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[575] as a general rule, when within the enemy's line, I feel proud in being able to say, conducted themselves as becomes soldiers, only doing that which they are allowed to do by the recognized rules of war by all civilized nations; destroying nothing but what is used as a direct agency in sustaining the bogus Confederacy, and taking so much provisions only, and forage, as may be required for immediate use. No attempt is made to intimidate the inhabitants who are quietly at home attending to their legitimate business, and hence they never think of running away from an invading Yankee column. In no other country, in no other war, in the history of the world, I will venture to say, has there been shown so much confidence of a people in the honor of those whom they look upon as invaders, as the people of the South when visited by the Union troops — the Southern newspaper press to the contrary notwithstanding. Neither men, women nor children run away at our approach, and however much animosity they may manifest openly or indirectly, they seem to realize that they have an honorable foe to deal with.

But your bitter, vindictive secesh is a rare object to find; the persons met with in the recent raid, for the most part, profess to have no interest in the rebellion — it came without their aid, and they have no desire to aid in its continuance any more than they are forced to do by what they feel to be the despotic rule of Jefferson Davis. All the real secesh capable of bearing arms are already in the army, together with many others whose hearts are not in the cause. I had frequent opportunities to converse with both of these classes. One of the most bitter rebels in his talk I ever met with, when captured, commenced a tirade of characteristic Southern braggadocio. He talked of “our best men in the field;” the South “could never be whipped;” “never had been whipped;” “it was a shame that Southern gentlemen were compelled to fight niggers;” and a whole series of the usual twaddle made use of by braggarts of the negro school, leading every one who heard him to suppose that he was a perfect pink of perfection — a pure F. F. V. This man, who is the type of the so-called chivalric sons of the South, was caught bushwhacking, shot at a man after he had surrendered, told half a dozen lies in almost as many minutes, admitted that he never owned a negro in his life, and that his family is both poor and illiterate — the poor white trash which Toombs so picturesquely set off once in the United States Senate. This is no fancy sketch; and, when the fellow was exposed, he very coolly fell back upon the rights of a prisoner of war — that is, in his opinion, a prisoner of war should not be exposed in his arrogance and falsehood. Of such is the Southern army to-day made up. That they will fight well all do know — and that is about all the redeeming quality there is in the race. Their very pride and conceit makes them recklessly brave. This same fellow, after some conversation, volunteered the remark: “If we do come together again, we can whip the whole world.”

In the counties visited, there are but a few field-hands left of the black class; and a respectable resident asserts it as his belief that not one fourth as much land will be cultivated this year as there was the last, when the crop was much less than the year before. January and February is the time for preparing the ground for sowing and planting in this part of the State, but it was a rare sight to see a ploughed field on the first of March.

At several points white men were seen working in the field, and occasionally a large ploughed field could be seen; but, as a general rule, however, the farms are running over with weeds, the buildings are out of repair, fences are down, and the Virginia wild hog, heretofore seldom seen, except in pine forests, overruns the land. Particularly is this the case with the manorial estates to be seen as you approach the Pamunkey.

There is an abiding faith both with soldiers and citizens, that the war will end this year in one way or the other. Your sanguine secesh, of course, (who is generally ignorant or stupidly blind to what is going on in the outside world,) is quite confident that the “Southern cause,” as he calls it, will triumph; but from what I saw and heard, I do not believe a majority of the people outside of the army would give the turn of a copper to secure the success of that cause. The people generally do not hesitate to say they are heartily tired of the war; and well they may be, for every branch of industry, except that to aid the confederate government, is at a stand-still; families are broken up and scattered, and the whole country is flooded with a species of paper money so nearly worthless as to scarcely be believed. This stuff is thrown about carelessly, and is to be found everywhere stowed away in houses as carelessly as a prudent Yankee house-keeper does rags. For a ten-dollar greenback I was offered at one place a pile of confederate scrip large enough to fill an ordinary saddle-bag. In the use of this money we had some experience. At a little oyster saloon, about six miles from Richmond, General Davies and a party of friends numbering eight in all, partook of a supper which cost eighty-five dollars and forty cents in confederate money, and the proprietor readily took thirty-two dollars confederate and a two dollar greenback for the amount. The fare consisted of eggs, bacon, honey. and bread. I obtained a bill of items from the gentlemanly owner of the place to adorn the books of some Antiquarian Society. A few years hence it will be much more of a curiosity than now.

As to the question of food. Every family seemed to have a little. Halting for an hour at a house, the occupant was asked if he had any corn, to which he gave a most positive negative reply. The proper officer was not satisfied, and, by a little searching, forty. or fifty bushels were found stored away in a loft of the house. He denied also having bacon, and said that neither corn nor bacon could be bought for love or money, but “the boys” somehow managed to find quite a little pile of the hog-meat

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