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From The Constitution, Wednesday, May 3, 1865 (volume 28, number 1427)

War News.

Gen. Halleck, under date April 26, writes that Gens. Meade, Sheridan and Wright are acting under orders to pay no regard to any truce or orders of Gen. Sherman respecting hostilities, on the ground that Sherman’s agreement could bind his own command only and no other. They are directed to push forward regardless of orders from any one except Gen. Grant and cut off Johnston’s retreat.

Beauregard has telegraphed to Danville that a new arrangement has been made with General Sherman, and that the advance of the Sixth Corps was to be suspended until further orders. I have telegraphed back to obey no orders of Sherman’s, but to push forward as rapidly as possible.

Bankers here have information to-day, that Jeff. Davis’ specie is moving south from Goldsboro, in wagons, as fast as possible. I suggest that orders be telegraphed through Gen. Thomas that Gen. Wilson obey no orders from Gen. Sherman, and notifying him and Canby, and all commanders on the Mississippi to take measures to intercept the rebel chiefs and their plunder. The specie taken with them is estimated here at from six to thirteen million dollars.

The steamer from Morehead City, brings advices from Newburn that Grant effectively put an end to the armistice. It is reported in Newbern that Grant had given Johnston to six, yesterday morning, to surrender his army, conditions unknown. Grant announcing that after that hour hostilities would be at once resumed. Johnston is said to have replied that if Davis and the leading general officers of the confederacy were pardoned and permitted to leave the country free and unmolested, he would be authorized to accept the terms proposed.

A dispatch from Gen. Grant dated Raleigh, 10 P. M., April 26, states that Johnston surrendered the forces in his command, embracing all from here to Chattachoochie, to Gen. Sherman, on the basis agreed upon between Lee and Grant for the army of Northern Virginia.

The rebel ram Webb, which escaped from Red River on the 22d and rushed down the Mississippi at high speed, apparent on a raid against our shipping in that river, has gone the way of nearly all such vessels. She passed New Orleans, hoisted the rebel flag, and in a short time afterward her machinery got out of order, and she was at once deserted and blown up. Some of her crew got back to New Orleans.

The Louisville Journal has information that the rebel Gen. Gideon J. Pillow has requested to be allowed to return to his home in Tennessee under the amnesty oath and giving bonds.

Nine hundred rebels at Cumberland Gap surrendered on Friday, and were paroled.


A Steamer Blown Up.—The steamer Sultana from New Orleans the evening of the 21st arrived at Vicksburg with boilers leaking badly. She remained thirty hours repairing and took on board 1996 federal soldiers, and 35 officers, lately released from Cahawba and Andersonville prisons. She arrived at Memphis Thursday evening, and after coaling proceeded until about 2 A. M. Friday, when she blew up and immediately took fire and burned to the water’s edge. Of 2106 souls on board, not more than 700 will be recovered. Five hundred were rescued and are now in hospital. Two or three hundred uninjured are at the Soldiers’ House at Cairo. Capt. Mason, of the Sultana, is supposed to be lost. At 4 o’clock Friday morning the river in front of Memphis was covered with soldiers struggling for life, many of them badly scalded.—Boats immediately went to the rescue and are still engaged in picking them up. Gen. Washburne immediately organized a board of officers to investigate the affair.


This afternoon, April 27th, Chas. Ingersoll, brother of Edward Ingersoll, and a notorious sympathizer with the rebellion went to Spring Garden Hall, Philadelphia, for the purpose of giving bail for his brother. On descending from his carriage he was set upon by the populace and badly beaten. He took refuge in the hall and was subsequently conveyed home. Several prominent secessionists proposed to visit the hall this afternoon to consult with Ingersoll, but they were warned not to do so and desisted. The excitement on the subject runs high.

Booth, The Assassin.

The detachment of the 16th New York cavalry obtained the first news of Booth at Port Royal, Tuesday evening, from an old man who stated that four men in company with a rebel captain, had crossed the Rappahannock a short time previous, going in the direction of Bowling Green, and he added that the captain would probably be found in that place, as he was courting a lady there.—Pushing on to Bowling Green, the captain was found at a hotel and taken in custody.—From him it was ascertained that Booth and Harrold were at the house of John and William Garrett, three miles back toward Port Royal, and about a quarter of a mile from the road passed over by the cavalry. In the meantime it appears that Booth and Harrold applied Garrett for horses to ride to Louisia Court House, but the latter fearing the horses would not be returned, refused to hire them notwithstanding large sums were offered.—These circumstances, together with the recriminations of Booth and Harrold each charging the other with the responsibility of their difficulties, had aroused the suspicions of the Garrett brothers, who urged Booth and Harrold to leave lest they (Garretts) should get into trouble with our cavalry. This Booth refused to do without a horse, and the men retired to a barn, the door of which, after they entered, Garrett locked and remained himself on guard in a neighboring corncrib, as he alleges, to prevent the horses being taken and ridden off in the night by Booth and Harrold.

Upon the approach of our cavalry from Bowling Green, about three o’clock Wednesday morning, the Garretts came out of the corn crib to meet them, and in answer to their inquiries, directed them to the barn.—Some further particulars are here given, not varying from what has already been stated. After the barn had been burning three-quarters of an hour, and when the roof was about falling, Booth, who had been standing with a revolver in one hand and a carbine resting on the floor, made a demonstration as if to break through the guard and escape. To prevent this, Serg. Corbett fired, intending to hit Booth in the shoulder, so as to cripple him. The ball, however, struck a little too high, and entered the neck, resulting fatally.

Booth wore, besides his suit of grey, an ordinary cloth cap, heavy high topped cavalry boot on his right foot, with the top turned down, and a government shoe on his left foot. No clue could be obtained of the other two men. Taking the two Garretts into custody, the command immediately set out for Washington, after releasing the captain. Serg. Corbett was baptized in Boston about seven years ago, at which time he assumed the name of Boston Corbett. To-day he was greatly lionized, and on the street was repeatedly surrounded by citizens. The two Garretts are dressed in rebel grey, having belonged to Lee’s army and just returned home on parole. They profess to have been entirely ignorant of the character of Booth and Harrold and manifest great uneasiness concerning their connection with the affair.

Booth and Harrold narrowly escaped capture on this side of the Potomac. Marshal Murray and a posse of New York detectives, tracked them to within a short distance of Swan Point, but the marshal being unacquainted with the country, and without a guide, during the night took the wrong road, and before he could regain the trail, Booth and Harrold succeeded in crossing the river to Virginia. The report that Booth attempted to shoot himself while in the barn, is incorrect. He, however, in his parley with his besiegers, indicated that he would not be taken alive. His manner throughout was that of hardened desperation, knowing his doom to be sealed, and preferring to meet it there in that shape, to the more ignominious death awaiting him if captured. He appeared to pay little attention to the fire raging about him, until the roof fell in, when he made a movement indicating a purpose to make a desperate attempt to cut his way out. The pistol used by Corbett was a regular large sized cavalry pistol. He was offered $1000 this morning for the pistol with its five undischarged loads.

This afternoon Surgeon-General Barnes, with an assistant, held an autopsy on the body of Booth. It now appears that Booth and Harrold had on clothes which were originally of some other color than confederate grey, but being faded and dirty, presented that appearance.


The Body of Booth.—On the 27th of April, the secretary of war, committed to Col. L. C. Baker, of the secret service, the stark corpse of J. Wilkes Booth. On the same night, a small row boat received the carcass of the murderer; two men were in it; they carried the body off into the darkness, and out of that darkness it will never return. The secret service never fulfilled its volition more secretively.


Junius Brutus Booth, an elder brother of J. Wilkes the assassin, was arrested at Philadelphia, on the morning of the 26th, taken to Washington and placed in the old capital prison. His letter to J. Wilkes about the “oil business,” has led to the suspicion that he knew that Wilkes intended to assassinate the president, and hence his arrest.

Local News.

In our article last week, on the obsequies of President Lincoln, in mentioning the names of those who draped their residences or places of business, we should have added that of Wm. A. Hedge, who had his residence and store on Main street most appropriately draped; likewise the store of F. Brewer. We will also mention that the residence of M. H. Griffin, Esq., on Prospect Hill, in the northwest part of the city, was heavily draped. Mr. Griffin was at considerable expense in procuring material from abroad, and like thousands of his countrymen, showed in a becoming manner, his respect to the memory of our late chief magistrate. We stated at the time that the list of names was incomplete. Most of the residences of the town and city paid proper respect to the departed.


New Train.—An afternoon train has commenced running between this city and Berlin depot. This will be quite an accommodation to those, who, having transacted their business by noon, in either New Haven or Hartford, wish to arrive in this city before dark. The train leaves at 3.20 p. m., returning to this city a few minutes before 5 p. m.


Fire.—The large wooden building, foot of Green st., known as the “Old Mill” or “Tanney place” was destroyed by fire Monday afternoon. The building has not been used for many years. The boys in the neighborhood have been in the habit of gathering there, and they were to have a “show” on the premises that afternoon. It was without doubt more of a show and had more spectators, than they calculated for. The property belonged to the estate of the late Chas. R. Alsop. No insurance.


Anecdote of Sherman.—While Senator Sherman was here on a visit, about a week ago, he was presented by Frank Blair with a very fine horse, captured during the South Carolina campaign. He was told that he must get a pass from his brother, the general, before he could ship the animal to the North, but thought this would be a very small matter. So he went to “Cump’s” headquarters to tell him of his luck and get the necessary document. “It’s a splendid horse, Cump,” said the honorable Senator, “and if you’ll just sign a permit I’ll take him up in the boat with me.”

Cump replied, adjusting his shirt-collar with both hands, “I’m very glad he’s a good horse. We are very much in need of good horses, for the army. I have some orderlies around headquarters that are badly mounted.”

The grave and reverend senator was taken aback by this, and again reminded the general that the horse had been presented to him, and was not government property.

“Can’t let you have him, John. All the horses here belong to Uncle Sam. Individual titles ain’t worth a cent,” said Cump, and so the senator was cheated out of his present.

Let brotherly love continue.—Correspondence Cincinnati Commercial.


1865 Middletown Real Estate Ads


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Wordle: Middlesex County Historical Society - Civil War in Middletown, CT
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