papers of Tuesday furnish extended accounts of the recent fighting near that city, and the retreat of Hunter
They neared the city on Monday, the 13th, and from that day till the following Friday
were making slow progress, being always engaged in front by Gen. McCausland
, with his cavalry.
On Friday they had their last wrestle with him at the old Quaker Church, about three miles from the city, and captured a gun from him.
The fight of Saturday.
At 11 o'clock precisely a furious cannonading set in, and, with some brief intervals of silence, was continued until late in the afternoon.
Occasionally the roll of musketry was heard as an accompaniment to the deeper toned thunders of artillery.
The line of battle extended from about half a mile above the toll gate (two and a half miles from Lynchburg
,) on the Lynchburg
turn pike, moving in a direction a little west of north, including portions of the land of Dr. Owen
, Charles Moorman
, John B. Lee
, H. S. Barksdale
, and terminating on the farm of Seth Halsey
, near the Blackwater creek
The distance embraced by this line must be two and a half to three miles.
A large body of cavalry supposed to be about 4,000 drawn up in line of battle in Captain Barksdale
's field, on the Forest
road, charged upon our fortifications with great spirit, and yelling defiance at the top of their voices, which were to the point while the Doctor
He heard them cry, "come cut of your holes, you d — d we've got you now, come but of your holes." When these infuriated wretches got within reach of our grape and canister our boys let fly volley at them, which did terrible execution.
Two other volleys were poured into them, when they broke and fled.
The battle ended on Saturday afternoon, and the enemy retreated in great haste on Saturday night. Had they remained until the next day we are satisfied, from the dispositions that had been made by Gen.
--,that they would have been captured.
It is now ascertained that their dead alone left on the field numbered about 120, and their wounded in field hospitals, who fell into our hands, being too badly hurt to be moved, are reported at 150. Gen. Averill
stated to a gentleman of entire reliability that their loss was 800 killed, wounded, and missing.
The heaviest fighting was on the farms of Mr.
and Mr. Moorman
, on the southeast of the turnpike, and of Dr. Owen
and Mr. H. F. Bocock
, on the west, and near to the same road. --Here the enemy's dead were principally found, and here it was that two fierce assaults were made on our works.
The fighting on Mr. Barksdale
's farm was principally with artillery, though at one time the Yankees
cavalry posted there made a demonstration as if to charge our batteries, but our sharpshooters and a half dozen shells soon caused them to retire.
Our entire loss on Saturday is semi-officially reported at nine killed and seventeen wounded. In consequence of the advance of our army no official report has been made, or if it had it was inaccessible to us. In the engagement and pursuit as far as New London we captured in all about forty prisoners. The report of the capture of three pieces of artillery was erroneous.
The enemy, it is now ascertained, commenced their retreat about six o'clock Saturday evening, after their unsuccessful assault on our lines previously reported.
As soon as the retreat was discovered vigorous pursuit was made Gentlemen by whose house the enemy passed inform us that they travelled in great haste and confusion; and they also say that in conversation both officers and men expressed great surprise at finding the city so well prepared for resistance.
made their headquarters at the house of Maj. J. C. Butler
, near the Quaker Church, and up to Saturday morning the former boastingly expressed his intention to sleep in Lynchburg
that night. "There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip," and before the close of the day Hunter
changed his tune, and at dark was in full retreat.
Before leaving his headquarters Hunter
stated to gentlemen in the neighborhood that Sheridan
was expected to co-operate with him in the attack on this city, and that Butler
was to send up a column from the Southside
.--Neither of these had come to time, and hence the necessity of his "change of base."
The battle-field on Sunday presented quite a ghastly spectacle.
A circumstance connected with the enemy's dead is worthy of notice, as showing the accuracy of the aim of our sharpshooters.
A gentleman undertook to count the dead as they lay on the field, and to note the place where they were shot.
Of 47 so counted, 42 were struck in the head, and death appeared to have been almost instantaneous; a mete and proper fate for these ruthless invaders.
The enemy threw away a large number of guns, pistols, and swords, both on the battle field and on the route of their retreat.
Knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, &c, were also profusely strewed about and many were picked up by citizens who visited the field and passed along the roads.
In many localities on both the Salem
and Forest roads, trees were felled and blockades of fence rails were made to impede pursuit.
In removing these some hours were lost by our men.
The scene of desolation and ruin in the neighborhood of this city near where the enemy made their line of battle is positively appalling.
The people were stripped of everything, fences were torn down, crops trampled up and every specters of vandalism that savages could think of was practiced.
Hogs, sheep, cattle, poultry, were stolen and carried off, and when not needed for food were wantonly slaughtered and left to rot on the ground.
Among others we have heard of as being thus brutally despoiled were Mrs Poindexter
, Gen. Clay
, Capt. Armistead
, Dr. Floyd
, and N. W. Barksdale
, on and near the Forest
road; and on the Salem
road, Samuel Miller
, Major G. C. Hutter
, and Dr. Wowen
There were also others of whose names we have not been informed.
And along the entire line of the enemy's march, as far as we can learn, the same scenes of plunder and robbery were enacted.
Capt. Paschal Buford
was stripped of everything, cattle, horses, hogs, provisions, &c, all were taken, and so with Capt. Wm. Smith
, living near Lowry
's, and all persons living on or within reach of the road.
In Liberty the case was the same and there is scarcely a family there who has a dust of meal or a rasher of bacon.
Along the road between this place and Liberty, a gentleman who passed over it yesterday tells us that there are at least 100 or more dead horses and mules.
When these animals gave out they were cruelly shot.
The enemy were out of rations, and their chief Commissary told a lady Saturday morning that they were compelled to do one of two things; capture Lynchburg
and get supplies or retreat.
Finding they could not do the former they had to do the latter, and we predict that this is the last Yankee trip to Lynchburg
reached Liberty on his retreat Sunday about 2 o'clock, our forces but a short distance behind.
His rear guard was overtaken about two miles West of Liberty on the road to Buchanan
and a sharp skirmish ensued in which we are reported to have captured about 100 prisoners, besides killing and wounding several.
Last night it was reported, seemingly on good authority, that the column of the enemy retreating on the Fancy Farm
road made a stand near Fancy Farm
, seven miles from Liberty, where our forces attacked them early yesterday morning, and at 11 o'clock, when our informant left the neighborhood of the field, all the accounts were highly favorable, and it was stated that we had taken several hundred prisoners, and were driving the enemy, with the prospect of making important captures.
A demonstration on the Southside Railroad.
In this paper yesterday we mentioned that a raiding party of the enemy's cavalry passed near Campbell Court-House, Saturday, moving in the direction of the Southside Railroad.
This statement proved to be correct, and the enemy designed to destroy the bridge across James river
, six miles below town.
They reached the vicinity of the bridge, and finding it too heavily guarded to be successfully attacked, they retreated without an assault, and rejoined the main body of their forces some time Sunday morning, while on the retreat towards Liberty.
Several stragglers were picked up by our scouting parties and brought into town Sunday.
The Virginia and Tennessee road.
The damage done by the Yankees
to the Virginia and Tennessee railroad, while not fully ascertained, is reported to be very heavy.
Besides the burning of the bridges across Big
and Little Otter rivers
and Elk creek
, the track is said to be torn up for several miles, all the depots between here and Big Lick are burned, and the water tanks destroyed.
If these damages be correctly stated, it will take some time to put the road in running order again.
Yankee Gossip about the expedition.
, and Sullivan
put up with Major Hutter
, about four miles from town, whose beautiful home was used as headquarters.
In their suit were the notorious Dr. Rucker
and David H. Strother
, (Port Crayon,) the former attached to Crook
, being an old army officer, was well acquainted with Hunter
, and talked freely to him respecting his expedition.
said that he had fifty thousand men, and could take Lynchburg
easily; that we had better make no resistance.
When Major Hutter
informed him that it would be no easy task, and that our people, in the last resort would retire to the Amherst heights
and fire upon them, Hunter
replied that, in such event he would help them to destroy the town.
The General officers were in very high spirits at the supper table on Friday night, and boasted that they would be in Lynchburg
would be one of the bloodiest records of this war for the time it lasted." He said that the loss was very heavy on both sides, theirs being not less than eight hundred to a thousand.
The General is mistaken as to ours, which is six killed and 95 wounded.
said they had some 20 or 30,000 men, and reinforcements were expected under Pope
, who, wish other troops had 4,000 contrabands.--The Yankees
avowed it to be their purpose to capture Lynchburg
and then proceed to the assistance of Butler
They placed their signal officers on the top of Major Hutter
's house, and as the battle progressed on Saturday the "look out" declared that the cavalry were charging splendidly; after a while however, he said that they were giving away, and finally left his eyry in disgust.
H remonstrated with Gen. Hunter
for his vandalism to burning the Military Institute, he replied "You need not make a fuss about that, for I intend to burn the University of Virginia also."
After the melancholy supper referred to Hunter
told Maj. Butler
that they wanted to hold a council.
They thereupon appropriated two rooms, the doors of which they locked carefully.
H. having retired to a back chamber of the house attempted to pass out of the building, when he was informed that he was a prisoner.
When the Yankee
officers retired they said that they were going to the front, and thus took up the line of retreat before Major Hutter
was aware of their intentions.
Some of the Yankee
soldiers repaid the hospitality of Major Hutter
by plundering Miss
H's chamber, searching trunks and drawers and carrying away various ornaments and valuables.