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[202] between our army and its supplies, were all in imminent danger. I only express the universal opinion of every person here when I say that it was a great mistake to leave so important a point almost unprotected, especially in an enemy's country, and that enemy so subtle, unscrupulous, desperate, and cruel. The railroad, which the enemy sought to destroy, has hitherto been left unprotected, and the trains constantly running from this place to the advance of the army, have been left almost entirely to the mercy of the secessionists here, as well as to surprises such as occurred on Friday. When it is known that the road runs over a distance of same eighteen miles through a country eminently suited to the operations of guerrilla bands, and that the enemy are known to avail themselves of this dishonorable mode of warfare, it will be conceded that a strong guard should continually occupy the entire road. 1 understand means will be taken immediately to guard against any future occurrences of this kind.

I have given you a general account of the conduct of the rebels on this occasion, but I have not attempted to describe it in detail. One example will, perhaps, serve as an index to their more than fiendish ferocity: One of the laborers, whom I have stated to be killed on the cars, was only wounded at first, and having made his escape, sought shelter and protection in the woods. The rebels, while in pursuit of a colonel who had fled, again came across this man, already wounded and bleeding from their cowardly fire, and despatched him by firing five bullets into his head. Such is the boasted chivalry of the Old Dominion, and it is but a fitting index to the character of the rebellion and its leaders.

J. M. F.

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