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as a general rule, when within the enemy's line, In the counties visited, there are but a few I feel proud in being able to say, conducted field-hands left of the black class; and a rethemselves as becomes soldiers, only doing that spectable resident asserts it as his belief that which they are allowed to do by the recognized not one fourth as much land will be cultivated rules of war by all civilized nations ; destroying this year as there was the last, when the crop nothing but what is used as a direct agency in was much less than the year before. January sustaining the bogus Confederacy, and taking so and February is the time for preparing the ground much provisions only, and forage, as may be re- for sowing and planting in this part of the State, quired for immediate use. No attempt is made but it was a rare sight to see a ploughed field on to intimidate the inhabitants who are quietly at the first of March. home attending to their legitimate business, and! At several points white men were seen work. hence they never think of running away from ing in the field, and occasionally a large ploughed an invading Yankee column. In no other coun-field could be seen ; but, as a general rule, howtry, in no other war, in the history of the world, ever, the farms are running over with weeds, the I will venture to say, has there been shown so buildings are out of repair, fences are down, and much confidence of a people in the honor of the Virginia wild hog, heretofore seldom seen, those whom they look upon as invaders, as the except in pine forests, overruns the land. Parpeople of the South when visited by the Union ticularly is this the case with the manorial estates troops—the Southern newspaper press to the to be seen as you approach the Pamunkey. contrary notwithstanding. Neither men, women. There is an abiding faith both with soldiers nor children run away at our approach, and how- and citizens, that the war will end this year in ever much animosity they may manifest openly one way or the other. Your sanguine secesh, of or indirectly, they seem to realize that they have course, (who is generally ignorant or stupidly blind an honorable foe to deal with.
to what is going on in the outside world,) is quite But your bitter, vindictive secesh is a rare ob-confident that the “Southern cause," as he calls ject to find; the persons met with in the recent it, will triumph; but from what I saw and heard, raid, for the most part, profess to have no inter- | I do not believe a majority of the people outside est in the rebellion-it came without their aid, of the army would give the turn of a copper to and they have no desire to aid in its continuance secure the success of that cause. The people any more than they are forced to do by what generally do not hesitate to say they are heartily they feel to be the despotic rule of Jefferson tired of the war; and well they may be, for Davis. All the real secesh capable of bearing every branch of industry, except that to aid the arms are already in the army, together with confederate government, is at a stand-still ; many others whose hearts are not in the cause families are broken up and scattered, and the I had frequent opportunities to converse with whole country is flooded with a species of paper both of these classes. One of the most bitter money so nearly worthless as to scarcely be berebels in his talk I ever met with, when captured, lieved. This stuff is thrown about carelessly, commenced a tirade of characteristic Southern and is to be found everywhere stowed away in braggadocio. He talked of “our best men in houses as carelessly as a prudent Yankee housethe field;" the South “ could never be whipped ;" keeper does rags. For a ten-dollar greenback I “never had been whipped ;" "it was a shame was offered at one place a pile of confederate that Southern gentlemen were compelled to fight scrip large enough to fill an ordinary saddle-bag. niggers;" and a whole series of the usual twaddle In the use of this money we had some experimade use of by braggarts of the negro school, ence. At a little oyster saloon, about six miles leading every one who heard him to suppose that from Richmond, General Davies and a party of he was a perfect pink of perfection-a pure F. F. V. friends numbering eight in all, partook of a supper This man, who is the type of the so-called chivalwhich cost eighty-five dollars and forty cents in ric sons of the South, was caught bushwhacking, confederate money, and the proprietor readily shot at a man after he had surrendered, told half took thirty-two dollars confederate and a two dol. a dozen lies in almost as many minutes, admitted lar greenback for the amount. The fare conthat he never owned a negro in his life, and that sisted of eggs, bacon, honey, and bread. I obhis family is both poor and illiterate-the poor tained a bill of items from the gentlemanly white trash which Toombs so picturesquely owner of the place to adorn the books of some set off once in the United States Senate. This Antiquarian Society. A few years hence it will is no fancy sketch; and, when the fellow was be much more of a curiosity than now. exposed, he very coolly fell back upon the rights As to the question of food. Every family of a prisoner of war-that is, in his opinion, a seemed to have a little. Halting for an hour prisoner of war should not be exposed in his at a house, the occupant was asked if he had arrogance and falsehood. Of such is the South- any corn, to which he gave a most positive ern army to-day made up. That they will fight negative reply. The proper officer was not satiswell all do know-and that is about all the re-fied, and, by a little searching, forty or fifty deeming quality there is in the race. Their very bushels were found stored away in a loft of the pride and conceit makes them recklessly brave. house. He denied also having bacon, and said This same fellow, after some conversation, volun- that neither corn nor bacon could be bought for teered the remark: "If we do come together love or money, but “the boys" somehow managain, we can whip the whole world."
| aged to find quite a little pile of the hog-meat concealed in an out-of-the-way place; and this less person, the enemy had met Kilpatrick in su. was the experience along the whole route in the perior force at the very inauguration of the movedifferent counties. At nearly every occupied ment, and fears were entertained for the safety of house was to be found a lot of chickens, and oc- the command. This class of correspondents show casionally more or less turkeys, ducks, geese, how much knowledge they had of the affair by and drakes, and not unfrequently small grunters still persisting in the statement that Kilpatrick were to be seen roaming through the fields at left Stevensburgh on Saturday evening, when will. It was quite evident that there was no without much trouble, they might have known superabundance of food, but a good supply of that he did not move until Sunday night. Old apple-jack somehow could always be obtained at sores are always tender, and a newspaper in the one hundred and twenty-five dollars per gallon habit of being beaten in news is frequently stir-a price frequently paid. Confederate scrip red up to commit indiscretions. The truth of was floating about so plentifully, that the price the matter is, that, whether any of the newsof the liquor made but little difference to the papers did or did not act prematurely in pubpurchaser--one hundred and fifty dollars per lishing the movements of General Kilpatrick, gallon would have been paid just as willingly. the enemy did not take advantage of it. The
These people at home pretended that they had picket at Ely's Ford knew nothing of it, and the no choice as to which troops visited their planta-column moved to Beaver Dam on the Central tions. The confederates took all they could find Railroad, before hearing a hostile shot. So skilin the shape of provisions, and while they hoped to fully managed, indeed, was the whole affair, that be excused from receiving visits from either, they the announcement of General Kilpatrick crossing thought they could be treated no worse by the the Rapidan was made in the Richmond papers Yankees. As you move toward the heart of on the very day he arrived before that city. The rebeldom, the feeling of animosity is more in- pickets within three and a half miles of Richtense in hatred toward Yankees, and is more mond were captured before they were aware that openly manifested. Around the outer borders, an enemy's force was near them; and wherever where the people have more frequently seen the column moved before reaching Richmond, Union troops, and know more of what is going the enemy were taken by surprise and were enon in the outside world, they seem to have entirely unprepared to resist the movement. larged and more liberal ideas; as you approach Captain Armstrong, of the Commanding Genthe centre more bigotry and intolerance, more eral's staff, besides his regular duties, had charge outspoken hatred is met with. Until a point of the distributing of the President's Amnesty near Richmond was reached there was but little Proclamation. Printed in small pamphlet form, on the part of the people to indicate that we this production was scattered broadcast everywere moving among a united mass of enemies. where. It was placed in the hands of the people, On the Brook pike, within a few miles of Rich left in their houses, churches and shops, stowed mond, quite a number of very respectable-look-away in books and in every conceivable nook ing young women came out to the roadside and and corner, so that if any large portion of the made use of some taunting expletives—such as people are disposed to suppress the only public no real lady would be guilty of-but judging document emanating from Mr. Lincoln which has from the surroundings, I suppose they were con- not been reproduced in the Richmond papers, sidered ladies at home. One of these women they will hardly be able to accomplish their pur. was almost frantic with indignation. “I never pose. thought," said she, raising her hands in holy The negroes everywhere, as usnal, manifested horror, “that you would be mean enough for great delight at seeing a column of Yankees, and this." This she repeated frequently as the acted unreservedly, as though they expected to column moved along. No one offered any dis- find them all friends, and aided the expedition in respectful remark in reply. The boys were various ways. They could always tell where corn simply amused at her eccentric conduct. This could be found for the horses, and where provicourse of conduct seemed to exasperate her; to sions and horses had been concealed. They frehave Yankee soldiers come there was bad enough, quently gave valuable information as to the locabut to be laughed at by them seemed to her the tion of the enemy's pickets, of the presence of very height of the intolerables.
scouts in the neighborhood, and could tell when Much has been said of the publicity given to the last confederate soldier had passed along the this raid before the movement was commenced road. These services were rendered freely and or immediately thereafter. It is undoubtedly without hesitation, often without the asking. true that a great many people knew that there Their services were brought into requisition in was a movement on foot of some kind, but of what destroying railroads, and in one instance, at least, kind, or which way it was to go, or its destina- continued the work of destruction after the troops tion, it seems nearly every one was in ignorance. had left the spot, saying, as the column moved The enemy knew nothing of the matter, and the off: “We'll catch up." Nearly all asked per. correspondents in the field and at Washington, mission to come along, and many did so without from the different publications in the papers, it asking the privilege, seeming to take it as a matis quite certain, knew but little more than the ter of course they were expected to join the comrebels. One paper recounts, in fearful terms, mand. There was no large number of negroes how that owing to the indiscretion of some name- in any one place; but there were a few found in
every locality—just enough, the whites said, to thereon, and neighboring corn-cribs and farnu raise crops for the local population to consume. houses furnished food for horses and men. Only about one million dollars' worth of this Up to this time, (Wednesday evening,) no one kind of property was brought away. Many of knew of the approach of a force from General the negroes and negresses gave out on the long Butler's department, and the first intimation of marches, and were left on the road. One squad of it was when Lieutenant Whitaker, with a small stout-limbed and stout-hearted women marched detachment, went out to burn Tunstall Station for two days with the command, and were finally and destroy the railroad-track, and found that rewarded by reaching General Butler's lines, the station was in flames, and that a Union force where they have some rights that white men are had preceded. Thursday morning, a few miles bound to respect under the present régime. south of the railroad, the advance met Colonel
Only a few cattle were seen on the whole West's command. The gratification of the troops march. Every thing large enough for beef has at meeting such a force so unexpectedly can only been confiscated for the use of the army. The be imagined by those who have been similarly same may be said of horses. The few to be situated. seen-except here and there an exception--are Near New-Kent Court-House a brigade of poor in flesh and in spirit. Not more than three colored troops was standing at ease in column hundred horses were obtained probably through- by regiments, and certainly no troops ever made out the whole command-all having been pressed a better first impression. Cheers filled the air, into the rebel service.
given with a cordial good-will by both commands. Several prisoners taken in front of Richmond The Peninsula seems to be almost entirely while our cavalry was engaged within the de- abandoned by all its former residents, and given fences of that capital, state positively that General over to bushwhackers and roaming bands of lawBragg was on the field during the action, and less men. North of Williamburgh, bushmen i vas furious at the audacity of the Yankees. hang upon the flanks and rear of any column of 1 'he panic in Richmond was undoubted. Citizens troops that may pass, to pick up stragglers, secure who left the city at eight o'clock and were taken horses, and not unfrequently, apparently, for the ini o custody between ten and eleven o'clock, said sole purpose of gratifying a morbid spirit of rethat they heard nothing of the approach of our venge, firing into a column indiscriminately, with forı 'es. It is believed that they first knew of the no hope of securing any immediate advantage pre: :ence of a cavalry force by a messenger who thereby. Occasionally a poor family is found at wen t across the fields soon after crossing Brook home, but they manifest no particular feeling Crce k.
either for or against the Union cause. Their sons All things considered, no better weather could and brothers capable of bearing arms are in the have been asked for the consummation of the rebel service, and therefore it is supposed their objoc tof this raid. The first night, Sunday, was sympathies are in that direction. The locality cloud y; the next day there was no sun, so that between Burnt Ordinary and New-Kent Courtthe alumn could not be seen at a distance by the House is particularly obnoxious on account of enem y. That night there was a slight fall of rain, bushwhackers. On Tuesday last, four colored refres aing to the horses, and doing the men of soldiers of Colonel West's command, were capthe command no particular harm, as it was not tured in this vicinity, and one was shot through very old. Tuesday night was the only really the arm. I have before recorded the experience disagreable time-just when the camp was of General Kilpatrick's command while passing shelles :-then there was a fall of rain which through the district indicated. gradua lly turned into sleet, and subsequently The rebels have evidently obtained a supply snow. The mud was deep, nevertheless the of railroad-iron from some source within the last comme ind had to move on through the mud and vear. The writer hereof, while on General Stoneslush i jix inches deep to a defensive position some man's raid, in the spring of last year, had his ten m les distant. If it was disagrecable for the attention particularly called to the condition of men ( in horseback, let the reader i pagine how the tracks of several roads. It was badly worn much more disagreeable it was for a hundred or and peeled off in many places, so as to be dangermore disinounted men, whose horses "had been ous for cars to be run at any great speed. Since shot I r stampeded in the night-attack. Bravely that time these roads have been relaid, at several did t iese dismounted troopers plod on through points, certainly, with a first quality of T rail, the 1 jud, hour after hour, mile aftor mile. All and several piles of new rails were destroyed the l d horses were brought into requisition a last week by our troops, laid by the road-side for few tray animals were picked up in the morning, use when necessary. All the cars seen, were so t at nearly all of the dismounted were re-next to worthless. mou nted the next day. Wednesday, for the first tiras, the sun shone forth-never at a more wel
AN ACCOUNT BY A PARTICIPANT. con le moment-making every ono forget the
YORKTOWN, VA., March 7, 1864. ha dships they had undergone, and the perils by! For some time I had noticed indications of a which they were then surrounded. The bottom- movement, being situated as I am, (acting Quar. la ids of the broad Pamunkey never looked more termaster Sergeant in the Division Ordnance te mpting, and the whole command was halted Department,) all ordnance stores being drawn
VOL. VIII.-Doc. 37
through this department. Requisitions were to a Dr. Bassett, whose darkeys all leave and made the last of February for a quantity of tor- become contrabands. This is at Ashland, and a pedoes, rat-tail files, turpentine, oakum, and sign-post shows us seventeen miles to Richmond. other inflammable articles. For what were they The railroad passes through this place, or rather to be used ? and in such haste too? for the order it did, for we tore up the track for miles and was for immediate use. Why, General Kilpatrick burned the station. We now cross the south was going on a raid again ; or, perhaps, (as the branch of the Pamunkey River, on a high bridge. Hon. J. M. Howard told us in our little theatre | My mules being weary, the General gave orders at Stevensburgh,) we were going into Richmond. to destroy some of the load, which I did by Acting in the capacity I now do, I had no occa- throwing twenty-six boxes of ammunition into sion to go, but love of adventure got the better the river. After our forces had crossed, the of the comforts of our snug little office, and I bridge was burned. begged the privilege of accompanying the expe- ! It was at this place the rebel infantry that had dition, which was granted, and on Sunday, at been marching in our rear, caught up; but we five P.m., I was at General Kilpatrick's head- drove them back and got across the river safely, quarters, and reported in charge of three six- destroying the bridge after us. They could fol. mule teams, loaded with assorted ammunition. low no further. We burn all the bridges we The evening was cold and cheerless, with driz- come to, and tear up the track of the Frederickszling rain.
burgh Railroad. We take many prisoners out In a short time the cavalry began to draw up of the houses along the road, mostly cavalry, who under their several commanders. It was here say they are disbanded till the fifteenth of March, that General Kilpatrick gave Colonel Dahlgren to recruit their horses. and Major Cook their orders. I heard him say At three P.m. we are inside the outer fortificato the Major: "Good-by, Major; do this thing up tions, and only two miles and a half froin the clean for me, and then ask any thing you like." city of Richmond. The ball opens from our The Major replied, as he rode off: “You will find batteries and the rebels. We pick out a campit all right, General, depend on me.” As his ing ground, and lay down to sleep, almost in command started, Colonel Dahlgren being a range of their guns. I was awakened at eleven cripple, rode in an ambulance. Their orders P.M., by the boom of cannon very close. I startwere to go to Richmond by the James River, and ed up to find my train deserted by all except my signal us, (the other commands,) when a rush teamsters. I rushed up to the General's head.. simultaneously was to be made on the city. But quarters, but found it vacated, the lights lef. you must have seen by the papers how treachery burning, but no one one to give any orders. O foiled its accomplishment.
knew no time was to be lost, so hurried my mer At dark, “Kill” was in the saddle, and the to get the inules to the wagons, and they di i column moved across the Rapidan, at Ely's Ford, hurry, for by this time the grape and caniste r where we captured the picket post of a captain came pouring in. Had they known my train and fourteen men. We were now within their had been there, they could have gobbled us up. lines, and great caution was necessary; but we Never did teamsters get ready quicker. Brito marched all night, no rest, for we had to get to now, where to go to, was the query; we did not the rear of Lee's forces. Monday, A.M., we know the road our columns had taken, but I reached Beaver Dam and cut the telegraph. We chose the one opposite to Richmond, and keypt were now in Spottsylvania County, and created on at double-quick, till we luckily came to our consternation among the inhabitants. On coming men; we marched till three A.m., and then went to the railroad, parties were detached up and into camp and slept till morning. down the line to demolish it, blow up bridges, Wednesday-the snow had fallen in the night, etc. The air became full of smoke as we neared but fast disa ppeared by the warm sun that ca me Beaver Dam Station, which was all in flames, out in the inorning. Having well 'rested a nd with a train of cars, hundreds of cords of wood, eaten a good breakfast, we start again tow: ird and every thing of value, consigned to the flames. the White-IIouse Landing. Pass the Old Hot ise
This day we halted and slept for an hour or Hotel,” and Post-Office on the “Piping For 1" so, and then continued our march. The roads road. Cross the Chickahominy. We are ti y. were very rough. One of my wagons upset in a ing to get to General Butler's lines. The reincreek, and I lost some of my ammunition. All nant of Major Cook's command overtake us, ai id along the route the darkeys flock to us and solicit we hear of the loss and capture of Colonel Dak ilthe privilege of going with us, as they say, to the gren, Major Cook, and half their men. This fir land of freedom. Every plantation on the road the time throws a gloom along the lines, which up has to pay tribute to the “Yank,” according to to the time had been very buoyant. We try to their stock, which is never very definitely ascer- go across the Pamunkey, but the rebels have de tained, for time presses, and we come down on stroyed the bridge. The General goes with it them like "June bugs," cleaning them out of negro to see a ferry-boat, but finds that it would every thing in the line of forage, horses, mules, take too long to get over four thousand men and provision, etc.
horses that way. This evening the rebs at Tuesday was rainy, with sleet. We cross the tacked our outside picket reserve, and captured north branch of the Chickahominy and Pamun- several of the Seventh Michigan and First Verkey rivers, and pass a large mansion belonging mont cavalry. We camped for the night without
any thing to mar the rest of our wearied sol. “That's Slabtown," said he, “and those are nediers.
gro huts." So off I ride to see for myself a Thursday—a fine morning, we start at eight specimen of old Butler's negro emancipation A.M. Meet Butler's troops coming to our aid. settlements. The streets are laid out regularly, They have eight regiments of colored infantry, two about four rods wide. Each cabin is about regiments of cavalry, and two batteries. We were twelve by eighteen feet, and one story high. glad to see them, (if they were black.) They | They are all built of pine slabs, and the roofs make good-looking soldiers, and are well drilled. | are of the same. They each have an alley beWe are now at New-Kent Court-House. Halt tween, of four feet. Many are whitewashed, for two or three hours, and then take the road to and with neat fences round them. The interiors Williamsburgh. We have three men shot this are generally neat and clean. The streets are day by bushwhackers. We camp for the night / kept swept, and every thing shows good disciat a place called “Burnt Ordinary," ten miles pline on the part of the authorities. It was a from Williamsburgh.
funny sight to see so many negroes together, Friday-boots and saddles at seven A. M. March for in the town there are between two thousand to Williamsburgh, arrived at ten; an old city, and three thousand. They are of all shades, with very fine old buildings, many covered with from the darkest Ethiops to the fairest octoroons. ivy. The place is under military rule, and in Children are seen in great numbers, some as charge of a Provost-Marshal. I noticed two fine black as ebony, tumbling around without seemmonuments, one, so old I could not decipher the ing to care or wish for any thing but sporting, inscription, but was told it was erected to the in a state of almost nudity, while some are as memory of the first Governor of Virginia; the white as any of our fair daughters of Michigan, other a tall marble column, over the remains of with fine curly ringlets dancing around their Lucien Minor, a law professor and an advocate chubby and pretty faces. These people have of temperance; it was erected by the Sons of nearly all been slaves, and those that were born Temperance of the city of Williamsburgh. free say that they were no better till our forces
Leaving this place, we come to Fort Magru- gained possession. They work chiefly for the der. It was here that McClellan had a big Government. Some fish and drag for oysters; fight. The forces at this point are under the some work at trades, and are very handy. They command of Colonel Spears. We do not stay have their own stores, post-office, schools, church, here, but march on to Yorktown, where we ar- in fact every thing that can be desired, and I rive at four P.M. As we near this place the must say I never saw a more contented set of sight is beautiful. On mounting the hill, the people anywhere. York River comes into sight, leading out into I think I have been long enough at Slabtown, the Chesapeake Bay. The scene is novel to and so will go and get some oysters. Well, I've many of our men, and they are struck with ad- been and got over a bushel, and have not taken miration as they see the many boats plying on an hour. As the tide was out, I picked them up the water. Yonder is a fleet of oyster-boats; with my hands; they are very plenty. After here and there are anchored transports; those eating my oysters I went to bed and was aroused two grim-looking objects up the river are Uncle by an aid-de-camp of General Kilpatrick's, with Sam's gunboats; moored out in the middle of orders to have a wagon loaded to go on the boat the stream is an iron-clad; while hundreds of to Suffolk. I despatched it with three trusty small boats flit about in all directions. While men. I ascertained that a detachment of all the looking with all the eyes I had, bang! goes a best horses of every command was going on gun from the fort. It is the evening gun and some expedition of “Kill's." He had been down tells that the city of Yorktown is closed for the to Fortress Monroe, in the morning, to see Gennight to all not having the countersign; so I eral Butler. After they had started I went to have to defer the pleasure of going there till the bed again and slept till morning. morning
Sunday-a cold morning. There are a quantiSaturday—a splendid morning, the birds carol-ty of troops, both black and white, leaving on ling their pleasant notes, the sun very warm, the transports. After the bustle of their leay. making it perfect spring; the river is resplendenting, quiet reigned and every thing bore the apwith the many different craft floating, with their pearance of the Sabbath. The negroes dressed white canvass and showy ensigns thrown to the in their best clothes, and taking their walks, breeze. I mount my horse and take a ride to looked very comfortable. the Fort. Yorktown is a fort naturally, but the Monday-a military execution. On going into labor of our forces has made it, I think, impreg- Yorktown this morning I saw an unusual stir nable. Thirty-six pounders are placed all around and cleaning up. On inquiry, I found out a it, with their ugly-looking mouths pointing in man was to be shot, and asking the particulars, every direction. Inside are numerous guns of was told the unfortunate man's name was Thomas smaller calibre. There are many ladies living Abrams, a private in the One Hundred and Thir. here feeling perfectly secure, and well they may.ty-ninth New-York volunteers. His crime was
On the outside of the town are numerous aiding the escape of one Boyle, of the New York camps, mostly of colored troops. Look at those Mounted Rifles, from Fort Magruder, vrho was long rows of cabins, hundreds in number. I ask under sentence of death ; also giving the said an old man what troops are stationed there : 1 Boyle information of a proposed movement of