession of Charleston by the federal forces, added to the enthusiasm. Flags and streamers were flying in every part of the city, and citizen met citizen with a smiling countenance and joyous heart, (we refer to the loyal portion.)
The Alerts.—The members of the Alert Club of this city, have secured the services of Miss Anna Dickinson, for the evening of March 21st. Her subject will be “A Glance at the Future.” Further particulars will be announced hereafter.
For Liberia.—Mr. William Smith, who has spent some years in Liberia, is now in this city, and will receive any contributions in aid of the missionary cause in that country, which the citizens may contribute. His recommendations are satisfactory.
The ferry company are cutting out the ice and will have the boat running in a day or two. We understand that at East Haddam landing the ferry boat is running.
The River.—The crossing on the river for the past day or two has been exceedingly difficult even for foot passengers, and some have received a cold bath. The warm weather and rain raised the river and weakened the ice.
Sojourner Truth, a notable negro woman was admitted to see the President. She delivered to him her thanks for what he had done for her people saying at the same time that he was the only one who done anything for them. Lincoln rejoined, “And the only one who ever had such opportunity. Had our friends of the South behaved themselves, I could have done nothing whatever.”