[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Existence in Fredericksburg
has decided novelty, at least, although the spice as expressive.
By day the ruined houses, burned sacked, and robbed, and gardens denuded or ordinary ornament and inclosure, and trampled in uncouth segments by unusual pains, are sights which bring sickening sorrow to these citizens who see them for the first time.
Custom deadens the sensation and blunts the grief.
The streets are lively with a larger male population than usually stirs through its walks.
To-night the moon pours her light like a flood of radiant pity over the grotesque shapes of her disfigured residences, while belts of unmelted show glisten like borders of ermine upon the edge of ascending and descending slopes.
The band fills the air with strains, grave or gay, loud, or softened by distance into sweet encircling melodies requiems, or notes of triumph, as they approach or die away in the far-off cadences of the retreating performers.
The roar of the swollen river, pouring over the dam, adds the monotonous music of its accompaniment.
The river itself flows glistening in its quiet flow, at once a separation and defence against the hated foe, whore guns frown threatening defiance, mounted on the commanding hides across the narrow stream.
Yankee balicons, three this evening, rose in their huge and upstart impertinence to peer into and over at our serried ranks; the sentinels on either side pace their weary rounds; horseman, single or in pairs, and sometimes half a dozen, ride over the hills and stop to gaze upon our lines; the cats utter their shrill scream or intermittent whistle, and wagons or smoke vary the aspect of the hills, now bare of trees.
To the eye and ear, then, the town is not monotonous; while almost daily some cheering news enlivens the quiet scenes.
To-day we hear that Fitzhugh Lee
crossed the Rappehannock on Monday night, some miles above, and scouted down to within three miles of Falmouth
, taking 150 Yankee prisoners, killing 40, and having only six men wounded.
I hear no other particulars.--Another report says a Yankee picket asserts that the New York Herald
says the Conscription bill will cause a revolution in the North
, by intervention, unites them against a common foe. Of any further intelligence or particulars you shall be duly advised.
I see much complaint among you of high prices; but Richmond
, as usual, is behind Fredericksburg
, and your sufferings are not to be compared to ours.
I find that $50 will purchase now scarcely as much as $10 would afford in former times.
Witness coffee, $5 per pound; sugar, $1.50; candles $1.50; beef, 75 cents; bacon.
$1.10, blackeyed peas, $16 per bushel; flour, $15; butter, $3--no oysters, or wild ducks, or turneys.
We live on half rations, in fact, at twenty hundred per cent; so if my letter is only half rational your readers get as good fare as I do.
P. S.--March 2.
--The cars and telegraph are both down.
show renewed symptoms of departure from Stafford
But all signs fail in these times.