The voice of a Virginia mother.
We may all feel pride in perusing the following extract of a letter from one of the best and noblest of Virginia
The writer had suffered terribly from outrages of the enemy — Hunter
's followers having desolated her home — but her spirit and her loyalty rise with her afflictions, and she utters the sentiments and the devotion of true patriotism and religion.
At a time like this, and under the circumstances which surround us, we shall be pardoned for so far intruding upon the privacy of this high-spirited and pious lady as to mention her name.
It is Mrs. Letitia Lewis
, wife of Colonel William L. Lewis
, of the Sweet Springs, Monroe county
She is the daughter of Governor John Floyd
, the elder, and sister of the second governor of that name — the late General John B. Floyd
. --Faithful to the fame and the loyalty of her maiden name, she honors that brilliant one she bears as matron, and which descends to her husband from the glorious revolutionary family which, in Charles and Andrew Lewis
, gave to their country heroes whose characters and deeds shed lustre upon her history.
How it must stir the blood and fix the resolution of the true Southern man, and how it must elevate the pride and inspire the constancy of the women of the South
, when they hear this voice of a Virginia mother in the midst of her desolation !
"I have now nothing on earth of all that I ever possessed but my children; and I would fain have them worthy their country's service and their own race.
"I am now among the tens of thousands of our mourning land who have been robbed of everything on earth by the enemies of God and man. General Hunter
, in his retreat by this place, ordered the plunder of my house, and was with difficulty restrained by General Averill
from burning it and every other building in the Valley
I lost in a single hour the labors of a life time, and with it every single vestige of a happy life in a fair and sufficient home.
Every line of love, every token or memorial of the living or the dead is gone; and I can truly say in that hour, too, there was not a sentiment or an affection that the human heart was capable of, whether relating to time or eternity, that was not shocked and insulted by such atrocious brutality as I really never had any possible conception of, until I saw it exhibited by the diabolical miscreants that I cannot dignify with the name of men. If General Hunter
or his Government think such scenes tend to subjugation, they have in this, as in everything else, slandered and defamed human nature; for life itself would be but a crowning insult, if spared, to be spent in contact or association with things so revolting as Yankees.
"Thus it is that I now wish to fit my sons for their present duty to their country and to their State.
I do not begrudge my heart's jewels to Virginia
I wish to fit them to achieve her independence, to maintain her honor and their own — or to vindicate, by a soldier's death, their title to the name of man, gentleman and christian."