--Mr. Sands Smith
, an old citizen of Matthews county, Va., was murdered in a most horrible manner by the Yankees
on Wednesday of last week.
It appears that Col. Spears
's 11th Pennsylvania regiment, with some artillery, and a negro regiment from Portsmouth
, had been sent to Matthews county to catch Beall
's men, who recently destroyed several vessels off the shore. --A letter to the Whig
During their last raid they had dragged him from his own house, destroying at the same time a portion of his property, and carrying off his negroes and horses.
On this occasion he had armed himself with a double-barrelled shot gun, and on the approach of the Yankees
fired on them, killing one instantly.
He levelled his gun at the other, but the second barrel missed fire.
They then rushed upon him, and seizing him, overpowered him by main force, and took him prisoner.
They tied a rope to his feet and dragged him to his own yard.
His daughters, who have now neither father nor mother, with prayers and tears, and upon their knees, implored the officer to be allowed to see him and bid him farewell.
They were refused, and their lives threatened if they dared to approach him. He was then tied behind a buggy and carried four miles beyond Matthews Court-House, on their return to Gloucester Point
While on the march Mr. Smith
was so brutally treated by the private soldiers that he asked to see Col. Spears
When that officer came up, instead of reproving the soldiers he seized a stick and beat the prisoner over the head.
He begged for a glass of water, which was refused him, with the remark that he would not want for water long.--They then, by order of the Colonel
, tied his hands behind his back, placed him on horseback, tied a rope around his neck and threw the end of it over the limb of a persimmon tree.
The horse was then driven from under him. The fall was not sufficient, and he fell to the ground.
He begged for mercy, but none was shown him, and Col. Spears
ordered his men to fire into him, which they did, and he died, pierced with five balls.
They then buried him near the tree, leaving his feet sticking out of the ground, and placed at his head the following inscription:
"Warning to d — n bush whackers.
Every d — n man we catch with arms in the woods, we will hang so high that the birds will build nests in them.
So take warning, such will be your fate, you damn cowards.
Here lies the body of an old bush whacker."
The next morning, after the departure of the Federals
, Mr. Smith
's body was carried to his almost distracted and now orphan family.
Mr. Thomas Smith
, the brother of the murdered man, and owner of the adjoining farm, was also dragged from his house a prisoner and carried off. He was made to stand by without a word and witness the murder of his brother, and the rope with which he was hung was fastened around the neck of the horse which the brother was compelled to ride.