previous next

A Spirited letter from a Virginia lady to a Lincoln Hireling.

Camp Near Lewisburg, Regi'tal Headq'rs 16th Tenn. Vola., November 19, 1861.
Editors Dispatch: I here with send you a precise copy of a private letter taken from the person of one of the company of prisoners taken by Col. Savage, on the 11th September, in one of the valleys near Cheat Mountain. The letter should have appeared before the public at an earlier date, but had been misplaced and forgotten. The gentleman from whom it was taken declares himself a Kentuckian, was Sergeant in the company, and, were we to judge from the import of the letter, had been on very intimate terms with the young lady. The letter is getting a little ancient now; but its spirit shows the young lady to be one of the "True Blues," although she resides in Wheeling:

Wheeling, Va., August 14, 1861.
Mr. W. B. McLane.--Sir:
By the reception of your letter I perceive that you are in the so-called Union army, in Western Virginia, where I trust you will receive that which every invader of Virginia's soil deserves. I would have you remember that I am a Virginian; and, if I were otherwise, my sense of right., truth, and justice, teaches me ever to recoil from one who has so far forgotten his manhood; so far forgotten that he was made after the image of his God, that he engage in the most horrible outrages — plundering, aye, murdering; for such every sensible person must regard the death of Gen. Garnett, whom you speak of. Cowards that you are, you know that it was not done in an honorable way, even had it been in a just cause; and so you make a great ado about murdering the brave Garnett, whose life was worth your whole army of hirelings And the prisoners you speak of: there are a few pent up here in Camp Carlyle. I presume they are like those captured by your company of outlaws.--They are not soldiers, but private citizens taken from their homes, families — yes, and one, an old gray-headed man, was taken from the cornfield where he was at work, and why? Oh! because he was a Secessionist. No, it was because he dared be a man and assert his rights; because, forsooth, "he did not toss high in the air his cap" and shout for the Union.-- the Union of white and black. As to dressing in the clothes of the Confederates to deceive them that would only be in conformity with your former acts, which have been so noble, so brane History does not furnish a parallel. No doubt, by such disguise you may be enabled to shoot a few more in the back, whom you have not the manhood to face. No, I presume I would not recognize you in the dress; for, I doubt not that I should gaze and wonder what manner of beast could have the presumption to don the attire of a gentleman.--From the contents and style of your letter, I presume you were not aware of my sentiments. This will enlighten you on that point; also, that all intercourse between us must cease from this time.

Yours, &c., P.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Wheeling, W. Va. (West Virginia, United States) (1)
West Virginia (West Virginia, United States) (1)
Cheat Mountain (West Virginia, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Savage (1)
W. B. McLane (1)
Garnett (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November, 9 AD (1)
November 19th, 1861 AD (1)
August 14th, 1861 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: