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Patriotism of the ladies.

To the Editors of the Dispatch:
Please state in your paper that the ladies of Williamsburg, Va., impressed with the importance of every effort to defend our country, have organized a society for the purpose of building an iron-clad gunboat to aid in protecting our coast from depredation and our capital from an attack by water. Their efforts, so far, have been crowned with signal success, and it is to be hoped that, with like enthusiasm, their countrywomen throughout the State will at once form similar societies for the purpose of obtaining funds for this object, which, if promptly undertaken and actively carried out, may prove of incalculable benefit to our State and country.

By the energy, industry, and patriotism of the women of Virginia, and the influence they can wield over those who are able to contribute to so lendable a design, a fund may soon be collected sufficient to place upon our waters a valuable ally of the mail-clad Virginia, the beat defence of our harbors and rivers from the attacks of an insolent enemy, whose naval power has already inflicted heavy blows upon our coasts.

The ladies of Williamsburg, therefore, earnestly invite the co-operation of their sisters throughout the State, and recommend the immediate adoption of such means as may secure the desired result. Contributions from societies or individuals may be forwarded to either of the following ladies:

The reported fight near Warrenton.

Fredericksburg, March 24, 1862.
To the Editors of the Dispatch:
I see in your issue of Saturday last, a statement, extracted from the Lynchburg Virginian, of a fight between our forces and the enemy, occurring nine miles below the Warrenton Junction, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. The statement, as given, that 40 of the enemy were killed and 100 taken prisoners, with their horses and equipments, with a loss on our side of six killed and 180 wounded, is almost without foundation. The circumstances were simply there: A few companies of the 1st Va. Cavalry, under Col. Jones, on a scouting expedition near Cedar Run, a few miles below the Warrenton Junction, discovered a small body of the Federal cavalry, 80 or 90 in number, on the other side of the stream. After dismounting, our men succeeded in getting within about two hundred yards of them, and fired about fifteen shots, killing and wounding some three or four of the enemy, who retired without returning our fire, carrying their dead and wounded with them. The stream, owing to heavy rains, was not fordable, and we did not pursue. I have thought proper to make this correction as such exaggerated statements must prejudice the cause.

A Private.

Thoughtless conduct of soldiers.

We publish the following letter from a citizen of Hanover, believing, as we do, that the evil will be remedied as soon as it becomes known to the authorities:

Hanover, March 26, 1862.
To the Editors of the Dispatch:
A few weeks ago, when the cars would stop at Beaver Dam depot, and other stations on the Virginia Central Railroad, the soldiers on board would get off and catch negro men and boys, and pull them towards the cars, and, in some instances, actually into them; so that the conductor had sometimes to interpose. This was regarded, however, as mere mischief or fun. But about that time, a young negro man of mine, who seemed exhilarated by the very sight of a train of troops, suddenly disappeared, and was not heard of for three weeks, when, after the lapse of that time, he was found by an officer of the army with an Arkansas regiment, at Gordonsville, and sent down to Hanover on the train. He reported that he had been pulled on the train by them, (willingly, no doubt,) and carried along with the regiment; and that he had been employed to wash and cook for the persons who carried him off. The negro said they were Georgians, but the conductor, Capt. Richardson, told me in the presence of Col. Fontaine, President of the road, that they were from Arkansas, and that the negro was quartered among them. He had on a pair of pants, a cap, and pair of shoes of some company uniform, which he said were given him for his services, and he gave a glowing account of the sumptuous fare to which he was treated. He has again absconded, and is no doubt making his way back. Many negroes have disappeared from our midst, and possibly his revelation may furnish a clue to their whereabouts.

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