An act of Villainy.--A correspondent of the Boston Traveller
, writing from Sharpsburgh
an account of General Kilpatrick
's charge on the rebel rear-guard, near Downsville
, relates the occurrence of a dastardly act as follows:
got within half a mile of the enemy's rear-guard, near Downsville, Md.
, when our spies discovered that lines of rifle-pits were ready to contest their advance.
These works were erected on the brow of quite a large hill, and General Kilpatrick
at once resolved to feel the strength of his foe. Two companies of the Sixth Michigan cavalry, B and F, were ordered to charge up the hill to the earthworks, which was done in fine style.
As our men dashed in sight, the rebels were seen to throw down their arms and hoist a flag of truce.
Supposing, of course, the enemy had surrendered, they continued on, and when within fifty or sixty feet the entire rebel force, which must have numbered from seven hundred to one thousand men, seized their rifles and fired upon our men, taking them completely by surprise.
Finding the force so much larger than they anticipated, our men gave them a volley and fell back to the main body of cavalry.
The rebels, after completely stripping the victims of their infamous treachery of shoes and stockings, fled to a dense piece of woods three miles beyond, carrying off their dead and wounded.
I visited the scene of their hellish plot in order to obtain a list of the casualties, and a more revolting spectacle never presented itself.
In all directions, as far as the eye could reach on the top of the hill, lay the lifeless remains of our brave defenders, the warm blood oozing from their mortal wounds in streams that formed in pools amid the grass, while at their side, bleeding, lay their faithful chargers, stiff in death, the sharers of their fate.
A knot of soldiers gathered around the bodies of the slain, swearing eternal revenge upon the dastardly assassins who so cowardly shot their heroic comrades, and then bayoneted them.
This is a horrible fact, which I witnessed personally.
After killing our men, they pierced their bodies with bayonets and swords, robbed the dead of their finger-rings, boots, stockings, hats, and every article of value.