counties, never having had the enemy before in their midst, were greatly excited and alarmed, and brought to me the wildest reports of the enemy's doings, and the most exaggerated accounts of his strength.
Such information embarrassed me so much from its apparently authentic and yet often contradictory character that I decided to reach Lynchburg
as soon as possible, and by a route that would enable me to save from destruction the bridges on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, one of the lines of communication between Richmond
essential to the defense of the latter.
I accomplished this object, but failed to encounter Duffie
, who recrossed the mountains and joined Hunter
On his march from Staunton
, when near Brownsburg
, General Hunter
ordered a thing to be done, so abhorrent to all our ideas of war between Christian and civilized powers, that a simple recital of the facts, without further comment, will answer all the purposes of history.
At the breaking out of the war, David S. Creigh
, an old man of the highest social position, the father of eleven sons and daughters, beloved by all who knew them for their virtues and intelligence, resided on his estate, near Lewisburg, in Greenbrier county
His reputation was of the highest order.
No man in the large county of Greenbrier
was better known or more esteemed; few, if any, had more influence.
Beside offices of high public trust in civil life, he was an elder in the Presbyterian church of Lewisburg
, one of the largest and most respectable in the Synod of Virginia
In the early part of November, 1863, there being a Federal force near Lewisburg
, Mr. Creigh
, on entering his house one day, found a drunken and dissolute soldier there using the most insulting language to his wife and daughters, and at the same time breaking open trunks and drawers, and helping himself to their contents.
At the moment Mr. Creigh
entered, the ruffian was attempting to force the trunk of a young lady teacher in the family.
asked him to desist, stating that it was the property of a lady under his protection.
The villain, rising from the trunk, immediately drew a pistol, cocked it, pointed it at Mr. Creigh
, and exclaimed: “Go out of this room.
What are you doing here?
Bring me the keys.”
attempted to defend himself and family, but a pistol he tried to use for the purpose snapped at the instant the robber fired at him, the ball grazing his face and burying itself in the wall.
They then grappled, struggled into the passage, and tumbled down stairs, the robber on top. They rose, and Mr. Creigh
attempted to wrest the pistol from the hands of his adversary, when it was