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of humanity, and it is my candid opinion that deep sorrow and cruel suffering. Its unavoidable their brutality to our prisoners is only measured calamities have been greatly augmented by the by their fears.
refusal of the enemy to respect the laws of civilI have the honor to be, most respectfully, your ized warfare, and by their fiendish attempt to obedient servant,
A. D. STREIGHT, wrest submission from us by visiting the most Colonel Fifty-first Indiana Volunteers. unrelenting barbarities upon women and child
ren, the aged and the helpless. Unbridled license
has been given to their cupidity ; untold millions Doc. 107.
of property have been wantonly destroyed by
their malice, or swelled the coffers of the pamADDRESS OF THE VIRGINIA ASSEMBLY.
pered villains, who, unwhipt of justice, have been Soldiers of Virginia in the Armies of the Confed- openly rewarded and promoted for their crimes. erate States :
Aged and unoffending men have been dragged It is now nearly three years since you left from their beds to dreary prisons and solitary your homes and firesides at the call of your State labor. Refined and virtuous women have been to repel the invasion of her soil.
brutally insulted, and, manacled by rude, unBefore taking up arms, every effort to obtain feeling soldiery, have been led captive from their the peaceful enjoyment of your rights under the homes as hostages for negroes. Farms have been Constitution had been exhausted, your appeals desolated, dwellings have been laid in ashes, unfor justice spurned with contempt, and a war to protected women and helpless children have been subjugate our sister States of the South com- turned out from their homes without bread or menced by Abraham Lincoln. By this lawless shelter. The tombs of the gallant dead have proceeding, the Federal Administration threw off been robbed and desecrated by fiends, who have the mask it had hitherto worn. In such a con- ruthlessly invaded the sanctity of the grave and test. Virginia could not remain an indifferent outraged the sensibilities of the living. Under spectator. Bound by every tie of blood, sympa- the hypocritical guise of liberating from slavery thy, common interests, and common wrongs, to a population happier and more virtuous than the States against which this hostile preparation themselves, they have sought to subject us to a was set on foot, she withdrew at once from an yoke more galling than they have essayed to reassociation which no longer respected a written move. Within a few days past an expedition has Constitution, and resolved to receive on her own been projected, and an abortive effort made to bosom the threatened shock of invasion. She in- carry into execution, with minute instructions voked you to rally to defend your homes, your emanating (as we have reason to believe) from the altars, and your honor; and this appeal was not Government at Washington, to sack and fire the made in vain. Promptly and generously you re- city of Richmond, and in the darkness of the sponded to the call of duty. Most faithfully have night to consign its inhabitants, without a moyou performed it. In your long and arduous ment's warning, to flames and to death. For service, you have shrunk from no toil, no danger, this purpose, a special “burning party" was orand no sacrifice. During your absence in the 'ganized, provided with implements of destrucfield, your wives and little ones may have suffered / tion, and orders to carry into execution the fell want: your homes been ravaged and the fruits design. Among its blazing ruins, the released of industry destroyed by a ruthless and barba- prisoners from Belle Isle and the Libby were to rous enemy. But in spite of every temptation, unite with the bands of Dahlgren and Kilpatrick you have never looked back. Your eye has al- in dealing out death and slaughter upon unofways been fixed on the foe and your ear waiting fending and peaceful citizens, and inflicting outfor the summons to battle. Amid the toil of the rage upon pure and unprotected women more march, the weary watch, the labor, the hunger, horrible than death. the cold, the privations of the camp, you have! The heart sickens at the contemplation of the never complained, but have always rendered a enormities that would have been committed had cheerful obedience to the State which honors and the nefarious scheme succeeded. No prayer for cherishes you with a mother's love.
mercy would have been heard, no scream for help You have been present in most of the import- would have been heeded. Fire, rapine, slaughant battles of the war, and in all your valor has ter, and lust would have held undisputed dominbeen conspicuous. It has made you the theme ion in this fair city. We forbear to enlarge, but of praise by your heroic companions from other make this recital that you may know more clearly States, and by the whole civilized world. Many the character of our foe, and that he may be held of your comrades have fallen in battle, or from up to the odium and execration of mankind. In disease contracted in service, and been transfer- shameless disregard of all the rules of civilized red from the roll of life to that of immortality. warfare, your chief magistrate and his cabinet There are many more whose mutilated forms at were, by special directions, to be denied the rights test their honorable devotion to their country. of prisoners of war, and killed in cold blood. In your prolonged absence from home, your sac- Every species of public and private property was rifice of personal interests and of all the enjoy- to be destroyed, and the entire country within ments of life has, indeed, been great. The war their reach laid waste. Stimulated and encourforced upon us by the malice of a people whom aged by the precepts and example of their leadwe have not injured, has entailed upon us allers, this band of robbers and murderers entered
private houses, broke open ladies' wardrobes, de- to employ their power to take away our property. stroyed of their rich contents what they could Their present malice springs chiefly from baffled not appropriate, carried off jewels and plate, con- cupidity. But for this master passion of their signed to the flames stores of provisions, burnt nature, an honorable and speedy peace would be mills and other houses, desolated some of the easy. The war has fully developed all the purfairest homes of the State, and left whole families poses, and you now know the fate that awaits you without food. Thanks to the gallantry of a citi- in the event of subjugation. Your liberties will zen soldiery, they were routed and repulsed in utterly perish. Your State organization will be the midst of this carnival of crime, which must blotted out. All your property of every descripoutrage the sensibilities of the civilized world. tion will be confiscated; for all of us have partiMany of them, with awakened consciousness of cipated in the revolution. Your lands will be their deserts, now contemplate their doom within divided out among the banditti from the North the walls of a prison from which they hoped to and from Europe, who have invaded our State. release their companions. An avenging God sud- A free negro population will be established in denly summoned their atrocious leader from the your midst, who will be your social equals and scenes of his wickedness to the bar of judgment, military governors. Negro guards will, at their and on his slain body were found his atrocious pleasure, give you passes and safe conducts, or instructions, stained with his own blood. The arrest you, to be tried and punished by negro namo of Dahlgren will be handed down to history commandants and magistrates. And to these, as a fit associate in infamy with Butler and a yourselves, your wives and children will be mehost of lesser criminals, who have disgraced hu- nial laborers and slaves, except those of you manity and shocked the moral sense of the world. whom the malice of your enemies shall reserve But in these very atrocities, you will discern the for the dungeon or the gallows. Such is the motive, if any were needed, for continued service doom denounced for the people of the South by and fresh sacrifices. Virginia takes no step back-the wicked race now warring upon us. But we ward. Every consideration of honor, interest, know it can never be executed. An army of duty, and safety demand that we shall go for veterans have resolved that their country shall ward in the grand struggle for human rights and not be enslaved ; and while their purpose stands, human liberty, so bravely begun, and so man- the enemy's designs will continue to be baffled. fully maintained. After all that we have suffered Among you there is one spirit-that of eager and and endured, subjugation or submission to this resolute determination. The temper of the army cruel foe would reduce us to a degree of degrada- has reached the people at home and inspired them tion and misery which has no parallel in the his- with a fresh courage and a more assured confi. tory of civilization. The sacrifices of blood and dence. Everywhere we see multiplied evidences treasure that we have expended-the memories of energy and enthusiasm. In all the States we of the noble martyrs who have freely given their find the resolution to endure every extremity lives for the achievement of our independence, rather than submit, and with this spirit our peoforbid that we should needlessly throw away I ple are invincible. The armies are filling up their what has been already won, in the vain hope of ranks, and the legislation of Congress has added obtaining peace or security. Nothing but wretch- still further to their numbers and efficiency. edness and untold misery await us if we stop Those citizens who remain at home to carry on short of the unconditional acknowledgment of the industrial pursuits essential to the support our independence. This your valor will surely of the army, will see to it that you shall not command. Men of Virginia ! you are soldiers of want for food while you are exposing your lives a renowned commonwealth, whose fame you have to protect their property and homes from rapine. illustrated and borne alost on every battle-field. | The defence of the country has become its busiWe need not unfold to you the muniments of ness, and every citizen is required to contribute your right to self-government. We are assured to it in his proper sphere. The General Assemthat you fully comprehend the necessity of a suc- bly of the commonwealth has taken steps to aid cessful assertion of that right, and that you will those families of her soldiers who may be in want, never lay down your arms until you have se- and it will not fail to do all in its power to procured it. Born to an inheritance of freedom, vide for and cherish them. They have authorized you cannot hesitate to choose between slavery and directed the purchase or impressment of unor death. Submission to an enemy who has ex- limited supplies for their maintenance; approprihausted every infamy is not endurable even in ated one million dollars for the relief of such as thought; but were we base enough to desire are within the lines of the enemy, and half a mil. peace upon any terms less than the unqualified lion as a hospital fund for the sick and wounded. recognition of our independence, self-interest alone An organized agency, the State distributes the ; would teach us the folly of relying upon the for- voluntary contributions of patriotic citizens. Inbearance of a nation who have shown in every dividually and collectively, in county, city, and step of the war that their faith is perfidy, and State organizations, the people with one accord that their only policy is rapine, plunder, and op- are determined to feed, clothe, sustain, and cherpression. The whole history of our former asso-ish the army. ciation with the Northern States admonishes us On the other hand, your enemies are appalled that in a common government they will never fail | by the magnitude of the task before them. The
loud boastings which a few weeks since they so the graves of the brave men whose blood has been freely uttered, have been silenced by your unani- shed as a libation to liberty. mous reëenlistments for the war, and the stern
A. D. DICKINSON, Chairman, and resolute daring of the South. Dissensions
A. J. MARSHALL exist among them. Eager to possess the spoils
ANDREW HUNTER, Senate Committee, of their corrupt and profligate government, they
B. H. SHACKLEFORD, Chairman, see each other nearly as much as they do us.
R. W. HUNTER, The war is no longer popular. The rich are al
F. B. DEANE, lowed to buy an exemption, and thus cast all the
A. C. CUMMINGS, burden and risk upon the poor. The laboring
R. H. Baker, House Committee. classes have already revolted against the draft. Adopted by Senate, March 5, 1864. To escape its odium, enormous bounties have been
SHELTON C. Davis, C. S. offered to volunteers ; but all these expeditions Adopted by House of Delegates, March 9, 1864. have failed, and again a heavy draft has been or
Wm. F. GORDON, C. H. D. dered. The armies of the enemy are every day diminishing, and it is evident they cannot recruit them to the numbers with which they began the
Doc. 108. struggle. A large and growing party are for peace. A still larger party have discovered that
REBEL RETALIATION. the war has so far only served to entail upon themselves a despotism which tramples down. In the Virginia State Senate on March tenth, every public and private right. They feel and Mr. Grice offered the following: acknowledge that they are the slaves of one whose. Whereas, The General Assembly of Virginia character has made him odious to the world. I have learned that the Reverend George M. Bain, Torn by party and personal strife, and conscious Cashier of the Portsmouth Savings Bank Society, of the impotence of their scheme of conquest, the
and William H. H. Hodges, Cashier of the Merranks of your enemies are already beginning to
chants and Mechanics' Savings Bank, citizens of waver. One more resolute effort and the day is
Portsmouth, Virginia, the first-named being over ours.
sixty years of age, and the other a cripple, have God will strengthen your arms in the hour of been arrested and sentenced to hard labor at battle, and give blessings to a just cause. Inde
Hatteras, North-Carolina, by order of Major-Genpendence and peace will be needed by your ene- eral Butler, or some other officer of the Federal mies, and you, the defenders of the common
Government, for alleged fraudulent disposal of wealth, may return to your homes to receive the the funds of their banks; and that the Reverend welcome due the brave, and to enjoy those hon- John H. Ringfield, Rector of Trinity Episcopal ors which will grow brighter as our years shall
Church, Portsmouth, had been put to hard labe prolonged.
bor in the public streets of that city, with a ball And when your ears shall be no longer startled and chain to his leg, because he refused to reby the “clash of resounding arms," and a happy, nounce his allegiance to his native State ; thereprosperous, and permanent peace shall succeed, store, returning from the fields of your fame, you will
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That be greeted with tears of joy by the loved ones the Governor of the Commonwealth be, and he at home—the heroes of every circle-to receive is hereby requested to invite the attention of the the smiles of the fair, and become the theme of confederate government to the arrest and sengratitude and praise around every hearthstone tence of these three worthy citizens of this State, protected by your valor.
and to respectfully ask that the facts may be inThen every heart shall rejoice in that quiet vestigated ; and, if found as stated and believed. which your courage has secured. Not the quiet of that three citizens of the Federal States (if there deserted homes and desolated farms-of sacked be such in the hands of the confederate authorcities and rifled churches-of villages in ashes ities) be held at hard labor, one with ball and and towns in ruins--but the quiet of smiling chain, on the public streets, as hostages for farms, when the blue smoke shall curl again Messrs. Bain, Hodges, and Wingfield. above the ancestral trees, to welcome back the The rules having been suspended, the prelong-exiled refugee to his home. The quiet of amble and resolution were unanimously passed thriving villages, when the old man on his crutch and ordered to be communicated to the House. and the brave and war-worn veteran with his armless sleeve, shall tell of bloody battles and scenes of privation to smiling children around him.
Doc. 109. The quiet of prosperous cities, whose wharves
THE FIGHT AT YAZOO CITY. shall whiten with an opulent commerce, whose shops shall hum with a busy industry, and whose
CAIRO, March 16, 1864. spires point to that haven of rest which is far from an officer just arrived from Vicksburgh. away. Then from a thousand happy hearts and who was in the recent fight at Yazoo City, we happy homes shall arise thanksgiving and praise learn particulars concerning it. The fight was to the God of battles as of grace, while tears of one of the best contested and most desperate of gratitude will embalm the memories and bedew I the war.
The Union force consisted of the Eleventh Illi. which had just disembarked, was ordered up to nois, Colonel Schofield, Colonel Coates's Eighth the front on the double-quick, and we arrived Louisiana, (colored) and two hundred of the there none too soon. The enemy fell back as First Mississippi cavalry, Colonel Ed. Osband, soon as they saw reinforcements coming up. We (colored.) The enemy had eight regiments, un- skirmished with them till dark, when they fell der command of Ross and Richardson. The back to their camp. We remained in the fort all fight commenced at eight A.m., and lasted nearly night. The Eighth Louisiana occupied a fort, or till dark, when the enemy retired. Three hun- rather redoubt, (there are seven of them around dred of the Eleventh Illinois were surrounded in the city,) to the right of us about three quarters a small fort of the bluff outside the town. A of a mile. The next day company A was ordered storm of shot and shell was poured upon them to report at headquarters for provost-guard. This all day, when a summons was sent to them to was the twenty-ninth of February. From that surrender. They replied that they didn't know time up to the fifth of March, we skirmished what surrender meant. The remainder of the with the enemy every day, and our cavalry pickUnion force was in town, where they were met ets were drawn in nearly every night. by the enemy, who had gained cover of some A flag of truce was received by Colonel Coates of the buildings. The contest raged for three from General Ross, on the fourth of March, askhours, when the enemy retired
ing if the fortunes of war should place some of Two gunboats were in the river, but could bis men in our possession as prisoners, what render but little assistance. The colored sol- should be their treatment, etc. To which a rediers fought bravely, and sometimes with des- ply was given, that such treatment depended peration. The Eleventh Illinois lost twenty-five upon the treatment our men (either white or -nine of whom were killed. Among them was black) received at his hands. a lieutenant whose name we could not learn. 1 About seven o'clock on the morning of the
The Eighth Louisiana lost nearly one hundred fifth of March, the enemy drove in our cavalry in killed, wounded, and missing. The First Mis- pieket, and attacked the infantry picket, which sissippi cavalry lost two Lieutenants and several had been strengthened during the night, in conmen. Our whole loss is set down at one hun- siderable force, but were unable to force them to dred and thirty--that of the enemy at three hun retire, and were compelled to bring up their ardred.
tillery to dislodge them. Our forces then retired LIEUTENANT INGERSOLL'S ACCOUNT
into the fort, ready to welcome whoever or whatCAMP ELEVENTH Illinois INFANTRY, VICKSBURGH, !
ever might be sent. They had not long to wait. MISSISSIPPI, March 15, 1864.
The enemy formed their lines, which consisted Dear C. : I am not much in the mood for letter- of General Ross's Texas brigade, and General writing to-day, but I will try and write a short Richardson's Tennessee brigade, (the latter had one to you. My last was written, I believe, before arrived during the night, on the ridge northwe reached Yazoo City, on our way down from east of the redoubt held by the Eleventh Illinois, Greenwood. Colonel Coates received orders commanded by Major McKee, and a detachment while at Sulon to proceed to Yazoo City, take of the First Mississippi cavalry, under command possession of the place, and send to Vicksburgh of Major Cook, who occupied the trenches outfor camp equipage. When within about six side of the redoubt. All this time the enemy miles of the city, (by land, about fourteen by the were peppering away at the fort with a battery river,) Colonel Osband's First Mississippi cav- of six rifled pieces, and doing some damage, alry, A. D., was disembarked, with instructions planting the shell inside the fort with great acto proceed by land to the rear of the town and curacy. After the enemy had formed, they take possession of all the roads leading there charged down the hill and across the ravine with from, in order to gobble up any persons that a yell, our boys sending a shower of bullets might attempt to escape, and also to reconnoitre among them, till they got under shelter of the and ascertain what was going on in the vicinity. bluffs around the fort. They took their position Major Cook, with a detachment of the First Mis on three sides of the fort, under shelter of the sissippi cavalry, went out on the Benton road, bluff, and within one hundred to one hundred leading west from Yazoo City. When out about and fifty yards. six miles, he came upon what he supposed to be About twelve o'clock General Ross sent a flag a small scouting party, but which proved to be of truce with the demand for a surrender. Mathe advance pickets of General Ross's Texas bri-jor McKee, not liking the style of the thing, regade. He dashed upon them, driving them back turned it without an answer. When Major Mcinto their camp, when they opened upon him Kee started to meet the first flag of truce, Major with artillery. The Major, having only about Cook, supposing the flag to have been raised first sixty men, was forced to get out of that rather on our side, called to Major McKee and said: lively. A detachment of Ross's brigade followed “Major, for God's sake, what are you going to him up, and they had a running fight till they do? You are not going to surrender ?" The Mareached the hills surrounding the city, where the jor's reply was: "Ask my men if I ever surrenMajor made a stand, occupying a small redoubt der." on the Benton road just outside the city. A des. At the same time that General Ross took po. patch having been received by the Colonel, giv-sition around the fort, two regiments of General ing a statement of affairs, the Eleventh Illinois, Richardson's command, the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Tennessee, deployed to the right into a boat for a new squad of men to work it, doing large corn-field, and on the low ground to the good execution. We had no idea of driving the north of the city. Colonel Coates ordered com- enemy out of the town when we made the depany A out to meet them and check them as monstration. We were expecting reënforcements much as possible, while he sent to the Eighth from Liverpool, which had been sent for, and we Louisiana for reënforcements. We went out on wanted to keep them busy until they arrived. the run. The men deployed in the outskirts of! As soon as the enemy retreated out of the the town, getting behind the fences and build- town, those attacking the fort gradually fell ings for protection. But we found two regiments back, till out of cover of the bluffs, when they most too heavy for our company, and fell back broke and ran, our boys having opened a heavy from one street to the other, the boys giving fire upon them. Thus ended our fight at Yazoo them the best they had. Prisoners taken say City. that they suffered severely coming through the X second flag of truce was sent on the sixth town. We were driven back till on a line with instant, from Brigadier-General Richardson to headquarters, when we made a stand, having the Colonel Coates, stating that he had sent an amadvantage of a strong position, and having been bulance surgeon and ambulance corps to bury reënforced by a detachment from the Eighth his dead, and take care of the wounded, and proLouisiana, A. D., about one hundred and fifty posing to Colonel Coates that each of them send strong, determined to hold it to the last. Com- a commissioner between the picket-lines to effect pany A being stationed to the best advantage, I an exchange of prisoners, etc. The first point went to headquarters to see what was going on was answered that his dead had been decently there. Colonel Coates was in the street giving buried, his wounded properly and tenderly cared orders as cool as though nothing unusual was for, consequently no necessity for his surgeon, going on. The bullets were flying around him etc., and declined receiving them. To the seas thick as hail. The enemy had taken posses- cond proposition, would answer, that a cartel sion of the houses on both sides of the street had been agreed upon, in which certain parties above headquarters, and were firing from the and places were named for such exchange, and windows and doors. The pillars in front of the as neither Brigadier-General Richardson, confedbuilding used for headquarters (formerly a bank) crate States army, nor Colonel Coates, United were speckled with the marks of bullets. It States volunteers, were named as such parties, seems almost a miracle that the Colonel was not nor Yazoo City the point for such exchange, struck a dozen times. He escaped with only a would respectfully decline your proposition. couple of holes through his coat, and a slight The gist of the joke in this last was, that at scratch on the face. He was standing on the that time we had none of his men as prisoners ! steps in front of headquarters, or in the street, I don't hanker after any more street-fights. all the time during the fight. About three o'clock Our entire loss is about one hundred and twenthe Colonel told Adjutant Dean and myself to ty-five. The Eleventh lost ten killed, including take what men we could get together, go around one commissioned officer, and thirty-five woundto the left of the town and attack them on the ed and missing. Company A lost five wounded flank, to make a diversion if possible from that and one missing. He was probably wounded part of the city. We took a few of company A and taken prisoner. Three of them were from that were the nearest, (the whole company being Stephenson County. Sergeant C. H. Lutz in out skirmishing where they had been all day,) the wrist, Samuel Stoner in the leg, and L. Iman and a small squad from the Eighth Louisiana, in the shoulder. They have been sent to St. with an officer from the same regiment. We Louis, together with “Joe" Pratt. They were went around to the left, attacking them on the all doing well when they left here. [Iman since flank and rear, yelling at the same time like so reported dead.--Ed. Jour. ] many Indians, Captain Kenyon (of the Colonel's! The morning after the fight orders came from staff, and Captain of company K, Eleventh Illi. Vicksburgh to embark immediately for that nois,) took about twenty men that had been cut place. We left Yazoo City on the morning of off from the fort while out skirmishing in the the seventh, arriving there on the ninth.. morning, and driven back into town, and attack- I have endeavored to give you a short sketch ed them on the right about the same time. of the fight. You know my fondness for letterThe enemy thinking no doubt that we had been writing, so it is entirely unnecessary for any reënforced, started for the hills, every man for apologies. Had it not been for the coolness and himself. We followed them as close as we bravery of Major McKee, who had command in thought advisable, considering our small force. the fort, also Major Cook, First Mississippi cavLieutenant Brewster moved up Main street with alry A. D., who had command of a detachment a twelve-pound rifled gun, which had been sent from this regiment, and the determination of to us from one of the gunboats, with men to Colonel Coates to hold the place as long as he work it, (the captain of the gun had deserted it had a man to fight with, this letter would probably at the commencement of the fight, leaving it in have been written in Libby prison and to a difthe hands of the enemy; our men charged up ferent metre. We learned by a gunboat officer the street and retook it.) From that time to the who arrived here yesterday morning from Yazoo close of the fight, Adjutant Dean and Lieutenant City, that the enemy reported having lost over Brewster handled the gun, sending to the gun-four hundred killed, wounded, and missing.