Army of the Potomac.
the hostile armies — the flags — the Abolitionists of Fairfax
[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch]
Mason's Hill, Sept. 12, 1861.
In sight of Alexandria
, and in the midst of ‘"war's alarms"’ on every side of me, the eye detects emblems of hostility.
The rattling sabres and loaded muskets of our own soldiers meet it wherever it turns; the fierce steel of Federal bayonets is gleaming in the grey distance; and the flags of both nations fling deflantly their Stare and Bars
and Stars and Stripes
upon the breeze.
The banner of the United States
is waving in plain view from an eminence near Alexandria
and gazing upon this badge of tyranny,
and remembering the foul disgrace into which it has fallen, we feel like pointing our eager soldiers to the spot where it floats and invoking them to tear down the mocking emblem and trample it 'neath their feet.
Nothing, however, remains of it but the outward form; each Star and Stripe blazes as of yore, but the spirit has forever fied, and where victory was once proud to perch, now sit engraven infamy and defeat.
A dark shade seems resting upon this portion of the State
, and truly has the abolition fiend compelled his unhappy victims to drain the cup of ruin to its dregs.
The country immediately around here was owned almost exclusively by Northern men who emigrated to it a number of years ago, bought cheaply our lands, were soon admitted to the high name and privileges of true natives; but, adder-like, after being warmed into life and wealth, sought to inflict upon their country a mortal blow.
A large majority of these settlers voted openly for Lincoln
, and confident of our quick subjugation and enslavement, have been giving to the enemy all the aid and comfort in their power.
They assisted liberally the grand army in its advance, protected and sheltered the flying fugitives in their flight; and now, that the whole country has been abandoned to our arms, have been obliged to fly from their homes and property into the barren inhospitable regions of the North
Confiscation will of course fall upon their estates, and indeed their household furniture
, their gardens, the unripe corn in their fields, and all the portable effects they owned, have been appropriated by our soldiers, whose plan of confiscation in such cases embraces no dull routine of legal forms, but like Greeley
's war, is ‘ "short, sharp and decisive."’ A mile below Mason's Hill, on the road to Alexandria
, resided two of these creatures named Barcrofts.
The elder one--the father — had accumulated considerable wealth, and upon his well cultivated farm had just reared a handsome dwelling, highly convenient in its construction, and supplied with all the comforts and luxuries of a country residence.--The younger one was a practitioner of medicine, and resided near his father.
Their smothered abolitionism burst forth upon the suceess of Lincoln
; and when the mighty uprising of the North
, that followed the bombardment of Fort Sumter
occurred, proclaimed themselves in favor of subjugation.
Both would have fied after the battle of Manassa
, but as large bodies of the Federals
still hovered near, asserting their determination to hold the country as outposts, they remained.
We attacked the enemy, driving him from beyond Mason
's, which so precipitated their flight that everything was left including even their private letters and papers.
left a valuable and extensive library, which, to preserve for his future information, a squad of our soldiers kindly took possession of. Beck
's Medical Jurisprudence and other valuable books have been presented to me Many besides the Barcrofts had the audacity to remain here until quite recently, but the clash of arms at their doors, and the invariable rout of their Northern forces, falling upon their ears like the warning of Lot fleeing from Sodom
, have at last, Allah' be praised, rid the country of its accursed settlers.
Droves of horses, hogs and cows, remain upon many farms, which the Quartermaster
of the Government
has only to take possession of and credit to their account of wrongs committed against the State
In many of the deserted houses were found copies of the Helper Book
, New York Herald, Tribune and other vile productions, whose moral and political lessons, like The Apples of the Dead Sea
, have turned to ashes on the tips and plunged their fellows into one dark guif of penury and ruin.