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From The Constitution, Wednesday, May 31, 1865 (volume 28, number 1431)

The War Ended.

It is hardly possible to feel, but nevertheless it is true, that the war is over. The last rebel force which was deemed of any account has at last surrendered to the national forces. This comprises the army under the command of Gen. Kirby Smith in Texas, including the remnant of the rebel navy. Nothing remains now but the guerillas, and it is impossible for them to exist long. Our brave boys will soon be homeward bound, and mingle again in civil pursuits. They have fought terrible battles and accomplished forced marches. It has not been for naught.—They have established the principles for which they contended, and have a government strong and powerful. For years to come, we hope to enjoy the blessings with which our labors have been awarded.


Washington specials state that Jeff. Davis will be indicted for treason, and that Hon. Francis P. Blair, is among the witnesses summoned to testify against him. It is also stated that Gen. Lee will be indicted.


Sixty days have not elapsed since the existence of a so-called Confederate Government. The heads of this pretended government ruled with despotic power over the masses. For four years they had waged a cruel and relentless war against a government whose only fault was that it had been too liberal and given of its treasures too munificently. These men, before they had committed the crimes which now place them before the country as felons and traitors, had been supported for years from the public treasury. They then claimed to be leaders of a party whose watchword was “equal rights to all men,” and that the “majority should rule.” Where the first corner was reached which placed them on different ground it is not necessary here to say. The political troubles from ’56 to ’61 needs no repetition. It was during those troubles that theories were advanced which were antagonistic to our prosperity. Used to having their own way, they attempted to force upon a free and enlightened people doctrines tinctured strongly of despotism and dismemberment of the national Union. As they were about to contest the point with the sword they declared that the “minority should rule.” Years of desperate fighting have ensued. As has been stated, sixty days have not elapsed since the government which they were in hopes of establishing, maintained the field a large army. The valor of their troops had been tested on many bloody fields. Diplomatic ability had been exerted that foreign countries might recognize and aid them. The end however proved that their traitorous schemes were destined to recoil back upon them. To-day there is not a rebel army in the field east of the Mississippi. Every town and city claimed by them acknowledges the national government at Washington and respects the American flag, the emblem of our strength. But where are the leaders? Some are inmates of cells and dungeons, while others are fugitives on the earth. Their glory has departed never to return. Their frail fabric crumbled in an hour. Our national government emerges from the conflict, strong. It is hoped that the experience of the past will unite us more firmly, and years of prosperity will be vouchsafed to us.


The rebel general Forrest, after being killed (on paper) about forty times, at last emerges into positive entity as a living reality. A few days ago he publicly gave up the hopeless cause of the rebellion, and issued an address of that purport to his troops, closing by advising them to accept the decrees of fate with good grace and behave with becoming loyalty.


The Review of the Soldiers.—The imposing military pageant at Washington on Wednesday and Thursday last, in which an army of over 200,000 comprised of those who had voluntarily offered their services and lives in defense of their country, passed in review before the executive and other dignitaries, was one of the grandest sights ever witnessed. It is estimated that over one hundred thousand spectators were present, the review occupying the best part of two days. At the head of their respective corps were the noble officers who had led in many a bloody fray. Then followed the rank and file, with their battle flags and trophies of war. Such a sight, showing the strength and power of this government to subdue its foes at home or abroad, was one never to be forgotten. May the choicest favors of our country be showered upon its brave defenders, and to the memory of those who lie beneath the soil. Their work is done and victory theirs.


Connecticut Soldiers.—At the great review of Sherman’s armies on Wednesday, the column of the Army of Georgia, under Gen. Slocum, was led by the gallant Fifth Connecticut, the first regiment of the first brigade, first division, Twentieth corps. The commander of this corps, who rode at the head of the column, was Major Gen. Mower, of New London, in whose honor, resolutions of thanks were passed by the Legislature last week. The Twentieth Conn. regiment was also in the column, attached to the third brigade of the third division, Twentieth corps. The company raised in Portland and Cromwell belonged to this regiment.


Connecticut Soldiers Orphan House.—At a meeting recently held in Hartford, the directors of the benevolent institution named above, decided to enter at once upon the work assigned them in their act of incorporation. They appointed the Rev. E. B. Huntington of Stamford, their agent, with authority to raise funds and prepare the way for opening, as soon as possible, a suitable room for the needy and deserving children of our soldiers. We commend this good and timely move to the confidence and support of our readers. There can be no doubt as to the need of such a home. The names of the officers of the corporation, of whom Gov. Buckingham is president, is ample guarantee that neither vigor nor wisdom will be wanting in its management.


Negro Suffrage.—The resolution in favor of striking out the word “white” from the suffrage clause of the State Constitution was passed by the House on Thursday last.

Connecticut Legislature.

… The following are extracts from Mr. Douglas’ speech on negro suffrage.

Mr. Speaker, I am aware that a strong party exists to-day who are hostile in the extreme to this measure. What ground they occupy or upon what principle they attempt to justify their position I am not fully advised. Some of them have declared in former days that as certain states in the Union tolerate slavery and consequently placed the black man below the whites, therefore it would not be well for us to elevate him in the free states, as difficulties would arise which might endanger the peace and security of the nation. However this argument might have been considered before war came upon us, it has no weight at this time, for the peace of the government has been destroyed by slavery, and to place us back to peaceful days, by one grand edict of the general government slavery has been forever abolished.

Right of equality has been producing revolution and civil commotion ever since the world began. It is this right which has been contested on every battle field from Marathon, where the power of a mighty empire to enslave mankind was broken, to Saratoga which established the right of America to rule herself and forced its recognition upon the world. To maintain equality has been the great motive which has prompted our people to such Herculean effort to crush down the rebellion whose leaders have arrogantly asserted their superiority. When we reflect upon the record of bravery and sacrifice in the struggle from which we are now emerging, let us not forget what the black soldier has done. He, not entitled to the privilege of a citizen let us remember, and with no solemn oath resting upon him to maintain and support the constitution and government, has taken upon himself the armor of battle and gone forth, under much less inducement and pay than his comrades in arms, and through the same perilous night kept watch on the outposts, sharing the same hardships, making the same tedious marches, forded the same cold streams, built bridges under the same deadly fire, camped on the same field, and whether he rested his weary head on the hard stone, or pillowed it on a clump in the damp miasmatic swamp, they were soldiers together, the white and black—when the order “forward” was given, his attention was arrested at the same instant as the white, and at the word “march” he went to meet the same fate.

When the evening was approached, and the contest raged in its fiercest fury, the blue coat, covering a black man’s breast, shielded it no more than the white man’s, and often when an assault was made, the black ensign, clasping the starry banner what has floated in victory over many a rampart, might be seen in the last agonies of death, mingling his life’s blood in the same pool that was red with the marks of white soldiers fallen. These are the services he has rendered his country. The only monument built to perpetuate the record of them are those, imperishable and beautiful, which his bayonet have made.

Mr. Speaker, the constitutional amendment does not contemplate special privileges for one class of men but simply removing the barriers upon their path and allowing them to commence the race with us. We do not desire by special legislation to uphold the black man, or do anything with him. We contend that, standing in the eyes of the constitution and laws once equal, he will maintain himself; when he proves, by certain action, that he is incapable taking part in government, then it will be time to legislate for him.—And if he is guilty of treason—if he violates the obligations resting upon him, if he steals the public property or runs up, in place of the stars and stripes the secession flag, then we will favor shooting him exactly as we have been doing with the white rebels these four years past.

When the cloud of rebellion, which had been gathering for thirty years, burst in such wild fury, it echoed but the sentiment of a class of people who were determined to establish slavery on a sure foundation. They meant that the states that seceded should become a slave empire, based upon the rights of white men alone. The people of the North would not allow the territory constituting the United States to be encroached upon, or the Union to be dismembered, so from our great leader was given the word “To arms! The constitution and the Union must be preserved.”

The citizens from mountain and valley, from city and hamlet, came metamorphosed speedily to true and hardy soldiers. Time moved on apace—victory came not as all hearts prayed, but darkness brooded over the land. The hand of power behind the scene was moving our armies like dioramic figures, still victory would not cheer us. The great plan of civilization and liberty was not yet completed. Suddenly our ruler grasped the idea, and in January, 1863, sent forth a proclamation of freedom, declaring slaves forever free. From that hour Heaven’s benignant smiles came upon us, and our gallant armies moved steadily forward to the complete destruction of southern tyranny and the establishment of the authority of government. But now we have a greater work to perform, such as we are contemplating to-day. Equality, equality, is the word which sounds out from every humble lip, and those who make the laws and hold brief power must heed it or the state and nation will go back and lose the proud eminence it has gained in abolishing forever the institution of slavery.

Local News.

National Fast.—Services in this city will be held as follows: The Methodist, Baptist and South Cong. societies unite holding service in the Methodist church in the morning, sermon by Rev. J. L. Dudley. Services in the Episcopal church at the usual hour in the morning. Prayer meeting at the Lecture room in Broad Street in the morning.


Young Men’s Christian Association.—We rejoice to learn that one of these excellent societies is to be organized in this city. A meeting to consider the subject is to be held at the Lecture Room of the North Church in Broad st., on Thursday evening, June 1st at 7 o’clock. Ladies are admitted to membership in these Associations in many of the large cities, and the same arrangement will probably be adopted here. We hope the attendance will be such as to leave no doubt of the earnest practical interest of our citizens in this admirable method of organizing christian effort.


Insure.—Dr. G. L. Pratt of Waterbury was severely injured last week by being thrown from his carriage. He held a number one policy in the Traveller’s Insurance Co., of Hartford, and draws $25 per week, during his disability. O. Vincent Coffin is agent for this vicinity. Persons intending to travel can procure tickets at the office of Adam’s Express Co.


Accident.—An explosion of cartridges occurred on Thursday morning last, at the Sage Ammunition Works, in South Farms. Four boys were employed in a detached building in removing the balls from some condemned metallic cartridges, when one exploded, which exploded the rest. The inmates of the building escaped with severe burns.


The weather has not yet become settled. The past week has been a mixture of heat and cold with plenty of rain. Vegetation is coming forward slowly. The prospect of a heavy crop of grass is good, it being well advanced on the first crop.


A large number of laborers are at work on the line of the Western Pacific railroad, which is the connecting link of the California and Pacific railroad between Sacramento and San Francisco.


Over eight thousand steam engines are now employed in pumping oil in Pennsylvania, and Oil City, which four years ago contained one hundred inhabitants, now has a population of about ten thousand.


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