Lynchburg Virginian account.
The line of battle extended from about half a mile above the toll-gate (two and a half miles from Lynchburg
), on the Lynchburg and Salem turnpike
The distance embraced by this line must be two and a half to three miles.
Dr. E. H. Murrell
, who was in a good position to observe a portion of the fight, has informed us that a battery stationed on Halsey
's farm did great execution.
He distinctly saw a large body of cavalry, which he supposed to be about four thousand, drawn up in line of battle in Captain Barksdale
's field, on the Forest
They charged upon our fortifications with great spirit, yelling defiance, and at the top of their voices, which were borne to the point where the doctor stood concealed, he heard them cry “Come out of your holes, you----rebels; we've got you now I come out of your holes.”
When these infuriated wretches got within reach of our grape and canister, our boys let fly a volley at them, which did terrible execution.
Two other volleys were poured into them, when they broke and fled.
The battle ended on Saturday afternoon, and the enemy retreated in great haste on Saturday night. Had they remained until the next day, we are satisfied, from the dispositions that had been made by General-----, that they would have been captured.
Their safety is not now an assured fact by any means.
We rode over the battle-field on Sunday, observing the results of the previous day's work.
On two or three contiguous fields, on the farm of Dr. Owen
and John B. Lee
, we counted some forty odd dead Yankees, who lay stiff, and stark, and nude, a spectacle of horrors.
They had been denuded, it was said, by their particular friends, gentlemen of “African
Most of them were supposed to be sharpshooters, who fell in advance of the enemy's lines, and quite near to our rifle-pits and intrenchments.
Fully three fourths of them were shot through the head, and others through the heart, thus showing the accuracy of that unerring aim which sent them to their last account.
Some of them were fierce-looking heavily-bearded cutthroats, while a few were smooth-faced boys.
We noticed one who seemed to be a stripling of scarce seventeen summers.
On the left of the Salem turnpike
, near the left of the Quaker
meeting-house, we saw five graves.
The wooden boards placed at their heads stated that these were all killed on Friday, the seventeenth.
On the other side of the road a man was laid out
on a blanket, with a piece of paper pinned on his breast, marked “Robert J. Simpson
, Company I, First Virginia Light Infantry.”
The fight on Saturday, near this city, says the Lynchburg Republican
, was a much heavier one than at first supposed, and its results greatly more disastrous to the enemy than stated yesterday morning.
It is now stated that their dead alone left on the field numbered one hundred and twenty, and their wounded in field hospitals, who fell into our hands — being too badly hurt to be moved — are reported at one hundred and fifty. General Averell
stated to a gentleman entirely trustworthy, that their loss was eight hundred killed, wounded and missing.
Our entire loss on Saturday is semi-officially reported at nine killed and seventeen wounded. In the engagement and pursuit as far as New London, we captured in all about forty prisoners. The report of the capture of three pieces of artillery was erroneous.
The enemy commenced their retreat about six o'clock Saturday evening, after their unsuccessful assault upon our lines, previously reported.
As soon as the retreat was discovered, vigorous pursuit was made.
Gentlemen whose houses the enemy passed, inform us that they travelled in great haste and confusion, and they also say that in conversation both officers and men expressed great surprise at finding the city so well prepared for resistance.
The battle-field on Sunday presented quite a ghastly spectacle.
A circumstance connected with the enemy's dead is worthy of notice, as showing the accuracy and aim of our sharpshooters.
A gentleman undertook to count the dead as they lay on the field, and to note the place where they were shot.
Of forty-seven so counted, forty-two were struck in the head, and death appeared to have been almost instantaneous — a mete and proper fate for these ruthless invaders.
The enemy threw away a large number of guns, pistols and swords, both on the battle-field and on the route of the retreat.
Knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, &c., were also profusely strewn around, and many were picked up by citizens who visited the fields and passed along the roads.
In many localities, on both the Salem
and Forest roads, trees were felled and blockades of fence rails and stones were made to impede pursuit.
In removing these some hours were lost by our men.
, put up with Major Hutter
, about four miles from town, whose beautiful farm was used as Headquarters.
In their suite were the notorious Doctor Rucker
and David H. Strother
(Porte Crayon), the former attached to Crook
, being an old army officer, was well acquainted with Hunter
, and talked freely to him respecting his expedition.
said that he had fifty thousand men, and could take Lynchburg
easily — that we had better make no resistance.
When Major Hutter
informed him that it would be no easy task, and that our people, in the last resort, would retire to the Amherst Heights
and fire upon them, Hunter
replied that, in such an event, he would help them to destroy the town.
The general officers
were in very high spirits at the supper table on Friday night, and boasted that they would be in Lynchburg
the next day.
On Saturday night they took their meal at the same board in perfect silence.
retired to the back porch after supper, very moody, and remarked to Miss Hutter
that “the battle of Lynchburg
would be one of the bloodiest records of this war for the time it lasted.”
He said that the loss was very heavy on both sides, theirs not being less than eight hundred to a thousand.
The General was mistaken as to ours, which is six killed and ninety-five wounded.
said they had some twenty or thirty thousand men, and reinforcements were expected under Pope
, who, with other troops, had four thousand contrabands.
avowed it to be their purpose to capture Lynchburg
, and then proceed to the assistance of Butler
They placed their signal officers on the top of Major Hutter
's house, and as the battle progressed on Saturday, the “lookout” declared that the cavalry were charging splendidly: after a while, however, he said that they were giving way, and finally left his eyrie in disgust.
When. Miss Hutter
remonstrated with General Hunter
for his vandalism in burning the Military Institute, he replied, “You need not make a fuss about that, for I intend to burn the University of Virginia also.”
After the melancholy supper referred to, Hunter
told Major Hutter
that they wanted to hold a council.
They thereupon appropriated two rooms, the doors of which they locked carefully.
, having retired to a back chamber of his house, attempted to pass out of the building, when he was informed that he was a prisoner.
When the Yankee
officers retired, they said that they were going to the front, and thus took up the line of retreat before Major Hutter
was aware of their intentions.
Some of the Yankee
soldiers repaid the hospitality of Major Hutter
by plundering Miss
flutter's chamber, searching trunks and drawers, and carrying away various ornaments and valuables.
Some ninety odd wounded Yankees were left in Major Hutter
Four or five of them died on Sunday.
These wounded were rather the best-looking Yankees we have yet seen, being mostly Western men. Other wounded were left among the families of the people they had robbed, while many of the slightly wounded were doubtless carried off.
We are obliged to close our narrative here, by adding that the Yankees
retired by the way they came.
The scenes of desolation and ruin in the neighborhood of this city, near where the enemy male their line of battle, are positively appalling.
The people were stripped of everything; fences were torn down, crops trampled up, and every species of vandalism that savages could think of, was practised.
Hogs, sheep, cattle, poultry, were stolen and carried off, and when not needed for food were wantonly slaughtered and left to rot on the ground.
Among others we have heard of as being thus brutally despoiled were Mrs. Poindexter
, General Clay
, Captain Armistead
, Doctor Floyd
, and N. W. Barksdale
, on and near the Forest
road; and on the Salem
road, Samuel Miller
, Major G. C. Hutter
, and Doctor W. Owen
There were also others of whose names we have not been informed; and along the entire line of the enemy's march, as far as we can learn, the same scenes of plunder and robbery were enacted.
Captain Paschal Buford
was stripped of every-thing — cattle, horses, hogs, provisions, &c., all were taken; and so with Captain W. M. Smith
, living near Lewry's, and all persons living on or within reach of the road.
At Liberty the case was the same, and there is scarcely a family there who has a dust of meal or a ration of bacon.
Along the road between this place and Liberty a gentleman who passed over it yesterday tells us that there are at least one hundred or more dead horses and mules.
When these animals gave out, they were cruelly shot.
The enemy were out of rations, and the Chief Commissary
told a lady Saturday morning that they were compelled to do one of two things — capture Lynchburg
and get supplies, or retreat.
Finding that they could not do the former, they had to do the latter, and we predict that this is the last Yankee trip to Lynchburg