[correspondence of the Dispatch]
May 23, 1864.
The extraordinary liberality of the people of this Valley is as wonderful as the which their sons have displayed on the battle field.
For three long years it had been the same, and, instead of being diminished by the pressure of the times it seems to have increased, and in fresh ardor from the necessity of self scarifies.
For example, to meet the calls for the relief of the wounded in the late battles of Gen Lee
's army, wagon loads of provisions from the country, and daily baskets from the private houses of the town, have poured in one continuous and overflowing stream.
Barrels of milk, buttermilk in such quantities that washing tubs had to be employed to hold it; wheat bread, not only in the greatest profusion, but baked in the most elegant style; bacon, apple butter, pickles, cheese, and even apple and blackberry pies, in such abundance that a thousand soldiers, in addition to the other had each a piece of pie. On a recent occasion a force of three thousand men arrived here without cocked rations, and in a short time every man of the three thousand was supplied in the most bountiful manner with bread and bacon.
This is but a small part of what these people have done, and in doing it have given up their own comforts and denied themselves.
I only realize the significance of Washington
's celebrated tribute to the Valley
people, when I see such acts as these.
They are slow to change; but when they do change it is no child's play.
Their natures are strong and deep, and the last spot of the Confederacy
that will ever voluntarily succumb to oppression is this mountain land.
The cadets of the V M institute have won imperishable renown by their conduct in the late battle with Sigel
said he had never seen anything more beautiful.
The institute ought to be cherished by the Confederacy
as the apple of its eye. Gen Breckinridge
, by the way, is a universal favorite here and with the soldiers of his army.
They say his manœduring in the battle with Sigel
was masterly, and that the energy of his movements reminds them of Jackson
The seasons have been very propitious in this region for the growing crops and vegetables.
There was probably never so much land in cultivation before.
They say they know not how it is but though the amount of labor has greatly diminished, the amount of cultivation has greatly increased.
With the blessings of Providence
we may hope for glorious harvests.
At present prices many essential articles are high, though not as high as with you, Flour may be had in Rockbridge
for $200, about the same price as here, though Rockbridge
has the advantage of water transportation from Lexington
Butter can be had in Lexington
for five dollars per pound, and bacon five or six dollars. The county of Rockbridge
has probably suffered less from depredations of the enemy than any in the Valley
I am glad to learn that the estate of the lamented Jackson
was amply sufficient for the support of his family, the common opinion to the contrary being entirely without foundation. Y.