The last murder by Hunter.The murder of David S. Creigh, of Greenbrier county, Virginia, by the order of Major-General Hunter, United States Army, has been noticed.--The Central Presbyterian gives us the particulars of this cold-blooded deed. Mr. Creigh was a very prominent citizen of Greenbrier county, and an elder in the Presbyterian church. While Crook's command was near Lewisburg last year, Mr. Creigh, upon returning home one day from the field, found a Federal soldier there insulting the ladies of the family and breaking open the trunks, drawers, &c., in the house. Upon remonstrating with him, the Yankee insolently told him to bring him the keys to the trunks, and then fired upon him. After a short struggle, Mr. Creigh killed him with an axe.--As a Federal army was in the neighborhood, the deed was not made public, but an Irishman working on the farm betrayed it, and when the Federal army under Averill returned to Greenbrier in June, a negro gave them information of the deed. The Presbyterian gives the further history of the affair: ‘ Search was made and the remains found. Mr. Creigh made a candid statement of the whole occurrence to the military authorities, declaring that he considered himself justified in what he had done, and that he would do the same thing to any of them, or to any soldier, Federal or Confederate, under the same circumstances. After his arrest they took his wife and two daughters, about ten o'clock at night.--very dark — compelled them to ride behind their guard on horseback four miles to headquarters. They did not, however, ask them a question, nor were they permitted even to see Mr. Creigh. He requested that his excellent friend and neighbor, Mr. John W. Dunn, should appear as a witness.--They sent for him, but would not permit him to answer a single question. ’ They departed from the neighborhood of Lewisburg the next day, leaving Mrs. Creigh and her two daughters to go on foot to that place, four miles distant. Mr. Creigh they marched on foot to Staunton, a distance of one hundred miles, and where the forces under Averill were joined by the army under Hunter. He wrote a short letter to his wife, in which he speaks of his entire ignorance of his destination, supposing, however, that it was probably Staunton. He exhorts her to bear up under the trial, hoping to meet his family soon again on earth — at all events, in a better world. This is about all the information his friends have concerning him till the time of his end. The few facts known concerning his murder we now proceed to relate: The army of General Hunter left Staunton on Friday, June the 10th, proceeding up the Valley towards Lexington by various roads. On Sunday evening, the 12th, General Averill encamped on Hay's creek, about two miles below Brownsburg.--The spot selected was the home of our childhood — the farm owned by our father, and ever since his death by his son-in-law and successor as pastor of New Providence church, the Reverend James Morrison. The tent of General Averill was pitched in his yard. About dark a rather elderly- looking person knocked at the door, announcing himself as the Reverend Mr. Osborn, from Uniontown, Pennsylvania, a chaplain of the Federal army. He requested to see Mr. Morrison, stating that they had with the army a citizen of Greenbrier county, whose name was Creigh; that he was under sentence of death, and was about to be executed. (His doom had just been announced to him.) He also said Mr. Creigh had mentioned that he was well acquainted with Mr. Morrison; had often heard him preach, and that, in the immediate prospect of death, he had sent to ask an interest in his prayers. He stated further, in answer to enquiries on that point, that no communication with the prisoner would be permitted. He was kept under strict guard in a negro cabin close by, and though repeated efforts were made that night to visit him, they were in vain. It was at this awful hour, and immediately after knowing his fate, that Mr. Creigh wrote his beloved wife the following letter, from which we omit only a few matters relating to his private affairs:
"June 10, 1864.
The next morning, a little after sunrise, he was brought out under guard, put into a wagon, and conveyed up a little vale to a spot about a quarter of a mile north of the house, and in full view of it.--There, upon a tree, close by a fountain known as the "big spring, " was this most infamous deed of demons in the shape of men perpetrated and their malice gratified. About 9 o'clock that day, as the army began to move, the chaplain again knocked at the door to enquire whether the family were aware of the solemn event which had taken place. He expressed the strong impressions he had received of Mr. Creigh being a good man, and bore testimony to the perfect composure and Christian spirit with which he met his death. (Some of the private soldiers took occasion to declare their opinion that the execution was no better than murder; that in killing the soldier he had done no more than he was bound to do.) He stated also that it was his request, that his remains might be left so that his friends could obtain them, and as soon as the army departed the body left hanging on the tree might be taken down. This was accordingly done. The wife of the venerable minister (he being in very feeble health) did not hesitate, with such assistance as could be commanded, to attend at once to this mournful office. The body was taken down, wrapped in a blanket and put into a grave, dug on the spot, until better arrangements could be made. In the disturbed condition of the community — nearly all the male portion being absent — it was not until Thursday that a coffin could be procured. By that time, one of the sons of Mr. Creigh, in General Breckinridge's army, having heard of the fate of his father, had come over and was present when the remains of this good man were suitably laid in the grave-yard of New Providence church. The Presbyterian, in an editorial, adds: ‘ When Hunter's army in their flight from avenging justice were passing like vast packs of famished wolves through Greenbrier county, this chaplain called upon Dr. McElhenny, the interview; as we understand, having reference to the tragical fate of his beloved friend and elder. Upon being invited at its close to partake of dinner (a comfort presumed to have been greatly needed) he declined the hospitality, saying that after what had taken place he could not eat in a Southern man's house, and that Providence had seemed to be against them even since." ’