[correspondence of Richmond Dispatch.]
Army of Northern Virginia. March 8, 1864.
The accounts copied in the Richmond
press on yesterday from the Yankee
journals, in regard to to Charlottesville
, contain so many inaccuracies and so much of romantic fiction, that I deem it a duty to write a few lines in order to correct a few of the errors and false statements.
came from Culpeper
by way of Madison Court House and Stanardsville
That he should have been permitted thus to turn our left flank is unquestionably a subject for just boast on his part, and much regret on ours.
When within four miles of Charlottesville
it is true that he surprised, not a cavalry camp, (for we had none at that point,) but an artillery camp.
In the confusion which ensued they succeeded in blowing up one caisson.
They called a halt to plunder a camp and whilst engaged in this delightful occupation Capt. Braith
white placed his battery, of Stuart's horse artillery, hurriedly in position, and opened on the enemy with grape and canister.
At the second fire the enemy fell back across the Rivanna river
, the bridge over which, as well as the Rio Mille
, situated on the edge of the stream at this point, they burnt.
R F. Mason
had also improvised supports made up of furloughed and convalescents from the hospitals, at Charlottesville
, and these armed with sticks, and lock muskets, in conjunction with Capt.
B, drove the enemy off. As soon as Capt
B. found that the enemy were retreating he detached horaes from his artillery, and mounting his men hastily upon them, he started in pursuit and followed them as far as Stanardsville
did not attack them with 2,000 cavalry: on the contrary he had not a man over 400, whilst they, by their own showing bail 1,500 picked men.
If they captured any prisoners, the number, I am officially assured, could not have exceeded one dozen.
Our loss in killed and wounded were, perhaps, as many more.--Their statement that they lost not a man, is known to be false, as we captured several prisoners.
They doubtless did "steal, take, and feloniously carry away" from noncombatant citizens some two or three hundred horse; but from our soldiers in arms they captured none.
It is literally true that they burnt three flouring mills owned by private citizens, and grinding not on Government account, but for private citizens.
That they succeeded in diverting attention from Kilpatrick
is true; but that this is all they sought to accomplish is disproved by the papers found on Dahlgren
, and by the statements they made to citizens whom they captured and afterwards released.
To these latter they said that their object was to burn the bridges over the Rivanna
, destroy the stores at Charlottesville
, push on to the canal, and finally meet Kilpatrick
This latter part of their programme Gen Lee