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From Southwestern Virginia.

destination of the 56th regiment--interesting incidents of Female devotion to the Southern cause.



[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]

Camp Robertson, near Abingdon, Va., December 29th, 1861.
Great is the activity in camp to-day. The doubts entertained and expressed so long as to the destination of the 56th regiment are now fully resolved, and Pound Gapis already gaping to receive us. It is sixty-two miles from Abingdon. The road is represented to be the worst on the continent, and the streams to be crossed are moderately estimated at five hundred! This statement may seem incredible to an Eastern Virginian; but when he is informed that Camp Robertson is only a mile and a half from Abingdon, and that seven creeks have to be transgressed before reaching the latter, his ideas may probably be quickened. But the Pound is not the end of the journey. Far beyond, to Prestonsburg and to Paintsville, over a hundred miles, will the 56th have to trudge through rain, cold, mud and snow. They are going! The inexorable flat has gone forth, and, like the Children of Israel, the brave boys of the regiment will take up the line of march through the wilderness in the fond hope of reaching the rich Canaan of the Kentucky Blue Grass! The rigors of the campaign and the severities of the march are forgotten in the eager expectation of soon obtaining a land ‘"flowing with milk and honey"’ They gladly exchange a mountainous life of comparative ease for the field of glory. They go as did the

‘ "Youth who bore mid snow and ice
A banner with the strange device, Excelsior!

And if amid the hardships of the march — the snow and ice of the campaign — any brave fellow shall fall, he will still further illustrate the character of the heroic ‘ "Youth"’--

‘ "There, in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless but beautiful he lay,
Still grasping in his hand of ice.
That banner with the strange device — Excelsior!"

Let me now tell the story of a Kentucky lady. It was related to me by one in whom implicit confidence can be placed. Some few weeks ago the hirelings of Lincoln went to Cynthiana, Ky., in search of ‘"arms"’ and ‘"Secessionists."’ A gentleman, whom I will call Smith, was a strong Southern man, and feeling that he would be among the first to be arrested, hastened away at dead of night. He was a man of wealth and influence, but such was the precipitancy with which he left his house and his all that he could carry nothing with him. He hurriedly escaped in his shirt-sleeves to a widow's house, in the neighborhood, with whom he was well acquainted, and stated his condition. The lady, who was herself wealthy, instantly and intuitively conceived a plan to relieve him. And what does the reader suppose that plan was? She ordered a horse to be saddled, took a servant behind her, went to Cynthiana, six miles distant, procured money for her friend, bought cloth, returned home, had the cloth cut and made into garments by the next morning, and started Smith off bright and early! Can any Virginia lady surpass this devotion to the Southern cause? Such an act deserves to be held in everlasting remembrance; and the historian who fails to chronicle the heroic and daring deed of this Kentucky woman will fall far short of his trust.

Another, Gen. Marshall sent his Quartermaster here for the artillery destined for his command. There was not a sufficient number of horses to be bought in the ordinary way, and the Quartermaster was empowered to impress. He met with a lady on a splendid gray horse. She was visiting some of her friends during the Christmas, and was twenty miles from home. She was asked the price at which she would sell her horses. She replied it was the only horse she had, and she had refused two hundred dollars for him frequently. The Quartermaster informed her that one hundred and fifty was as much as the Government could give, and he thought that the horse was necessary to aid in the defence of this section of the country. Her reply was characteristic of the ladies in this country, ‘"Kentuckian, take him."’

A battery composed of six pieces and six caissons left here this afternoon for a point in Kentucky, commanded by Capt. Camen Patterson, of the Buckingham Yancey Guards. It required forty-eight horses, and presented a fine appearance as it moved off. Occasional.

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Cynthiana, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (2)
Abingdon, Va. (Virginia, United States) (2)
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Paintsville (Kentucky, United States) (1)
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