From The Constitution, Wednesday, March 15, 1865 (volume 28, number 1420)
By an arrival at Key West we are told that an expedition comprising all the available troops at the Key, under Gen. Morton, aided by four gun boats, had just started to take possession of St. Mark’s, one of the very few little ports now of possible access for blockade runners. The result of the venture was not known when the steamer bringing this much about it sailed.
We have news from Hilton Head to the 6th. The United States steamer Harvest Moon, Admiral Dahlgren’s temporary flagship, was blown up by a torpedo on the 2d, while coming out of Georgetown. The Admiral escaped injury. No lives were lost.—Everything is progressing smoothly in Charleston. Traders are beginning to open their stores, and the city is rapidly assuming a business aspect. Gen. Jno. P. Hatch is in command of the Northern District, Department of the South, and Gen. Schimmelfinig of the defences about Charleston. On the Northeast Railroad, the cars are running as far as Goose Creek. Gen. Potter has advanced to the Santee River without meeting opposition.
Richmond papers of Friday, 10th inst., contain the important intelligence, that on the 8th Gen. Bragg attacked a Union force, four miles in front of Kingston, N. C., and drove them back three miles to another line, where apparently, they maintained their position.—Gen. Bragg admits that the ground was ‘obstinately disputed;’ but claims that his own loss was small, while he asserts that we lost heavily in killed and wounded besides 1,500 men taken prisoners. The news of this battle was received in Richmond just in season to shed a dim light over the “darkness visible” of the day appointed for humiliation and prayer throughout the South. This news is important as showing the exact position of the rebel Generals Hoke and Hill, with commands who are commended by Bragg for ‘exhibiting their accustomed gallantry.’ So it is evident that these Generals are not in Sherman’s immediate front. Union accounts will probably show that the rebel General exaggerated the importance and extent of the whole affair.
Reports were current in the Army of the Potomac on Friday last, that an extensive mutiny had broken out in the rebel army, and that extreme measures were required to quell it. It was also rumored that a force of Union cavalry had appeared on the north side of Richmond, and was having an engagement.
Gen. Sheridan dates a dispatch at Columbia, Va., on the 10th inst., in which he says he sent one division of cavalry to Scottsville on the James which had gone as far south as Duguidville, only 15 miles from Lynchburg, and had also destroyed the bridges on the Rivenna river. This division made an almost complete destruction of the great canal running from Lynchburg, and which Sheridan called “the Feeder of Richmond.” Locks, bridges, canal banks were destroyed, and finally the James river was turned into the canal.—Twelve canal boats loaded with supplies for Richmond were captured. Another division went down the railroad to Amherst C. H., 15 miles from Lynchburg, destroying the railroad in like manner. The two divisions would have crossed the James, but the rebels had burned the bridges.
Then and Now.—Four years ago Jeff Davis said in his message, that Virginia alone could sustain the war for twenty years, and that Richmond would never be evacuated. As time has progressed, so have some men’s opinions changed. Judging from extracts in Richmond journals, those “twenty years” will be very short unless something “turns up.” The “blessings in disguise” which have been showered upon them lately, have proved too much. The recent message of Gov. Brown of Georgia, doesn’t sound well. The “F.F.V’s” think that those that urged on the war should now see it through. Virginia has been the battle-field, and demands support from the other sister states. These “sisters” cannot see the point, while Sherman is marching his army through their territory. “State rights” is the point at issue and demands immediate attention. Meanwhile the Confederacy may go—no matter where, and the Richmond editors howl until they are tired. Twenty years war is not what is most desired at the present time in the south.
A letter writer thus describes the state of feeling in Charleston, the city of secession, southern chivalry and honor:
“It is the most completely subjugated community I ever saw. There is mortification, disappointment, hopelessness in their countenances. I have given utterance to my most radical sentiments to try their temper, and have not even succeeded in making any one threaten me by word, look or gesture. Wm. Lloyd Garrison, or Wendell Phillips, or Henry Ward Beecher can speak their minds in the open air, without molestation, and with the certainty of hearty cheers from one portion of their audience.”
Congress has passed the amendment to the Army Bill, increasing the army ration from thirty to forty cents. It adds about twenty-five per cent. to the pay of line officers, and fifteen per cent. to that of other officers on active field duty.
The New Jersey Assembly, some days ago, refused to indorse the constitutional amendment prohibiting slavery—every democrat voting for slavery, and every unionist for freedom. On the 8th, the democracy, to prevent a reversal of their action, voted down the bill to extend the right of suffrage to soldiers with the army. Every democrat voted that the soldiers should be disenfranchised, while every unionist voted to extend the high privilege to all who would be entitled to it at home.
Our Territories.—Nevada having become a State, there are now ten territories, including Wyoming, now being formed. They are Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington. All of them destined in a few years to become States.
Life in Rebel Prisons.—This is a title of a book recently published, giving a full and truthful narrative of the experiences of Robert H. Kellogg, sergeant-major of the 16th Conn. regiment, who was captured with his regiment at Plymouth, N. C., last April, and taken to the rebel prison at Andersonville, Ga., where during the summer, thirty thousand prisoners were confined, of whom twelve thousand perished from want of proper food and attention. The sufferings of the men are presented with simplicity and without exaggeration. The book is dedicated to the widows, children, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of the prisoners. The work contains 400 pages and is bound in full gilt covers. Price, $1.75. This work is sold by traveling agents only, who can obtain full information by addressing L. Stebbins, Hartford, Conn.
Miss Anna E. Dickinson will speak at McDonough Hall on Tuesday evening next, under the auspices of the “Alert Club.” The proceeds will be given for the benefit of the sick and wounded soldiers. Tickets 50 cents, to be procured at the bookstores. A large number have already been taken. The subject will be “A Glance at our Future.”
To Be Completed.—We learn that the society of St. John’s Church (Catholic) of this city, contemplate finishing the coming season, the spire of their church, and adding thereto a clock. The society is out of debt. Middletown at the present time, cannot boast much on spires or fine churches.
The High School.—We learn that the principal of the public schools of this city, H. A. Balcam, A. M., will resign at the close of the present term, and will be succeeded by H. E. Sawyer, of Concord, N. H. The following notice is taken from the Concord Daily Monitor, 4th inst.:
“The pupils of the High School, with their friends and ex-members of the School, met in the High School Hall last evening for a parting visit with Mr. Sawyer, who expects to leave the city soon for another field of labor in Connecticut. During the evening, A. B. Kelley, in behalf of the scholars, in a neat and well delivered speech, presented Mr. Sawyer a beautiful Silver Tea Set,–bearing the inscription: “Presented to Henry E. Sawyer by the Concord High School, March 3d, 1865.” The present was a surprise to Mr. Sawyer who accepted the gift and returned his thanks in an appropriate and fitting farewell speech.”
Military.—Maj. John C. Broatch, of the 14th regiment, severely wounded at Hatchins’ Run last October, has been appointed paymaster.
Chas. E. Moore, 6th Conn. regiment, arrived at his home in this city last Thursday, having received an honorable discharge after three years service. During this time, including a sojourn on Belle Island as prisoner, he has not seen one day of sickness.
The Lecture before the “Erodelphians,” by Hon. Thomas H. Seymour, of Hartford, takes place on Thursday evening of this week. Subject, “The Coronation of the Emperor of Russia.” Tickets 35 cents.
The River and the Boats.—Some “knowing ones” assert, while others deny the assertion, that the river is open for navigation between this city and Hartford. The same may be said of the arrival of the New York boats that the “City” will come up this Tuesday morning, followed each day by the “Granite” and “Elm City.” Up to the time of going to press, no boat has appeared. Meanwhile Middletown remains at the “head of navigation.”
When Lieut.-Gov. Patterson was speaking of the Legislature of one of our States, some dozen boys presented themselves for the place of messengers, as is usual at the opening of the House.
He enquired their names and into their condition, in order that he might make the proper selection. He came in the course of his examination, to a small boy, a bright-looking lad.
“Well, sir,” said he, “what is your name?”
“John Hancock,” was the answer.
“What!” said the Speaker, “you are not the one that signed the declaration of independence, are you?”
“No, sir,” said the lad stretching himself to his utmost proportions, “but I would if I had been there.”
“You can be one of the messengers,” said the Speaker.
A philosopher writes to a tailor who had failed to get ready his wedding suit: “It was no serious disappointment; only I should have been married if I had received the goods.”
An exchange paper says that soft soap in some shape, pleases all, and generally speaking, the more lye you put into it, the better.