by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 25TH.—Clear and cool. Pains in my head, etc.

            Hon. Mr. Foote told G. Fitzhugh early this morning that he had learned Gen. Early’s army was scattered to the winds; that the enemy had the Central Railroad (where?) and would soon have all the roads. This is not credited, though it may be so.

            There is a mysterious fascination in scenes of death and carnage. As I crossed Franklin Street, going down to the department this morning, I heard on my right the cry of “halt!” and saw a large man in citizen’s clothes running toward me pursued by a soldier—coming from the direction of Gen. Ewell’s headquarters. The man (perhaps a deserter) ran on, and the soldier took deliberate aim with his rifle, and burst a cap. I stood and watched the man, being riveted to the spot by a strange fascination, although I was nearly in a line with the pursuit. An irresistible curiosity seized me to see the immediate effects of the shot. The man turned up Ninth Street, the soldier fixing another cap as he ran, and, taking deliberate aim, the cap failed to explode the charge again. I saw several persons crossing the street beyond the flying man, who would have been greatly endangered if the rifle had been discharged. In war the destruction of human life excites no more pity than the slaughter of beeves in peace!

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