ABSTRACTS TAKEN FROM:
THE WILLIMANTIC JOURNAL William L. Weaver, Editor
Fri Mar 27 1863: The Nineteenth Regiment.--This Regiment arrived at Fortress Monroe on the morning of the 17th inst., and reported to Maj. Gen. John A. Dix, who ordered it to Yorktown. The troops left for the latter place in a rain storm, and were compelled, in consequence of the fog and roughness of the sea, to anchor in Hampton Roads all night. On the morning of the 18th inst. they sailed for Yorktown, where they arrived at two o'clock P.M., of that day, and reported to Maj. Gen. Keyes. The camping ground having been designated, the tents were soon pitched, stoves put up, fires made, &c., &c., and everything arranged as comfortably as the weather would allow. From the time the troops left Fortress Monroe until they reached Yorktown, it rained incessantly, and although the Regiment arrived safe, several were reported sick. The camp is represented as being healthfully located, and is upon the same ground as was formerly occupied by the 175th Regiment, N.Y.V. Col. Brown in a letter to Gen. Parmenter speaks very highly of the hospitalities of Brig. Gen. Richard Busteed and Staff who cheerfully furnished dry clothing, refreshments, &c., and gave up their rooms to the Field and Staff officers of the Regiment. The house occupied by the General and his Staff was built before the Revolution, and bears the marks of age. It was formerly a rebel Headquarters, and the room in which Colonel Brown slept was the sanctum of the rebel Surgeon of this post. On the door of the room is pasted the following: "S. Crowell's Room," Assist Surgeon, C.S. Army, Medical Director for this Post,--Yorktown, Va." "Private." - Newburg Telegraph. We can vouch for the correctness of the Telegraph's correspndent, for we had already received from our correspondent at Yorktown, who is a member of Gen. Busteed's Staff, and occupies the room named above, the identical paper on which the notice is written, carefully taken off the door, and kindly to us.--Ed. Journal.
Fri Mar 27 1863: We Must Go to Raising Flax.--Cotton is now 75 cents per pound, and all the fabrics made from it, from paper up to muslin, must, of course take a corresponding price. To obviate this, and relieve our necessities, we must again open the flax culture, and open it too on a scale corresponding to the demand for it. For the single purpose of manufacturing paper from it, we think it will become a highly remunerative crop. We all know that linen paper is the best; the farmer need not fear the labor its culture demands, for the improvements which have within a few years been made in the mode of dressing and preparing it for manufacturing are such as to take away more than one-half of the hand work which used to be required in pulling, rotting, breaking, swiggling and hatcheling it before it is ready for market and use. Where the soil is clean, or not too much infested with weeds, flax when ready for harvest may be reaped, or cradled, or even mowed. The improved modes of rotting it will reduce the bark or outside covering of it in two or three days, and machinery, operated by horse, water, or steam power, will break it, and relieve the fibre from its covering, all ready for spinning in a very easy and expeditious manner. So there is little else for the farmer to do than to sow and harvest it, which he can do with the same amount of labor that he bestows upon wheat, barley, or any other grain. Experiments have some years past been very successfully conducted, which prepare from the flax fibre what is called "flax cotton," a substance which to the eye has every appearance of cotton. It however requires a different kind of machinery to spin it--though for the purposes of paper-making, it is then all ready for use. Mr. Allen, of Rhode Island, and his associates, are still experimenting in this line and have already reduced the preparation of flax cotton to a system, and are urging its adoption as a regular branch of production and manufacture in New England. Now is the time for them to press the subject upon us with redoubled faith and zeal, and now is the time for farmers, throughout the free States, to listen to them, and aid them and all the rest of us by the abundant production of flax which shall supply the "plentiful lack" of cotton. It can be easily raised among us. It requires only a fair soil and simple culture. It requires no tropical sun to grow or to ripen it.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Marriage of Major Rodman.--The New South of March 7th, says: Major Rodman and Miss Buddington were wedded at Fernandina, Florida, on the 25th ult., after an acquaintance of only three weeks. The bride is the daughter of Captain Buddington of Groton, Conn., who brought the ship "Resolute" from the Arctic Regions some years since, while the groom is the gallant major of the 7th Conn. Volunteers. Miss Buddington was in the South when the rebellion broke out, and remained with the rebels until four or five weeks since, when she was forwarded under a flag of truce from their lines to Fernandina, for the purpose of returning to her friends at home. Major Rodman at once became enamored of her; with true military promptness he proposed; the lady was not slow in manifesting her Union proclivities; and the result was an unconditional surrender on the part of the fair one, and a speedy wedding.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Patriotic Letter.--The following patriotic letter, written by a Yankee girl, was recently found in a pair of socks, contained in a box of clothing forwarded to the army of the Potomac, by the United States Sanitary Commission. It was read to the wounded in the Division Hospital, and had a happy effect upon the wounded patriots. The socks were given to Sergeant S. H. Reynolds, 1st Massachusetts Batt. A, and G. F. Dresser, Co. A, 35th New York, each of whom had one leg amputated. Such letters cannot fail to be cheering to the hearts of the soldiers showing as they do, that their sufferings and sacrifices are not forgotten by the fair ones of the land.--Summit County Beacon, Ohio.
Andover, Nov. 29th. My dear Friend and brother in our Country's cause. To your care and keeping I commit these socks and trust they may never be disgraced by any conduct of their wearers. Loyal fingers fashioned them, and may a patriot's tread, whose every step shall tell against our rebel foes, wear them threadbare (if need be) in crushing this wicked rebellion. In every stitch is knit a prayer for our nation's weal, and the hope that peace may smile upon our land long ere these be unfit for use. You have gone forth nobly and placed your life an offering at the feet of our beloved country, and may the God of battles be your trust. May His protecting arm shield you from every danger, and bring you back to home and friends, there, to a good old age, to enjoy the fruits of your labors. But if it must be you perish in the strife, may you be transferred from this earthly army to the glorified army of Heaven--your victory won--never more to be disturbed by the rattle of musketry or the boom of cannon. Perhaps these may find their way to some hospital; to some weary, weak and home-longing one. If so, know, my dear friend, that thousands of hearts are suffering with you, and gladly come to your relief. Take courage, and you shall yet be able to go out and help us gain the victory which must be ours. There are many here who say our gifts never reach our soldiers. For that reason it would be very gratifying to me to know who may receive these socks, and will it be asking too much that you let me know? Hoping your heart may be brave and true, and your arm firm and strong, I am most truly your friend. Ellen M. Sprague, Andover, Conn.
Fri Mar 27 1863: A Historical Example.
Colonel Eleazer Fitch, of Windham, was a man of mark in his day. In his veins flowed some of the best Puritan blood in New England. He was a grandson of the Rev. James Fitch, the distinguished first minister of Norwich, and great grandson of the famous Major John Mason, whose bravery he in a large measure inherited. He was also a grandson of the Rev. Samuel Whiting, the first minister of Windham, and through his grandmother, Mrs. Whiting, was descended from Governor Bradford of the Mayflower. He inherited and acquired a large estate, and when he built his residence on "Zion's Hill," in Windham Center, just one hundred years ago, he possessed ample means.
He was educated at Yale College, and enjoyed all those advantaged of culture common among the wealthy and refined of his day. He possessed eminent social qualities; was an accomplished musician and a splendid singer. He had attained military distinction, so highly prized in those days Â– having fairly won his honors at Ticonderoga and on other hard-fought fields in the French war.
Physically Colonel Fitch was one of nature's finest specimens of a man. His height was six feet four inches, his weight over three hundred pounds, his presence dignified and imposing, being considered the very best looking officer in the American army. He had a large and interesting family; his daughters were accomplished and beautiful, and his home was the seat of a refined hospitality and social cheer such as the "first families" and highest dignitaries in the State were accustomed to enjoy. Though somewhat aristocratic in his tastes and habits, like most men of wealth and position in his day, yet he was generous and humane, beloved and respected by the common people, and idolized by the soldiers who had served under him. Such, in brief, was Col. Fitch, his circumstances, and position, in his vigorous prime, at the age of fifty, when the Revolutionary war broke out.
At the commencement of the struggle it was fondly hoped he would draw his sword in defence of the rights and imperiled liberties of his country. He was strongly urged to do so by his neighbor Col. Dyer and his friend and former partner in business Gov. Trumbull. It is even said that Gen. Washington addressed him a letter pressing him to accept a commission in the Continental army. Had he done so he would, in all probability, have occupied a high and honorable position, among the heroes of the Revolution.
But Col. Fitch had held a commission from his Majesty the king of Great Britain, who had honored him with an important command, and his sense of honor and loyalty forbade him to draw his sword against his lawful sovereign. Besides, the cause of the colonies appeared to him to be absolutely hopeless; in fact it seemed little short of madness to resist by arms the mighty power of Great Britain. "You never can conquer the British," was his persistent reply to those who urged him to engage in the struggle. It is not strange that such men as Col. Fitch refused to risk everything which they possessed in a cause which to human appearance could only end in disaster and ruin. It is more strange that such intelligent men such as Dyer and Trumbull, who were capable of estimating the power and resources of Great Britain, should without hesitation pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honors in the cause of their country.
Although Col. Fitch did not join the patriots he would not fight against them;- so far as we can learn he committed no overt act of hostility against his country. Still his sympathies were believed to be strongly with the parent government, which made his residence in such a town as Windham, where all were aglow with patriotic enthusiasm, anything but comfortable. He was under such strict surveillance by the authorities and the people, that he and his family were virtually prisoners in their own house; and nothing but the respect entertained for him personally and on account of his past services prevented his house from being torn down over his head. It was with difficulty that he could obtain supplies for his family; for the "Sons of Liberty" in Windham had voted that no miller should grind for and no merchant should sell to a tory.
Thus lived Col. Fitch during the American Revolution.
At length the struggle was over and the heroic men who had fought and bled and suffered as soldiers never did before, returned to their homes. And how did these war-worn veterans regard those who had remained at home in inglorious ease and refused to contribute in any way to the cause of their country and whose sympathies were with their enemies and oppressers? They cursed them with the bitter curse of Meroz because they came not to the help of the Lord against the mighty, and made Windham too warm a place for the residence of even such a harmless tory as Col. Fitch. His property had become depreciated and he was obliged to sacrifice much of what remained. He fled from Windham, ruined in fortune and broken in spirit, to British soil, where he died an exile, unhonored and unwept by his country, because in the hour of her sorest need he stool aloof and refused to lend her his aid.
No man can place himself in opposition to his government and in sympathy with the common enemy in time of war, and escape the consequences of such disloyal conduct.
The fate of the tories of the Revolution, and the Hartford Convention Federalists of 1812, should be a warned to those who oppose the war for the Union.
Men are now placing themselves on record, and their words, acts and votes will be relentlessly remembered and will affect them and their posterity for generations. And if they think they can escape the odium of a disloyal unpatriotic course, however estimable they may be in other respects, let them remember the history and fate of Col. Eleazer Fitch, of Windham.
Fri Mar 27 1863: The War. The note of preparation, the marshaling of the opposing hosts, and preliminary movements are taking place, indicating a near approach of what we believe will be the final struggle.
The rebels under Longstreet are again invading Kentucky, his advance having captured Mt. Sterling. Morgan's forces are very active in the vicinity of Nashville, and 300 men under Col. Bloodgood were captured by them without hardly any resistance the other day. Gen. Burnside has been appointed to the command of the Western Department, and the 9th Army Corps are enroute to reinforce the army in Kentucky.
Commodore Farragut has passed the Port Hudson batteries with seven of his gunboats having lost the Mississippi.
The seige of Vicksburg is progressing and it is reported that our forces up the Yazoo are getting in the rear of the city so as to cut off the communications when it must fall.
Nothing new from the South only preparations for the seige of Charleston are going forward.
Stirring news from various quarters may soon be expected.
Fri Mar 27 1863: To Advertisers.--A large majority of our enterprising merchants and business citizens fully appreciate the advantage offered by the Journal as an advertising medium, as our columns bear witness. We are obliged to them for their patronage, as we feel sure they are obliged to us for the opportunity we have given them for increasing their trade and business. There are some of our advertisers that might, we think, advertise more largely to their own advantage, while there are a few who have never advertised at all that we might do so greatly to their own interest, we confidently believe. With regard to foreign advertisers we have a word to say. The Journal occupies a field peculiarly its own, with no local competitor. It is read in almost every family in Willimantic, and circulates largely in nearly all of the neighboring towns. Its circulation has nearly doubled within a year and is steadily increasing. The population of Willimantic is 3,000, of Windham 4,600, and of this and the adjoining towns 15,000. We are confident that no other local paper in the State offers better inducements to advertisers, then the Journal. Terms reasonable. Special contracts made with yearly and quarterly advertisers.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Major General Edwin V. Sumner died in Syracuse on Saturday, the 21st of March. He was a brave and gallant officer.
Fri Mar 27 1863: From the 12th Connecticut Regiment. We are indebted to Capt. L.E. Braley and C.P. Evans, of Co. G, 12th C.V., for New Orleans papers to the 13th, for which we are much obliged. Capt. Braley sends us a copy of the Stars and Stripes, printed on the plain side of gay wall paper at Thibodaux. It is a spicy little sheet. The Era of the 13th inst, contains a patriotic address by the officers of the 12th to the people of Connecticut which we should be glad to copy entire if we had room; but we can only give the following extracts, which give a fair sample of the spirit of the whole.
In the midst of a heroic and hopeful struggle for our nation's unity, we are amazed by hearing from the lips of men who have not yet looked in the face of battle, a dastardly cry for peace.
Trust us when we assure you that the cry of Northern poltroons for peace does not conciliate the rebels, but on the contrary, gives them energy to continue the war. They now believe that if they fight only a little longer, they will gain the victory through the disunion and discouragement of the loyal part of the nation. We beg of you not to strengthen thus the hearts and minds of our foemen. We implore you not to make yourselves guilty, even thus indirectly, of the blood of loyal Connecticut soldiers. When we face the rebel cannon we do not wish to see your masses behind them, giving them better support than that of their own infantry.
Do not be deceived by ill-informed and ill-designing men, who cry "Peace! peace! When there is no peace." We, who have been a year in the midst of treason, and who have bought our sad knowledge with our health and blood, are certain that we know the rebels better than do those who have remained half a continent away from the scene of contest.
There is but one way to bring them back to the Union; that is to destroy their organized treason in the field. Is it true that while Louisiana, repentant, is on her way back to the ranks of loyalty, Connecticut is preparing to dessert to the army of treason?
Unless you look upon the offer of our health, our comforts, our ambitions, our lives even, as a thing to be spit upon, do not by every mail send us, through your newspapers and the reports of your public gatherings, expressions of your disapproval of the war, and so of the part which each of us is taking in it.
We address you thus earnestly, fellow citizens, because we fear that in your deliberations on this matter you may forget us, and the twenty thousand other citizens of Connecticut, who are now absent from their homes in defense of the nation's life and honor. We are confident that you have no right to disgrace us by calling for a cowardly peace, as we have no right to disgrace you by dastardly conduct on the battle-field.
Finally, we conjure you to resolve with use, that this war shall never end but with the destruction of treason, and the waving of the Stars and Stripes over every foot of earth belonging to the United States.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Spring Freshet.--The annual freshet is rather late this year, but has come with greater force than usual. On Wednesday, day and night, it rained powerfully, accompanied in the evening by vivid lightning and loud thunder, melting the snow, and causing a considerable rise in the Willimantic river, which was higher yesterday than it has been for several years before. On Wednesday night the river rose more than ten feet. The snow has disappeared, the weather is mild, and we hope soon to see the blue-birds and robins along with real spring weather.
Fri Mar 27 1863: We were surprised on Monday by a call from our young friend and neighbor David Robinson, who has been absent a year and a half as a soldier in the gallant Tenth Connecticut Regiment. Owing to protracted ill health he has been obliged to ask his discharge which he has obtained. He has participated in most of the battles and vicissitudes of that gallant regiment. His health is now improving.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Geo. W. Burnham, having removed from his old stand to the basement of the late Spiritualist church, which he has newly fitted up for his business, invites everybody to come and trade with him.
Fri Mar 27 1863: The Connecticut regiment, in the Ninth Army Corps, has been transferred to Suffolk, where it is expected there will be some fighting.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Henry Hall, alias John Wilson, has been arrested in Plainfield, and bound over for trial in the sum of $500, for robbery of the residence of George Lyons of Plainfield.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Dead.--There died at the town house in Rocky Hill, on Monday, 16th inst., a colored man, familiarly known as "Old Murray," who, according to his oft repeated statement, was born on Long Island, in the town of Ispleck (he calls it) on the 15th June, 1745; and consequently, had he lived, would have been 118 years of age, the coming June. He has resided in Rocky Hill nearly half a century. This may be said of him he was industrious, honest, and temperate, and supported himself and wife until one hundred years old. He claimed that he was one half Indian, one fourth African, and one fourth white; his countenance was as black as a genuine contraband.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Abel Pendleton, one of the oldest and most respected citizens of Stonington, died in that place on Monday morning, at the ripe age of ninety-seven years.
Fri Mar 27 1863: A little son of Mr. James B. Prescott, of Bridgeport, was accidentally drowned by falling off the dock in the rear of Cook's flour store, on Saturday afternoon.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Potatoes are selling in Atlanta, Georgia, for fifteen dollars a bushel. In Bangor, Maine, they sell for thirty-five cents a bushel.
Fri Mar 27 1863: It is believed at Washington that the rebels are abandoning the line of the Rappahannock and falling back upon their defenses in the vicinity of Richmond.
Fri Mar 27 1863: The rebel General Gideon J. Pillow has suffered considerable loss of property during the present rebellion. In a speech which he recently delivered in Madison county, Alabama, he stated that the Union forces had stripped him of all his negroes, burned his four cotton-gin houses, which he valued at ten thousand dollars each, taken one hundred thousand pounds of bacon, run off five hundred head of fine cattle and two thousand hogs, destroying his houses in Arkansas, and laid waste his plantations.
Fri Mar 27 1863: A gentleman at Kansas City just from Santa Fe, states that a large body of Indians, consisting of Camanches, Navajses and other border tribes, have returned from an expedition to Texas, where they captured 600 horses, a large number of cattle, destroyed much property and killed many Texans.
Fri Mar 27 1863: The United States steamer Guide arrived at New York on Tuesday evening from Port Royal and Beaufort. She brought a number of passengers, eighty disabled and sick soldiers, and one hundred and twenty-five discharged soldiers from the Marine Artillery.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Marriages
In Willimantic, March 25, by Rev. E.D. Bentley, Mr. Riou Duane Dow of Hartford, and Miss Anna S. Grant of Willimantic.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Deaths
In Willimantic, March 22, John Budd Hibbard, aged 31 years.
In South Coventry, March 26, Julius C. Hovey, aged 32. Funeral will be held at his late residence Sunday, March 29th at 10 1-2 a.m. The remains will be brought to Willimantic for burial.
In Columbia, February 22, Hattie May, daughter of Carlisle and Harriet Potter, aged 3 years, 2 months and 4 days.
In Middlebury, Schoharie county, N.Y., March 4, Ralph Manning, formerly of Windham, Ct., aged 79.
Fri Mar 27 1863: Wanted. A Young Man, 16 or 18 years old to take care of horses, and do the usual work required in a family. He can go to school the winter months. Enquire at This Office.