From The Constitution, Wednesday, March 8, 1865 (volume 28, number 1419)
Richmond papers of the 28th, contain no positive intelligence of importance from either of the great fields of military operations.—Vague rumors are given of an intended movement by Gen. Grant against the rebel right. Gen. Grant is said by the rebel papers to be massing troops on his left, and it was thought at Richmond that nothing but the recent heavy rainstorm had prevented an engagement from taking place. Gen. Johnston has assumed command in North Carolina. Gov. Brown, of Georgia, has issued a message, in which he fiercely denounces Jeff. Davis, and accuses him of bringing the Confederacy to the verge of ruin.
Thirty-one rebel officers, captured by Gen. Scofield’s forces on the 20th ultimo, while advancing against Wilmington, arrived at Washington March 1. Among the number are Col. C. H. Simonton, Twenty-fifth South Carolina; Major S. H. Wilds, Twenty-first South Carolina; Capt. Wescott, Eleventh South Carolina; Capt. Mazyek, Twenty-fifth South Carolina; Capt. Allston and Capt. Hullman, Twenty-seventh South Carolina, and three surgeons of South Carolina regiments.
Acting Admiral Stribling, of the East Gulf Squadron, reports that on the 1st of February an expedition left a United States bark at midnight, to destroy the salt works on West Bay[ou]. The expedition returned on the 4th, having destroyed the works of 13,615 gallons of boiling power, besides 70 bushels of salt and 125 barrels of epsom salts.
Major Gen. Palmer, commanding in Kentucky, has issued an order against recruiting for the rebel armies in that State, and warning those who may be caught at it that they will be treated as spies. Gen. Burbridge has been ordered to report to Gen. Thomas.
The Navy Department has received information of the capture of the schooner Delia, under English colors, near Bay Port, Fla., by the United States steamer Mahaska. She had a cargo of pig lead and some cases of sabres.
The gallant Gen. Grierson is to have (so says a Memphis dispatch) charge of all our cavalry in the West.
Gen. Grant sends a dispatch to the Secretary of War, dated 5th inst., which says:
Deserters from every point of the enemy’s line, confirm the capture of Charlottesville by Gen. Sheridan. They say he captured Gen. Early and nearly all of his entire force consisting of eighteen hundred men. Four brigades were reported as being sent to Lynchburg to get there before Gen. Sheridan if possible.
The transport Massachusetts reports that our naval forces captured Fort White, a splendid establishment mounting seventeen heavy guns, just below Georgetown, S. C. The sailors and marines then landed and captured Georgetown. The rebel cavalry made a charge on them in the streets but were gallantly repulsed with a loss of several killed, wounded and prisoners. Our loss is one man. Admiral Dahlgren’s flag ship, the Harvest Moon, on her way down was sunk by a torpedo; all hands were saved excepting the steward.
The Richmond Enquirer of the 25th says that Sherman captured one hundred thousand bales of cotton at Columbia, and that his army is “rushing through the Carolinas like an avalanche.” The Raleigh confederate states that all the rebel troops from Charleston were pushed forward to confront Sherman.
Gen. Gilmore reports the capture of over four hundred and fifty cannon at Charleston, also eight locomotives and a great number of passenger cars.
The constitutional amendment is defeated in the New Jersey Assembly.
Arming the Slaves.
Time is passing, and the question as to the expediency of arming the slaves at the south is still agitating the mind of the rebel leaders. Jeff Davis is not in favor of arming a large body of them, while Gen. Lee is in favor of any number as a military necessity. The House of Representatives has passed a bill in favor of arming two hundred thousand, which was rejected in the Senate by a vote of eleven to ten. A mass meeting has been held in Richmond, which will tend to hasten matters, and the opposition will be obliged to submit. The necessity of the case admits of no other course. To hold out successfully any longer, men must be had. As long as they have an army there is hope. Their conscriptions have taken every available white man, yet the demand continues. But the question is, will the blacks fight for the southern cause. The opinion at the north is that they will not. Union refugees and prisoners, escaping from the south, have found the blacks their friends, guiding them through difficulties and dangers at the risk of their own persons. Experience has found them to be among the best troops in fighting for the Union. Perhaps the southerners think they can control them as well with arms in their hands as under the lash, and by scattering them among the white regiments, make good soldiers of them. It is reported that a large number have been organized and placed under drill, to be placed in front of Sherman’s advance. It would be a queer position of things if they should stand and fight against their friends and brothers who flocked to the protection of the Union army during its successful march through the southern states.
We give in to-day’s paper the Inaugural Address of President Lincoln. It is concise. No boasts or prophecies. It simply affirms that we have a free and established government. The people need no reminder of the past. Many who claimed four years ago, that the inaugural of another President would never happen have lived to see their mistake. We have a country and proved our ability to defend it.
Mrs. J. H. Wood and daughter were severely burned Monday night at the Buffalo theatre, on the stage, in the play of Cinderilla. …
A sleeping car attached to a train on the Philadelphia and Erie railroad, caught fire near Lancaster Monday night, and was totally destroyed. The passengers escaped, but lost their clothing and baggage.
S. S. Hyde, the U. S. detective who accidentally shot and killed his own wife, at New Haven, has been arrested on a charge of homicide, and put under $200 bonds for examination before Judge Hollister, with Edward I. Sanford and Francis Wayland, Jr. associated with him as magistrates. Mr. Hyde expresses himself as anxious and willing for a full investigation.
The party which left this city some two months since for South America, with the intention of remaining there, have abandoned the enterprise. Two of the party have gone to California, the others are “homeward bound.”
The River opposite this city is open, and the ferry boat makes regular trips. The ice remains fast in the straits. River rising, owning to the late rains.
Various Matters.—The Middlesex Co. Bank is authorized to commence operations under the National Banking law. …
Now is the time to attend to your grape vines, trees, &c., and Ryan is the person to do it. Descriptive catalogues will be ready for distribution this week. Improvements are to be made this week in buildings for the better display of plants. Give him a call.
The members of the M. E. Church are preparing a box to be sent to the freedmen.
Repairs are being made at the lower wharf at foot of College street.
Spencer gives another of his hops this (Tuesday) evening, at McDonough Hall. They have been well attended this winter.
The Alert Club will offer for sale a variety of Fancy Goods, at the Millenery Rooms of Mrs. Brooks, (Main st. near Washington) on Thursday evening, March 9th, commencing at 7 o’clock. The articles and tickets will be numbered to correspond up to No. 200, and only 200 tickets will be sold. Each ticket will entitle the purchaser to the article registered opposite the corresponding number on the list of articles. Tickets 50 cents. The value of the articles ranges from 25 cents to seven dollars each—the goods being the unsold portion of the contributions to the Fair recently held by the Club. The drawings will be announced, and the distributions made at 8 o’clock, or as soon as all the tickets shall have been sold. Ice cream will be furnished during the evening at extra charge.
Entertainment.—The public, who always want to hear something, has found one who can cater to its funny taste in “Jeems Pipes” alias Stephen Massett, Esq. It has a joker who is irresistible even to himself. Wise men will not praise his wit, but the prejudice in their strongest facial muscles he can overcome. Jeems Pipes does not follow Artemas Ward. In that line he is not equal to him. He gave the results of “Drifting About” to a good house here last week Wednesday. The lecture was witty, there was nothing more in it. It took pleasantly because it had culture.—He read well, recited poetry with marked expression, and he might act well. He induced us to believe that he could sing and if there had been an instrument in the hall he would have done so. We can fit the affair with no name; it was the graces of an accomplished gentleman brought out of social life and the parlor’s entertainment. The “Erodelphians” owned the speculation. They ventured something new and had good success.
There is no danger of any change in public opinion throughout the loyal states in regard to the Rebellion—it must be put down.
But the time between the suppression of armed rebellion and the restoration or reconstruction of the Union, will witness serious differences between the friends of the Union.
There are those who will oppose the reception of any rebel into the restored Union, unless he come “with his hand upon his mouth, and his mouth in the dust.”—eating humble pie all the way from Richmond to Washington. They will talk loudly of the punishment of treason and the confiscation of the property of traitors.
Many seem to think it an evidence of loyalty to talk of rebels as of wild animals that are only fit to be hunted and killed.
People of this class are already firing hot shot of indignation at President Lincoln because of the recent “Peace Conference,” and especially because of his reported hint to the rebel agents of a liberal use, by himself, of the pardoning power, provided the South would return to loyalty without further hostilities. Miss Dickinson leads off in this dubious business and others of similar antecedents may be expected to follow. The manifestation of such a spirit, at this time, is certainly to be deplored. Just judgement is clamored for, but in the statement of its terms the tempering element of mercy is forgotten.
Let us ponder these things, for the time is near at hand, when we shall need to remember that even rebels and traitors may be men.
We would call the attention of our agricultural readers to the advertisement of Messrs. Ricardo & Co., 194 Front St., New York, manufacturers of the Celebrated Improved Excelsior Poudrette, the Ne Plus Ultra of Manures. We advise all farmers and gardeners to give it a trial, the price is exceedingly low. Read the advertisement in another column.