The battle at Leesburg--interesting description — an affecting Incident, &c.
The Charleston Courier
, on Tuesday, the 5th instant, has another letter from its special army correspondent, (‘"Personne
,"’) dated Leesburg
, October 29, which far surpasses all others from the pen of that gentleman, in vivid description and intense, soul-thrilling language.
Below will be found some extracts, which are richly worth the room they occupy in our columns:
Evidences of destruction around the battle field.
In passing over the ground, the first thing which attracts attention is the shattered condition of the trees and bushes.
Limbs hang by a mere shred; in many instances trunks are perforated with a dozen balls; the bark has been tern off by glancing bullets, and occasionally you see great blots of blood and brain splashed around, where some unfortunate fellow has taken shelter to secure a shot.
In one hawthorn bush no taller than a man, and not more than three feet in diameter, none of whose limbs were larger than your thumb, I counted the marks of forty-six bullets.
In a double sapling not as large as man's body, behind which a Yankee had concealed himself just on the edge of the woods, I counted between the first limb and the ground thirteen bullets; while under large oak tree, whose foliage almost touches the earth, a complete carpet is formed of leaves and limbs which have been shot away.
Gen. Baker's horse — the burning Trenches, &c.
A short distance, perhaps two rods from the edge of the cliff which runs down the river lies the horse of Gen. Baker
, in a gulley; a fine bay animal, shot through the body in several places.
The same ball that killed the one is said to have also entered the other.--Further down the brow of the declivity are four more horses stiff in death, which were used to draw the howitzers and rifled cannot to their positions in the field.
Another object eloquent with the horrors of war, is the long broad trench in one of the galleys which contains the Yankee
Here lie the bodies of husbands, son and brother, all mixed is inextricable confusion, no stone to mark their resting place, no word of record to tell the living age or name.
Bloody, disfigured, disgusting corpses, they have been rolled in, and covered from the sight with the earth their steps have polluted and their arms would have soaked with the blood of its rightful owners.
, have mercy on their wicked souls!
The Yankees in their retreat.
In speaking of the cliff down which the Yankees
tumbled in their precipitate retreat, ‘"Personne
The appearance of the place is as if an avalanche had passed over it. The ground is torn up, bushes torn down, rocks are displaced, shrubs are trampled out of existence while portions of clothing, cartridge boxes bayonets, straps, stockings, shoes, caps, coats, shirts, bread, crackers and ham, are scattered in profusion on every hand.
Cartloads of these articles have been, and are still being gathered.
It was at the base of this cliff where a large number of the prisoners were taken.
Their boats were drawn up and they attempted to cross after the surrender was formally made, but a few well-directed shots brought the recreants back to the shore.
Many stripped naked, threw their clothing upon the embankment and swam over; other carried their clothing with them, and I yesterday 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
, and other officers, taking two hundred and fifty of the Federals
in one body.
About ten o'clock on the morning on Tuesday, Captain Vaughn
, of Providence Rhode Island
, appeared with a flag of truce and thirty men, asking permission to bury their dead.
This was readily granted, and for several hours they were engaged in the work.
Some seventy five or eighty are said to have been buried on this side of the river and about forty on the island near the shore.
Their ambulances were running across the island all night, carrying the wounded.
himself estimated that the number of wounded was greatly disproportiona to that of the killed.
He thought their loss at least six or seven hundred aside from the prisoners taken.
How true this is we have no means of knowing, but the ground was strewn with bodies from twelve o'clock until the final charge at sundown, and they were removed as rapidly as circumstances would admit.
A hand-to-hand encounter between a Confederate Captain and a Yankee officer.
One personal encounter is worthy of record.
As Captain Jones
, of company B, 17th Mississippi, was passing through the woods at the head of his men, he met another party headed by an officer.
The two halting instantly upon discovering their close proximity, Jones
exclaimed, ‘"For God Almighty's sake, tell me quick — friends or enemies — who are you?"’ The other replied.
‘"We are friends,"’ and at the same time advanced.
A little boy, named Joseph Ware
who was behind the Mississippian
, instantly cried out, ‘"Captain
, they are not friends; don't you see they have not guns like ours.
They are Yankees — let me shoot."’ Again Jones
exclaimed, ‘"Who are you?
Speak quick, for I can't keep my men from firing."’ ‘"I'll let you know who we are you d — d rebel,"’ said the Yankee
officer, for suc he was, and, suiting the action to the word he sprang upon and seized Captain Jones
by the collar.
For a second or two a scuffle ensued between the officers when the latter broke loose.
At the same instant one of the Mississippians dashed out the Yankee
's brains with the butt of his musket.
The hospitals — an affecting Incident.
Turning from the locality after the battle the hospitals are the next interesting feature of a visit.
These are three in number, one being a church the second an academy, and the third an old hotel.
Here are confined the most desperately wounded, but many have since been removed to private residences boil in town and the neighboring country.
The inhabitants, and especially the ladies, have done, and are doing, all that heart can wish.
They act as nurses, cooks, or in any other capacity in which their services may be required; young and old uniting in the the task of alleviating the sufferings of the soldiers.--Passing through one of the departments saw the old gentleman, Mr. Farr
, to whom alluded in a former letter as having been taken prisoner by the Yankees
and shot it the back while bringing a flag of truce from them to us. He was bolstered up in bed being unable to lie down, and by his side stood a young lady of twenty or twenty-two summers holding a bouquet of flowers and a salver of refreshments which she had brought in a few moments previous.
I saw, too, that great tears were rolling down her cheeks and as she watched the feeble attempts of the silver haired patriot, now ‘"three score and ten,"’ to help himself to the dainties before him, and then she seated herself by his side, and as he laid his head back upon the pillow, fe him as gently and tenderly as a mother would nurse her child.
It was a scene simple in itself, but in its beautiful lessons and painful surroundings, one that is indelibly impressed upon my memory.
"Pat" and his pipe.
It is related of one of the wounded prisoners here, ‘"a wrath of a boy"’ from the ‘" ould country,"’ that when he was shot he had a pipe in his mouth and was puffing away most industriously.
Unfortunately for him, however, the bullet entered the corner of one eye and came out behind the ear, causing a profuse flow of blood, in the midst of which he lost his pipe.
Shortly after being brought to the hospital, another young Pat
, who was shot in the breast, recognized his voice as belonging to a member of his company, and creeping over to the bedside of his comrade, who was lying on his back with a wet cloth over his face his first salutation as he raised the latter, was, ‘"An sure, Mike, where's yer pipe?"’
‘"Arrah, bad luck to the pipe.
It laped from me mouth when I struck the ground, and I've not sane it since.
Its fifty cents an a good pipe that's gone from me, beded."’
‘"Sure why didn't ye save it, Mike?"’ ‘"Save it,"’ replied Mike ‘"how the divil could I save it when I couldn't sa a smitheren beyant the pint o' me nose Faith, it was all stars and no stripes that I saw in the air, Pat