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Crops — impressments — Military Affairs in the Valley — the severe winter — Court days.

[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Harrisonburg, Va., March 16, 1863.
From the severity of the past winter we are led to conclude that the season for all crops will be a very favorable one. It is true, not much wheat was put in the ground lest fall, owing to the long continued dry weather; but what there was planted will undoubtedly produce largely, giving nearly as much as usual. But what we will lack in wheat will be more than made up in the larger quantity of corn. The farmers are preparing, in the Valley generally I believe, for planting as much corn as possibly can be attended to. Some of our oldest citizens and most experienced farmers say that they have never known it to fail that good crops would follow a snowy winter. If there is any virtue in snow then we have been greatly blessed, for we have had twenty one so far and it may be we shall have more, as we have not passed the equinox. --It snows are of great advantage, our crops will be surely superabundant. I hope every farmer in the whole Confederacy may be impressed with the importance of pointing every grain of corn and every inch of ground they possibly early for, it ever there was a time when it was necessary to have corn, it will be at our next harvesting season. It is quite as necessary as to have powder or other munition of war, and those who engage in agriculture this year will be doing as much service to the country as if they were under arms. The scarcity of hands, however, will be a great draw back, and it may be that a suspension of the Conscription law until after the harvest, in the Valley, would not be impolite. However, that is a matter for the consideration of those in authority.

The subject of impressments by military officers is attracting much attention, and there is no doubt that, as heretofore carried out, it has operated much to the injury of the Government, and has borne harshly upon portions of the people. If the Congress will declare there shall be no more impressments, and agree to enter the market as a purchaser, upon an equal footing with private individuals, they will soon be enabled to get all they need at less rates than they are compelled to pay even by impressments. Entering into a fair competition, they will have all the advantages of the market; and the market will be better supplied, because people will no longer be deterred from putting their produce into market for fear of Government impressment agents. Congress has recently been tinkering at legislation on the subject; but the best and shortest way to settle the whole matter is to let the people alone — stop impressments — and thus reverting back to first principles (the law of supply and demand) they will arrive at proper conclusions, and supply themselves by entering the market and purchasing what they need or want. This is the only true remedy.

But it seems there is not much use in recommending anything plausible, for the present Congress are certainly not equal to the emergencies of the country. We will, no doubt, see some children act in the shape of protection for the Government against the people. But there must be something done quickly upon this sour question of impressment or the Congress will aware soon to the reality that there is starvation and subjugation, with plenty in the land. There is plenty of grain and wheat in Virginia, but impressment officers cannot get it, and the only way to get at it is to throw upon the market to Government and individuals alike, and it will come forth in surprising quantities. Let it be tried, at least.

There is nothing of interest in the department of the Valley, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Jones. --A small skirmish now and then disturbs the monotony and quiet of Gen. Jones's camp Gen. Jones and Gen. Milroy seem to hold the same card, and consequently the game is blocked. Milroy wants Jones to come to Winchester, and vise versa. The atrocities perpetrated by Milroy are bearing hard upon the spirits of the good and loyal people of Winchester and of the surrounding counties.--It would be a very happy thing if the authorities would send "Stonewall" to the deliverance of these people. There is a negro regiment at Harper's Ferry, and a negro Captain, with his company, was in Charlestown, Jefferson county, a few days ago, searching the houses of white people, probably hunting "secesh" flag, guns, etc. This is the crowning act of infamy of the Lincoln Administration.

The past winter has been a very severe one, and one which I presume will long he remembered for its many snows and severity, and the suffering which has necessarily ensued. Nothing short of an implicit faith in the great King of the Universe could have kept up the spirit of the people of the Confederacy, coupled with the knowledge of the justice and righteousness of our cause during this severe season.

To-day the County Court met. Nothing of special interest transpired in the Court. Sales of personal property, as usual, were spirited, and prices were very high for everything sold. Can it be that there is a culminating point?


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