horses and accoutrements. A few stragglers were captured. Among the captures to-day was a rebel engineer and team filled with the implements employed in his department. At two o'clock P. M., scouts reported that several hundred of the enemy's cavalry, with a train, were escaping by a side-road on our right. Colonel Wyndham was sent in pursuit, and went to the vicinity of Madison, without overhauling the force, however. There was some straggling to-day, owing to the desire of a few of the rear-guard to obtain peach brandy, which the inhabitants deal out liberally, with a view, no doubt, to making captures. The day and night being pleasant, the command marched until half-past 3 o'clock Saturday morning, May second, when a halt was made at Greenwood, one mile west of Louisa Court-House. Here was reached the Central Virginia Railroad. Detachments were sent up and down the road for miles to destroy the track, culverts, and bridges, and also to act as pickets to prevent surprise. The work was well done. Just at dawn, Colonel Kilpatrick charged into Louisa Court-House. The visit of Yankees was entirely unexpected, and the people were caught napping, just as they had rolled over for a morning snooze. The possibility of the invading troops being Yankees was not dreamed of until several straggling rebel soldiers had been arrested. They supposed it to be Stuart's cavalry. When the scales had fallen from their eyes with the rising of the sun, the whole town was panic-stricken. Fully believing the villainous falsehoods so industriously and pertinaciously circulated by the Jeff Davis despotism at Richmond, as to the treatment the people had everywhere received at the hands of our soldiers, they were much relieved when assured that their lives would be spared, and that private property would not be interfered with, except in such cases as all civilized nations consider legitimate — supplying the actual necessities of the troops. After this assurance, the people talked freely and unreservedly with officers and men. A breakfast — consisting of corn, hog, hominy, and rye coffee — was obtained at the hotel for two dollars. For shilling calico, two dollars and fifty cents per yard was asked at the stores; very poor whisky, thirty-two dollars per gallon, and every thing else was proportionately high. The people of this town, like those of many others I have visited in rebeldom, occupy a humiliating position. They are not innate secessionists; in fact, but few of the people think for themselves at all. That labor is performed for them at Richmond, and all they have to do is to pay. Jeff Davis has full control over their minds; they are passive instruments in his hands, and, as a rule, but few have any excuse for opposing the Government of the Union, except that they are told to do so by the master demons of the rebellion. To-day the people of Louisa saw for the first time Uncle Samuel's postal currency, and offered any number of confederate paper dollars for Uncle Sam's paper representative of twenty-five cents. Greenbacks are held in high estimation. A pair of shoes, for which a store-keeper demanded twenty-eight dollars, were offered for seven dollars, if paid in greenbacks. The reader should bear in mind that this was in a place where the rebel government has heretofore held undisputed sway. While halting in Louisa, a squadron of the First Maine cavalry, picketing the Culpeper road, was attacked by a superior force, and, after a most gallant resistance, fell back, leaving two dead. The First Maine and Second New-York were sent to their support, when the enemy fled. The ladies, yesterday, along the road, assured us that we should have “plenty of fight” at Louisa Court-House. But like many other rebel boasts, the wish was father to the thought. At four o'clock P. M. Saturday, May second, the railroad having been destroyed for miles, and a number of cars and bridges — over Greenwood and Hickory Rivers — burned, horses and troopers well supplied with rations, the command was moved upon a hill to the east of the town, and there for an hour awaited the threatened attack by troops known to be approaching from Gordonsville. But the two regiments at the west of the town were quite sufficient to induce a retrograde movement of both infantry and cavalry. At five o'clock the command started for Thompson's Cross-Roads, (or Four Corners,) which point was reached at about half past 11 o'clock P. M. From here the different expeditions started to cut the enemy's lines. At twelve o'clock midnight, General Stoneman called all of the principal officers together, and explained his general plan of operations. The commander of each detachment was directed to specify points to be destroyed — the special object of his mission accomplished, he was allowed the widest latitude for any further operations. By half-past 2 o'clock Sunday morning, May third, the several expeditions had started. The moon was shining brightly, the roads were comparatively good, and for once in the history of the war, every thing was in harmony. Colonel Wyndham, of the First New-Jersey cavalry, with his own and the First Maine regiments--in all about five hundred men, took a southerly direction, and crossing Owen's Creek, Licking Hole Creek, Little Licking Hole Creek. Little Byrd Creek, and several other creeks, reached Columbia, on the James River, at about eight o'clock A. M. The approach of the force had been heralded, but no one believed it. The man who went to the trouble of riding ten miles to give the inhabitants notice, was almost mobbed by the people — they doubted his sanity. “What I! Yankees near Columbia?” said one citizen. “It is impossible; Jeff Davis would not permit such an invasion” of the sacred soil. The furnisher of the unwelcome news had dirt thrown at him, was hooted at, and followed by a crowd of excited people, who were threatening him with all sorts of vengeance, just as the advance-guard of Colonel Wyndham's force, under Major Beaumont, dashed into town. There were no soldiers there. A dozen or more citizens succeeded in
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Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
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