Federal outrages.a Clergyman dragged from his Pulpit — letters from a lady of Fairfax county.
The base and conduct of the enemy in Alexandria and Fairfax county, Va. the evidence of which multiplies daily, ought to incite our men to more desperate efforts to drive the invader from our soil. A scene occurred in St. Paul's Church, Alexandria, on Sunday morning, Feb. 2, which has, perhaps, never had a parallel among civilized nations — certainly not in the history of this country. The Local News of that city, gave a full account of the transaction on the following day, a portion of which we copy: The officiating minister, Rev. K. J. Stewart, had gone through the morning prayer of the Episcopal service as far as the Litany — the prayer for the President being omitted, but without anything in its place — and was proceeding with the Litany, when an interruption occurred of the character which the law designates as ‘"brawling;"’ that is, the intervention of noise and inmuit by certain persons who had come to the church with the intention of interrupting the service should it not proceed according to their wishes. These persons commenced the disturbance as soon as they found the prayer for the President omitted. One of them Captain Farns worth, of the Eighth, Illinois cavalry, who sat near the chance dressed in uniform, with some live or his soldiers near him, undertook to officiate in prayer, (if prayer it could be called,) by reading the prayer for the President of the United States. How far he went it does not appear in the confusion, but, soon quitting his position as the officer of prayer, he advanced to the altar, where Mr. Stewart was kneeling, still continuing the Litany, and ordered his arrest. Mr. Stewart was dragged from his knees by the soldiers. The ground of the arrest Captain Farnsworth distinctly avowed to be the omission of the prayer for the President of the United States. With this avowal he said: ‘ "I arrest you, by the authority of the United States, as a rebel and a traitor!" ’ ‘"And I,"’ responded Mr. Stewart (who by this time had advanced to the chancel rails) to Captain F., ‘"summon you to answer at the judgment seat of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords for interfering, by force of arms, with His ambassadors while in the act of presenting the petitions of His people at His altar! "’ The solemnity of this appeal caused the parties to fall back and pause; but soon the soldiers were ordered to seize Mr. Stewart, which two of them did, with great violence, forcing the prayer book from his hands; one of them drawing a revolver. Another revolver was presented to an old and venerated citizen within the chancel, when the officer ordered the soldier not to fire. Very soon a considerable number of armed soldiers appeared in the church. Mr. Stewart refusing to yield voluntarily, was dragged by force from the altar and through the aisle out of the church. He was in his surplice, which he wore through the streets and at Captain Farnsworth's quarters, where he was taken. Farnsworth said, that he went to church intending to arrest Mr. S., if he should offer any prayer for the Confederate States. Near him, in the same paw, sat Mr. Moreton, (the detective,) who then gave orders to Capt. F. to make the arrest, which was executed as above described. Mr. Moreton has declared that he was acting under authority from Washington. The scene in the church was such as may be imagined under such circumstances; gentlemen, were indignant and excited, and ladies gave utterance to their feelings of grief and indignation — but, of course, no serious effort was made to prevent the arrest Mr. Stewart was taken away and the congregation dispersed. It is proper to state that these proceedings were without the knowledge of Gen. Montgomery, the Military Governor of the city, and were strongly condemned by him when they came to his knowledge. He telegraphed to Washington for instructions from the Government, which, when received, were of such a nature as to lead to Mr. Stewart's release after a few hours' detention. As might have been anticipated, the publication of the foregoing facts (which are testified to by a number of respectable citizens,) incensed the Yankee scoundrels beyond measure, and the office of the Local News was burnt; and it was with the utmost difficulty that the Federal officer in command could prevent the destruction of St. Paul's Church; in a similar manner. Subsequently, under the pretence that an organization existed in the city with the object of extending aid and comfort to the ‘"rebels,"’ a number of the best citizens of Alexandria, including the editor of the paper, were arrested and thrown into prison at Washington, where they still remain. The outrages of the Federal soldiery are by no means confined to the town of Alexandria. The following letters, written by a lady in Fairfax county, and received very recently, have been sent to the editors of the Dispatch for publication. They present so graphic a picture of the audacious insolence of the Yankees, that, on contemplating it, every patriot heart will burn with indignation and an eagerness for vengeance. The moral heroism of the ladies whose remaining to protect their homes, thus expose themselves to insult, merits the consideration of the true soldier of the South, and will endow him with renewed energy in his struggle for freedom and independence: December 2, 1861.--We have passed through very trying times since the army retreated from Mason's hill and this neighborhood, in October. On the 22d of that month a Major*, in command of some fifty or sixty soldiers, searched this house. As they came up very much excited, with their guns lowered, and fingers on the triggers, I advanced and said, ‘"Do you wish to see any one hers?"’ ‘ "Yes; Mr.--. Where is he?"’ I replied, ‘"At the barn; I will send for him."’ They rushed by me into the house, and said, ‘"You shall not — he is in this house — open this door, or I will break it open."’ They had brought with them hatchets and augers. As I complied with that demand, nearly the whole party ran up the front and back stairs. I entreated the Major to allow me a few moments to have my chambers arranged before the men entered them. The courteous answer I received was to ‘ "hush, or I and my children should be arrested."’ I told a servant girl, who was standing near, to call my husband, when the Captain who was guarding us pointed his gun and said, ‘"If you call, I will shoot the hear out of you,"’ I replied, ‘ "What am I to do? You will not allow me to send for my husband."’ A soldier was sent with the servant, and as soon as Mr.--made his appearance, the Major, with a pistol presented, and nine or ten soldiers around, arrested him in the most cowardly and brutal manner, not allowing him to change his dress, and marching him down five miles blindfolded. --I was apprehensive some further violence would be offered, and, in this state of agonizing suspense, suffered for two days and nights. A letter was then sent me, by a flag of truce, saying he was in Washington, in the prison on the corner of Thirteenth street and the Avenue, on the charge of shooting a Yankee picket. His father died the very day he got to the city. One of the prisoners was the first to tell him of it, when he at once asked leave to visit his family, and was allowed half an hour, with a guard to accompany him even to the door of the room to take a last look of a beloved parent! Oh, this was too in human! I have not heart to think or it! After a close imprisonment of fourteen days, owing to the powerful influence of his friends he was released and acquitted of the false charge. Such a scene as my house presented you can scarce imagine. Every room had been searched; fourteen locks broken open; my clothes, books, papers, beds, pillows, and furniture of every kind, thrown in confusion on the floors, trampled on, and many entirely broken and destroyed; my writing desk broken open, papers taken out, a great many things stolen, from a lucifer match to a silver spoon. During Mr.--'s absence, I was in constant alarm. German soldiers would come in large numbers every day, often using to me insulting and violent language — robbed the place of nearly everything; when they found that myself and two little boys were the only white persons in the house, threatened to enter to see if ‘"ancient" ’ was not secreted in some of the rooms, and to burn it down. I was obliged to keep the doors and shutters fastened; the boys frightened into silence, and the servants afraid to go on with their work. But a merciful God protected us in our utter helplessness. Although my husband had a pass given him to go in search of his hoisted, which had been stolen, he was arrested some works afterwards and detained three weeks in Washington; found two of his horses; had to pay to get them back, besides the expenses of a livery stable. There is no redress for all our property carried off, Monday February 8, 1862--About half-past 8 o'clock, during a heavy snow storm, there was a knock at the front door — I sent a servant to see who it was; she returned and said a gentleman wants to see Mr.--; I came out and asked him in, he was covered with snow; Mr.--by this time came up; and invited him to the library fire — I thought it was some one who had probably met their way, and, on hospitable thoughts intent, I placed a chair in a warm corner, and as he complained of his almost frozen feet, I asked him to take off his boots, and was in the act of offering some refreshments, when, to my utter amazement, he threw off the mask, rose up and said, ‘"Mr.--, I arrest you,"’ In one moment the house was surrounded by a large number of cavalry, and a Captain, accompanied by some six or seven of them, entered the house. The next thing was the thrice repeated search. I was requested to get up and show them the way to the cellar, accompanied by the captain and the officer, who first came, I opened my wardrobe, bureau drawers; had my bed thoroughly examined; the garret and other rooms underwent the same inspection, and finally my writing desk, and a large box half filled with old letters and papers.--This seemed to be a decided prize, ‘"They must all be taken to Washington."’ I replied, they were all my individual papers — many of them fifty years old. That they could not believe. Evidence of guilt was certainly there, and a sack holding two bushels was filled. What a desperate traitor I must be, with such a weight of evidence against me, carried to Washington by an armed company of thirty or more brave, Yankee soldiers! Rest assured they are too much occupied just now in searching and arresting my sex to think of an advance to meet our noble and chivalric Southern men. There is no one on the place but myself, two little boys, 7 and 9 years of age, and two small colored girls, Mr.--has never been war since he was arrested, in December, forced to walk five miles, through mud and water, keeping up with cavalry, and his life several times threatened with a bayonet pointed to his breast. He told the officers he was not in a state of health to bear the exposure, suffering from a severe cough. There was not a man but himself on the premises to provide the necessaries of life for a helpless family. ‘"Their orders were imperative; he must go,"’ I requested to have a few moments' private conversation, pledging my word as a lady that not a word of treason would I utter.--It was denied, and I was not permitted to go into my chamber unaccompanied by a soldier. I said to them, ‘ "I seek no disguise; I am a Southern woman, and my heart and sympathies are with the South. This may cause my arrest and imprisonment, but I wish the officers and soldiers of the Southern Confederacy to know that my prayers are daily offered to a God of mercy and justice for their prosperity and happiness. My faith teaches me to believe the Lord will be a defence for the oppressed — even a refuge in due time of trouble,"’ Monday, February 10th, 1862.--Mr. -- has been gone a week, and we have had lawless soldiers every day committing depredations. They have torn my carriage and that of my opposite neighbor (a lady who lives entirely alone and unprotected) to pieces, broken open the out-buildings, shot the sheep with young lambs, and all such manly and soldierly work. Can you wonder they are afraid to march such wretches against the brave, desperate soldiers of the Southern army? They have taked to Washington even the relics of my departed friends and children. A few days ago was the anniversary of the death of a little daughter. Her curious, with those of others, are in their possession; letters from my parents, friends, husband, children, all gone, even my clothes, taken by these brave defenders of the glorious Union! But let them go on; the day of retribution will come. They are a depraved, miserable set of cowards, and I must have been favored with specimens of the very dregs of the Northern population. It is unfortunate that the names of there gallant officers cannot be handed down to posterity in the history of the times.