The citizens of Fredericksburg
have been great sufferers by the horrid devastation inflicted upon that town by the Yankees
Not only have their dwellings been destroyed, or rendered uninhabitable, but, in almost every instance, their furniture, clothing, and personal effects of every kind, have been torn to pieces or stolen, so that a community in which such a thing as poverty was once unknown is now homeless, comfortless, and, in the case of many of its inhabitants, actually requiring the assistance of others for food and lodging.
The rich inhabitants, though much impoverished, may not be thus destitute; but the rich are but a small minority of any community.
The great mass of them who have been dispossessed of their habitations and homes by the sudden convulsion which, like an earthquake, has swallowed up Fredericksburg
, have no surplus means to provide against such an exigency, and must, therefore, either perish for want of the absolute means of subsistence, or be relieved;--we will not say by the charity — but by the justice and humanity of their fellow-citizens.
That which adds immensely to the distress of a people thus ejected from their homes is the famine prices at which all articles, whether of necessity or comfort, are now held.
If the last year, instead of being productive, had been a year of dearth, prices could scarcely range higher than they do now. How can those who have lost their furniture replace it, or even their clothing, at present prices?
If they try to obtain board, forty and sixty dollars a month in the moderate demand for each individual.
Nor is the spirit of extortion confined to the cities.
It is just as rampant in the country.
We have heard that in some localities in the which have themselves escaped the scourge of war, the most intense greed of gold pervades the people, and that refugees whose pockets are not well lined are objects, if not of their contempt, of cold indifference.
The unfortunate refugees are between two fires, with Yankees behind them and Yankees before them; for, of all contemptible Yankees in the world, the most contemptible are those who, professing to hold Yankee averice and meanness in the most sublime scorn, are themselves the meanest and most avaricious of mankind.
We invoke all just and humans people to contribute every dollar they can spare, and all the influence they possess, to the relief of the community of Fredericksburg
On this Christmas day, what better Christmas
gift can we lay upon the altar of Almighty God, what better thank- offering for the great deliverance which He has just effected for us at this same Fredericksburg
and by which we ourselves, perhaps, have been saved from being rendered houseless and homeless, than a literal and universal donation in all the churches to the relief of the Fredericksburg