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[27] Aldie hoped he would be hung. He has been the terror of the neighborhood, driving in conscripts, beating his wife, and indulging in other disagreeable pleasantries. It is to be hoped he will meet with the punishment he deserves. At Aldie, headquarters were established at the house of Doctor Boyle. The Doctor unfortunately forgot his duty as host, and abused good Union people who were “mean enough to give information as to the whereabouts of General Stuart,” adding the pious wish that they might “all be hung.” It was deemed proper that the Doctor should try a change of climate for his malady, and he was therefore prescribed for by General Stahel.

While approaching Thoroughfare Gap, one of the men strayed off in search of breakfast. As he approached a house a man came out and shot him dead, then took his horse and put him in the barn. Some of his comrades passing that way, discovered the horse, and were told by a negro that the man had been shot. They started to obtain possession of the horse, when the murderer and a negro endeavored to fasten them in the barn. They succeeded in making their escape. Why they did not kill both the man and the negro this narrator saith not. Information of this affair was not given in season to allow of the house being razed to the ground and summary justice meted out to the offenders.

The whole country between the mountains is literally packed with forage and supplies, and it is from this region that the rebels derive their support. Thus far they have kept our troops out of it by keeping away themselves. One of their business transactions may be stated thus: They purchased all the hogs that could be found, giving in payment therefor scraps of paper authorizing the holder to come within their lines and receive his pay. After securing the hogs, an order was issued prohibiting any person from entering their lines. The farmers are naturally disgusted at such conduct, but not sufficiently so to become good Union men.

Taken in connection with the reconnaissance made by General Hancock at the same time from the other side, this expedition proved unusually harassing to the enemy. That it did not attain its original object is no fault of the Commanding General, but the failure in that respect can probably be attributed to the Union inhabitants with Southern sympathies who still reside in our midst.

Great credit is due to General Stahel, who has proved that he possesses two of the most prominent attributes of a great commander — caution where necessary, dash when required. He has also evinced coolness and promptness; skill in handling his troops and choosing his positions; energy in not allowing any rest to his opponents; unquestioned courage in leading wherever danger threatened. General Stahel was ably seconded by Capt. Dahlgren, Col. Wyndham, and Lieut.-Colonel Sackett, and generally by his soldiers. The expedition lost not more than twelve in killed and wounded. They captured nearly one hundred prisoners-among others a Mr. Ball, well known as a spy in the vicinity of Washington, and father of the rebel captain of the same name.


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