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[460] fell among them, literally, like a thunderbolt from a cloudless sky. In vain we assured them, at Versailles and elsewhere along our route, that it was only a strategic movement, and that we would soon return with overwhelming power.

With that unerring prescience of coming and inevitable evil, which sometimes exhibits itself as a mysterious attribute of human nature, these poor people, better than ourselves, divined the real results of all these movements, and were sunk in despondency.

At Versailles, General Smith stopped at the house of Mr. Porter, an ex-Lieutenant Governor of the State--a gentleman of cultivated intellect, possessing considerable property in lands and negroes, and devoted to the Southern cause. With less prudence than many others, he had not refrained from showing his warm sympathies with us, and, consequently could hope for little mercy from the Federal army when it re-occupied the State. The probability was, that he would be sent to Camp Chase, and his property destroyed by the brutality of the common soldiers, or seized and confiscated by the higher authorities. The former result he intended to elude by leaving the State with us, the latter there was no escaping.

These people in Kentucky were very much worse off than those on the southern coast who had been driven from their estates. Unlike them, they had no friendly back country to retire into with all their movable property, but were separated from the South by the nearly impassable barrier of the mountains, infested by a savage Union population. The cruel reverses of fortune which they suffered — reduced from luxurious competence to absolute indigence in a single week — must always be regarded as one of the most lamentable results of the Kentucky campaign, and commend these people to our commiseration and active assistance.

The following morning General Smith moved to the Kentucky river, and placed his headquarters at the house of a Mr. Thornton, near McCown's Ferry. Mr. Thornton had lived fourteen years in Mississippi, in the employment, as an overseer, of General Zachary Taylor. Nothwithstanding these antecedents, he frankly confessed himself an Union man, while his wife, an excellent woman, was as staunch in her sympathies with the Southern cause. When I expressed my astonishment to Mr. Thornton that he, an owner of slaves, should continue to be an Union man after President Lincoln's emancipation proclamation, he enquired, with an incredulous air, if Lincoln had really issued that proclamation, stating that his neighbors said it was a Rebel hoax. The monstrous system of downright falsification (to use a mild term)

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