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[423] mean time, a number of Ohio and Indiana regiments had reached here to reinforce Gen. Nelson; and these, together with Williams's and Jacob's Kentucky cavalry, which had also arrived, formed an apparently formidable army, and on Monday, when General Smith's approach was announced, confident predictions of the successful defence of Lexington were indulged in by Federal officers and their sympathizers. Towards night, however, rumor, with her usual truthfulness, announced that immense bodies of confederates were approaching the city by “all the roads,” and a Federal panic began to develop itself. At night-fall a retreat was ordered, and then commenced the destruction of immense stores which had been accumulated at this point, and the country around was lit up by the conflagration of quartermasters' and commissaries' stores, ammunition, wagons, etc. etc. Terrible was the destruction, and the beholding tax-payer involuntarily clutched his pocket-book at the disheartening prospect before him. Much public property, however, including many valuable arms, was left uninjured in the various camps around the city, as a reward of the valor of the patriot heroes who, destitute of most of the comforts possessed by their vandal enemy, had marched over hundreds of miles of mountainous and unproductive country, for the purpose of delivering their down-trodden friends in Kentucky from oppression.

On Monday morning, Gen. Smith's advance — Churchill's division — entered and occupied the city, without the slightest opposition, and were greeted with the most hearty cheers of the citizens. The people of this and all the surrounding counties, rushed spontaneously into the city in the early part of the day, in time to receive Gen. Smith, (who arrived about eleven o'clock) with such demonstrations of delight and gratitude as astonished the gallant veteran and his glorious followers, the whole constituting one of the happiest scenes that mortal eyes ever beheld. The ladies--God bless them — poured out their whole hearts in gratitude. How vain are our efforts to convey to the reader any thing like a truthful picture of the meeting of the people and their patriotic deliverer so that it beamed with joy, which seemed to be reflected back and forth as if it were never to end!

During the day many prisoners were taken and paroled.

And now comes the most sublime feature in this most happy change of rulers. It is needless for us to recount the persecutions under which our people have been suffering — compelled and horrid oaths — incarceration in loathsome and lousy prisons — seizures of horses, negroes and other property — immense sums of money extorted by unprincipled and petty military commanders — all contrary to law, and in punishment for the unpardonable crime of holding Southern sentiments! And all this — we blush to say it-sanctioned, and in some cases instigated, by many of our Union citizens, including even native Kentuckians And how have these wrongs been met in the day of our triumph and the humiliation of the wrong-doers? Has retaliation been resorted to? Far from it — thanks to that reverence for free speech, a free press and the constitutional security of persons and property, which is the fundamental ground-work of the political faith of our Southern patriots, taught them by Washington, Jefferson, Webster, Clay, and their contemporary defenders of self-government. How magnificent has been the exhibition of magnanimity presented by the proclamation of General Smith, (which we publish in another column,) and responded to with a hearty good will by that portion of our community so lately and so ruthlessly oppressed!

We do not pretend to say that there are not offenders in the community who are not fully forgiven, and that it may not be necessary to hold some of them to accountability — not for their opinions, but for certain gross outrages. It may be necessary to compel robbers to disgorge, and some whose unlawful conduct has been conspicuous, may be reached as a means of securing the release of patriots suffering imprisonment and privations in Federal bastiles. It is hoped, however, that strict necessity will limit such proceedings.

Let all human beings who have souls worthy of salvation, rejoice at the restoration of free speech, a free press, and protection to liberty and property!

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