Fire, sword, and the halter.
The years 1862 and 1864 were the most eventful of the war in the Shenandoah Valley.
During the spring of the first, “Stonewall
made his famous twenty-eight days campaign, with 13,000 men, against Generals Milroy
, driving them all out of the valley, with their aggregate forces of about 64,000 men. In 1864 the Federal
operations were conducted successively by Generals Sigel
, when that splendid valley was desolated and scourged with fire and sword.
It is proposed in this paper merely to give some account of General David Hunter
's performances during his brief command in June and July, 1864, of the Federal
forces in the Valley
, and to lay before the people of this country, and especially of the Northern States
, some facts that may explain why here and there are still found traces of bitter feeling in many a household in the South
, not against the government of the United States
, but against some of the agents and means employed by them in the name of the government, to crown their arms with success.
As long as the present race inhabiting that famous and glorious Valley, and their descendants, retain the characteristics that inspired them with unbounded admiration for, and heroic devotion to, Lee
, as their ideals of Christian soldiers, the memory of General David Hunter
will live and be handed down through the generations to come — it may be, in the long future, only by legend and tradition — in connection with deeds that illustrate how far the passions, fanaticism, and hate engendered by civil war can drag a man down, from the boasted civilization of our age and country, to tile