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[488] asleep when they were aroused by a knock at the door, where a former neighbor, and, I believe, relative of Mr. Jones, awaited him, and informed him that he had been detailed specially to set fire to his dwelling. Hurrying back to the chamber of his wife and informing her of the message, they had barely time to dress themselves, and flee to the yard with a few articles, when the flames burst through the house.

So intense was the spirit of Vandalism, that no disposition was shown to spare even the old church, which is one of the landmarks connecting the past with the present — where Washington worshipped, and whose associations were sacred, and ought to have been respected, though we could scarcely expect so much from men intent on destroying the Government of which Washington was chief architect. The flames, as they ascended the steeple, seemed to spit and hiss spitefully at the traitors, who spare nothing, however sacred — neither age, sex, nor holy antiquity, if it stands in the way of their designs.

The destruction was nearly complete. Less than a dozen buildings remain standing. In most of them fire was kindled, but it did not burn in all. I visited the village to-day with a strong guard. The rebel pickets were to be seen skulking about, the main body having withdrawn, probably to Newmarket Bridge. Word has been given out that the remaining houses will be fired to-night, and the work of devastation rendered complete.

No adequate reason can be given for this extraordinary step. The only one that approaches to plausibility is, that the destruction of the village would deprive the Federal troops of quarters, not only at present, but more especially this winter. I will take the occasion to intimate to General Magruder, that the troops here have little idea of wintering in Hampton, but will seek a more genial climate, and, further, that it will be of small concern to him whether they do or not.

But few persons, white or black, remain in the town. The rebels do not seem to have carried away any negroes, most of them having taken refuge within our lines. Some few white persons, including three or four females, are not accounted for. It is not believed that any lives were lost except in the fight at the bridge.

When I visited the village this afternoon, so devouring had been the fire, that in only a few places the smoke continued to rise. It was a wilderness of naked chimneys and tottering walls. The old brick structures had burned out, leaving them standing empty shells — monuments to mark the footsteps of rebellion. A few negro women were scratching in the ashes, or guarding a few things of their masters saved from the conflagration. As our little steamer neared the wharf, an old woman thus occupied made violent motions for us to keep off, at the same time running toward us and shouting forth something which we made to mean: “De secesh ar comina.”

This is about the end of Hampton. One of the oldest, handsomest, and most aristocratic villages in the Old Dominion, it has been crushed utterly under the heel of rebellion, and nearly wiped out forever.



A “Confederate” account.

We have full and interesting particulars of the burning of Hampton, and of the series of events leading thereto. The town was destroyed by order of Gen. Magruder, and by the forces under his-command.

On Thursday morning last, about daybreak, Gen. Magruder marched a considerable force in the direction of Newport News, and drew up in line of battle. After waiting there for some time, the enemy declining to give battle, our forces were marched within a mile and a half of Hampton, and again drawn up to give battle, if the enemy should show himself. In the mean time, a copy of a late New York Herald happened to be obtained by Gen. Magruder, in which was a letter disclosing despatches from Gen. Butler, received at Washington, stating that it would be necessary for him to reoccupy Hampton, in order to be able to retain the large force of “contraband” negroes that he had collected. With this notice of the intended reoccupation of Hampton by the Federal forces, Gen. Magruder decided to destroy the town. Previous to the destruction of the town, information was received through a scout, and confirmed by the circumstance of an additional Federal steamer having arrived in the Roads, that reinforcements had arrived at the fort, for the purpose, doubtless, of responding to Butler's demand for the reoccupation of Hampton.

It appears that Hampton had been evacuated by Butler's forces, in the first instance, on account of a panic originated by a balloon exploration. About 700 of our men, under the command of Capt. Phillips, had gone in the direction of the town, on a search for “contraband” negroes. The balloonist reported to Gen. Butler that 10,000 men were marching upon Hampton, and in consequence of the report the town was hastily ordered to be evacuated. Two sections of the bridge were torn up by the retreating party.

The town was burned to the ground on Wednesday night by the order of Gen. Magruder. The expedition for its destruction was composed of the Mecklenburg Cavalry, Captain Goode, Old Dominion Dragoons, Captain Phillips, York Rangers, Captain Sinclair, Warwick Beauregards, Captain Custis, and six companies of the Fourteenth Virginia regiment, the whole force being under the command of Col. James J. Hodges, of the Fourteenth. The town was most effectually fired. But a single house was left standing. The village church was intended to be spared, but caught fire accidentally, and was consumed to the ground. Many of the members of the companies were citizens of Hampton, and set fire to their own houses — among

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