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[244] Our informant turned the coverlet down from his face, and the fellow looked up at him silently through his gashed and dripping eye.

The women in this house had rushed to the woods in the beginning of the action, but returned after the battle, and cheerfully assisted the wounded, making mattresses and bandages for them.

Further on, (five miles from the Potomac,) they reached Porterfield's farm, the battleground proper. It seems that Gen. Patterson and staff, Majors Craig Biddle and R. B. Price, Col. Wm. C. Patterson, and Capt. Newton, with the First Wisconsin Regiment and the Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiment, (Col. Jarrett,) preceded by the City Troop and Doubleday's battery, the whole led by Capt. McMullin and the Philadelphia Independent Rangers, reached this farm at 7 o'clock in the morning. The enemy were drawn up behind the house, in line-of-battle order, with their park of four guns directly upon the turnpike, bearing upon the Union ranks. McMullin's men were some rods in advance, and they first opened fire. The first cannon-shot of the rebels passed over the heads of the Federal troops, a single ball striking the gable of Porterfield's dwelling, and passing out at the peak of the roof. The rebels fired badly, not a single cannon ball, during the whole action of a half-hour's duration, inflicting a mortal wound. One ball passed between a soldier's musket and his cheek, and, almost simultaneously, a second shot struck his gun, bending the tube double, and sending the splinters into his face and breast. The man will probably lose an eye. Their first discharges of musketry were aimed too high, but subsequently they aimed low, and most of the wounded upon our side were struck below the knees. Our men advanced continually, loading and firing, until the Wisconsin Regiment had approached to within 300 yards, and McMullin's men were less than 100 yards from the rebels' advance lines. The rebels have lost, from all statements, at least 100 in killed and wounded. After firing for an hour or less, they retired at a rapid trot, and in great disorder, seeming to labor to outstrip each other in their flighty purpose.

Porterfield's house is a two-story frame dwelling, with frame kitchen attached. Porterfield is a Union man, who had been run off. He had taken his family to the woods for security, but returned at once and gave the wounded every assistance. His family soon followed him, and the dwelling became a hospital, where the wounded lay, most of them seeming to suffer no great anxiety beyond the event of the fight and their own hard fate at not being engaged. Of all the wounded upon the Federal side, not one will die.

At Hainesville, three miles beyond, they made a second futile and shorter stand, but were driven back with renewed loss. This latter place had been the site of their encampment. Our informant reached it before noon, and found the town and suburbs occupied by our regiments, with the rear regiments fast hurrying in. Gen. Patterson took quarters in the house of William Mitchell. He was greatly delighted with his success, but gave the rebels some credit for courage. He was delighted with the Eleventh Pennsylvania and the Wisconsin regiment. There he took dinner with his aids, having first made all precautionary arrangements.

Our own troops had no sooner reached the village than they scattered on a pleasure excursion. One of the first places to which they paid their respects was the store and post-office of one Turner, the Secession postmaster of the village. This man had particularly signalized himself for partisan meanness. He had been an applicant for the postmastership, but Mr. Myers, an opponent, was appointed; where-upon Turner received the appointment through Mr. Jefferson Davis's government. The latter procured the arrest of Myers upon the charge of treason to Virginia. He was thown into prison, and condemned to die, but was released a few days before the battle.

Being thus particularly inimical to the soldiers and the Government, Turner's house was at once visited by the troops. They smashed his furniture and ripped open his beds, finishing the work by splintering the old family clock. Turner himself was arrested in the woods, and brought into town, followed by his daughters. He looked very sheepish, and was at once put under guard. A Secession flag was found in his place, and great numbers of envelopes marked “Confederate States of America.” His daughters — waspish young ladies — seemed solicitous only for their dresses. One of them, standing amid the wreck of her household goods, made piteous inquiries for a certain new bonnet that she had left in a band-box in the second story. It being found that a soldier had put his foot through both band-box and bonnet, she burst into a flood of piteous grief, and said: “They might have left that; none on 'em could wear it.” With the exception of these young ladies, no females were seen in the town, all of the softer sex having fled to Martinsburg and Winchester.

Mr. Myers, the legal postmaster of the place, returned in time to save his furniture, which the troops had mistaken for that of a “Secesher.”

In every direction men were seen bearing ducks and chickens. Our informant encountered one with a bed blanket wrapped around him. “You took that from the house of a citizen,” said he. “I didn't,” said the soldier, with a grin. “I got it a month ago! But if you give me a dollar I'll take it back!”

Before leaving Williamsport, a picket saw a man standing upon a housetop, waving a lantern, Said action was probably a signal to the enemy of the march of the Federal troops. The man has been arrested, and the affair will be investigated. Two regiments of Pennsylvania troops now guard the town.

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