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sident Lincoln issued a proclamation, under the pretended authority of an act of Congress of 1795, calling on the Governors of the several States for militia-75,000 in the aggregate — to suppress certain combinations in the seceding States. Governor Letcher, a sturdy patriot, replied on the 17th: I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern Stateral barriers, no other defenses than her indomitable sons. But she counted upon the derided chivalric instinct of the South to come to her rescue, and she was not disappointed. The responses of the Southern Governors were in a like spirit with Letcher's. Jackson, of Missouri, replied, Your requisition is illegal, unconstitutional, diabolical, and cannot be complied with. Harris, of Tennessee, said, Tennessee will not furnish a single man for coercion, but 50,000, if necessary, for the defens
mans were converting every thing into cash at ruinous rates of discount, sometimes paying four hundred dollars in paper for one hundred dollars in cash; while others of their brethren changed goods into tobacco, which they stowed away in cellars, preparatory to McClellan's arrival; though very secretly accomplished, the thing was known, and no notice taken of it by our authorities. The idea of giving up Richmond was heart-breaking, but so doubtful were appearances that it was not until Governor Letcher, in an audience with President Davis, had been positively assured that Virginia should not be given up, but defended until the streets of Richmond ran with blood, that any certainty was felt regarding ministerial measures. When the Governor rehearsed the substance of his interview with the President to the assembled Legislature, a popular outburst of feeling ensued: all swore to reduce the place to ashes rather than surrender, and the faces of all were flushed with patriotic pride as t
awn with considerable loss. What Magruder meant in attacking this stronghold with such a small force, unsupported,, none could imagine. It was now certain that the enemy were all on t1e south bank, and in greater force at this point (their left centre) than anywhere else; hence, to make any impression at all, required heavy forces. If this was merely a diversion, the thing is explained, but Magruder evidently did not look upon it in that light, for surrounded as he was by his own and Governor Letcher's staff, he rode about in a great fume, swearing and cursing like one half-tipsy. Nothing more was attempted during Saturday at this important point, and, except skirmishing among the pickets, all was quiet along our right, held by McLaws, Huger, and others. As the day advanced, it became known that McClellan had withdrawn all his forces from the north bank, and that their camps had fallen into our hands. To prevent any attempts to force our right, Longstreet and the Hills recros
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 17: (search)
rge common grave, not less than 800 of their men being buried in it. The bodies of these poor fellows, stripped nearly naked, were gathered in huge mounds around the pit, and tumbled neck and heels into it; the dull thud of corpse falling on corpse coming up from the depths of the hole until the solid mass of human flesh reached near the surface, when a covering of logs, chalk, and mud closed the mouth of this vast and awful tomb. On my return to Lee's Hill I saw President Davis and Governor Letcher with our Commander. They had come from Richmond to congratulate him and the troops under him on their success, and had been greeted all along the lines with the utmost enthusiasm. It was late at night when we returned to headquarters, where I stretched my weary limbs along my blankets, intensely soothed with the balmy reflection that I was about to enjoy a long spell of rest for my body, and relief for my mind from the racking anxiety and emotion with which the too familiar but never
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 19: (search)
Junction in time to receive the corpse, which, along with several others, was enclosed in a simple wooden case and under the charge of one of our artillerymen, who, with tears in his eyes, gave me the particulars of his gallant commander's death. I did not reach Richmond until late at night, and not finding the hearse, which I had telegraphed to be in readiness, at the station, was obliged to remove the body into the town in a common one-horse waggon. Immediately on arriving I went to Governor Letcher, an old and stanch friend of Stuart's and mine, who kindly afforded all the assistance in his power, and placed a room at my disposal in the Capitol, where the Confederate Congress held its sessions. The coffin was placed in it, covered with the large flag of the State of Virginia, and a guard of honour was placed over it. The next day I procured a handsome iron coffin, and with my own hands assisted in transferring the body to its new receptacle. I was overcome with grief as I touche
Heros von Borcke, Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence, Chapter 23: (search)
of my identity. The rumour of my having been killed spread over the whole country, and was accepted as true by every part of our army where I had not been seen since the battle, and the regret expressed at my loss, and manifest pleasure exhibited by both soldiers and citizens to know me still among them, administered not a little to my self-esteem. Beside the many letters of condolence and offers received by Stuart on my account, greatly to his amusement, a request was despatched by Governor Letcher to General Lee to have my body forwarded, and claiming the privilege of having it interred with all the honours of the State of Virginia. To this demand, General Lee sent the following characteristic reply: Can't spare it: it's in pursuit of Stoneman. Our headquarters were established on one of the hills forming a semicircle round one side of the beautiful little valley in which the pleasant village of Orange Court-house is situated, and we overlooked the town, as well as a great pa
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 6: first campaign in the Valley. (search)
dgery of compiling maps, was a sacrifice of his reputation and of his high capacities for command. But as soon as this purpose was made known, and before it was reported to the Convention for their approval, influential friends from Jackson's native district, by whom his powers were better esteemed, remonstrated with the Council, and showed them that he was the very man for a post of primary importance for which they were then seeking a commander. By their advice, seconded by that of Governor Letcher, this appointment was revoked, and he was commissioned, Colonel of the Virginia forces, and ordered to take command at Harper's Ferry. The next day this appointment was sent to the Convention for their sanction, when some one asked, Who is this Major Jackson, that we are asked to commit to him so responsible a post? He is one, replied the member from Rockbridge, who, if you order him to hold a post, will never leave it alive to be occupied by the enemy. The Governor accordingly hande
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 13: Port Republic. (search)
headlong panic; and the braggart mercenary found his fitting recompense in a long captivity. The sound of the firing now brought General Ewell to the rear; and General Ashby assuring him that the Federal attack would be speedily renewed in force, asked for a small body of infantry, and proposed a plan, most brilliantly conceived, for turning their onset into a defeat. General Ewell entrusted to him the 1st Maryland regiment, of Colonel Bradley Johnston, and the 58th Virginia, under Colonel Letcher. Ashby disposed the Marylanders in the woods, so as to take the Federal advance in flank, while he met them in front at the head of the 58th. Indicating to General Ewell the dispositions of the enemy, which he had exactly anticipated, and his own arrangements to meet them, he seemed to the spectators, to be instinct with unwonted animation and genius. At this moment, the enemy's infantry advanced; and a fierce combat began. They, approaching through the open fields, had reached a h
Jubal Anderson Early, Ruth Hairston Early, Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early , C. S. A., Chapter 1: the invasion of Virginia. (search)
Chapter 1: the invasion of Virginia. After the fall of Fort Sumter, the Government at Washington commenced concentrating a large force at that city under the superintendence of Lieutenant General Scott of the United States Army, and it was very apparent that Virginia would be invaded. When the ordinance of secession had been passed by the Virginia convention, and the authority had been given to the Governor to call out troops for the defence of the State, Governor Letcher called for volunteers. The Navy Yard at Gosport, near Norfolk, and the arsenal and armory at Harper's Ferry were taken possession of by militia forces hastily assembled, but not until the United States officers had partially destroyed both. As soon as General Lee reached Richmond, which was very shortly after his appointment to the command of the Virginia forces, he entered actively on the work of reorganization. The day the convention took recess to await the result of the popular vote, I tendered m
Jubal Anderson Early, Ruth Hairston Early, Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early , C. S. A., Chapter 38: operations in lower valley and Maryland. (search)
es so destroyed. At Lexington Hunter had burned the Military Institute, with all its contents, including its library and scientific apparatus; and Washington College had been plundered and the statue of Washington taken. The residence of Ex-Governor Letcher, at that place, had been burned, and but a few minutes given Mrs. Letcher and her family, to leave the house. In the same county a Christian gentleman, Mr. Creigh, had been hung because he had killed a straggling and marauding Federal solMrs. Letcher and her family, to leave the house. In the same county a Christian gentleman, Mr. Creigh, had been hung because he had killed a straggling and marauding Federal soldier while in the act of insulting and outraging the ladies of his family. The time consumed in the perpetration of those deeds was the salvation of Lynchburg, with its stores, foundries and factories, which were so necessary to our army at Richmond. Ransom's cavalry moved by Clifton Forge, through the western part of Rockbridge, to keep a lookout for Hunter and ascertain if he should attempt to get into the Valley again. On the 26th, I reached Staunton in advance of my troops, and the lat
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