The retreat of Hunter.
The Lynchburg Republican
, of Friday, contains some particulars of Hunter
's retreat in front of that city.
It is now definitely ascertained that early in the day of Saturday last Hunter
had determined on making his retreat from the vicinity of Lunenburg
, and that notwithstanding he boasted loudly of occupying the city on Sunday, his retreating columns were on the move while making the appearance of a fight, and that by six o'clock on the evening of that day he had taken the back track with the greater portion of his army.
So skillfully was this retrograde movement carried out, that, not until late at night, was it discovered by our commanding Central, when a pursuit was immediately ordered, notwithstanding the enemy had some eight or ten hours the start.
Our force pushed rapidly forward, however, and only succeeded in overtaking the enemy at Elbert
, in Bedford county
, about twenty five miles distant from this city, on Sunday evening, just about dark.
The enemy had here made a half, with the intention of remaining until the next day, but our advance guard coming suddenly upon them, a general stampede took place, the enemy making but slight resistance.
The result of our attack at this point was nineteen of the enemy killed, and some ten or twelve wounded left in our hands, besides those carried off. We lost three killed.
The next we hear of the enemy, after the fight at Liberty
, they were drawn up in line of battle at Buford's Gap, an exceedingly strong point, but as to the result of any fight which occurred there, we are not advised, except by idle rumor.
We are of the opinion, however, that no fight took place of any consequence.
From Baford's Gap the enemy, it is said, continued his retreat in the direction of Salem
, with the intention of making his way out by Newcattle and Covington
, and a report reached us yesterday that at Hanging Rock
, about five miles beyond Salem
, on the road to Newcastle
, on Wednesday morning last, quite a severe fight took place, in which the enemy was badly worsted, losing some 150 men taken prisoners, about 260 horses, four pieces of artillery, and a large number of wagons, together with a number of negroes.
The same report adds that the enemy was thrown into the greatest confusion, and that in order to make good their retreat they were burning their caissons and wag one and were divesting themselves of everything calculated to impede celerity of movement.
No statement is made of the enemy's killed and wounded or anything concerning loss, but as the report is derived from a source which we think reliable, we have thought it proper to make mention of it.
In their retreat the Yankees
carried with them a large number of slaves, which they either persuaded or forced off, but we are reliably informed that the greater proportion of them have returned to their comfortable homes, having become disgusted, after an association of only a few hours, with their worst enemies.
Those who have returned embrace a goodly number of men, but they are principally women and children.
In many instances the negroes were forced to leave their homes, and did so only when threatened with instant death.
The venders were prevented from completing their work of destruction in their retreat by the rapidity with which our forces pursued them, but notwithstanding, the damage they have inflicted is of a very serious character.
At Bansack's they destroyed the depot building, and the large jeans manufacturing establishment of Bonsack & Kiser
, and at Big Lick they also burnt the depot.
At the latter place they stole all of the horses and cattle of Messrs John
front and E T Tindey, and we suppose the same system of robbery was practiced wherever an opportunity presented itself.
We confess our unbelief in the ability of our forces to capture the edisinous horde, as the latter is travelling with great speed, but we feel assured that they will not be allowed to tarry until they are driven entirely out of the State
, and even then in a condition which will prevent their speedy return.