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Affairs on the York Peninsula.

[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
On the York River,
January 31st. 1864.
Thirteen of our cavalry were taken on Thursday night last, in Gloucester county, at a frolic or party at the house of a Mr. Sinclair. A negro, as ought to have been expected, gave the Yankees information.

Are these times for parties and frolics? How long will our Government permit our cavalry to leave their commands in squads of ten to thirty, to frolic, while the Yankees are coming out often, not numbering more than fifty or one hundred, to destroy our property and persecute our citizens?

Gloucester county has chawed more tobacco since the war, than when all her soldiers and other citizens were at home. A regular trade is carried on with the Yankees across York river. From all I can learn, scarcely a night passes that boats do not pass through the swash, to merchants in York county.

Jews and Gentiles are escaping this way daily to the Yankees, to avoid going in the army. Because, they say, they have paid their money for substitutes, when everybody knows they have made, in most cases, fifty times the sum they paid for a substitute, and have kept out of service nearly three years. If Congress would pass a law giving to the soldiers one half of all the gold, &c., found on these deserters, but few would pass; and also confiscate all the property they leave behind.

I was told, a few days since, by a prominent citizen of Richmond that he could find in two weeks more than two millions of property in the city of Richmond belonging to persons who have gone over to the Yankees; many of them claiming foreign protection, and at the same time holding real estate in Virginia. What has become of all the property confiscated, or which ought to be confiscated ? Now is a first-rate time to sell.

Nothing of much interest down this way, except that quite a large force of negroes, Yankees, and foreign scurf, have been at Gloucester C. H for the last three days. It is reported, and stated on good authority, that one hundred and eleven torpedoes have been planted in the York, Mattaponi, and Pamunky rivers. The Yankees are quite shy how they come up. A gunboat was two hours one day last week coming from Bigler's to Capphosic, about four miles. There is no fun in being blown sky high. They say one exploded in York river that threw a volume of water as large as the Capitol one hundred and fifty feet in the air. So, a Yankee blown up by one, would be nearer Heaven than otherwise he ever could be.

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Sinclair (1)
Bigler (1)
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