Fri May 1 1863: From the 28th Regiment. Baton Rouge, March 23, 1863.
Mr. Editor: Having been an old reader of the Journal, I take the liberty of penning a few lines which, if you deem worth, you can publish in the columns of your paper, and if not you can throw it one side and let it go, for it is my first attempt at newspaper correspondence. After a not very pleasant voyage of two weeks we landed here at Baton Rouge, on the 17th of December, after shelling out the rebels. We left New York on the 3d of December. On the second day of our sail the 2d Engineer of the boat fell overboard and caused a good deal of excitement among the boys; but after a smart row he was picked up and taken on board the ship as wet as a drowned rat and with a large bruise on his forehead and his hat minus. On the next day the sea-sickness prevailed to a great extent the sea being very rough, but on the eighth land came in view, and the tenth we landed at Fort Jefferson on the south-east coast of Florida and took coal. This island is one of the coral reefs, and is called Garden Key. It contains about 25 acres, and is mostly enclosed by the fort. Everything was as green as mid-summer. The island is well shaded by the cocoa-nut and other trees. There were little cocoa-nuts on the trees when we were there, which was on the 10th of December.
As I have before mentioned, we preceeded from there to Ship Island, and from thence up to the mouth of the Mississippi, which we entered on Monday, the 14th, and a pleasanter day was never seen. For miles the river was lined with rich fields of sugar-cane and fine groups of orange trees loaded with the golden fruit, and at every plantation Cuffee and Dinah came out to hail us with the wildest demonstration of joy. One darkey I heard sing out 'Hurrah for de Union!" passing all these things at a pretty good rate, we arrived at the city of New Orleans at just about 9 o'clock P.M., and remained near the custom house. Early the next morning there came a boat loaded with oranges, pies and gingerbread, and then what a scramble to see who could spend the most money. Oranges two for five cents--when we had been pelted with them all the way up the river! Cheap! How often have I bought them in Willimantic of two cents apiece, and even one. We have to pay ten cents here, five cents for an apple and thirty cents for a pie.
After remaining a day or two at New Orleans we sailed up the river, and landed at Baton Rouge, after sending a few shells among the rebels, which set them to leaving, and we landed in peace. The old flag was immediately raised on the State House when we gave three tremendous cheers. We then selected our camp ground, and as soon as it was determined upon, which was near the U.S. Arsenal, the flag was raised on it, and we gave three times three cheers, and pitched our tents. Tents pitched, supper is brought on, with a boiler of hot coffee and a box of hard-tack. A corporal usually takes the responsibility of dealing out the coffee, but the hard-tack every man helps himself, but such crowding and squeezing around the coffee, I guess, would have pleased you, if you could see us work. By and by the corporal gets a cup of coffee spilt on his hand. Then you had better believe that there is a noise and he declares that he won't deal out another drop unless they will dress back. By and by the coffee gets low, and the corporal says the rest must be saved for the guard. Then they that have not had any begin to pour out of the tents. They are told that there is none of them, and a row follows and after they have said enough some of them will go to the sullers and get a glass of cider and a piece of gingerbread, and others go without anything, but lay a scheme to throw out the commissary, (company commissary, I mean) and sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don't; but it generally amounts to gas and gas only.
This, Mr. Editor, is a true picture of a soldier's life. Sunday comes--inspection, knapsacks packed, guns polished bright; and if everything is not in perfect order, the unlucky one gets extra duty to do the next day. But I don't want you to think that the soldier don't have any pleasures. By no means. When we go out on picket and on a march is the time. How the cows, calves, sheep, pigs and chickens have to take it! And the sugar, too! We one time brought in a barrel of sugar and molasses.
Our Regiment march again to day, and I will wind up my yarn. Peter.
1006. Fri May 1 1863: A Chattanooga paper reports Parson Crouch, a rebel brigade chaplain killed in the battle of Spring Hill, as giving the following last appeal to the men of his charge: "Give them hell, boys for your sweethearts and your God."
1007. Fri May 1 1863: Among those exempt from the conscription are paupers and convicts. So the cowards who wish to "get out of the draft," can either become paupers and get a ticket for the Almshouse or steal a sheep and go to State Prison.
1008. Fri May 1 1863: Kansas has a dozen regiments of white men, five regiments of Indians, and two regiments of negroes--rather a mixed-up mess.
1009. Fri May 1 1863: There is but one Irish Mormon at Salt Lake, but he "improves his opportunities". He has nine wives and forty-seven children.
1010. Fri May 1 1863: The War.
The season of inactivity has passed, and the campaign which the rebels think will decide the fate of their Confederacy has opened. Both the Federal and Rebel armies, are on the move or soon will be. The month of May will doubtless witness several important if not decisive battles. We give below a brief synopsis of recent events with the present situation and immediate prospects.
Some time since Gen. Banks left New Orleans on an important expedition into Western Louisiana with the intention of clearing out the rebles from the rich country bordering on the Teche river called the Opalousas region, and with the intention probably of makig his way to Red river and stopping this important outlet of rebel supplies. At last accounts Gen. Banks had reached Vermillionville, more than half way to Alexandria on the Red river, the point apparently aimed at, and was still "marching on." The expedition has thus far been decidedly successful, driving the rebels before them and defeating them in two considerable battles, one at Bethel place on the 15th of April, and the other at Irish Bend, on the 15th of April, and the other at Irish Bend, on the 17th. Gen. Banks reached Vermillionville after a hard fight in which the rebels were defeated. At Bethel Place the rebels left their numerous dead unburried, and evidence were abundant of bleedy work in their ranks. Large stores of ammunition, some Enfield rifles and other arms were captured. Our army then marched through Pattersonville, skirmishing constantly, and reached Franklin the 15th. Prior to Thursday night, some thousand prisoners had been brought into Franklin, captures of whole companies of rebels being made at a time. At Franklin, the steamboat Dorine was captured with three of the officers of the late Diana on board. Rebel soldiers were not loth to be captured. Over 1500 are in our hands and more are being taken. The 13th and 25th Connecticut Regiments were in this expedition, took an active part in the various battles and skirmishes and distinguished themselves by their brave and gallant conduct. Their whole loss in killed and wounded was about 100.
Gen. Grant and Commodore Porter having succeeded in running the blockade at Vicksburg with gunboats and transports and placing a large force below the city, arenow attempting to get in the rebel rear and cut off their communication by railroad with Jackson. A recent telegram to Richmond says that the federals have gained the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad and have burned one of the bridges on it. If this news is correct we shall soon expect to see the fall of this rebel stronghold.
Gen. Dodge in command at Corinth has recently been driving the rebels before him, and at last accounts had captured Tuscumbia. The rebels have not been idle in the west either, but have been pushing into Missouri and Kentucky. They made a bold attempt to capture Cape Girardeau, but were handsomely repulsed by our forces under Vendever, with considerable loss to the rebels in prisoners and material.
Gen. Rosecrans while waiting for the road to become passable and for Gen. Burnside to put things in shape in Kentucky, has sent out several expeditions which have been highly successful. Gen. Reynolds captured McMinnville and two railforad trains and a train of wagons. It is evident that Rosecrans or Bragg will make a move and then look out for a fight. The fate of East Tennessee, will apparently, be decided.
It would appear that another attempt is to be made to capture Charleston. The 3d of May is day named. When it is taken and the old flag again floats from the batttlements of Sumter, (as we believe it will) we shall inform our readers at the earliest moment.
Both from rebel and other sources we learn that Gen. Hooker has commenced a forward movement. What his plan is, of course we know not. If he intends to 'On to Richmond" by the land, he will most likely cross the Rappahannock above Falmouth, and push on to Gordonsville, flanking the rebel position at Fredericksburg. We shall know more about it soon. The rebels are on a raid in Western Virginia with no serious results thus far.
All quiet elsewhere.
1011. Fri May 1 1863: Ex-Gov Cleveland. Â– Hon. Chauncey F. Cleveland from Hampton, has had a larger legislative experience than any other member. He was first elected in 1826, and subsequently in 1827, 1828, 1829, 1832, 1835, and in 1836 (Speaker in 1836) in 1838, 1847, and in 1848. He was a member of Congress from 1849 to 1853. He was Governor from 1842 to 1844, being the youngest man ever elected Governor of the State. We presume he will be Speaker if he will accept the office; no one certainly is better qualified to fill the post acceptably.
1012. Fri May 1 1863: Sailing of Missionaries.--We learn that Mr. Samuel J. Whiton, formerly of Westford, Conn., sails from Baltimore in the ship M.C. Stevens for West Africa in a few days. He returns to the Mendi Mission, after a temporary absence in this country. Mrs. Hinman of Conn., Mr. Bristol and Miss Danforth of Ohio, also go at the same time.
1013. Fri May 1 1863: J.R. Arnold, Esq., arrived home the first of this week from the Army, his term of service on the staff of Gen. Busteed having terminated by the expiration of the commission of the latter. He has been detained some weeks in New York, at the residence of Gen. Busteed, by severe illness. Though still feeble we are glad that he has been able to reach home, and trust in a short time to see him in his usual vigorous health. We believe he has on the whole enjoyed military life pretty well, and if his favorite General had continued in the service we presume we should not have seen much of him until the close of the war. And by the way, we are inclined to think that Gen. Busteed should have been continued in the service. True, he is a civilian; but so were Butler, Banks, Schenck, Ferry and many others, who are rendering far more efficient service to the National cause than many who have worn the shoulder straps and stars for years. Gen. Busteed comprehends the nature of the rebellion, and is for putting it down; and we believe that his talents, energy, promptness and executive ability would have made him a second Butler.
1014. Fri May 1 1863: On Wednesday last, Miss Amy Franklin, a girl about 12 years of age, residing with her parents in the lower part of the village, was passing the tin-shop of Bassett & Wilson, and stopped to talk a few moments with Mr. Wilson, who was at work just outside the door. A small furnace filled with burning charcoal was standing by, against which she, not observing it, allowed her clothes to brush. She passed along without noticing that her clothes were on fire until she had reached the front of Mr. Tilden's store, when she found the flames running up her skirts and enveloping her person. Her screams brought Mr. Tilden and Mr. Topliff to her aid, and by prompt and vigorous efforts they succeeded in partially subduing the flames until a buffalo robe was wrapped around her, which smothered the fire. She was taken to Dr. Card's but her injuries were found to be of a not very serious character.
1015. Fri May 1 1863: A wicket club has recently been formed among the young and athletic men of the village, which played a match game on Thursday, upon the ground fronting the depot. Sides were chosen by C. Stearns and H.D. Perkins. They played two innings, which resulted as follows:
They try it again on Saturday, the 9th.
1016. Fri May 1 1863: Last Monday evening every available inch of sitting, standing or roosting room in Brainard's Hall was occupied by one of the most intelligent and appreciative audiences which ever packed themselve into that hall. The occasion was to listen to the mirth-provoking comicalities of that world-renowned genius of the vocal art, Ossian E. Dodge, and his talented associate, William Hayward. Dodge is a character, and a genuine live one, on the stage or off. He confines himself mostly to the comic and humorous part of the programme; and his style of rendering the ludicrous aspect of thought and feeling is of a character to awaken and gratify the mirthful faculties of the audience. His songs are free from any objectionable features there being nothing to cause a regret at having listened to them. Of Mr. Hayward's singing too much cannot be said in praise. He possesses a voice of rare purity and sweetness of tone, and has, with his intrisical proficiency, the sense to understand that the people of audience wish to know what a performer is singing, while enjoying the music. His pathetic ballads moved many of the audience to tears. Should Dodge conclude to make another "last professional tour" we hope he will take Willimantic in his route.
1017. Fri May 1 1863: L. Judd Pardee, of Boston, trance speaker, will lecture in Bassett's Hall next Sunday, forenoon and afternoon.
1018. Fri May 1 1863: On Thursday evening Fletcher & Borden commenced a series of exhibitions, representing scenes in the prominent transactions in the course of the present rebellion, at Bassett's Hall and will continue through the week. The paintings are spirited and life-like, the descriptions graphic, and the whole forms a pleasing entertainment.
1019. Fri May 1 1863: The American Parlor Opera Troupe announce in our advertising columns an entertainment, on Monday and Tuesday evenings next, at Brainard's Hall, in the shape of presentation of the comic operas of "The Doctor of Alcantara" and "The Bohemian Girl." The company is highly spoken by the press in places where they have performed, and we doubt not that those who attend will be fully satisfied with the entertainment.
1020. Fri May 1 1863: Runaway Accident. Â– Mr. Giles Taintor and his wife, of Windham, met with an accident and had quite a narrow escape on Tuesday afternoon last. They were returning home from Willimantic and when they came in sight of the railroad, at the Windham crossing just below Dea. Bill's, the cars were coming upon the Providence track. Their horse showing symptoms of fright, Mr. Taintor alighted and held him by the bridle. As the cars came rushing by the horse became restive and started on, dragging Mr. T. some distance, when he was thrown partly into a cattle-guard, and obliged to let go the horse, which at once started off down the New London track at full speed, Mrs. Taintor still in the carriage. He ran some fifty rods and then plunged down a steep embankment about ten feet high, throwing Mrs. T. from the carriage, when the horse was secured by some persons near by. Mr. T. was severely bruised and injured though no bones were broken. Mrs. Taintor's escape with very slight injuries from her fearful ride and overturn was quite remarkable.
1021. Fri May 1 1863: The dwelling house of S.H. Powers, in Lebanon was destroyed by fire on Sunday last. Loss $2,000. No insurance on either house or furniture. The fire occurred while the neighbors were absent at Church and is said to have been the work of an incendiary.
1022. Fri May 1 1863: Marriages
In Willimantic, April 29, by the Rev. E.F. Brooks, of Mansfield, Mr. S.T. Moulton, of New York, (formerly of Mansfield) and Miss Mary M. Dimmick of Willimantic.
1023. Fri May 1 1863: Deaths
In Willimantic, April 27, Sanford Bosworth, aged 20 years.
In Windham, April 23, Bowen Howes, aged 50.
In Mansfield, April 24, Clarissa Freeman, aged 75
In Wrentham, mass. Polly Shepardson aged 77.
In Lawtucket, R.I. April 22, Perez Carpenter aged 90.
In Attleborough, Mass. April 20, Nancy Carpenter, aged 83.
1024. Fri May 1 1863: We are glad to learn that there is a prospect of horses being raised in our own State and County that will equal those raised in any part of the United States. Messrs. Nathaniel Hayward and Charles T. Smith, of Colchester, have contracted with P.W. Tones and Charles P. Ballard (gentlemen who are noted for breeding fast horses) for the brother of Geo. M. Patchen, called Cassius M. Clay, now kept in Vermont, to stand at the Stable of Chas. S. Smith, from May 1st to July 1st, for the sum of $500 to be paid for the service of horse for their own stock, provide other breeders are to have service of horse at the reasonable price of $25--service of said horse having been previously $60. This is done in order to introduce a class of blooded horses into this State. Said horse is a fine bay, seven years old, weighing 1,100 lbs very fast trotter and fine style. He took the first premium at the Vermont State Fair last Fall--and is in some respects superior to his brother Geo. M. Patchen. We hope the horse breeders in this vicinity will avail themselves of this opportunity, and raise horses that can trot with their sire, down in the 20's.--Norwich Bulletin.