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[357] and a hasty search was made for the man who was Governor of Virginia when John Brown and his confederates were captured at Harper's Ferry and hanged at Charlestown.

A handsome stone barn on the Morson place, which cost $65,000, and three fine stables with the horses in them, were burned that morning, and there was great consternation at these three homes—all in plain view of each other. At this time Mr. Morson was on a visit to his Southern plantations, and his elder children, who were left with their aunt at Sabot Hill, could hear the groans of their father's horses in the burning stables and see the flames wipe out the magnificent buildings at Dover, while the residence was saved by the faithful slaves. Dahlgren had been told that Dover was Mr. Seddon's home, and his object was to destroy the property of the Secretary of War. At Dover, a number of the troops, half drunk, found Mrs. Morson's handsome wardrobe, replete with a variety of elegant toilettes, donned her wedding gown and other costly feminine costumes, formed a cotillion, and danced all over the yard in this ridiculous ‘fancy dress’ apparel. At Sabot Hill, the old black ‘ mammy,’ Aunt Lou, rushed into the nursery that morning, crying out, ‘Lawdy, chillun, git up and dress as quick as yer kin, de whole hillside is blue wid Yankees.’ Uncle Charles, the dining-room servant, begged the bluejackets not to burn and destroy the property of his master and mistress, and was as true and loyal as ‘Aunt Lou,’ who hurried the children to a safe hiding place. When Dahlgren knocked at the doors of Sabot Hill, Mrs. Seddon came forward with that high, womanly spirit which characterized so many patriotic Southern women when all the men were absent at the front and their homes were in danger of the enemy's torch.

The intrepid young officer, standing upon a wooden leg, and leaning upon a crutch (his leg had been amputated by reason of a wound in the ankle, received at Hagerstown, Md., in July, 1863), introduced himself as Colonel Dahlgren. Mrs. Seddon asked him if he was related to Admiral John A. Dahlgren. When the response came that he was a son of the admiral, the wife of the Confederate Secretary of War replied, ‘Your father was an old beau of mine in my girlhood days when I was a schoolmate of your mother's in Philadelphia.’ This seemed to touch a tender chord, and the Colonel at once doffed his hat and promised Mrs. Seddon protection

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James A. Seddon (4)
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