Our army correspondence.
the route to Winchester
--the battle-field — the soldiers on the way — Female heroism — Affairs in Maryland
--a charge on Jackson
's staff — the living in Maryland
, &c., &c.
Winchester, Sept. 15th, 1862.
If I knew what news you are in possession of — If I only had four file up to date — I would know better how and what to write.
As it is. I must write in the dark, and I strongly suspect that my meagre facts will contract strikingly with the big rumors that abound in Richmond
Allow me to make of my trip hither, and to give you such either transpired or were ascertained as I confederate feeling half anxious.
half promise, as I started from Richmond
to over lake our army, which Invariably crossed into Maryland
a country's separated from us, and reached only with labor and . A Gordonsville I found the pilgrimage field be made with ample company, for there were ragged privates and bedecked officers in abundance ready to start for the same destination.
While we were waiting for the Quartermaster
, who had been in the direction of the army, reached the depot on his return, and, in his plain blue homespun took a seat, almost unnoticed in the humble shed.
Though he was soon recognized respectfully saluted by some, and regarded with interest by all, nothing in his manner, that of the crowd, indicated the presence of a high official.
I suppose ‘"Old Abe" ’ would have been measuring,
kissing women, and telling doubtful anecdotes.
I do not stop to speak of the other qualities of our Southern President
, but I am glad he is a gentleman.
After tedious waiting.
I was one of a crowd standing or sitting on blocks of wood in the close, dirty box cars, bound for Rapidan Station, from which the weary march was to be made.
How strange the contrast to our former flying trips — through to Baltimore
by 4 o'clock P. M.
From the depot my companion and took our course towards Culpeper Court House.
pursuing the route of our army when it attacked Pope
at Cedar Run
Nearing the battle field.
I found the country awfully laid waste.
This was done by the enemy, after we fell back, to avenge themselves for the whipping they got. What I saw of Yankee farms
on the battle field, and what I heard from the people, confirmed my opinion, expressed in my tter at the time, as to their great loss.
Just before reaching the Court-House
we were cautioned about proceeding beyond, as Yankee cavalry were deserted to be running over the country, picking up soldiers and citizens.
This created quite a sensation with a squad near us, but we soon determined this to be one of the rumors which darkens the very air now a days, and pushed on without a care.
A long here we heard sundry items about the Yankees
, and their doings.
is described as being short and thick set, with thick hair and beard and very profane.
A citizen asked him for protection against some great outrage.
‘"No sir," ’ replied the General
, at the top of his voice.
‘"Go to the mountains and hide, I did not come here to protest d — d rebels."’ The Yankees
stole nearly a thousand dollars from a lady whose husband is an invalid, threatening her and her daughter with out rage if she did not give it up. When she complained to the General
in command, he coolly dismissed her saying.
This is war, madam.
You all have just begun to see it.
It was a problem where we could spend the night, as everywhere we were assured there was no grain in the country, and yet our horses must be fed. In this predicament, we were met by the amiable steward of the poor house
, who, seeing we had no visit means of support,
took us with him. He had saved a little corn for his establishment, and kindly gave us some.
It was one of my pleasures, as I slept in this humble place, to know that it was the birth-place of one of Virginia
's most gifted and learned sons.
It is said that, on one occasion some idle students on the University
lawn, were discoursing magniloquently as to their birth-places, when one turned suddenly to him and said: ‘"And where were you born?"’ ‘"I? At the poor house,"’ was his quick reply, scarcely looking up from the volume over which he was posing; and his auditors rebuked felt that it was better to ennoble a place, than to have a place one's chief honor.
And now, resuming our journey, we turned from our projected route via Warrenton
, being directed to proceed to Winchester
On we go through Culpeper
, then through Rappahannock
-- This latter county has the rather unenviable reputation of having furnished an unusually large number of wealthy, prominent citizens to take the Yankee
I see that a writer in Tuesday's Whig
apologized for them.
They certainly gave aid and comfort to the enemy.
They were perfectly loyal to the South
, were they?
Ah! had we many such loyal citizens, our enemy would be well pleased, our cause desperate.
I am not for doing anything to them, but I protect against their being put on the footing of those who stood by their opinions, and by their suffering, oppressed country.
On we go. The tedium of the journey is much relieved by passing so many soldiers en route
for the army.
Here is a lone fellow, there a couple, there squads of five or twenty.
You see them behind and before, far as the eye can reach.
Some are marching on strong and cheerful, others jaded in body barefoot, foot-sore, and dispirited.
Here are some sitting on a big rock, eating their crackers and raw middling; yonder are a dozen sleeping as only tired soldiers can sleep.
We can't pass a farm house that is not filled with them, getting reaches, pickle, buttermilk — anything there is to eat. Ah!
there is a happy party that has chartered a wagon to take them and their traps to Winchester
, and they are as merry as though all their earthly troubles were over.
Now we overtake a crowd not so fortunate.
They are wading the Shenandoah
A few pull off shoes, and roll up pantaloons, as they did in play when they were boys and not dreaming of war or sorrow; but the majority go right through with the indifference either of merriment or of sadness.
How strange that the most opposite causes make us alike oblivious of minor trials?
All along the road, too, are broken-down and sick men, some in comfortable houses, but more in barns, stables, and forsaken dwellings.
Now is the time for the good Samaritan
to travel this road, and he will find his pennies, his beast, his on his kind words, and his intercessions, all useful.
We heard en route
numerous and most startling rumors as to the progress and operations of our army, as, for instance, that Jackson
was in Baltimore
, that the Secessionists of that city had taken it without a struggle; that Washington
had been evacuated, and that our victorious army was pressing on towards Philadelphia
Had we believed half we heard, we must have renounced the idea of overtaking the army short of Boston
It was really amusing to notice how in the most remote and out of the way region we passed through, the most liberal rumors prevailed.
At Front Royal
they tell of their late Yankee Provost Marshal
, who, when he first arrived, was very impolite, and subsequently gave as his apology that he was utterly taken aback by finding so cool a reception.
He had expected to be welcomed, and, lot everybody was sorry to see him, and looked daggers at him Ill used officer Unreasonable
people, not to be glad to see one coming on so benign a mission!
Similar to him were those Yankees who, at the same place, said in all seriousness that it was hard
burnt the bridges, and made them rebuild them!
Please to put on record the heroism of Miss Sue Kaufman
, of Luray
, who, when her father was in the enemy's hands, with only a brother of 12 years, took all the negroes and horses, and escaped to a place of safety, spending two nights in the mountains and passing quite near the Yankee
You have probably, are this, corrected your statement as to the burning of the Taylor hotel
in this place.
The fire was near the depot and adjoining the scene of the fire when the enemy evacuated the place last May.
The town is crowded with soldiers who are being organized into regiments, preparatory to being sent to their respective commands.--Everything is as quite as in time of profound peace.
No liquor can be find, and the men seem too tired to be other than orderly.
Entering the town, I noticed the very extensive fortifications which the enemy erected during their last occupation.
They command all the important roads, and may be useful to us.
The citizens say the enemy behaved, if possible, much worse during their last stay than in the first, and relate many instances of their crucify.
One affected me. A young lady, who is a cripple
and an orphan, was taken by a party of soldiers, without sort, out to the fortifications, to answer to some charge, and was hurried along at the point of the bayonet.
Appearing before the General
, she asked what was the charge. "You were overheard to say thousand ‘"Hush,"’ cried she, stamping her foot in ! "Use not such language before me. Your Northern ladies may use such words.
we do not, and will not even hear them."--She was then dismissed.
is in Maryland
He has issued a model proclamation, promising no interference in the expression of opinion, but simple protection.
Our army has behaved admirably, producing a fine impression on those even who had been opposed to our entering the State
, on reaching Maryland
, was presented by a citizen with a splendid charger, which proved too unmanageable for him, who is not used to a gay animal, and threw him, fortunately without inflicting serious injury.--A few days since, Gen.
J. recrossed the river, driving the enemy out of Martinsburg
He now has surrounded Harper's Ferry
, which is still held by the enemy.
When that place is taken, as a base for further operations, our whole army will doubtless move to the interior of Maryland
. Saturday night, Ex-Gov. Lowe
made a thrilling speech here.
He said Maryland
, long disappointed, had been perfectly taken by surprise on the entrance of our army and that when it was seen to be no mere raid, 25,000 men would flock to our standard, and a provisional government would be formed.
Firing was heard in the direction of Harper's Ferry