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Crossing the line.

We are informed by a gentleman who is in the habit of sojourning at the hotels of Norfolk that a marked peculiarity of the public parlors is the presence of persons going North and returning thence by way of the flag of truce. Many of the former are individuals born north of Mason and Dixon's line, generally ladies and children who have been detained in the South by circumstances beyond control; and many of the latter are persons of foreign birth returning to their homes in the South, after a tour abroad. It is a singular fact, deserving of mention as an honorable characteristic of Southern women, that few among those who have the misfortune to be married to Northern men have been willing to leave their native South and join their recreant lords. Not long ago a letter was addressed by an officer in the Federal navy to his wife in Portsmouth, asking her to join him at the North. She promptly replied that her truest and best friends resided in the South, and here she chose to remain. Not satisfied with this, the officer came to Fortress Monroe, and from there sent another letter, desiring her to pay him a visit at that place, and enclosed her a pass for the purpose. This she also refused, very correctly surmising that once in the clutches of the ‘"Northern barbarian"’ she would not be able to return.

It is reported by those who cross this rubicon, that the treatment they receive at the hands of the Federal Officers, if not polite, is at least not positively offensive, contrasting strongly with the course pursued towards passengers by Bombastes Furioso Butler. To prevent the conveyance of news, both ladies and gentlemen are required to give up all newspapers, (though many surreptitiously find their way through to Norfolk and Richmond,) the ladies being examined by one of their own sex, and the gentlemen by an official appointed for the purpose. Where these parties are detained for three or four days, they are ‘"colonized"’ in residences outside of the Fortress, and a watch is kept up on their movements. If, however, a lady happens to be young, intelligent, and attractive, her society is sought by the Federal officers, from Gen. Wool down to his lowest subaltern; and not unfrequently the fair sex are escorted within the sacred walls of the fortified temple, and entertained at the festive board of the officers.

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