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[200] and successful character, was not more complete, sudden, and unexpected than the one experienced in this department.

A part, some say a whole regiment, of the First Virginia cavalry, under the command of Gen. Stewart, crossed the Pamunkey from Prince William County, a few miles above this place, at a point known as Garlick's Landing. There they commenced a series of depredations, which had they been as successful throughout as they were at the beginning, would have resulted most disastrously to our cause in this quarter. With a fiendish ferocity, more akin to devils than men, the rebels began murdering all who came in their way. Men, women, and some say even children, black and white, were, without hesitation, shot or cut to pieces in an instant. Two schooners lying at the landing, after being plundered, were fired and completely destroyed. Their names are the Whitman Phillips and Island City, both of New-York.

After accomplishing their diabolical work here, and having wreaked their vengeance on every person or thing they thought to be in any manner belonging to, or connected with our Government, they seem to hare divided themselves into squads or small companies, and proceeded on their way to accomplish, if possible, what was, no doubt, the chief object of their mission.

The precise knowledge which the rebels possess of the character of the roads and situation of the country must have been of great service to them on this occasion, and so adroitly did they avail themselves of this knowledge, that before any one here was aware of the fact, they had proceeded as far up the railroad as Tunstall's station, some five miles from this place. The trains, which have been of so much service in carrying supplies from the landing here, to the advanced lines of our army, have no particular time of starting from this point or arriving at their destination, being entirely controlled by circumstances.

About the time the rebels arrived at Tunstall's station, orne of the trains happened, unfortunately, to be on its way down to White House, and having been in the vicinity, and doubtless apprised of its coming, they awaited on the brow of a hill, through which the road has been cut, the approach of the train. Innocent of all danger, and without the least suspicion of a surprise of the character awaiting it, the train advanced steadily and swiftly on, till it reached the position at which the murderers were stationed. As it approached, the rebels suddenly appeared, and hailed the engineer to stop the train. By a sort of intuition he suspected at once the character of the abrupt intruders, and refused to comply with their demand. In an instant a volley was poured into the train, and its passengers, consisting chiefly of laborers, civilians, and sick and wounded soldiers, made a general effort to jump off and, if possible, elude the deadly fire of the rebels on the hill. Some succeeded, others, especially the sick and wounded, were unable to get off, and took their chance on the train.

The engineer, surprised and frightened, and ignorant as to the number of rebels he might encounter on the road, resolving to run the train in, crowded on the highest pressure of steam, and the train almost flew over the remainder of the road to White House. Here the news of what had occurred spread like lightning, and the utmost fear, panic, and consternation spread throughout the departments stationed here. This was entirely owing to the fact that everybody was ignorant of the numbers and force of the rebels, and their fears at once magnified a few hundred cavalry into the entire rebel army, which they alleged, had left Richmond and come around to cut off McClellan in the rear. Another unfortunate circumstance here was the very small number of effective troops at this place, and, under an impression of immediate attack, Colonel Ingalls, in command here, mustered whatever there was to muster, and, in addition, armed all the laborers and civilians to be found. In connection with a few cavalry, these were formed in line of battle, to receive the rebels. In the mean time, the various steamboats, schooners, etc., at this point, prepared to drop down the Pamunkey. The mail-boat from Fort Monroe had just arrived; the mails which she had brought, together with those remaining in the post-office, and other Government documents and property, were hurried on board, and the boat prepared to start. There was, of course, an immense panic among sutlers and others engaged in the mercantile profession, every one awaiting with dread suspense the expected attack.

But the rebels, whether unaware of the advantage they would have obtained, or more probably through fear of meeting our army in force at this point, failed to make their appearance, but, in the mean time, had proceeded to the accomplishment of business, which was, doubtless, more immediately connected with their mission. The country over which the railroad runs is interspersed with various creeks, small runs, and swamps, each of which is spanned with bridges of various sizes and styles of engineering skill. These, with their several locations, were all well known to the rebels, whose familiarity with this country is amply attested by the desolation they have everywhere left behind them.

One of these bridges, a little this side Tunstall's station, which spans a small stream some twenty feet above its level, was especially selected by the rebels for destruction, with a view to the demolition of any trains that might be coming or going, and for the purpose of cutting off communication for a time, at least, between our army before Richmond and their supplies at White House. They also tore up one or two rails from the track, but before they had succeeded either with their bridge-burning or tearing up the track they were compelled to leave, by what means I have not been able to learn, but I presume by the approach of a regiment of the Pennsylvania reserves, (the Bucktails,) which, upon information received, had been ordered to proceed down the road to White House. The Bucktails arrived


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