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Hunter visited the mountains of Virginia the people there thought Averill was an unfeeling man — that he was destructive as well as acquisitive. He certainly knew how to appropriate provisions and horses. With reference to the latter, he was wholesale. He had taken all the horses on the farm of a widow lady, including the riding horse of her daughter — a young lady as loyal and brave as any of her sex in Virginia could be. She applied at once to him, and remonstrated against his taking off her favorite, which could be of no great service to him and was so much prize by her. The General, with an air of constrained politeness, replied, "I am sorry, Miss, to take your horse, but my instructions are imperative. I can make no discrimination in horses." He was as good as his word; and made none. People thought he was a very bad man. He helped himself petty freely to everything which fell in his way, and went a little out of his way for what did not.--In short, Averill was a terror to the mountains. The rumor that he was "making of a raid" threw the whole country he had traversed formerly into a ferment of apprehension; and how to escape, to hide, and spirit away, their available and their stock, became their study night and day. They did think Averill was a troublesome, a very wicked, fellow! But Hunter, at last, is sent amongst them; and, by contrast with him, Averill, who had been such a horror to them, becomes an amiable and kind being. They fled to him, as a sort of Guardian Angel, to shield them from the destruction of the Genius of Desolation. Averill, indeed, has some good parts.--He could not look upon the cruelties and diabolism of Hunter unmoved. He pleaded and remonstrated. He joined Crook and Mulligan in begging that Governor Letcher's house be spared. He seemed to have succeeded in saving some of the houses in the Sweet Spring Valley which Hunter had threatened. He no doubt concurred with Mulligan in the opinion that Hunter was a "fiend." The people of the mountains are now rather his admirers than otherwise. By the side of Hunter he is an Angel of Light; and when he visits the mountains again, he will, we almost fear, be welcomed. He might stand a good chance for Congress; most assuredly, if he would join the confederacy and set up for the Monroe District. The Hon. Mr. Staples would find in him a dangerous competitor! The truth is, these Yankees have been going from bad to worse ever since the war. The overbearing and brutal conduct of one of their satraps of to-day, is so completely outheroded by his successor to-morrow, that he will seem a gentleman and christian by comparison. And even Hunter, who has converted Averill into a very good, kind man, may, in turn, be left in the shade by some yet greater demon than himself, who may follow him to execute the bloody and fiendish edicts of the beastly Washington Government! Nor are we without consolation out of this steady advance in the barbarity and brutality of the Yankee invasion. It only strengthens the resolution and force of our resistance, and it must end when it reaches the culminating point and its utter failure is discovered by the nation which has employed it as a means of our subjugation, and who will have become themselves horrified at their enormity. The sooner this point is reached the better.
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