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a in Excelsis. Several days ago General Bragg reported a victory at Murfreesboroa, Tennessee. There was certainly a victory on the first day, as 4,000 prisoners were secured, with thirty-one pieces of cannon, and sent to Chattanooga. On the third day the enemy were reinforced, and our army was obliged to fall back. A friend remarked that the Bragg victories never seem to do us much good. The truth is, the Western Yankees fight much better than the Eastern, and outnumber us fearfully. Tnd expressed an anxiety to get well, that they may have another chance at them fellows. The Yankees are said to have landed at West Point, and are thence sending out raiding parties over the country. Colonel Davis, who led the party here on the third, has been severely wounded by a scouting party, sent out by General Wise towards Tunstall's Station. It is said he has lost his leg. So may it be! Monday, may 18th, 1863. This morning we had the gratification of a short visit from General
convenient to live in Richmond than in Ashland, so that we have rented the little cottage to another. One room answers the purpose of dining-room and sleeping-room, by putting a large screen around the bed; the girls have a room, and we use the parlour of the family for entertaining our guests. For this we pay $60 per month and half of the gas bill. But this has been a sad, sad month to me, and I find it very difficult to bring my mind to attend to the ordinary affairs of life. On the 11th of this month, our nephew, Captain William B. Newton, was killed while leading a cavalry charge in Culpeper County. We have the consolation of believing that his redeemed spirit has passed into heaven; but to how many has the earth been left desolate! His young wife and three lovely children; his father, mother, sisters, brothers, uncles and aunts, have seen the pride of their hearts pass away. His country mourns him as a great public loss. The bar, the legislative hall, and the camp prou
ev. Dr. Joseph Wilmer with us for some days. He is going to Europe, and came down with a party, the Englishmen included, to cross the river. The Doctor is too High Church for my views, but exceedingly agreeable, and an elegant gentleman. They crossed safely last night, and are now en route for New York, where they hope to take the steamer on Wednesday next. She does not finish her letter until the 17th, and gives an account of a pillaging raid through her neighbourhood. She writes on the 14th: There had been rumours of Yankees for some days, and this morning they came in good earnest. They took our carriage herses, and two others, in spite of our remonstrances; demanded the key of the meat-house, and took as many of our sugar-cured hams as they wanted; to-night they broke open our barn, and fed their horses, and are even now prowling around the servants' houses in search of eggs, poultry, etc. They have taken many prisoners, and all the horses they could find in the neighbourhoo
camp-fires, and what we suppose to be a picket-fire, between this and the Rectory. My daughters, children and myself are here alone; not a man in the house. Our trust is in God. We pray not only that we may be delivered from our enemies, but from the fear of them. It requires much firmness to face the creatures, and to talk with them. The Eighth New York is the regiment with which we are cursed. The officers are polite enough, but are determined to steal every thing they fancy. On the 15th she says: This morning our enemies took their departure, promising to return in a few days. They visited our stable again, and took our little mare Virginia. The servants behaved remarkably well, though they were told again and again that they were free. Again, on the 17th, she writes: I saw many of the neighbours yesterday, and compared losses. We are all pretty severely pillaged. The infantry regiment from Heathsville took their departure on Sunday morning, in the Alice Price, stopped
ires much firmness to face the creatures, and to talk with them. The Eighth New York is the regiment with which we are cursed. The officers are polite enough, but are determined to steal every thing they fancy. On the 15th she says: This morning our enemies took their departure, promising to return in a few days. They visited our stable again, and took our little mare Virginia. The servants behaved remarkably well, though they were told again and again that they were free. Again, on the 17th, she writes: I saw many of the neighbours yesterday, and compared losses. We are all pretty severely pillaged. The infantry regiment from Heathsville took their departure on Sunday morning, in the Alice Price, stopped at Bushfield, and about twelve took breakfast there. Mr. B. says the vessel was loaded with plunder, and many negroes. They took off all the negroes from the Mantua estate; broke up the beautiful furniture at Summerfield, and committed depredations everywhere. A company of
ir sons, and are searching the hospitals for them. They were not in our hospital, and we could give them no information, so they went on to others. There is more unhappiness abroad among our people than I have ever seen before. Sometimes I wish I could sleep until it is over — a selfish wish enough; but it is hard to witness so much sorrow which you cannot alleviate. July 18, 1863. This day two years ago the battle of Bull Run was fought, a kind of prelude to that of Manassas, on the 21st. Since that time what scenes have been enacted! Battles have been fought by scores, and lives, precious lives, have been sacrificed by thousands, and that, too, of the very flower of our country. Again I have heard of the death of one of our dear E. H. S. boys-William H. Robb, of Westmoreland. He was with us for four years, and was very, very dear to us all. He died of wounds received in a cavalry fight at Brandy Station. We thought he had recovered, but this evening brought the fatal ti
oking out for lodgings, and find it very difficult to get them. This change of home, habits, and association is very trying to old persons; the variety seems rather pleasant to the young. September 16, 1863. This house is to be sold on the 29th, so we must all find resting-places before that time. But where? Room-rent in Richmond is enormously high. We may get one very small cottage here for forty dollars per month, but it has the reputation of being unhealthy. Our connection, Mr. P.are visiting the country, expecting us to get an impossible home, and I do dislike to disappoint them. Oh, that we could be perfectly satisfied, knowing that we are in the Lord's hands! Cedar Hill, October 4, 1863. We came to Ashland on the 29th, to attend the sale of the house in which we lived last year. We got a few pieces of furniture, and determined to rent the little cottage. We spent that night at Mrs. T's, and came here next morning, and are now collecting hops, brooms, and the
January 1st (search for this): chapter 33
gg victories never seem to do us much good. The truth is, the Western Yankees fight much better than the Eastern, and outnumber us fearfully. They claim the victory, but acknowledge the loss of 30.000 men. It must have been a most severe conflict. At Vicksburg they have made another attack, and been repulsed; and yet another misfortune for them was the sinking of their brag gun-boat Monitor. It went down off Cape Hatteras. In Philadelphia the negroes and Abolitionists celebrated the 1st of January with mad demonstrations of delight, as the day on which Lincoln's proclamation to abolish slavery would take effect. In Norfolk the negroes were deluded by the Abolitionists into great excitement. Speeches were made, encouraging them to take up arms against their masters! Hale has offered a resolution in the Northern Congress to raise two hundred regiments of negroes! The valiant knight, I hope, will be generalissimo of the corps. He is worthy of the position! January 16th, 1863.
February 22nd (search for this): chapter 33
are gone, we breathe more freely, but for how long a time? We feel very anxious about our friends between the Rappahannock and Potomac, both rivers filled with belligerent vessels; but they have not yet suffered at all, when compared with the lower Valley, the Piedmont country, poor old Fairfax, the country around Richmond, the Peninsula; and, indeed, wherever the Yankee army has been, it has left desolation behind it, and there is utter terror and dismay during its presence. Ashland, February 22d A very deep snow this morning. The cars are moving slowly on the road, with two engines attached to each train. Our gentlemen could not go to Richmond to-day. Washington's birthday is forgotten, or only remembered with a sigh by his own Virginia. Had he been gifted with prophetic vision, in addition to his great powers, we would still remain a British colony ; or, at least, he would never have fought and suffered for seven long years to have placed his native South in a situation f
hly treated by the Yankees; and so it will be as long as Millroy is allowed to be the scourge of the Valley. Sunday night. Very sweet services in our little church to-day. The subject of the sermon was, Woe to them who are at ease in Zion. Mr.--found a note on the pulpit from a Georgia soldier, asking the prayers of the congregation for himself and his family at home. The extemporaneous prayer after the sermon, offered for him, was most earnestly and tearfully joined in by all. April 1st. All quiet on the Rappahannock to-night, and we are almost as still as in days gone by. The girls got up a little merriment this morning by their April fools. The remainder of the day passed in our usual way. April 2d, 1863. We were shocked when the gentlemen returned, to hear of the riot which occurred in Richmond today. A mob, principally of women, appeared in the streets, attacking the stores. Their object seemed to be to get any thing they could; dry-goods, shoes, brooms, m
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