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At home, may 4, 1861.

I am too nervous, too wretched to-day to write in my diary, but that the employment will while away a few moments of this trying time. Our friends and neighbors have left us. Every thing is broken up. The Theological Seminary is closed ; the High School dismissed. Scarcely any one is left of the many families which surrounded us. The homes all look desolate; and yet this beautiful country is looking more peaceful, more lovely than ever, as if to rebuke the tumult of passion and the fanaticism of man. We are left lonely indeed; our children are all gonethe girls to Clarke, where they may be safer, and farther from the exciting scenes which may too soon surround us; and the boys, the dear, dear boys, to the camp, to be drilled and prepared to meet any emergency. Can it be that our country is to be carried on and on to the horrors of civil war? I pray, oh how fervently do I pray, that our Heavenly Father may yet avert it. I shut my eyes and hold my breath when the thought of what may come upon us obtrudes itself; and yet I cannot believe it. It will, I know the breach will be healed without the effusion of blood. The taking of Sumter without bloodshed has somewhat [10] soothed my fears, though I am told by those who are wiser than I, that men must fall on both sides by the score, by the hundred, and even by the thousand. But it is not my habit to look on the dark side, so I try hard to employ myself, and hope for the best. To-day our house seems so deserted, that I feel more sad than usual, for on this morning we took leave of our whole household. Mr.--and myself are now the sole occupants of the house, which usually teems with life. I go from room to room, looking at first one thing and then another, so full of sad associations. The closed piano, the locked bookcase, the nicely-arranged tables, the formally-placed chairs, ottomans and sofas in the parlor! Oh for some one to put them out of order! And then the dinner-table, which has always been so well surrounded, so social, so cheerful, looked so cheerless to-day, as we seated ourselves one at the head, the other at the foot, with one friend,--but one,--at the side. I could scarcely restrain my tears, and but for the presence of that one friend, I believe I should have cried outright. After dinner, I did not mean to do it, but I could not help going into the girls' room, and then into C.‘s. I heard my own footsteps so plainly, that I was startled by the absence of all other sounds. There the furniture looked so quiet, the beds so fixed and smooth, the wardrobes and bureaux so tightly locked, and the whole so lifeless! But the writing-desks, work-boxes, and the numberless things so familiar to my eyes! Where were they? I paused, to ask myself what it all meant. Why did we think it necessary to send off all that was so dear to us from our own home? I threw open the shutters, and the answer came at once, so mournfully! I heard distinctly the drums beating in Washington. The evening was so still that I seemed to hear nothing else. As [11]

I looked at the Capitol in the distance, I could scarcely believe my senses. That Capitol of which I had always been so proud! Can it be possible that it is no longer our Capitol? And are our countrymen, under its very eaves, making mighty preparation to drain our hearts' blood?

And must this Union, which I was taught to revere, be rent asunder? Once I thought such a suggestion sacrilege; but now that it is dismembered, I trust it may never, never be reunited. We must be a separate people-our nationality must be different, to insure lasting peace and good-will.

Why cannot we part in peace?

May 10, 1861.

Since writing last, I have been busy, very busy, arranging and rearranging. We are now hoping that Alexandria will not be a landing-place for the enemy, but that the forts will be attacked. In that case, they would certainly be repulsed, and we could stay quietly at home. To view the progress of events from any point will be sad enough, but it would be more bearable at our own home, and surrounded by our family and friends. With the supposition that we may remain, and that the ladies of the family at least may return to us, I am having the grounds put in order, and they are now so beautiful! Lilacs, crocuses, the lily of the valley, and other spring flowers, are in luxuriant bloom, and the roses in full bud. The greenhouse plants have been removed and grouped on the lawn, verbenas in bright bloom have been transplanted from the pit to the borders, and the grass seems unusually green after the late rains; the trees are in full leaf; every thing is so fresh and lovely. “All, save the spirit of man, is divine.”

War seems inevitable, and while I am trying to employ the passing hour, a cloud still hangs over us and all that surrounds us. For a long time before our society was [12] so completely broken up, the ladies of Alexandria and all the surrounding country were busily employed sewing for our soldiers. Shirts, pants, jackets, and beds, of the heaviest material, have been made by the most delicate fingers. All ages, all conditions, meet now on one common platform. We must all work for our country. Our soldiers must be equipped. Our parlor was the rendezvous for our neighborhood, and our sewing-machine was in requisition for weeks. Scissors and needles were plied by all. The daily scene was most animated. The fires of our enthusiasm and patriotism were burning all the while to a degree which might have been consuming, but that our tongues served as safetyvalves. Oh, how we worked and talked, and excited each other! One common sentiment animated us all; no doubts, no fears were felt. We all have such entire reliance in the justice of our cause and the valor of our men, and, above all, on the blessing of Heaven! These meetings have necessarily ceased with us, as so few of any age or degree remain at home; but in Alexandria they are still kept up with great interest. We who are left here are trying to give the soldiers who are quartered in town comfort, by carrying them milk, butter, pies, cakes, etc. I went in yesterday to the barracks, with the carriage well filled with such things, and found many young friends quartered there. All are taking up arms; the first young men in the country are the most zealous. Alexandria is doing her duty nobly; so is Fairfax; and so, I hope, is the whole South. We are very weak in resources, but strong in stout hearts, zeal for the cause, and enthusiastic devotion to our beloved South; and while men are making a free — will offering of their life's blood on the altar of their country, women must not be idle. We must do what we can for the comfort of our brave [13] men. We must sew for them, knit for them, nurse the sick, keep up the faint-hearted, give them a word of encouragement in season and out of season. There is much for us to do, and we must do it. The embattled hosts of the North will have the whole world from which to draw their supplies; but if, as it seems but too probable, our ports are blockaded, we shall indeed be dependent on our own exertions, and great must those exertions be.

The Confederate flag waves from several points in Alexandria: from the Marshall House, the Market-house, and the several barracks. The peaceful, quiet old town looks quite warlike. I feel sometimes, when walking on King's street, meeting men in uniform, passing companies of cavalry, hearing martial music, etc., that I must be in a dream. Oh that it were a dream, and that the last ten years of our country's history were blotted out! Some of our old men are a little nervous, look doubtful, and talk of the impotency of the South. Oh, I feel utter scorn for such remarks. We must not admit weakness. Our soldiers do not think of weakness : they know that their hearts are strong, and their hands well skilled in the use of the rifle. Our country boys have been brought up on horseback, and hunting has ever been their holiday sport. Then why shall they feel weak? Their hearts feel strong when they think of the justice of their cause. In that is our hope.

Walked down this evening to see--. The road looked lonely and deserted. Busy life has departed from our midst. We found Mrs.--packing up valuables. I have been doing the same ; but after they are packed, where are they to be sent? Silver may be buried, but what is to be done with books, pictures, etc.? We have determined, if we are obliged to go from home, to leave every thing in the care of [14] the servants. They have promised to be faithful, and I believe they will be; but my hope becomes stronger and stronger that we may remain here, or may soon return if we go away. Every thing is so sad around us! We went to the Chapel on Sunday as usual, but it was grievous to see the change — the organ mute, the organist gone; the seats of the students of both institutions empty; but one or two members of each family to represent the absentees; the prayer for the President omitted. When Dr.-- came to it, there was a slight pause, and then he went on to the next prayer-all seemed so strange! Tucker Conrad; one of the few students who is still here, raised the tunes; his voice seemed unusually sweet, because so sad. He was feebly supported by all who were not in tears. There was night service, but it rained, and I was not sorry that I could not go.

May 15, 1861.

Busy every moment of time packing up, that our furniture may be safely put away in case of a sudden removal. The parlor furniture has been rolled into the Laboratory, and covered, to keep it from injury; the books are packed up; the pictures put away with care; house linen locked up, and all other things made as secure as possible. We do not hope to remove many things, but to prevent their ruin. We are constantly told that a large army would do great injury if quartered near us; therefore we want to put things out of the reach of the soldiers, for I have no idea that officers would allow them to break locks, or that they would allow our furniture to be interfered with. We have a most unsettled feeling — with carpets up, curtains down, and the rooms without furniture; but a constant excitement, and expectation of we know not what, supplants all other feelings. Nothing but nature is pleasant, and that [15] is so beautiful! The first roses of the season are just appearing, and the peonies are splendid; but the horrors of war, with which we are so seriously threatened, prevent the enjoyment of any thing. I feel so much for the Southerners of Maryland; I am afraid they are doomed to persecution, but it does seem so absurd in Maryland and Kentucky to talk of armed neutrality in the present state of the country! Let States, like individuals, be independent-be something or nothing. I believe that the very best people of both States are with us, but are held back by stern necessity. Oh that they could burst the bonds that bind them, and speak and act like freemen! The Lord reigneth; to Him only can we turn, and humbly pray that He may see fit to say to the troubled waves, “Peace, be still!” We sit at our windows, and see the bosom of our own Potomac covered with the sails of vessels employed by the enemies of our peace. I often wish myself far away, that I, at least, might not see these things. The newspapers are filled with the boastings of the North, and yet I cannot feel alarmed. My woman's heart does not quail, even though they come, as they so loudly threaten, as an avalanche to overwhelm us. Such is my abiding faith in the justice of our cause, that I have no shadow of doubt of our success.

May 16, 1861.

To-day I am alone. Mr. ---has gone to Richmond to the Convention, and so have the Bishop and Dr. S. I have promised to spend my nights with Mrs. J. All is quiet around us. Federal troops quartered in Baltimore. Poor Maryland! The North has its heel upon her, and how it grinds her I pray that we may have peaceful secession.

May 17th, 1861.

Still quiet. Mrs. J., Mrs. B., and myself, sat at the Malvern windows yesterday, spying the enemy as they [16] sailed up and down the river. Those going up were heavily laden, carrying provisions, etc., to their troops. I think if all Virginia could see their preparations as we do, her vote would be unanimous for secession.

May 21st, 1861.

Mr.-- has returned. Yesterday evening we rode to the parade-ground in Alexandria; it was a beautiful but sad sight. How many of those young, brave boys may be cut off, or maimed for life! I shudder to think of what a single battle may bring forth. The Federal vessel Pawnee now lies before the old town, with its guns pointing towards it. It is aggravating enough to see it; but the inhabitants move on as calmly as though it were a messenger of peace. It is said that an undefended, indefensible town like Alexandria will hardly be attacked. It seems to me strange that they do not go immediately to the Rappahannock, the York, or the James, and land at once in the heart of the State. I tremble lest they should make a direct attack upon Richmond. Should they go at once to City Point, and march thence to the city, I am afraid it could hardly be defended. Our people are busy in their preparations for defence; but time is necessary-every day is precious to us. Our President and military chiefs are doing all that men can do to forward preparations. My ear is constantly pained with the sound of cannon from the Navy-Yard at Washington, and to-day the drum has been beating furiously in our once loved metropolis. Dr. S. says there was a grand dress parade-brothers gleefully preparing to draw their brothers' blood!

Day after to-morrow the vote of Virginia on secession will be taken, and I, who so dearly loved this Union, who from my cradle was taught to revere it, now most earnestly hope that the voice of Virginia may give no uncertain [17] sound; that she may leave it with a shout. I am thankful that she did not take so important a step hastily, but that she set an example of patience and long-suffering, and made an earnest effort to maintain peace; but as all her efforts have been rejected with scorn, and she has been required to give her quota of men to fight and destroy her brethren of the South, I trust that she may now speak decidedly.

Fairfax C. H., may 25, 1861.

The day of suspense is at an end. Alexandria and its environs, including, I greatly fear, our home, are in the hands of the enemy. Yesterday morning, at an early hour, as I was in my pantry, putting up refreshments for the barracks preparatory to a ride to Alexandria, the door was suddenly thrown open by a servant, looking wild with excitement, exclaiming, “Oh, madam, do you know?” “Know what, Henry?” “Alexandria is filled with Yankees.” “Are you sure, Henry?” said I, trembling in every limb. “Sure, madam! I saw them myself. Before I got up I heard soldiers rushing by the door; went out, and saw our men going to the cars.” “Did they get off?” I asked, afraid to hear the answer. “Oh, yes, the cars went off full of them, and some marched out; and then I went to King Street, and saw such crowds of Yankees coming in! They came down the turnpike, and some came down the river; and presently I heard such noise and confusion, and they said they were fighting, so I came home as fast as I could.” I lost no time in seeking Mr.-- , who hurried out to hear the truth of the story. He soon met Dr.--, who was bearing off one of the editors in his buggy. He more than confirmed Henry's report, and gave an account of the tragedy at the Marshall House. Poor Jackson (the proprietor) had always said [18] that the Confederate flag which floated from the top of his house should never be taken down but over his dead body. It was known that he was a devoted patriot, but his friends had amused themselves at this rash speech. He was suddenly aroused by the noise of men rushing by his room-door, ran to the window, and seeing at once what was going on, he seized his gun, his wife trying in vain to stop him; as he reached the passage he saw Colonel Ellsworth coming from the third story, waving the flag. As he passed Jackson he said, “I have a trophy.” Jackson immediately raised his gun, and in an instant Ellsworth fell dead. One of the party immediately killed poor Jackson. The Federals then proceeded down the street, taking possession of public houses, etc. I am mortified to write that a party of our cavalry, thirty-five in number, was captured. It can scarcely be accounted for. It is said that the Federals notified the authorities in Alexandria that they would enter the city at eight, and the captain was so credulous as to believe them. Poor fellow, he is now a prisoner, but it will be a lesson to him and to our troops generally. Jackson leaves a wife and children. I know the country will take care of them. He is the first martyr. I shudder to think how many more there may be.

The question with us was, what was next to be done? Mr.-- had voted for secession, and there were Union people enough around us to communicate every thing of the sort to the Federals; the few neighbours who were left were preparing to be off, and we thought it most prudent to come off too. Pickets were already thrown out beyond Shuter's Hill, and they were threatening to arrest all secessionists. With a heavy heart I packed trunks and boxes, as many as our little carriage would hold; had packingboxes [19] fixed in my room for the purpose of bringing off valuables of various sorts, when I go down on Monday; locked up every thing; gave the keys to the cook, enjoining upon the servants to take care of the cows, “Old Rock,” the garden, the flowers, and last, but not least, J--‘s splendid Newfoundland. Poor dog, as we got into the carriage how I did long to take him! When we took leave of the servants they looked sorrowful, and we felt so. I promised them to return to-day, but Mr.--was so sick this morning that I could not leave him, and have deferred it until day after to-morrow. Mr.-- said, as he looked out upon the green lawn just before we set off, that he thought he had never seen the place so attractive; and as we drove off the bright flowers we had planted seemed in full glory; every flower-bed seemed to glow with the “Giant of battles” and other brilliant roses. In bitterness of heart I exclaimed, “Why must we leave thee, Paradise!” and for the first time my tears streamed. As we drove by “The Seminary,” the few students who remained came out to say “Good-by.” One of them had just returned from Alexandria, where he had seen the bodies of Ellsworth and Jackson, and another, of which we had heard through one of our servants who went to town in the morning. When the Federal troops arrived, a man being ordered to take down the secession flag from above the markethouse, and run up the “stars and stripes,” got nearly to the flag, missed his foothold, fell, and broke his neck. This remarkable circumstance was told me by two persons who saw the body. Is it ominous? I trust and pray that it may be.

When we got to Bailey's Cross Roads, Mr. --said to me that we were obliged to leave our home, and as far as [20] we have a right to any other, it makes not the slightest difference which road we take-we might as well drive to the right hand as to the left-nothing remains to us but the barren, beaten track. It was a sorrowful thought; but we have kind relations and friends whose doors are open to us, and we hope to get home again before very long. The South did not bring on the war, and I believe that God will provide for the homeless.

About sunset we drove up to the door of this, the house of our relative, the Rev. Mr. B., and were received with the warmest welcome. As we drove through the village we saw the carriage of Commodore F. standing at the hotel door, and were soon followed by the C.‘s of our neighbourhood and many others. They told us that the Union men of the town were pointing out the houses of the Secessionists, and that some of them had already been taken by Federal officers. When I think of all this my heart quails within me. Our future is so dark and shadowy, so much may, nay must, happen before we again become quiet, and get back, that I feel sad and dreary. I have no fear for the country — that must and will succeed; but our dear ones!-the representatives of every State, almost every family, from the Potomac to the Gulf of Mexico-how must they suffer, and how must we at home suffer in their behalf!

This little village has two or three companies quartered in it. It seems thoroughly aroused from the quiescent state which it was wont to indulge. Drums are beating, colours flying, and ever and anon we are startled by the sound of a gun. At Fairfax Station there are a good many troops, a South Carolina regiment at Centreville, and quite an army is collecting at Manassas Station. We shall be greatly [21] outnumbered, I know, but numbers cannot make up for the zeal and patriotism of our Southern men fighting for home and liberty.

May 29, 1861.

I cannot get over my disappointment — I am not to return home!-The wagon was engaged. E. W. had promised to accompany me; all things seemed ready; but yesterday a gentleman came up from the Seminary, reporting that the public roads are picketed far beyond our house, and that he had to cross fields, etc., to avoid an arrest, as he had no pass. I know that there are private roads which we could take, of which the enemy knows nothing; and even if they saw me, they surely would not forbid ingress and egress to a quiet elderly lady like myself. But Mr. thinks that I ought not to risk it. The fiat has gone forth, and I am obliged to submit. I hear that the house has been searched for arms, and that J's old rifle has been filched from its corner. It was a wonderfully harmless rifle, having been innocent even of the blood of squirrels and hares for some time past. I wonder if they do suppose that we would leave good fire-arms in their reach when they are so much wanted in the Confederacy, or if it is a mere pretext for satisfying a little innocent curiosity for seeing the interior of Southern homes? Ah, how many Northerners-perhaps the very men who have come to despoil these homes, to kill our husbands, sons and brothers, to destroy our peace — have been partakers of the warmhearted hospitality so freely offered by our people! The parlours and dining-rooms now so ignominiously searched, how often have they been opened, and the best cheer which the houses could afford set forth for them! I do most earnestly hope that no Northern gentleman, above all, no Christian gentleman, will engage in this wicked war of invasion. [22] It makes my blood boil when I remember that our private rooms, our chambers, our very sanctums, are thrown open to a ruthless soldiery. But let me not do them injustice. I believe that they took nothing but the rifle, and injured nothing but the sewing-machine. Perhaps they knew of the patriotic work of that same machine-how it had stitched up many a shirt and many a jacket for our brave boys, and therefore did it wrong. But this silent agent for our country's weal shall not lie in ruins. When I get it again, it shall be repaired, and shall

Stitch, stitch, stitch,
Band, and gusset, and seam,

for the comfort of our men, and it shall work all the more vigorously for the wrongs it has suffered.

I am indulging myself in writing on and on, because I have so little occupation now, and I feel so anxious and restless about those so near and dear to us, who have gone forth to defend us. The loss of property will be as nothing if our boys are spared. I am willing to be poor, but let, oh, let our family circles be unbroken! But I may feel too much anxiety, even on this subject. Our children have gone forth in a just and righteous cause; into God's hands let us consign them; they are doing their duty; to His will let us submit I


Several of our friends from Alexandria have passed to-day. Many families who attempted to stay at home are escaping as best they may, finding that the liberty of the hoary-headed fathers of patriotic sons is at stake, and others are in peril for opinion's sake. It is too provoking to think of such men as Dr.-- and Dr. being obliged to hide themselves in their houses, until their [23] wives, by address and strategy, obtain passes to get them out of town! Now they go with large and helpless families, they know not whither. Many have passed whom I did not know. What is to become of us all?

Chantilly, June 1, 1861.

We came here (the house of our friend Mrs. S.) this morning, after some hours of feverish excitement. About three o'clock in the night we were aroused by a volley of musketry not far from our windows. Every human being in the house sprang up at once. We soon saw by the moonlight a body of cavalry moving up the street, and as they passed below our window (we were in the upper end of the village) we distinctly heard the commander's order, “Halt.” They again proceeded a few paces, turned and approached slowly, and as softly as though every horse were shod with velvet. In a few moments there was another volley, the firing rapid, and to my unpractised ear there seemed a discharge of a thousand muskets. Then came the same body of cavalry rushing by in wild disorder. Oaths loud and deep were heard from the commander. They again formed, and rode quite rapidly into the village. Another volley, and another, then such a rushing as I never witnessed. The cavalry strained by, the commander calling out “Halt, halt,” with curses and imprecations. On, on they went, nor did they stop. While the balls were flying, I stood riveted to the window, unconscious of danger. When I was forced away, I took refuge in the front yard. Mrs. B. was there before me, and we witnessed the disorderly retreat of eighty-five of the Second United States Cavalry (regulars) before a much smaller body of our raw recruits. They had been sent from Arlington, we suppose, to reconnoitre. They advanced on the village at full speed, into the cross-street by the hotel [24] and court-house, then wheeled to the right, down by the Episcopal church. We could only oppose them with the Warrenton Rifles, as for some reason the cavalry could not be rendered effective. Colonel Ewell, who happened to be there, arranged the Rifles, and I think a few dismounted cavalry, on either side of the street, behind the fence, so as to make it a kind of breastwork, whence they returned the enemy's fire most effectively. Then came the terrible suspense; all was confusion on the street, and it was not yet quite light. One of our gentlemen soon came in with the sad report that Captain Marr of the Warrenton Rifles, a young officer of great promise, was found dead. The gallant Rifles were exulting in their success, until it was whispered that their captain was missing. Had he been captured? Too soon the uncertainty was ended, and their exultant shouts hushed. His body was found in the high grassdead, quite dead. Two of our men received slight fleshwounds. The enemy carried off their dead and wounded. We captured four men and three horses. Seven of their horses were left dead on the roadside. They also dropped a number of arms, which were picked up by our men. After having talked the matter over, we were getting quite composed, and thought we had nothing more to fear, when we observed them placing sentinels in Mr. B.‘s porch, saying that it was a high point, and another raid was expected. The gentlemen immediately ordered the carriages, and in half an hour Mr. B's family and ourselves were on our way to this place. As we approached the house, after a ride of six miles, the whole family came out to receive us. L. and B. ran across the lawn to meet us, with exclamations of pleasure at seeing us. We were soon seated in the parlour, surrounded by every thing that [25] was delightful-Mrs. S. all kindness, and her daughters making the house pleasant and attractive. It was indeed a haven of rest to us after the noise and tumult of the court-house. They were, of course, in great excitement, having heard wild stories of the fight. We all rejoiced, and returned thanks to God that He had enabled our men to drive off the invaders.

This evening we have been enjoying a walk about these lovely grounds. Nature and art have combined to make it one of the most beautiful spots I ever saw-“So clean, so green, so flowery, so bowery,” as Hannah More wrote of Hampstead; and we look on it sadly, fearing that the “trail of the serpent may pass over it all.” Can it be that other beautiful homes are to be deserted? The ladies of the family are here alone, the sons are where they should be, in the camp; and should the Northern army sweep over it, they cannot remain here. It is pitiful to think of it. They all look so happy together, and then if they go they must be scattered. Colonel Gregg and others of a South Carolina regiment dined here yesterday. They are in fine spirits, and very sanguine.

June 6, 1861.

Still at Chantilly. Every thing quiet, nothing particularly exciting; yet we are so restless. Mrs. C. and myself rode to the camp at Fairfax Court-House a day or two ago to see many friends; but my particular object was to see my nephew, W. B. N., first lieutenant in the Hanover troop. He looks well and cheerful, full of enthusiasm and zeal; but he feels that we have a great work before us, and that we have entered upon a more important revolution than our ancestors did in 1775. How my heart yearned over him, when I thought of his dear wife and children, and his sweet home, and how cheerfully he had left all for the [26] sake of his country. His bright political prospects, his successful career at the bar, which for one so young was so remarkable, his future in every respect so full of hope and promise-all, all laid aside. But it is all right, and when he returns to enjoy his unfettered country, his hardships will be all forgotten, in joy for his country's triumphs. The number in camp there has greatly increased since we came away. We came home, and made havelocks and haversacks for the men. The camp at Harper's Ferry is said to be strong and strengthening.

Mrs. General Lee has been with us for several days. She is on her way to the lower country, and feels that she has left Arlington for an indefinite period. They removed their valuables, silver, etc., but the furniture is left behind. I never saw her more cheerful, and she seems to have no doubt of our success. We are looking to her husband as our leader with implicit confidence; for besides his great military abilities, he is a God-fearing man, and looks for help where alone it is to be found. Letters from Richmond are very cheering. It is one great barracks. Troops are assembling there from every part of the Confederacy, all determined to do their duty. Ladies assemble daily, by hundreds, at the various churches, for the purpose of sewing for the soldiers. They are fitting out company after company. The large stuccoed house at the corner of Clay and Twelfth streets, so long occupied by Dr. John Brockenbrough, has been purchased as a residence for the President. I am glad that it has been thus appropriated. We expect to leave this place in a day or two for Clarke County for the summer, and we part with this dear family with a sad feeling that they may too soon have to leave it too. Mrs. S. has already sent off her plate and paintings to a [27] place of safety. Mrs. C. is here with her mother. She left home when the army approached our neighborhood; she could not stay alone with her little son. Like ourselves, she brought off in her carriage what valuables she could, but necessarily has left much, which she fears may be ruined. Oh, that I had many things that are locked up at home! so many relics-hair of the dead, little golden memorials, etc.-all valueless to others, but very dear to our hearts. Alas, alas! I could not go back for them, and thieves may break through and steal. I trust that the officers will not allow it to be done, and try to rest contented.

The Briars, June 12, 1861.

We are now in the beautiful Valley of Virginia, having left Chantilly on the 8th. The ride through the Piedmont country was delightful; it looked so peaceful and calm that we almost forgot the din of war we had left behind us. The road through Loudoun and Fauquier was picturesque and beautiful. We passed through the villages of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville. At Middleburg we stopped for an hour, and regaled ourselves on strawberries and cream at the house of our excellent brother, the Rev. Mr. K. At Upperville we spent the night. Early next morning we went on through the village of Paris, and then began to ascend the Blue Ridge, wound around on the fine turnpike, paused a moment at the top to “view the landscape o'er,” and then descended into the “Valley.” The wheat, which is almost ready for the reaper, is rich and luxuriant, foreshadowing an abundant commissariat for our army. After driving some miles over the delightful turnpike, we found ourselves at this door, receiving the warm-hearted welcome of the kindest of relatives and the most pleasant of hosts. Our daughters were here before us, all well, and full of questions about “home.” This [28] is all very delightful when we fancy ourselves making a voluntary visit to this family, as in days gone by, to return home when the visit is over, hoping soon to see our friends by our own fireside; but when the reality is before us that we were forced from home, and can only return when it pleases our enemy to open the way for us, or when our men have forced them away at the point of the bayonet, then does our future seem shadowy, doubtful, and dreary, and then we feel that our situation is indeed sorrowful. But these feelings must not be indulged; many are already in our situation, and how many more are there who may have to follow our example! Having no houses to provide for, we must be up and doing for our country; idleness does not become us now — there is too much to be done; we must work on, work ever, and let our country's weal be our being's end and aim.

Yesterday we went to Winchester to see my dear S., and found her house full of refugees: my sister Mrs. C., and her daughter Mrs. L., from Berkeley County. Mrs. C.‘s sons are in the army; her eldest, having been educated at the Virginia Military Institute, drilled a company of his own county men during the John Brown raid; he has now taken it to the field, and is its commander; and Mr. L. is in the army, with the rank of major. Of course the ladies of the family were active in fitting out the soldiers, and when an encampment was near them, they did every thing in their power to contribute to the comfort of the soldiers; for which sins the Union people around them have thought proper to persecute them, until they were obliged to leave home-Mrs. L. with two sick children. Her house has been searched, furniture broken, and many depredations committed since she left home ; books thrown [29] out of the windows during a rain: nothing escaped their fury.

Winchester is filled with hospitals, and the ladies are devoting their energies to nursing the soldiers. The sick from the camp at Harper's Ferrry are brought there. Our climate seems not to suit the men from the far South. I hope they will soon become acclimated. It rejoices my heart to see how much everybody is willing to do for the poor fellows. The ladies there think no effort, however selfsacrificing, is too great to be made for the soldiers. Nice food for the sick is constantly being prepared by old and young. Those who are very sick are taken to the private houses, and the best chambers in town are occupied by them. The poorest private and the officer of high degree meet with the same treatment. The truth is, the elite of the land is in the ranks. I heard a young soldier say, a few nights ago, that his captain was perhaps the plainest man, socially, in the company, but that he was an admirable officer. We heard a good story about a wealthy young private whose captain was his intimate friend, but not being rich, he could not afford to take a servant to camp; it therefore fell to the lot of the privates to clean the captain's shoes. When the turn of the wealthy friend came, he walked up, cap in hand, with an air of due humility, gave the military salute, and said, with great gravity, “Captain, your shoes, if you please, sir.” The ludicrousness of the scene was more than either could stand, and they laughed heartily. But the wealthy private cleaned the captain's shoes.

June 15, 1861.

Yesterday was set apart by the President as a day of prayer and fasting, and I trust that throughout the Confederacy the blessing of God was invoked upon the [30] army and country. We went to church at Millwood, and heard Bishop Meade. His sermon was full of wisdom and love; he urged us to individual piety in all things, particularly to love and charity to our enemies. He is full of enthusiasm and zeal for our cause. His whole heart is in it, and from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, for he talks most delightfully and encouragingly on the subject. He says that if our ancestors had good reason for taking up arms in 1775, surely we had much better, for the oppression they suffered from the mother-country was not a tithe of the provocation we have received from the Government at Washington.

June 16th, 1861.

Rumours are abundant to-day of a Federal force approaching Strasburg. We are not at all credulous of the flying reports with which our ears are daily pained, and yet they make us restless and uneasy. We thank God and take courage from the little successes we have already had at Pigs Point, Acquia Creek, Fairfax Court-House, and Philippi. These are mere trifles, they say; well, so they are, but they are encouraging to our men, and show that we can hold our own.

A most decided revolution is going on in our social system throughout our old State: economy rules the day. In this neighbourhood, which has been not a little remarkable for indulging in the elegancies of life, they are giving up desserts, rich cake, etc. The wants of the soldiers are supplied with a lavish hand, but personal indulgences are considered unpatriotic. How I do admire their self-denying spirit! I do not believe there is a woman among us who would not give up every thing but the bare necessaries of life for the good of our cause.

June 16th, night, 1861.

I can scarcely control myself to sit quietly [31] down and write of the good news brought by the mail of to-day; I mean the victory — on our side almost bloodless victory-at Bethel. It took place on the 10th. Strange that such brilliant news was so long delayed! The enemy lost 200 men, and we but one. He, poor fellow, belonged to a North Carolina regiment, and his bereaved mother received his body. She lives in Richmond. It seems to me that Colonel Magruder must have displayed consummate skill in the arrangement of his little squad of men. His “blind battery” succeeded admirably. The enemy had approached in two parties from Fortress Monroe, and, by mistake, fired into each other, causing great slaughter. They then united and rushed into the jaws of death, or, in other words, into the range of the guns of the blind battery. I feel sorry, very sorry, for the individual sufferers among the Yankees, particularly for those who did not come voluntarily; but they have no business here, and the more unsuccessful they are the sooner their government will recall them. I do believe that the hand of God was in this fight, we were so strangely successful. How we all gathered around M. M. as she read the account given in the paper; and how we exulted and talked, and how Mr. P. walked backwards and forwards, rubbing his hands with delight The camp at Harper's Ferry is broken up. General Johnston knows why; I am sure that I do not. He is sending out parties of troops to drive off the Yankees, who are marauding about the neighbouring counties, but who are very careful to keep clear of the “Ferry.” The Second Regiment, containing some of our dear boys, has been lately very actively engaged in pursuit of these marauders, and we are kept constantly anxious about them.

June 18th, 1861.

We go to-day to dine with Bishop Meade. He [32] wishes us to spend much of our time with him. He says he must have the “refugees,” as he calls us, at his house. Dear me, I am not yet prepared to think ourselves refugees, for I do hope to get home before long. How often do I think of it, as I left it! Not only blooming in its beauty, but the garden filled with vegetables, the strawberries turning on the vines, the young peach-orchard in full bloom; every thing teeming with comfort and abundance.

But the family is waiting for me; the carriage is at the door, and my sad thoughts must end.


The day was passed delightfully; the Bishop, his son, and daughter-in-law, all so kind, hospitable and agreeable. It amused me to see with what avidity the old gentleman watches the progress of events, particularly when I remember how much opposed he was to secession only a few months ago. He clung to the Union with a whole-souled love for all that he had been educated to revere, as long as he could do it; but when every proposal for peace made by us was spurned, and when the President's proclamation came out, calling for 75,000 troops, and claiming Virginia's quota to assist in fighting her Southern brethren, he could stand it no longer, and I only hope that the revolution may be as thorough throughout the land as it is in his great mind.

“ Mountain View” is beautiful by nature, and the Bishop has been collecting exotic trees and shrubs for many years, and now his collection is perfectly magnificent. This country is so far very peaceful, but we are constantly subjected to the most startling rumours, and the frequent, though distant, booming of cannon is very trying to our nervous and excitable temperaments. Many, so many, of our dear ones are constantly exposed to danger; and [33] though we would not have it otherwise-we could not bear that one of them should hesitate to give his life's-blood to his country-yet it is heart-breaking to think of what may happen.

June 19, 1861.

Yesterday evening we heard rumours of the Federal troops having crossed the Potomac, and marching to Martinsburg and Shepherdstown in large force. General Johnston immediately drew up his army at a place called “Carter's,” on the Charlestown road, about four miles beyond Winchester. Messrs. B. and R. M. called this morning, and report that the location of the Federals is very uncertain; it is supposed that they have retreated from Martinsburg. Oh, that our Almighty Father, who rules all things, would interpose and give us peace, even now when all seem ready for war! He alone can do it.

June 24, 1861.

We have been in Winchester for the last two days, at Dr. S's. General Johnston's army encamped at “The Lick.” Some Southern regiments encamped near Winchester. The army at Manassas said to be strongly reinforced. Measles prevailing there, and near Winchester, among the troops. There has been a slight skirmish in Hampshire, on New Creek, and another at Vienna, in Fairfax County. We repulsed the enemy at both places. Captain Kemper, of Alexandria, led our men in the latter fight, and is much extolled for his dexterity and bravery.

July 1, 1861.

A rumour of a skirmish, in which the Messrs. Ashby were engaged, and that Richard Ashby was severely wounded. I trust it may not be true.

July 3, 1861.

A real fight has occurred near Williamsport, but on the Virginia side of the Potomac. General Cadwallader crossed the river with, it is said, 14,000 men, to attack our force of 4,000 stationed there under Colonel [34] Jackson. Colonel J. thought it folly to meet such an army with so small a force, and therefore ordered a retreat ; but quite a body of artillery remained to keep the enemy at bay. They retained with them but one gun, a six-pounder. The Rev. Dr. Pendleton, now captain of artillery, commanded this gun, and whenever he ordered its discharge, he was heard to say, reverently, “The Lord have mercy upon their souls-fire!” The result was almost miraculous; but four of our men were missing, two of whom were killed; twenty were wounded, and have been brought to the Winchester hospitals; sixty-five prisoners were taken, and are now in Winchester. Many of their men were seen to fall. Our men, who did this deadly firing, retreated in perfect order. I heard this from one who was on the field at the time. It is said that in Dr. Pendleton the soldier and the chaplain are blended most harmoniously. A gentleman who went to the camp to visit his sons, who belong to the “Rockbridge Battery,” told me that he arose before daylight, and was walking about the encampment, and when near a dense wood his attention was arrested by the voice of prayer; he found it was the sonorous voice of Dr. P., who was surrounded by his company, invoking for them, and for the country, the blessing of Heaven. What a blessing it is for those young men, away from the influences of home, and exposed to the baneful associations of the camp, to have such a guide! It has almost reconciled me to the clergy going upon the field as soldiers. The Bishop of Louisiana has been to Mountain View, to consult Bishop Meade on the subject of his taking the field. I do not know what advice was given. These reverend gentlemen, who were educated at West Point, are perfectly conscientious, and think it their duty to give their military knowledge to their country, and [35] their presence may do much for the spiritual good of the army.

Brave Richard Ashby is dead; how I grieve for his family and for his country, for we cannot afford to lose such men!

July 4, 1861.

This day General Scott promised himself and his Northern friends to dine in Richmond. Poor old renegade, I trust he has eaten his last dinner in Richmond, the place of his marriage, the birthplace of his children, the home of his early friendships, and so near the place of his nativity and early years.

How can he wish to enter Richmond but as a friend? But it is enough for us to know that he is disappointed in his amiable and patriotic wish to-day. So may it be.

I have seen W. H., who has just returned from Fairfax. Last week he scouted near our house, and gives no very encouraging report for us. Our hills are being fortified, and Alexandria and the neighbourhood have become one vast barracks. The large trees are being felled, and even houses are falling by order of the invader! Our prospect of getting home becomes more and more dim; my heart sinks within me, and hope is almost gone: What shall we do, if the war continues until next winter, without a certain resting-place? Our friends are kind and hospitable, open-hearted and generous to a wonderful degree. In this house we are made to feel not only welcome, but that our society gives them heartfelt pleasure. Other friends, too, are most kind in giving invitations “for the war” --“as long as we find it agreeable to stay,” etc.; but while this is very gratifying and delightful, yet we must get some place, however small and humble, to call home. Our friends here amuse themselves at my fears; but should the war continue, I do not think [36] that they have any guarantee that they will not be surrounded by an unfriendly host. They think that they will not leave their homes under any circumstances; perhaps not, because they are surrounded by so much property that they must protect; but the situation will be very trying. Whenever I express a feeling of despondency, Mr.-- meets it with the calm reply, that the “Lord will provide,” so that I am really ashamed to give place to fear. The situation of the people of Hampton is far worse than ours-their homes reduced to ashes; their church in ruins! That venerable colonial church, in which for generations they have been baptized, received the Holy Communion, been married, and around which their dead now lie. Their very graves desecrated; their tomb-stones torn down and broken; the slabs, sacred to the memory of their fathers, children, husbands, wives, which have been watched and decorated perhaps for years, now converted into dining-tables for the Yankee soldiery. How can human hearts bear such things and live? We have not yet been subjected to any thing of the kind, and I humbly trust that so dire a calamity may be averted.

July 5, 1861.

Yesterday M. P. and myself spent several hours riding about to visit our friends. The news of the day was, that General Patterson, with a large force, had crossed the river and taken possession of Martinsburg, and that General Johnston had sent Colonel Stuart, with his cavalry, to reconnoitre and cut off his supplies, and to prevent a retreat. All these things make us anxious, particularly as the booming of cannon is not unfrequent; but my faith in the justice of our cause is strong.

July 6th, 1861.

No army news to be relied on. We spent our time as usual. Knitting for the soldiers is our chief employment. [37] Several suits of clothes for them are in progress in the house.

Sunday, July 9th, 1861.

About to go to church. I trust that this Sabbath may be instrumental of much spiritual good, and that the hearts of the people may be busy in prayer, both for friends and enemies. Oh, that the Spirit of God may be with the soldiers, to direct them in keeping this holy day! We are in the Lord's hands-He alone can help us.

July 18, 1861.

During the last ten days we have been visiting among our friends, near Berryville, and in Winchester. The wheat harvest is giving the most abundant yield, and the fields are thick with corn. Berryville is a little village surrounded by the most beautiful country and delightful society. Patriotism burns brightly there, and every one is busy for the country in his or her own way. It is cheering to be among such people; the ladies work, and the gentlementhe old ones — no young man is at home-give them every facility. But Winchester, what shall I say for Winchester that will do it justice? It is now a hospital. The soldiers from the far South have never had measles, and most unfortunately it has broken out among them, and many of them have died of it, notwithstanding the attention of surgeons and nurses. No one can imagine the degree of selfsacri-ficing attention the ladies pay them; they attend to their comfort in every respect; their nourishment is prepared at private houses; every lady seems to remember that her son, brother, or husband may be placed in the same situation among strangers, and to be determined to do unto others as she would have others to do unto her.

War still rages. Winchester is fortified, and General Johnston has been reinforced. He now awaits General Patterson, who seems slowly approaching. [38]

While in Winchester, I heard of the death of one who has been for many years as a sister to me-Mrs. L. A. P., of S. H., Hanover County. My heart is sorely stricken by it, particularly when I think of her only child, and the many who seemed dependent on her for happiness. She died on Saturday last. With perfect resignation to the will of God, she yielded up her redeemed spirit, without a doubt of its acceptance. In coelo quies. There is none for us here.

We have been dreadfully shocked by the defeat at Rich Mountain and the death of General Garnett! It is the first repulse we have had, and we should not complain, as we were overpowered by superior numbers; but we have so much to dread from superior numbers — they are like the sand upon the sea-shore for multitude. Our men say that one Southern man is equal to three Yankees. Poor fellows! I wish that their strength may be equal to their valour. It is hard to give up such a man as General Garnett. He was son of the late Hon. Robert S. Garnett, of Essex County; educated at West Point; accomplished and gallant. His military knowledge and energy will be sadly missed. It was an unfortunate stroke, the whole affair; but we must hope on, and allow nothing to depress us.

I have just returned from a small hospital which has recently been established in a meeting-house near us. The convalescent are sent down to recruit for service, and to recover their strength in the country, and also to relieve the Winchester hospitals. The ladies of the neighbourhood are doing all they can to make them comfortable. They are full of enthusiasm, and seem to be very cheerful, except when they speak of home. They are hundreds of miles [39] from wife, children, and friends. Will they ever see them again? I have been particularly interested in one who is just recovering from typhoid fever. I said to him as I sat fanning him: “Are you married?” His eyes filled with tears as he replied, “Not now; I have been, and my little children, away in Alabama, are always in my mind. At first I thought I could not leave the little motherless things, but then our boys were all coming, and mother said, ‘Go, Jack, the country must have men, and you must bear your part, and I will take care of the children;’ and then I went and ‘listed, and when I went back home for my things, and saw my children, I ‘most died like. ‘ Mother,’ says I, ‘I am going, and father must take my corn, my hogs, and every thing else he likes, and keep my children; but if I never get back, I know it will be a mighty burden in your old age; but I know you will do your best.’ ‘Jack,’ says she, ‘I will do a mother's part by them; but you must not talk that way. Why should you get killed more than another? You will get back, and then we shall be so happy. God will take care of you, I know He will.’ ” He then took a wallet from under his pillow, and took two locks of hair: “This is Peter's, he is three years old; and this is Mary's, she is a little more than one, and named after her mother, and was just stepping about when I left home.” At that recollection, tears poured down his bronzed cheeks, and I could not restrain my own. I looked at the warm-hearted soldier, and felt that he was not the less brave for shedding tears at the recollection of his dead wife, his motherless children, and his brave old mother. I find that the best way to nurse them, when they are not too sick to bear it, is to talk to them of home. They then cease to feel to you as a stranger, and finding that you take interest in their “short [40] and simple annals,” their natural reserve gives way, and they at once feel themselves among friends.

July 19, 1861.

This day is perhaps the most anxious of my life. It is believed that a battle is going on at or near Manassas. Our large household is in a state of feverish anxiety; but we cannot talk of it. Some sit still, and are more quiet than usual; others are trying to employ themselves. N. is reading aloud, trying to interest herself and others; but we are all alike anxious, which is betrayed by the restless eye and sad countenance. Yesterday evening we were startled by the sound of myriads of horses, wheels, and men on the turnpike. We soon found the whole of General Johnston's army was passing by, on its way to join Beauregard, below the mountain. A note from J. M. G., written with a pencil at the Longwood gate, was soon brought in, to say that they would halt at Millwood. The carriages were soon ready, and as many of the family as could go went to Millwood to meet them. I gave up my seat to another, for I felt too sad to meet with those dear boys marching on to such danger. Mr.-- and the girls went. They saw my nephews, R. C. W. and B. B., and others who were very dear to us. They report them all as in fine spirits. The people all along the road, and in the village of Millwood, went out to meet them with refreshments. While halting at Millwood, General Johnston announced to them that General Beauregard had been successful in a fight the day before, near Manassas, and that another fight was hourly pending. The troops became wild with excitement. It is said that General Patterson has gone to join McDowell. I trust that General Johnston may get there in time. They were passing here from about four in the afternoon until a late hour in the night. After midnight [41] the heavy army wagons were lumbering by, and we ever and anon heard the tap of the drum. We did not retire until all was still, and then none of us slept.

July 20, 1861.

R. P. arrived to-night from Norfolk. He passed Manassas yesterday, and saw J. very busy with the wounded. The fight of the 18th quite severe; the enemy were very decidedly repulsed; but another battle is imminent. We were shocked by the death of Major C. Harrison. J. wrote to his father. He fears to-morrow may be a bloody Sabbath. Oh, that Providence would now interpose and prevent further bloodshed! Oh, that strength may be given to our men. Let not the enemy overcome them. Oh, God of Nations have mercy on the South!

The fight on Thursday lasted several hours; our loss was fifteen killed, about forty wounded; in all about eighty to eighty-five missing. It is believed that at least 900 of the enemy were left on the field; 150 of their slightly wounded have been sent to Richmond as prisoners. Their severely wounded are in the hands of our surgeons at Manassas.

Sunday, July 21, 1861.

We were at church this morning and heard Bishop Meade, on the subject of “Praise.” He and his whole congregation greatly excited. Perhaps there was no one present who had not some near relative at Manassas, and the impression was universal that they were then fighting. This suspense is fearful; but we must possess our souls in patience.

Monday, July 22, 1861.

We can hear nothing from Manassas at all reliable. Men are passing through the neighbourhood giving contradictory reports. They are evidently deserters. They only concur in one statement — that there was a battle yesterday.


Tuesday, July 23, 1861.

The victory is ours! The enemy was routed! The Lord be praised for this great mercy.


Mr.----and myself have just returned from a neighbouring house where we heard the dread particulars of the battle. We saw a gentleman just from the battlefield, who brought off his wounded son. It is said to have been one of the most remarkable victories on record, when we consider the disparity in numbers, equipments, etc. Our loss, when compared with that of the enemy, was small, very small; but such men as have fallen! How can I record the death of our young friends, the Conrads of Martinsburg, the only sons of their father, and such sons! Never can we cease to regret Tucker Conrad, the bright, joyous youth of the “High School,” and the devoted divinity student of our Theological Seminary! Noble in mind and spirit, with the most genial temper and kindest manners I have ever known. Mr.--saw him on Thursday evening on his way to the battle-field, and remarked afterwards on his enthusiasm and zeal in the cause. Holmes, his brother, was not one of us, as Tucker was, but he was in no respect inferior to him-loved and admired by all. They were near the same age, and there was not fifteen minutes between their deaths. Lovely and pleasant in their lives, in their deaths they were not divided. But my thoughts constantly revert to that desolated home — to the parents and sisters who perhaps are now listening and waiting for letters from the battle-field. Before this night is over, loving friends will bear their dead sons home. An express has gone from Winchester to tell them all. They might with truth exclaim, with one of old, whose son was thus slain, “I would not give my dead son for any living son in Christendom.” But that devoted father, and fond mother, have better and [43] higher sources of comfort than any which earthly praise can give! Their sons were Christians, and their ransomed spirits were wafted from the clash and storm of the battlefield to those peaceful joys, “of which it has not entered into the heart of man to conceive.” I have not heard which was there to welcome his brother to his home in the skies; but both were there to receive the spirit of another, who was to them as a brother. I allude to Mr. Peyton Harrison, a gifted young lawyer of the same village. He was lieutenant of their company, and their mother's nephew, and fell a few moments after the last brother. He left a young wife and little children to grieve, to faint, and almost to die, for the loss of a husband and father, so devoted, so accomplished, so brave. Like his young cousins, he was a Christian; and is now with them rejoicing in his rest. Martinsburg has lost one other of her brave sons; and yet another is fearfully wounded. I thank God, those of my own household and family, as far as I can hear, have escaped, except that one has a slight wound.

We certainly routed the enemy, and already wonderful stories are told of the pursuit. We shall hear all from time to time. It is enough for us now to know that their great expectations are disappointed, and that we have gloriously gained our point. Oh, that they would now consent to leave our soil, and return to their own homes! If I know my own heart, I do not desire vengeance upon them, but only that they would leave us in peace, to be forever and forever a separate people. It is true that we have slaughtered them, and whipped them, and driven them from our land, but they are people of such indomitable perseverance, that I am afraid that they will come again, perhaps in greater force. The final result I [44] do not fear; but I do dread the butchery of our young men.

“Mountain view,” July 29, 1861.

Mr. ---- and myself came over here on Friday, to spend a few days with the Bishop and his family. He delivered a delightful address yesterday in the church, on the thankfulness and praise due to Almighty God, for (considering the circumstances) our unprecedented victory at Manassas. Our President and Congress requested that thanks should be returned in all of our churches. All rejoice for the country, though there are many bleeding hearts in our land. Among our acquaintances, Mr. Charles Powell, of Winchester, Col. Edmund Fontaine, of Hanover, and Mr. W. N. Page, of Lexington, each lost a son; and our friend, Mr. Clay Ward, of Alexandria, also fell. The gallant Generals Bee and Bartow were not of our State, but of our cause, and we all mourn their loss. Each mail adds to the list of casualties. The enemy admit their terrible disaster, and are busy inquiring into causes.

This house has been a kind of hospital for the last month. Several sick soldiers are here now, men of whom they know nothing except that they are soldiers of the Confederacy. They have had measles, and are now recruiting for service. One who left here two weeks ago, after having been carefully nursed, was killed at Manassas. The family seem to lament him as an old friend, though they never saw him until he came here from the Winchester hospital. Two sons of this house were in the fight; and the Bishop had several other grandchildren engaged, one of whom, R. M., lost his right arm. His grandfather has been to Winchester to see him, and is much gratified by the fortitude with which he bears his suffering. He says, “R. is a brave boy, and has [45] done his duty to his country, and I will try to do my duty to him, and make up the loss of his arm to him, as far as possible.” It is delightful to be with Bishop Meade. There is so much genuine hospitality and kindness in his manner of entertaining, which we perhaps appreciate more highly now than we ever did before. His simple, self-denying habits are more conspicuous at home than anywhere else. We sit a great deal in his study, where he loves to entertain his friends. Nothing can be more simple than its furniture and arrangements, but he gives you so cordial a welcome to it, and is so agreeable, that you forget that the chair on which you sit is not cushioned. He delights in walking over the grounds with his friends, and as you stop to admire a beautiful tree or shrub, he will give you the history of it. Many of them he brought with him from Europe; but whether native or foreign, each has its association. This he brought in his trunk when a mere scion, from the tide-water section of Virginia; that from the “Eastern Shore;” another from the Alleghany mountains; another still, from the Cattskill mountains. Here is the oak of old England; there the cedar of Lebanon; there the willow from St. Helena, raised from a slip which had absolutely waved over the grave of Napoleon. Here is another, and prettier willow, native of our own Virginia soil. Then he points out his eight varieties of Arbor Vitae, and the splendid yews, hemlocks, spruces, and firs of every kind, which have attained an immense size. Our own forest trees are by no means forgotten, and we find oaks, poplars, elms, etc., without number. He tells me that he has more than a hundred varieties of trees in his yard. His flowers, too, are objects of great interest to him, particularly the oldfashioned damask rose. But his grape-vines are now his [46] pets. He understands the cultivation of them perfectly, and I never saw them so luxuriant. It has been somewhat the fashion to call him stern, but I wish that those who call him so could see him among his children, grandchildren, and servants. Here he is indeed a patriarch. All are affectionately respectful, but none of them seem at all afraid of him. The grandchildren are never so happy as when in “grandpapa's room ;” and the little coloured children frequently come to the porch, where he spends a great deal of his time, to inquire after “old master's health,” and to receive bread and butter or fruit from his hands.

July 30th, 1861.

I have just been conversing with some young soldiers, who joined in the dangers and glories of the battle-field. They corroborate what I had before heard of the presence of Northern females. I would not mention it before in my diary, because I did not wish to record any thing which I did not know to be true. But when I receive the account from eye-witnesses whose veracity cannot be doubted, I can only say, that I feel mortified that such was the case. They came, not as Florence Nightingales to alleviate human suffering, but to witness and exult over it. With the full assurance of the success of their army they meant to pass over the mutilated limbs and mangled corpses of ours, and to go on their way rejoicing to scenes of festivity in the halls of the vanquished, and to revel over the blood of the slain, the groans of the dying, the wails of the widow and the fatherless. But “Linden saw another sight,” and these very delicate, gentle, womanly ladies, where were they? Flying back to Washington, in confusion and terror, pell-mell, in the wildest excitement. And where were their brave and honourable escorts? Flying, too; not as protectors to their fair friends, but with selfvation [47] alone in view. All went helter-skelter-coaches, cabriolets, barouches, buggies, flying over the roads, as though all Fairfax were mad.

Ah, Fear! ah, frantic Fear I
I see — I see thee near.
I know thy hurried step, thy haggard eye!
Like thee, I start; like thee, disordered fly!

Each bush to their disordered imaginations contained a savage Confederate. Cannon seemed thundering in the summer breeze, and in each spark of the lightning-bug, glinted and gleamed the sword and Bowie-knife of the blood-thirsty Southerner. Among the captured articles were ladies' dresses, jewels, and other gew-gaws, on their way to Richmond to the grand ball promised to them on their safe arrival. There were also fine wines, West India fruits, and almost everything else rich, or sweet, or intoxicating, brought by the gay party, for a right royal pic-nic on the field of blood. The wines and brandies came in well for our wounded that night, and we thank God for the superfluities of the wicked.

July 30, 1861.

News from home. Mr. McD., of the Theological Seminary, an Irish student, who was allowed to remain there in peace, being a subject of Great Britain, has just arrived at this house as a candidate for ordination. He says that our house has been taken for a hospital, except two or three rooms which are used as headquarters by an officer. Bishop Johns' house is used as headquarters; and the whole neighbourhood is one great barracks. The families who remained, Mrs. B., the Misses H., and others, have seen sent to Alexandria, and their houses taken. Mr. J's and Mr. C's sweet residences have been taken down to the ground to give place to fortifications, which have been [48] thrown up in every direction. Vaucluse, too, the seat of such elegant hospitality, the refined and dearly-loved home of the F. family, has been levelled to the earth, fortifications thrown up across the lawn, the fine old trees felled, and the whole grounds, once so embowered and shut out from public gaze, now laid bare and open-Vaucluse no more! There seems no probability of our getting home, and if we cannot go, what then? What will become of our furniture, and all our comforts, books, pictures, etc.! But these things are too sad to dwell on.

Mr. McD. gives an amusing account of the return of the Northern troops on the night of the 21st, and during the whole of the 22d. Such a wild, alarmed, dispirited set he had never an idea of. He had seen them pass by thousands and thousands, first on one road and then on the other, well armed, well mounted, in every respect splendidly equipped, only a few days before. As a Southern sympathizer, he had trembled for us, and prayed for us, that we might not be entirely destroyed. He and one or two others of similar sentiments had prayed and talked together of our danger. Then what was their surprise to see the hasty, disordered return!

August 1, 1861.

This whole neighbourhood is busy to-day, loading a wagon with comforts for the hospital at Fairfax Court-House. They send it down once a week, under the care of a gentleman, who, being too old for the service, does this for the sick and wounded. The hospitals at Centreville and the Court-House are filled with those who are too severely wounded to be taken to Richmond, Charlottesville, and the larger hospitals. They are supplied, to a very great degree, by private contributions. It is beautiful to see the self-denying efforts of these patriotic people. [49] Everybody sends contributions on the appointed day to Millwood, where the wagon is filled to overflowing with garments, brandy, wine, nice bread, biscuit, sponge cake, butter, fresh vegetables, fruit, etc. Being thoroughly packed, it goes off for a journey of fifty miles.

The Briars, August 10, 1861.

Nothing new from the army. All seems quiet; no startling rumours within the past week. The family somewhat scattered: M. P. has gone to the “Hot Springs,” J. to Capon Springs, both in quest of health; E. P. and E. M. are at “Long branch” (Mr. H. N's) on a visit to a young friend.

J. P. has just called, having resigned his commission in the United States Navy, and received one in the Confederate; he is on his way to Richmond for orders. He tells me that my dear W. B. P. has come in from Kentucky, with the first Kentucky Regiment, which is stationed near Centreville. It is right he should come; and I am glad he has, though it is another source of painful anxiety to me.

August 12th, 1861.

Still nothing from the army. We go on here quietly and happily — as happily as the state of the country will allow. The household peaceful and pleasant. The ladies-all of us collect in one room-work, while one reads some pleasant book. We are mercifully dealt with, and I hope we are grateful for such blessings.

The Northern papers tell us that General Patterson has withdrawn from the Northern army. The reason thereof is not mentioned; but we shrewdly suspect that the powers at Washington are not entirely satisfied that he was so completely foiled by General Johnston. General Johnston was fighting the battle of Manassas before General P. knew that he had left the Valley. The rumour that he had gone to join McDowell was unfounded. For many days there [50] was no intercourse between the section occupied by the Federal army and that occupied by ours; pickets were placed on every road, to prevent any one from passing towards General P. Gentlemen who had come to Winchester and Berryville on business for a few hours, were not allowed to return home for days. So how could the poor man know what was going on? We only fear that his place may be supplied by one more vigilant. General Scott, too, has been almost superseded by General McClellan, who seems just now to be the idol of the North. The Philadelphia papers give a glowing description of his reception in that city. It was his luck, for it seems to me, with his disciplined and large command, it required no skill to overcome and kill the gallant General Garnett at Rich Mountain. For this he is feted and caressed, lionized and heroized to the greatest degree. I only hope that, like McDowell and Patterson, he may disappoint their expectations.

August 20, 1861.

We are rejoicing over a victory at Springfield, Missouri-General Lyon killed and his troops routed. Our loss represented large. I have only seen the Northern account.

No news from home, and nothing good from that quarter anticipated. We are among dear, kind friends, and have the home feeling which only such genuine and generous hospitality can give; but it sometimes overpowers me, when I allow myself to think of our uncertain future.

Norwood, near Berryville, August 26, 1861.

On a visit of a few days to our relative, Dr. M. The people of this neighbourhood occupied as they are in the one I left. All hearts and hands seem open to our army. Four heavily laden wagons have left Berryville within a few days, for the [51] hospitals below. We are all anxious about Western Virginia, of which we can hear so little. General Lee and General Floyd are there, and if they can only have men and ammunition enough we have nothing to fear.

The army in Fairfax seems quiet. Colonel Stuart, with his cavalry, has driven the enemy back, and taken possession of “Chestnut Hill” as Headquarters. There they are overlooking Washington, Georgetown, and our neighbourhood, all bristling with cannon, to prevent their nearer approach. Some of those young men can almost point from the hills on which they are encamped, to chimneys of their own firesides, the portals of their own homes. The woods are cleared away for miles; even the yard trees are gone, leaving the houses in bold relief, with nothing to shade, nothing to obscure them. I do pity those who were obliged to stay in Southern homes, with Southern hearts, surrounded by bitter and suspicious enemies. My old friend Mrs. D. is sometimes in their lines, sometimes in ours. When our men are near her, they are fed from her table, and receive all manner of kindness from her hands. Some of my nephews have been invited to her table, and treated as her relations. When they entered her house she advanced towards them with outstretched hands. “You don't know me, but I knew your mother, father, and all your relations; and besides, I am connected with you, and you must come to my house while near me, as to that of an old friend.” Nothing could be more grateful to a soldier far away from home and friends. But these were her bright moments. She has had many trials while in the enemy's lines. Her husband and grown son are in the Confederate service; she has sent her two young daughters to her friends in the lower country, and has remained as the protector of her property, with her [52] two sons of eight and ten, as her companions. On one occasion her servant was driving the cows from her yard to be milked; from very loneliness she called to the servant to remain and milk them where they were; the very-tinkling of the cow-bell was pleasant to her. It was scarcely done when a posse of soldiers came with their bayonets gleaming in the moonlight, and demanded, “Why did you have a bell rung in your yard this evening?” “Do you mean, why did the cow-bell ring? Because the cow shook her head while she was being milked.” “But you don't have the cows milked in the yard every evening. It was a signal to the rebels-you know it was-and your house shall be burnt for it.” She then had to plead her innocence to save her house, which they pretended not to believe until the servants were called up to prove her statements. They then, with threats and curses, went off. Another night she carried a candle from room to room to seek some missing article. In a short time several soldiers were seen running to her house with lighted torches, yelling “Burn it, burn it to the ground!” She ran to the yard to know the cause; instantly this lonely woman was surrounded by a lawless, shouting soldiery, each with a burning torch, revealing, by its lurid and fitful light, a countenance almost demoniac. They seemed perfectly lawless, and without a leader, for each screamed out, “We are ordered to burn your house.” “Why?” said she. “Because you have signal-lights at your windows for the d-d rebels.” She immediately suspected that no such order had been given, and summoning firmness of voice and manner to her aid, she ordered them off, saying that she should send for an officer. They did go, uttering imprecations on her defenceless head. But a still more trying scene occurred a short time ago. Our soldiers were surrounding [53] her house, when Colonel Stuart sent off a raiding party. During that night the Yankees advanced, and our men retired. The Yankees at once heard that the raiders were out; but in what direction was the question. They came up to her house, and knowing the mother too well to attempt to extort any thing from her, ordered the little boys to tell them in what direction Colonel Stuart had gone. The boys told them that they could tell nothing. Threats followed; finally handcuffs and irons for the ankles were brought. Still those little heroes stood, the one as pale as ashes, the other with his teeth clenched over his under lip, until the blood was ready to gush out, but not one word could be extorted, until, with a feeling of hopelessness in their efforts, they went off, calling them cursed little rebels, etc. The mother saw all this, and stood it unflinchingly-poor thing! It is harrowing to think of her sufferings. Yet, if she comes away, her house will be sacked, and perhaps burnt.

We are sometimes alarmed by reports that the enemy is advancing upon Winchester; but are enabled to possess our souls in patience, and hope that all may be well. I see that they are encroaching upon the Northern Neck. I trust they may be repulsed from that fair land.

“The Briars,” Sept. 6, 1861.

We returned home, as we are wont to call this sweet place, yesterday, and are just now taken up with family matters of deep interest. The army in Virginia seems quiet; but our arms had a severe reverse on Thursday. Fort Hatteras was bombarded and taken by Federal vessels. They also secured many prisoners.

General Floyd, in Western Virginia, had a severe skirmish with the enemy, about a week ago, and drove them off with considerable loss. Our loss was small.

Sept. 12th, 1861.

Yesterday was the wedding of our dear-- [54] The marriage of a child is always melancholy when it involves separation, but particularly so under such circumstances. But surely never were refugees so blessed with friends. Our plan was to have the ceremony in the church, and then to proceed to Winchester, where the bridal party would take the stage for Strasburg, and thence by the cars to Richmond; but we were overruled by Mr. P., who invited his and our friends for the evening, and a beautiful entertainment was prepared for them. We all exercised our taste in arranging the table, which, with its ices, jellies, and the usual etceteras of an elegant bridal supper, made us forget that we were in a blockaded country. A pyramid of the most luscious grapes, from Bishop Meade's garden, graced the centre of the table. The bridesmaids were three, and groomsman one, and he, poor fellow, had to go off in the storm of last night, because his furlough lasted but forty-eight hours, and his station is Culpepper Court-House. The groom had a furlough of but three days, to come from and return to Richmond. The Bishop and Mrs. J. arrived in the morning. The party consisted of ladies, and gentlemen too old for the service. Bishop J. performed the ceremony. Bishop Meade professed to be too old for such occasions, and declined coming. We feel very lonely this morning, and turn to the newspapers more than we have done for some time.

I saw a young soldier the other day, who told me he could see the top of our house distinctly from “Munson's Hill.” Oh, that I could know what is going on within those walls, all encompassed by armies as it is. With my mind's eye I look into first one room and then another, with all the associations of the past; the old family Bible, the family pictures, the library, containing the collection of forty years, [55] and so many things which seemed a part of ourselves. What will become of them? Who are now using or abusing them?

Sept. 16th, 1861.

Just returned from Annfield, where we have spent a charming day, with most delightful society. The papers brought us news of success in the West, General Floyd having overcome Rosecranz on Gauley River. This gave us great satisfaction, as we are peculiarly anxious about that part of Virginia. We passed the time in talking over the feats of our heroes, as well as in enjoying the elegancies by which we were surrounded.

Sept. 18th, 1861.

I have been greatly interested in a letter, which has been sent me, written by my nephew, Lt. W. B. N., to his wife, the day after the battle of Manassas. I copy it here because I want his little relations, for whom I am writing this diary, to have a graphic description of the fight, and to know what their family and friends suffered for the great cause.

Centreville, July 22, 1861.
My dear---- :--For the last four days we have never been longer than two hours in any one place, have slept upon the ground in good weather and bad, eaten nothing but crackers and fried bacon, and rested little at any time; for all of which privations and a thousand others we have been more than compensated (thanks to the just God who governs the councils of history and decrees the destiny of nations) in the glorious results of yesterday. On the morning of the 17th, we had received reliable information that the enemy was advancing, over 50,000 strong, and were not surprised, at five o'clock in the morning, to hear the fire of our pickets, who were slowly retiring before the advancing [56] foe. The order was given to pack. In ten minutes baggage, was packed, tents struck, and the wagons driven to the rear; and the whole command forward to line of battle. In a few minutes the glittering bayonets of the enemy lined the neighbouring hills. From the heavy signal-guns being fired at intervals along our line-commencing at German. town and stretching along to Fairfax Court-House — it war evident that the enemy was endeavouring to surround our little band ; but our “Little Trump,” as the men call Beauregard, was not to be taken by any such game. Every preparation was made to deceive the enemy, by inducing him to believe that we meditated a vigorous resistance Meantime our column defiled through a densely wooded road, and was far on the way to Centreville when the enemy discovered his mistake. He followed on very cautiously To our troop, with Kemper's Battery, was assigned the post of honour, and charged with the duty of covering the retreat. We were the last to leave the village, and as we went out at one end of the street, his column appeared at the other. We halted at this place about four o'clock in the afternoon, and again made show of battle-slept until twelve o'clock at the heads of our horses. We silently left the place, the enemy's pickets being within hailing distance of our own. At daybreak we were across Bull Run, having marched very slowly to keep pace with the infantry. We found beds of leaves in the woods, wrapped ourselves in our blankets, and slept for an hour or two, until we were aroused by the roar of the enemy's guns as he opened his batteries upon our lines. For two mortal hours shot and shell flew thick along our whole line. This day's work was evidently intended only to draw the fire of our artillery, and show where our batteries were. In consequence of which our [57] gunners were ordered not to fire a single shot, unless within point-blank range. After thus opening the ball, two dense masses of infantry were sent to defile to the right and left, to make two separate attacks. It was indeed a beautiful sight as they came down in perfect order, and with the stealthy step of veterans. They came nearer and yet nearer, and yet no shot from our guns. Our men began to mutter, and say that we were preparing for another retreat. But in a few moments the appointed time arrived. A single shot from the Washington Artillery gave the signal of death, and for half an hour there was nothing but a continuous sheet of flame along the right of our lines. The enemy fell back, rallied, and charged again, with a like result. Again they rested, and rushed forward, but old Virginia was true to herself, and the gallant Seventeenth and Eighteenth Regiments charged them with the bayonet, and drove them back in utter confusion. The cavalry were held in reserve, and although within range of the artillery, and constantly experiencing the sensation which men may be supposed to indulge, who know there is a hidden danger hovering in the air, without knowing where it is to light, took no part in the action. Our time came yesterday, however. Our troop was for four hours in the hottest of the fight, and every man in it won the applause and approbation of the whole camp. The action commenced at eight o'clock on the sweet Sabbath morning. The enemy commenced with quite a heavy cannonade upon our right, which proved to be a mere feint, to distract our attention, as his main attack was directed to our left wing. At ten o'clock the enemy had crossed the river on our left, and then the fighting commenced in earnest. From the hill on which we stood, we could see, from the smoke and dust, though at [58] the distance of several miles, how the fight was waging on our left. Some thought the enemy was retreating; others that our men had fallen back. It was an hour of painful interest. At eleven o'clock an aid-de-camp rode up in a gallop, and said our men were retiring — the cavalry was ordered to the left. We were temporarily attached to Radford's regiment-ours was the first company, and mine was the first platoon. On we dashed in a gallop, and as we passed within range of a battery of rifled cannon a ball was fired at us which passed between Wickham and myself, knocking up a cloud of dust. Without wavering in their ranks, the men and horses dashed forward at a gallop. As we reached the scene of action the sight was discouraging in the extreme. The enemy had at first the advantage of every attacking party. He had concentrated his forces for an attack upon one point. The First Louisiana Regiment and the Fourth Alabama, attacked in flank and centre by 30,000 men, were literally cut to pieces. They refused to surrender, but retired slowly, disputing every inch of ground. As we rode up we could meet parts of companies which had been utterly overwhelmed — the men wounded, their arms broken, while some of them were carrying off their dead in blankets. Every thing looked like retreat. We were ordered up to within five hundred yards of the enemy's artillery, behind a hill which afforded some protection against their destructive fire. For one hour the fire raged with incessant fury. A ball passed over the hill and through our ranks, grazing one of our men. A shell exploded just under Radford's horse, and every minute shot and shell were continually whistling by us. I can give you no conception of that awful hour. Not a man shrank from his post. Two of our men were taken exceedingly sick, one [59] fainting from the heat and excitement. Such calmness and composure I never witnessed. To make the matter worse, despondency, if not despair, was fast writing itself upon every face. The fire was evidently approaching us. Our friends were retiring, and the whispered rumour passed from lip to lip that our artillery ammunition was running low. In a moment, however, a cloud of dust in our rear showed the approach of our wagons, coming up at a dashing rate, with a fresh supply. Our reinforcements now commenced pouring in. Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee swept by in their glittering array with the calm light of battle on their faces, and their bayonets gleaming in the quiet Sabbath sunshine. No man faltered, no man lagged behind. Neither the groans of the dying nor the shrieks of the wounded, as they passed by in crowded ambulances, seemed to produce any impression except to fix the determination upon the countenances of all, to win or to die upon the field. The tide now seemed to ebb, just enough to keep us from despair. The firing did not advance, although the explosion of their shells was terrific in the extreme. A gleam of hope, too, gradually broke in upon us, when Kemper's Battery, which had been posted in our centre, galloped up and opened a destructive fire upon our extreme left. The advance was evidently checked, when a loud cheer in the front told us that something unusual had happened. What was it? Was it the triumph of our enemies over our poor stricken friends ; or was it some advantage gained by courage in defence of right? The suspense was awful. Men stood straight in their stirrups and stretched their eyes as if they could pierce the rugged bosom of the barren hill which raised its scarred front between them. An aid passed up. His message is written [60] on his face, and before he speaks a word a wild shout breaks from the throats of thousands. When he speaks, another, another and another round of cheers told the story to our hitherto sinking hearts. The Fourth Virginia Regiment had taken Sprague's Rhode Island Battery of six pieces, at the point of the bayonet. Scarcely had the echo of our cheers died away when again the noise of shouting broke upon the air. What was it? Had the enemy rallied and retaken the guns? Fear struggled with hope. But no: the gallant Twenty-seventh, envious of the glorious achievement of the Fourth, at a single dash had charged a regiment of regulars, swept them from the field, and taken every gun in Sherman's Battery.1 The firing of musketry and the rattling of bayonets was now terrible beyond description. For one hour there was an incessant cracking of rifles, without a single moment's pause. The enemy were evidently retiring, and unless reinforced from the left and centre, the day was ours.

To prevent this, our field telegraph had already given the signal for movement upon our own right, and a heavy fire of musketry and artillery told us that Bonham's Brigade, to which we had been attached in the morning, had crossed the run and were pouring it into the enemy's centre. The South Carolina boys dashed up the hill in face of a murderous fire, bayoneted their gunners, and took quiet possession of their central battery. It was three o'clock, and the day was ours. The Washington Artillery galloped up the hill on which we were posted, and opened a perfect Vesuvius of shot and shell upon the receding foe. Colonel Lay then rode up and told us that the time for us to act had arrived. Our whole body of cavalry, 2,700 strong, now rushed like the wind to the front. It was indeed a brilliant spectacle, as, [61] with slackened rein and sabres drawn, the whole command dashed past. The whole line resounded with continued cheering. The force was divided into different detachments. Colonel Radford, with six companies, was ordered to cross a short distance below the enemy's extreme right, and intercept his column. Our company was in front, and I was riding in front of my platoon, when, after crossing the swamp, we came suddenly on a detachment of the enemy concealed in the bushes, with their pieces levelled. The Colonel ordered the charge, and our boys rushed on. Poor E. F. was at my side when we rode over two of them, and they grounded their arms to E. W., who was just in our rear. We galloped on in pursuit of the rest, who retreated across a field, towards the road on which the enemy was retreating. Fontaine was just behind me. Saunders, a fine young fellow, just twenty-four years of age, and splendidly mounted, dashed by us. The enemy had concealed themselves behind a fence; we rode up, and I demanded their surrender; they made no reply. I ordered Saunders to fire; before he levelled his carbine the whole squad poured in a volley. Saunders fell dead at my feet, and Edmund Fontaine reeled in his saddle, exclaiming, “Save me, boys; I am killed!” He was caught in the arms of his cousin, who was just in my rear. Three of my platoon fired, and the two who had shot Fontaine and Saunders fell dead in their tracks. We were now in full view of the enemy's columns, passing in rapid and disorderly retreat along the road, with two pieces of artillery, a large number of baggage-wagons, and some officers' carriages. Colonel Radford, who is a soldier of experience, knew the strength of the enemy and ordered a halt, commanding the men to form. But such a thing was utterly impossible. The men seemed perfectly [62] delirious with excitement, and with a wild shout of, “The guns, the guns!” our whole company rushed pell-mell upon the battery, which proved to be another detachment of the Rhode Island Artillery. Such a scene of wild excitement I never witnessed. My platoon had been detached from the company, and the company from the regiment. There were two caissons and two guns; the guns behind the caissons. My platoon, which was furthest down the road, rushed upon the men who guarded them. One fellow was standing on the caisson, whipping the horses to make them run; they had become so much alarmed that they stood perfectly still, and trembled. I made a blow at him with my sabre, knocked him off the caisson, and he was shot twice before he reached the ground. Meantime W. (who behaved admirably), with the main body, crossed the road higher up, and when the main body of the regiment came up, our company, with some of the Alexandria cavalry, had killed and wounded Every man at the guns, and driven the infantry supports in rapid retreat. When we left we expected to be supported by infantry and artillery, and you may imagine our astonishment when, with not quite 300 men, we found that we had nearly cut into the enemy's column, and upon looking one hundred yards down the road, we found them preparing to open on us with two guns supported by six regiments of infantry. The Colonel at once ordered a retreat, so we shot the horses to the caissons, so as to block up the road, and retreated, not, however, before they had poured in upon us four rounds of grape and canister at one hundred and fifty yards' distance. How we escaped a perfect massacre I cannot say. Had they not been so close to us the slaughter would have been terrible. Four of our men were killed. Captain Radford, brother of the Colonel, was literally blown to pieces. [63] I escaped without a scratch, (as did all the rest of the officers,) excepting quite a severe bruise caused by my horse having pressed my leg against the wheel to the gun-carriage. We brought off several prisoners, a great many pistols, and several horses. Just ahead of the guns was a very handsome open carriage. As soon as they saw us, such a rush! It is suspected, or rather hoped, that Wilson, of Massachusetts, (who was, it is known, on the field,) was in it. One of our men, Linkey by name, took it into his head that General Scott was in it, pursued and overtook it, but at the distance of thirty steps fired his musketine, with eighteen buck-shot, right into the back window.

As we returned, a melancholy mistake occurred. Bowles, our second lieutenant, who was carrying poor Fontaine to the hospital, with one or two others, met a detachment of four of the Appomattox cavalry, who hailed him. It is said that, instead of giving the signal agreed upon in our camp, by raising the hand to the top of the head, he took them for the enemy, and answered “Federal troops.” They fired and he fell dead. Our company received, upon its return, the congratulations of every officer on General Bonham's staff, to whom Colonel R. had spoken of the conduct of our men. Today it has been raining incessantly. Our column pushed on this morning to this place. Our company was assigned the advance-guard, and this morning at ten o'clock, I had the honor of occupying the city of Centreville. The citizens tell us that about twelve o'clock last night the cry passed through the camp that the Virginia horsemen were upon them, when they left in wild confusion. Our triumph has been complete. In two days our noble army has driven them back to Alexandria, captured fortytwo guns, many colors, and how many prisoners I will not [64] venture to say. After we reached this place, we were ordered to explore the surrounding country in quest of fugitives. We took eighteen prisoners, and got back just at night, very wet. You never saw such a collection of property as was left in their flight. Hundreds of muskets, guncarriages, wagon horses; thousands of knapsacks, oil-cloths and blankets, hogsheads of sugar, barrels of pork, beans, etc.; in short, every thing you can conceive. We found to-day over five hundred splendid army overcoats.

The men are amusing themselves to-night reading letters, of which there were thousands left on the field. Some of them were directed to Mr. So-and-So, expected at Manassas Junction. Some asked for a piece of the floor of the house in which Ellsworth was killed, with blood on it; while others confidently express the belief that Beauregard's scalp was to be carried to Washington. When I tell you that we supped to-night on Yankee crackers, Yankee coffee, and a nice beef-tongue, actually left on the hearth of one of the officers' quarters, in a kettle, ready to be set on the firethat this is written with a Yankee pencil, given me by one of the men, and on Yankee paper, taken from their wagons, and that I am sitting on a Yankee camp-stool, and writing by a Yankee candle, you can form some idea of the utter rout.. I have a pincushion for L., picked up on the field, a needle-case for K., and a sword taken from a Vermont volunteer, for W. Our troops occupy Fairfax Court-House to-day. I will try and see you soon. Good-night. God bless and protect you. I feel that he has protected me in the last few days, in answer to the prayers of a pious wife. I hope that I feel grateful for my preservation.

“Mountain view,” September 22, 1861.

Came down here [65] with Mr.-- , a few days ago. Spent this day not quite so profitably as I desired. The ride to the “old chapel,” where we had service, is so long, that we spent a great deal of time upon the road. Bishop Meade delivered a most interesting address. He mentioned with great feeling the death of Mr. John A. Washington, of Mount Vernon, who fell at “Cheat Mountain” a few days ago, while, with some other officers, he was observing the movements of Rosecranz. It is heart-rending to hear of the number of valuable lives which are lost in this cruel war.

Sept. 25th, 1861.

The last two days spent with pleasant friendsone day with Miss M. M., and the other with my old acquaintance, Mrs. Dr. F., of the “White post.” These ladies, like all others, are busy for the soldiers. To-day I received a copy of “Headley Vicars,” abridged for the camp, by my friend J. J. Mr. M. will take it to-morrow to the camp, when he goes with the wagon. To-day we have been helping the Bishop to pack a barrel of grapes, and another with tomatoes and other fresh vegetables; and yet another Mrs. M. has packed with bread, biscuit, and a variety of things for the sick.

“The Briars” , October 2d, 1861.

We returned yesterday, everybody anxious and apprehensive. Battles seem to be imminent, both in Western Virginia and on the Potomac. Constant skirmishing reported in both places.

General Price, it is said, has taken Lexington, Missouri, with a large number of prisoners. Our army in Fairfax has fallen back from “Munson's Hill” to the Court-House; thus leaving our dear homes more deeply buried in the shades of Yankeeism than ever. There are many refugees in this neighbourhood, like ourselves, wandering and waiting. Mrs. General Lee has been staying at Annfield, [66] and at Media, sick, and without a home. All Virginia has open doors for the family of General Lee; but in her state of health, how dreadful it is to have no certain abiding place. She is very cheerful, and showed me the other day a picture of “Arlington,” in a number of Harpers' Magazine, which had mistaken its way and strayed to Dixie. She thought the representation good, as it certainly is of what Arlington was; but it is said that those fine trees are living trees no more-all felled to make room for the everlasting fortifications. She clings to the hope of getting back to it; but I begin to feel that we may all hang our harps upon the willows; and though we do not sit by the waters of a strange land, but among our wholesouled friends in our own Virginia, yet our “vine and figtree” is wanting. Home and its surroundings must ever be our chief joy, and while shut out from it and its many objects of interest, there will be a feeling of desolation. The number of refugees increases fearfully as our army falls back; for though many persons, still surrounded by all the comforts of home, ask why they do not stay, and protect their property, my only answer is, “How can they?” In many instances defenceless women and children are left without the means of subsistence; their crops destroyed; their business suspended; their servants gone; their horses and other stock taken off; their houses liable at any hour of the day or night to be entered and desecrated by a lawless soldiery. How can they remain without even the present means of support, and nothing in prospect? The enemy will dole them out rations, it is said, if they will take the oath! But who so base as to do that? Can a Southern woman sell her birthright for a mess of pottage? Would she not be unworthy of the husband, the [67] son, the brother who is now offering himself a willing sacrifice on the altar of his country? And our old men, the hoaryheaded fathers of heroic sons, can they bear the insults, the taunts of an invading army? Can they see the spot of earth which they have perhaps inherited from their fathers covered with the tents of the enemy; their houses used as Headquarters by officers, while they and their families are forced into the poorest accommodations; ancestral trees laid low, to make room for fortifications, thrown across their grounds, from which cannon will point to the very heart of their loved South? How can the venerable gentlemen of the land stay at home and bear such things? No-let them come out, and in some way help the Confederacy. Our new government will want officers, and the old men had better fill them, and leave the young ones free to swell the army. But I will no longer indulge in this strain; it makes me sad, and it is my duty to give at least the meed of cheerfulness to our kind friends; in truth, we have a right cheerful household. It would be amusing to an observer to see us on mail days. The papers are read aloud, from “Terms” to “finis,” by N., who, being a good reader, and having the powers of endurance to a great degree, goes on untiringly, notwithstanding the running commentaries kept up throughout from many voices.

October 5, 1861.

M. P. and myself drove to Millwood yesterday, and heard various rumours of victories in Western Virginia, and in Missouri; but we are afraid to believe them. At home we go on as usual.

October 8, 1861.

At church yesterday; the services interesting; the Communion administered. Rev. Dr. A. delivered an address, perhaps a little too political for the occasion. [68]

The news from Western Virginia not confirmed. Another rumour of a fight on Cheat Mountain, in which General Jackson, with some regiments of Georgians, repulsed the Federal General Reynolds.

October 11th, 1861.

Every thing apparently quiet, and we, in the absence of bad news, are surrounded by a most peaceful and pleasant atmosphere. Our communication with the outer world cut off by the freshet in the Shenandoah, so that we had no mail yesterday. Mr.-- has gone to Richmond on business. He wrote from Culpeper Court- House, at which place he stopped to see J., a most pleasing account of the hospitals, and the care taken of the sick.

October 12th, 1861.

M. P. and myself drove to Millwood for the mail, and then made an agreeable visit to Mr. and Mrs. J. We found several letters from family and friends ; one from my sister, Mrs. C., who with her whole family (except her sons,) married daughters and single, are about to rent the Presbyterian Parsonage, in Hanover, and keep house. As they are all refugees, and have the means, it is a most pleasant idea. The Rev. Mr. H., who was the occupant of the house, has gone to the army as captain of a company which he raised for the purpose.

The papers mentioned the capture of a vessel called “The Fanny,” on the coast of North Carolina, laden with blankets, greatcoats, arms and ammunition. A most valuable prize.

October 16, 1861.

We had a pleasant evening. While N. read the papers we were knitting for the soldiers. An account is given of some small successes. Our men, near Pensacola, have broken up the camp of “Billy Wilson's zouaves,” of which we have heard so much; and Captain Hollins of the navy has broken the blockade at New [69] Orleans, sunk the “Vincennes,” and captured a sloop, without the least damage to himself and men. Rosecranz has retreated before our men at Big Sewell Mountain. For these things we desire to be truly grateful, without rejoicing in the misfortunes of our enemies, except as they tend to the welfare of our invaded and abused country.

Sunday night, October 20, 1861.

To-day went to church, and heard an admirable sermon from Mr. J. As we returned, we called at the post-office, and received a newspaper from Dr. Drane, of Tennessee, in which is recorded the death of his son James. He belonged to the army in Western Virginia, and died there of typhoid fever. He was one of the late pupils of the E. H. S., a most amiable, gentlemanly youth; and it seems but as yesterday that I saw him, light-hearted and buoyant, among his young companions. He is constantly before my mind's eye. His parents and young sister-how my heart bleeds for them! Our poor boys! What may not each battle bring forth? Scarcely a battalion of the army, in any part of the Confederacy, where they are not.

Thursday, October 24th, 1861.

An account reached us to-day of a severe fight last Monday (21st), at Leesburg — a Manassas fight in a small way. The Federals, under General Stone, came in large force to the river; they crossed in the morning 8,000 or 10,000 strong, under command of Colonel Baker, late Senator from Oregon. They came with all the pomp and circumstance of glorious war, and rushed on as if to certain victory over our small force. “But when the sun set, where were they?” They were flying back to Maryland, that her hills might hide and her rocks shelter them. They crowded into their boats, on their rafts; multitudes plunged into the water and swam over; any thing, any way, that would bear [70] them from “old Virginia's shore.” Our men were in hot pursuit, firing upon them incessantly, until the blue waters of the Potomac ran red with blood. It was a “famous victory,” as old Caspar would say, and I am thankful enough for it; for if they come to kill us, we must kill or drive them back. But it is dreadful to think of the dead and the dying, the widows and the orphans. Mr. William Randolph, who brought us this account, says there were between five and six hundred prisoners, a number of wounded, and 400 killed and drowned-among them Colonel Baker killed. They had no business here on such an errand; but who, with a human heart, does not feel a pang at the thought that each one had somebody to grieve for himsomebody who will look long for the return of each one of the four hundred! The account goes on to state with exultation, that we lost but twenty-seven killed. There are but twenty-seven bereaved households in the length and breadth of this Confederacy from this one fight — a great disparity, and very few considering the violence of the fight; but it is difficult to think with composure of the lacerated hearts in those twenty-seven homes!

Tuesday, October 29th, 1861.

A little reverse to record this morning. It is said that Colonel McDonald's cavalry made an unfortunate retreat from Romney the other day, as the enemy approached. It may have been wise, as the enemy outnumbered us greatly.

Mr.----and myself have just returned from a delightful walk to Pagebrook. We were talking of our future, about which he will not allow me to despond. The Lord will provide, he says, and begins at once to count up our mercies, We constantly hear that our children and near relatives are well-none of them have been wounded, all mercifully [71] spared; so that we would be ungrateful indeed to encourage or allow a feeling of despondency.

Wednesday, October 30, 1861.

Captain and Mrs. W. N. dined with us to-day. It was gratifying to see him look so well, after the intense suffering through which he has passed. He was borne from the field of Manassas, with what seemed to be a mortal wound; a ball had passed through his body. But, thanks to a merciful Providence, good nursing and surgery have saved his valuable life. We are now planning to go to the lower country, but when and where we do not know.

November 3d, 1861.

To-day we were at church, and heard a good sermon from the Rev. Mr. Walker, of Alexandria-a refugee in pursuit of an abiding-place.

An immense Federal fleet left Hampton Roads a few days ago, for what point destined we do not know. Oh, that it may find its resting-place in the bottom of the ocean I The terrific storm yesterday gave us comfort. The mighty rushing of the winds was music to our ears. We thought of the Spanish Armada, thanked God and took courage. Was this wicked? I think not. They must lose their lives, or we must lose ours; and if it will please the Almighty Ruler of the wind and waves to use them in our defence, we shall be most grateful.

November 6th, 1861.

Mr.--gone to the prayer-meeting at Millwood, accompanied by Mr.-- ; both will cast their votes for Mr. Davis to be President of these Confederate States for the next six years. We yesterday dined at “Mountain view,” with the Rev. Mr. Walker and family. He has been called to South Carolina to be professor in the Episcopal Theological Seminary of that State. He will go, as there is no hope of his getting back to Alexandria during the war. [72]

Nothing from the “Fleet.”

November 9, 1861.

Our hearts cheered by news from the fleet. A part of it stranded-one vessel on the coast of North Carolina, from which seventy prisoners have been taken; others on the coast of South Carolina. Unfortunately, a part is safe, and is attacking Tybee Island. The fortifications there are said to be strong and well manned.

November 10th, 1861.

Returning from church to-day, we were overtaken by W. B. C., on horseback. We were surprised and delighted. He soon explained his “position.” Jackson's Brigade has been ordered to take charge of the Valley, and is coming to-day to Strasburg, and thence to Winchester. He rode across on R's horse. He dined with us, and told us a great deal about the army, particularly about our own boys. We are greatly relieved to have that noble brigade in our midst; we have felt, for a long time, the want of protection.

Monday night, November 11, 1861.

To-day M. P. and myself went to Winchester, and thence to the camp. We took Mr. P. N's children to see their father. There we saw W. B., J. M. G., and many other young friends, and were much pleased at their cheerfulness. They look sunburnt and soldierly. I returned to Winchester to see my dear S. S. R. C. was sitting with her, looking well and happy. Camp-life agrees with him. These poor boys expect to be ordered to Romney; but wherever they go, they hope, by God's help, to repel the invaders.

November 15th, 1861.

This was fast-day — a national fast proclaimed by our President. I trust that every church in the Confederacy was well filled with heart-worshippers. The Rev. Mr. Jones preached for us at Millwood. This whole household was there-indeed, the whole neighbourhood turned out. [73]

We have been anxiously awaiting the result of an anticipated fight between Price and Fremont; but Fremont was superseded while almost in the act of making the attack. We await further developments.

Winchester, December 9, 1861.

Mr.---- and myself have been here for three weeks, with Dr. S. and our dear niece. Jackson's Brigade still near, which gives these warm-hearted people a good opportunity of working for them, and supplying their wants. We see a great deal of our nephews, and never sit at the table without a large addition to the family circle. This is always prepared for, morning, noon, and night, as it is a matter of course that soldiers will be brought in just at the right time, and so cordially received that they feel that they have a perfect right to come again when it is convenient to them.

A regiment or two have been sent to protect the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal near Honeywood. Affairs in the army are very quiet. I hope that the calm does not portend a storm; I pray that it may be averted.

“The Briars.” , December 18, 1861.

Sadly negligent of my diary lately. Nothing new has occurred. We pleasantly pursue the even tenor of our way, but are now preparing to go to my brother's, in Hanover, next week. We have been to “Mountain view” for a couple of days, on a farewell visit to the family. The Bishop has sent his study-carpet to the camp, along with every thing he could possibly spare, for the soldiers' comfort. He looks cheerfully upon our prospects, and is now listening to “Motley's Dutch Republic” with “infinite zest.” It is read to him by his daughter-in-law, on these long winter nights. His manner of life is certainly most amiable, as well as pleasant to himself and instructive to others. [74]

Newspapers have just come, giving an account of a fight at Cheat Mountain, on the 13th of December, in which we were successful. Rumours also of a fight on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal; and another rumour that England has demanded the restoration of “Mason and Slidell,” and in case of non-compliance with the demand, that Lord Lyons should demand his passports. How ardently I do wish that England would break up the blockade!

1 the capture attributed to the 27th Virginia is probably a mistake. The honor claimed for that regiment has since been ascribed to Fisher's 6th North Carolina regiment. In the excitement of the occasion, the writer of the letter may have been misinformed. The author is glad to make the correction. All honor is certainly, due to the noble “Old North State,” which, it has always been said, sent a larger number of troops to the field, in proportion to its population, than any other State in the Confederacy, and which buried so many thousands of its gallant sons, in defence of our “lost cause.”

note by the Publishers.-Both the statements are probably true, to some extent. We have unquestionable evidence that Fisher's regiment captured one section of Sherman's battery just before Col. Fisher received his mortal wound. But the same evidence shows that there was another section (both under Captain Ricketts) which was captured by other troops; our friend does not know what troops, but no doubt the 27th Virginia.

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