from the border — Lincoln
's Minions and their out-rages--Col. Ashby
's Cavalry — removal of Railway material, &c., &c.
Shepherdstown, Va., Sept. 7th, 1861.
Since my last letter nothing of vast public importance has transpired hereabouts, and I merely send these ‘"few lines"’ because ‘"I've nothing else to do."’
marauders, whose out-rages have been chronicled, have left, and their station is filled by a worse band — if that were possible.
We have now to contend with a regiment of the off-scouring of creation — men of the lowest grade of character, whose only object in view is rapine and plunder — a free-booting regiment of Baltimore
‘"Plug-Uglies."’ This bandit now occupies and possesses the Northern
bank of the Potomac
, and keeps strict vigilance over the river at this point.
The blockade here is complete, effectual and strictly enforced!
All communication with the United States
is now entirely cut off. If it were possible, the ‘"birds of the air and the fishes of the river"’ would not be allowed to cross the line.
It was not long after the arrival of this Baltimore
crew before they ‘"showed their hand,"’ and the spirit and intention with which they would wage the war if permitted.
Shortly after the burning of Mr. Boteler
's mills, some citizens visited the place to view the ruins of what was once a fine property, and whilst there they were startled by an unexpected volley of musketry discharged at them by the rowdies.
Fortunately, ‘"nobody hurt."’ This was the first act in the drama.
The next act was to cross over about five miles below town, at Mr. Samuel Knott
's place, and burn two of his boats, which was a daring feat, easily accomplished.
Not long after the achievement of such a great victory, which only served to stimulate them and embolden them to dirtier tricks, some of them came across at the same spot to pillage; but previous information was given to Captain John Henderson
, of the ‘"Home Guard Troop,"’ who secreted themselves to watch the adventurers.
When they had succeeded in gaining the Virginia
side, and were plundering away to their infinite satisfaction, Henderson
's men pounced upon them and captured two of them.
The rest, six in number, ‘"took water,"’ and made good their escape.
It affords me pleasure to state that we need no longer fear the commission of depredations along the Jefferson county
We now look for, and reasonably expect, a change in the programme.
In addition to Capt. Henderson
's troop, Lieut.-Col. Ashby
, with a considerable number of cavalry, are now encamped a short distance from town, and is on the alert all the time.
The river is now narrowly scrutinized and guarded from Harper's Ferry
up to opposite Williams-port, and how much farther, ‘"deponent knoweth not."’
The work of removing the railroad iron
, locomotives, &c., from Martinsburg
goes bravely on. With 24 horses hitched to it, a locomotive is hauled over the turnpike with considerable ease.
The locomotives appear out of Kelter and much injured by being burned, yet it is understood that from $300 to $500 will put them in complete running order.
If so, Virginia
will be no loser in the operation.
The condition of our valiant soldiers, especially those from far-off States, who are as per consequence deprived of home comforts and the many little acts of kindness from home friends, is now engrossing the attention of our generous citizens, and more especially that portion of creation denominated the fairest and best.
Last Sunday, in the different places of public worship, this subject was presented to their view for consideration by the respective pastors.
The condition of those soldiers from a distance — the hardships endured and privations gone through with, suffering, as it were, to maintain the common cause of all, was plainly spoken of, and congregations invoked to assist the cause by contributing to the wants and comfort of the soldiers.
They were appealed to especially to help the sick — these who had not the comforts of a hospital — to alleviate their distresses and soften their sorrows.
All of which is to be done in a practical and beneficial way, such as doubting bed-clothes, blankets, socks, drawers, flannel shirts, etc.
Well, the young ladies of this place, so noted for their beauty, refinement and intelligence, as well as for their goodness of heart and kind treatment to soldiers, are going to be ‘"ministering angels"’ in fact, and have already commenced the good work becoming sisters of philanthropy.
The spinning-wheel is to supplant the piano, and the dainty fin- gers that can fly so gracefully over the ivory keys will now play the whirling, wheel.-- Stocking-yarn is in demand, and those who cannot spin can knit.
It is said that ‘"Lillies do not spin, neither do they weave,"’ yet our lovely ‘"Lilies of the valley,"’ while they do not ‘"weave,"’ both spin and knit.
And you may rest assured that when the ladies of Shepherdstown
undertake to perform a task, they intend and will ‘"put it through."’
The irregularity of the mail from Richmond
to this place — can it be accounted for ? The irregularity of the mails is so oft repeated as to be a regular
Instance the Dispatch,
which is quite popular, with our people, comes to hand singularly irregular.
A word to the wise is sufficient.