The New Yankee raid.
The rumors which were so extensively circulated through the streets on Friday and Saturday, regarding the movements of Yankee gunboats, grew out of a "raid" made by the enemy in the lower counties.
Between the James
and Chickahominy rivers
is a narrow strip of country that has heretofore been unmolested.
's army was driven down the river he did not reach all the plantations, and embarked his men too hurriedly to destroy them.
After doing, then, all the damage possible in Gloucester
, King William, and other counties adjoining, the Yankees
turned their attention to this section, and have now sent a force to steal negroes, horses, and poultry, to burn grain, barns, and agricultural implements
, and to arrest peaceable farmers who sympathize with the South
There is no doubt this is the whole object contemplated in the advance of the gunboats up the river which occurred on Thursday.
The day previous two iron-clads went up the Chickahominy
for some miles, seemingly on a reconnoitering expedition.--The next day they returned, and in the James
took in tow seven transports with troops and pontoon bridges on board.
Another gunboat here joined them, and all started up the James
, one iron-clad in advance vigorously shelling the woods on either side.
The advance was allow, and delays frequent.
At every piece of woods or coppice — any shelter behind which sharpshooters could protect themselves, some dozen or more shots were fired to endeavor to dislodge any enemy that might be ambushed.
About night they reached Lamb
's wharf, and there halted, sending ashore the pontoon and the infantry.
Immediately after landing the plundering commenced, and the true object of the expedition was established beyond a doubt.
Every movement was telegraphed up the river by the signal corps, and a strict watch kept upon them.
The last dispatch on Friday was to this effect:
"The Yankee force that landed at Lamb
's wharf have marched to Apperson
's depot. --They number fourteen hundred and fifty.
No cavalry or artillery."
Later reports represent them plundering and stealing on all sides, the main attempts seeming to be the capture of negroes, the destruction of storehouses containing grain, and the burning of agricultural implements
in order to prevent the gathering of the coming harvest.
This is a part of the popular "starvation plan" of conquering the rebellion.