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t stir out till victory had saluted our banners. The Yankees who had hid themselves along the bank of the river were 10th to come forth, but after much persuasion, they voluntarily came forward in a body, threw down their arms, and marched to town very good-humoredly, and, after being refreshed, were sent towards Manassas that same night. The quantities of arms we found along the banks surprised me — all being of English manufacture, having on the plates, Hall, London ; Bond, London; London Tower, etc. The stream at the crossing appeared to be literally choked with broken boats, dead bodies, and arms — not less than one hundred dead being piled up under the Bluffs in dozens, and scores in other places, and the sand all gory. The woods around the Bluffs were all cut down or splintered by shot, the trunks of the larger trees looking as if millions of rats had been gnawing them. The number of arms captured was near two thousand, four howitzers, much clothing, a few stores and ammu
hing, we demonstrated our possession of it by getting once more into Virginia. Although several days after the battle, we found the shore thronged with men and boys gathering relics or fishing them from the water. During the retreat the Yankees stopped upon the bank of the river and stripped off their clothing. Every man threw his gun away; some their coats and blankets. By wading into the stream excellent muskets could be found in great numbers. I saw several fine "Belgian" and "London Tower" guns fished up from the bottom. One man got a fine pair of shoes and a splendid oil-cloth. It is difficult to estimate the amount of property captured in this affair. Colonel Featherstone's account is correct as far as the arms goes, but there were other things which the soldiers got, and which were not turned over to the Adjutant General. The object of this expedition is very clear to my mind, and I am inclined to believe that the "Baltimore and Ohio" Railroad lay at the bottom
The Daily Dispatch: November 12, 1861., [Electronic resource], The battle at Leesburg--interesting description — an affecting Incident, &c. (search)
terday found a dozen pair or more of shirts and drawers lying in a field upon the island. Many of the prisoners, as well as those who escaped, threw their guns into the river, and probably three or four hundred have been since rescued from their watery bed. I saw several drawn out with poles forked at the end, while large numbers of overcoats, blankets, and accoutrements have been added to our previous stock. In fact, almost every man in the brigade is now armed with handsome Belgian or London Tower gun and covered with a Yankee overcoat. The number of guns captured is not yet known as they are indiscriminately scattered among the troops, but it is supposed that we have twelve or fifteen hundred. The capture of prisoners. The capture of prisoners continued until nearly two o'clock on Tuesday morning; is one instance a company of forty men, consisting of volunteers, among whom were Captains, Lieutenants, and other officers, taking two hundred and fifty of the Federals in one
more favorable to peace. Prentiss.--That can hardly be, sir. If your army had pushed on after the battle of Manassas, it might have taken Washington, and overrun the North, and brought us to peace. We had an insufficient supply of arms then, and were not prepared. The muskets purchased in Belgium by Fremont were of but little account; you could turn your thumb in the muzzle, the bore was so large. We also procured from England the old arms that have been stored away as useless in London Tower ever since the war with Napoleon in 1816. They are of no value whatever. It is only within the last sixty days that we have become thoroughly and efficiently armed. Our supply is now ample, and we cannot be overcome. Your Government has made two mistakes--first, in not availing itself of the fruits of the battle of Manassas; and secondly, in waiting until we had become well armed and organized. We have now 250,000 men in camps of instruction, who will be brought upon the field as the