An act of vandalism.
--We doubt whether any other nation than the United States
has, or would have, perpetrated such a vandalism as the robbery of a lunatic asylum of the provisions stored there for its helpless inmates.
Some of the Directors of the Central Lunatic Asylum
, at Staunton
, have communicated to the Governor
an official report of the outrage perpetrated at that institution.
They state that,--
"On Saturday morning, the 4th instant, a detachment from General Sheridan
's army arrived at Staunton
, having under guard Confederate soldiers, said to have been captured near Waynesboro
'. That, unable to learn who was in command, he addressed a note as soon as they arrived to the provost-marshal
, or other officer in command, informing him that the institution was a State charity, appropriated exclusively to the care of the insane, containing over three hundred of that class of patients, and respectfully asking that it might be protected from unnecessary intrusion; but before he could ascertain where headquarters were located, a party of cavalry, numbering about three hundred, rode into the back yard of the asylum, commanded by one who was introduced as Colonel Seely
That he availed himself of the brief time allowed to announce to the Colonel
the character of the institution, and the number of the insane under our care, and his response was, 'I will do nothing except upon orders which have come regularly through.' That, thereupon, a large quantity of the supplies of the asylum was taken or wantonly destroyed, to wit: about one hundred and eighty barrels of flour, ten thousand, six hundred pounds of bacon,--pounds of beef, a large quantity of corn, oats and rye, three mules, set of carriage harness, three sets of wagon harness, fifty pairs of shoes, a quantity of hay, and some wearing apparel
, belonging to the patients.
Comment upon this act of vandalism, unprecedented in the history of civilized warfare, is unnecessary. "