Doc. 72.-destruction of rebel Salt works
In Princess Ann County, Va.
Norfolk, Va., June 20, 1863.on Tuesday morning Major Murray, of the One Hundred and Forty-eighth New-York, with one hundred men of his regiment, started from Portsmouth upon a raiding expedition into Princess Ann County. As he journeyed along he picked up all the horses and mules that he found upon the route, and mounted his men. He made his way direct to the coast, and when at Land Bridge, which is about fifteen miles below Cape Henry, he destroyed seven rebel salt works. Proceeding five miles below on the coast, he destroyed another. Ten miles further south ten more salt works were levelled to the ground, and over one thousand bushels of salt destroyed. A sloop lying near by, containing four hundred bushels, was destroyed. After all this had been accomplished, the expedition visited Wales Neck, and there found a large lot of pans and lumber, intended to be used in the construction of other salt works. The lumber was burned, as were some additional five hundred cords of fire-wood that were intended for fuel. The pans were rendered useless. Currituck Sound was, then struck, where the expedition halted all night on Wednesday, having marched nearly forty miles a day up to that time. The Major and his men wended their way slowly back, reaching Portsmouth yesterday afternoon. This morning the horses and mules, numbering about a hundred, were brought across the river, and taken to the Custom-House yard, to be delivered over to the military authorities. Many of the animals were of an indifferent character, but there were a number of valuable beasts among the lot. Several were valued at about five hundred dollars each. These were blooded stock, and belonged to a horse-jockey who has been engaged in buying up horses for the rebel government. The finer horses he disposed of privately to officers in the secesh army. He narrowly escaped being captured. Two prisoners were brought in. Besides the captures, Major Murray gained some important and interesting information relative to the prisoners who made their escape from the steamer Maple Leaf, last week. After leaving the coast below Cape Henry Light-House, where they landed, they went to the house of a Mr. Borroughs, (late a Major in the rebel army,) at Long Island, which was some twenty miles distant. He entertained them handsomely, and then piloted them through a portion of North-Carolina, after which he reentered this State, and took them safely to Richmond, where he now is. This Major Borroughs four months ago resigned his commission in the rebel army, and was paroled by us not to aid the confederates in any way. He broke his parole, and from letters found in his house, it appears that he stated the fact to the rebel Secretary of War, informing him that he desired to be reinstated, and asking his opinion what would be done with him by us if captured, for breaking his parole. If he were to be caught, our Government would not be slow in determining what punishment he merits. A letter which was being written by one of his daughters (and yet unfinished) to her cousin, stated that Captain Semmes, son of the famous rebel pirate, said the compliments of the escaped party were due General Dix, and when again seventy-five rebel prisoners are to be transported a guard of three hundred armed Yankees will have to be put over them. This was nothing more than Southern braggadocio, and Captain Semmes may rest easy that no more rebel prisoners will escape from a steamer, no matter what may be their number. The whole expedition was attended with much success, and reflects favorably upon the skill and courage of the officer in charge, together with his men, not one of whom was lost. Some of the salt was brought in here, and is of a very fair quality. The destruction of so many works will greatly limit the rebels in the use of this luxury, which they were so short of directly after the war broke out. Princess Ann County was pretty well scoured, and a few more raids like the above will clean it out of every thing which it possesses, that is of any value to the enemy.