August 29, 1862, Tri-Weekly Telegraph (Houston)

Glenblythe, near Brenham,
August 25th, 1862.
Editor Telegraph—Sir: I was induced, by his letter published in the Telegraph, to open a correspondence with Mr. Z. L. Nevill, of La Grange, on the subject of sending horses and a supply of clothing to the Rangers.
Mr. N. has since then spent a night with me, and the matter was pretty fully talked over.
He fully endorses all the accounts we have had of the great value of the services rendered by the Rangers, and the incessant toil and hardships they have under gone. If the army found quiet and rest in front of the enemy, it was because the Rangers were on duty as scouts; often for days and nights together, without once unsaddling. When literally worn out by incessant toil, they and their horses, they were ordered to the rear to recruit, they had scarcely began to enjoy their rest before they were again ordered to the front, to relieve the army from the anxieties and unrest of false alarm. Again and again have they been complimented by the officers in command of the army, with the remark that, “with the Rangers on scouting duty, the army felt at east.”
The result of all this has been that the horses are so worn down as to be scarcely fit for duty; and, from one cause and another, some 80 men are without horses. The men themselves have either worn out or lost, or left behind in their rapid movements, the bulk of even the light clothes they had for summer wear; and now that winter is at hand, they must be well clothed, and have good, stout shoes or boots. They are now in a cold country, unaccustomed as they are to such a climate. If not well provided for, and that right soon, the army will be deprived of the services of this most valuable corps, or our brave boys suffer beyond conception.
Mr. Nevill returns to the regiment, and hopes to be able to induce the people of Texas to send horses enough to mount, at least, those now afoot; and which horses he proposes to take charge of, and has aid enough of servants he will carry on, and of recruits to the regiments to enable him to do so. [click to continue…]

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Enroute, Thursday, Aug. 28. To-day we were informed that we were to be sent on in the evening. I wrote my first letter home and in the evening we started for “Dixie” at 10 P.M. It was dark and we could not see anything to attract our attention so our minds had free scope to wander home to loved ones, and it was a saddening thought that we were to leave all of these, to meet at best a very uncertain fate. We passed on to Milton where our car was uncoupled and taken up by the Janesville R. R, and off we rocked for another four or five hours’ ride, half asleep, and by this time somewhat fatigued. At Janesville we changed cars for Chicago, it being about 1 A.M.

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Tuscumbia, Ala., August 28, 1862.

The order has been issued requiring battalion adjutants to be mustered out of the service, but Colonel Mizner insists on our remaining, and being either assigned to companies or made regimental adjutant commander and quartermaster, which offices this new law provides. General Oglesby wants me very much. I was down to Corinth a few days since and saw him. Told him about this order mustering me out, and he offered to go with me to General Grant and ask for an order excepting me from muster. I knew that the wording of my commission wouldn’t allow such an irregularity and had to decline. If I stay with the regiment now, I will not be able to get on Oglesby’s staff, as I wish, for in either of the three places which I can get, I could not be detached. But General Oglesby said that he would give me plenty of time to go home and hunt a lieutenancy in the company, and then he would have me assigned to him. I could not get home in less than eight days, and by that time I think would have a difficulty in getting a position, for regiments will be so near organized that new comers will stand a poor chance. Have almost made up my mind to go home and run my chances. I know I am worth more than a lieutenancy, and that in these regiment staff places there is no chance for promotion. Would almost as lief commence again in the ranks. Am sure I would be a captain as quickly.

[He came home and raised a company in the 103d Illinois Infantry, and was elected captain.—Ed.]

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Willard’s Hotel Washington, August 28, 1862

Things here look badly enough and amid this atmosphere of treason, jealousy and dissension, it requires good courage not to despair of the republic. As I said, I am going back to my regiment instead of onto Pope’s staff, and you must take it out in cursing my instability. My reasons are manifold. The regiment and Colonel think I ought to come back or resign; we are about to see active cavalry service; and finally, between ourselves, I am ashamed at what I hear of Pope. All army officers say that he is a humbug and is sure to come to grief; “as big a liar as John Pope” is an old army expression; he has already played himself out in the army of Virginia and he has got himself into such a position that he will be crushed and Washington lost, unless McClellan saves him. He may come out with colors flying, for he a lucky man; but if he does, he is a dangerous one, and I am advised not to connect my fortunes with his….

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 Thursday, August 28th.

I am satisfied. I have seen my home again. Tuesday I was up at sunrise, and my few preparations were soon completed, and before any one was awake, I walked over to Mr. Elder’s, through mud and dew, to meet Charlie. Fortunate was it for me that I started so early; for I found him hastily eating his breakfast, and ready to leave. He was very much opposed to my going; and for some time I was afraid he would force me to remain; but at last he consented, — perhaps because I did not insist, — and with wet feet and without a particle of breakfast, I at length found myself in the buggy on the road home. The ride afforded me a series of surprises. Half the time I found myself halfway out of the little low-necked buggy when I thought I was safely in; and the other half, I was surprised to find myself really in when I thought I was wholly out. And so on, for mile after mile, over muddy roads, until we came to a most terrific cross-road, where we were obliged to pass, and which is best undescribed. Four miles from town we stopped at Mrs. Brown’s to see mother, and after a few moments’ talk, went on our road.

I saw the first Yankee camp that Will Pinckney and Colonel Bird had set fire to the day of the battle. Such a shocking sight of charred wood, burnt clothes, tents, and all imaginable articles strewn around, I had never before seen. I should have been very much excited, entering the town by the route our soldiers took; but I was not. It all seemed tame and familiar. I could hardly fancy I stood on the very spot where the severest struggle had taken place. The next turn of the road brought us to two graves, one on each side of the road, the resting-place of two who fell that day. They were merely left in the ditch where they fell, and earth from the side was pulled over them. When Miriam passed, parts of their coats were sticking out of the grave; but some kind hand had scattered fresh earth over them when I saw them. Beyond, the sight became more common. I was told that their hands and feet were visible from many. And one poor fellow lay unburied, just as he had fallen, with his horse across him, and both skeletons. That sight I was spared, as the road near which he was lying was blocked up by trees, so we were forced to go through the woods, to enter, instead of passing by, the Catholic graveyard. In the woods, we passed another camp our men destroyed, while the torn branches above testified to the number of shells our men had braved to do the work. Next to Mr. Barbee’s were the remains of a third camp that was burned; and a few more steps made me suddenly hold my breath, for just before us lay a dead horse with the flesh still hanging, which was hardly endurable. Close by lay a skeleton, — whether of man or horse, I did not wait to see. Not a human being appeared until we reached the Penitentiary, which was occupied by our men. After that, I saw crowds of wagons moving furniture out, but not a creature that I knew. Just back of our house was all that remained of a nice brick cottage — namely, four crumbling walls. The offense was that the husband was fighting for the Confederates; so the wife was made to suffer, and is now homeless, like many thousands besides. It really seems as though God wanted to spare our homes. The frame dwellings adjoining were not touched, even. The town was hardly recognizable; and required some skill to avoid the corners blocked up by trees, so as to get in at all.

Our house could not be reached by the front, so we left the buggy in the back yard, and running through the lot without stopping to examine the storeroom and servants’ rooms that opened wide, I went through the alley and entered by the front door.

Fortunate was it for this record that I undertook to describe the sacking only from Miriam’s account. If I had waited until now, it would never have been mentioned; for as I looked around, to attempt such a thing seemed absurd. I stood in the parlor in silent amazement; and in answer to Charlie’s “Well?” I could only laugh. It was so hard to realize. As I looked for each well-known article, I could hardly believe that Abraham Lincoln’s officers had really come so low down as to steal in such a wholesale manner. The papier-maché workbox Miriam had given me was gone. The baby sacque I was crocheting, with all knitting needles and wools, gone also. Of all the beautiful engravings of Annapolis that Will Pinckney had sent me, there remained a single one. Gentlemen, my name is written on each! Not a book remained in the parlor, except “Idyls of the King,” that contained my name also, and which, together with the door-plate, was the only case in which the name of Morgan was spared. They must have thought we were related to John Morgan, and wreaked their vengeance on us for that reason. Thanks for the honor, but there is not the slightest connection! Where they did not carry off articles bearing our name, they cut it off, as in the visiting-cards, and left only the first name. Every book of any value or interest, except Hume and Gibbon, was “borrowed” permanently. I regretted Macaulay more than all the rest. Brother’s splendid French histories went, too; all except “L’Histoire de la Bastille.” However, as they spared father’s law libraries (all except one volume they used to support a flour barrel with, while they emptied it near the parlor door), we ought to be thankful.

The dining-room was very funny. I looked around for the cut-glass celery and preserve dishes that were to be part of my “dot,” as mother always said, together with the champagne glasses that had figured on the table the day that I was born; but there remained nothing. There was plenty of split-up furniture, though. I stood in mother’s room before the shattered armoir, which I could hardly believe the same that I had smoothed my hair before, as I left home three weeks previously. Father’s was split across, and the lock torn off, and in the place of the hundreds of articles it contained, I saw two bonnets at the sight of which I actually sat down to laugh. One was mother’s velvet, which looked very much like a football in its present condition. Mine was not to be found, as the officers forgot to return it. Wonder who has my imperial? I know they never saw a handsomer one, with its black velvet, purple silk, and ostrich feathers.

I went to my room. Gone was my small paradise! Had this shocking place ever been habitable? The tall mirror squinted at me from a thousand broken angles. It looked so knowing! I tried to fancy the Yankee officers being dragged from under my bed by the leg, thanks to Charles; but it seemed too absurd; so I let them alone. My desk! What a sight! The central part I had kept as a little curiosity shop with all my little trinkets and keepsakes of which a large proportion were from my gentlemen friends; I looked for all I had left, found only a piece of the McRae, which, as it was labeled in full, I was surprised they had spared. Precious letters I found under heaps of broken china and rags; all my notes were gone, with many letters. I looked for a letter of poor ——, in cipher, with the key attached, and name signed in plain hand. I knew it would hardly be agreeable to him to have it read, and it certainly would be unpleasant to me to have it published; but I could not find it. Miriam thinks she saw something answering the description, somewhere, though.

Bah! What is the use of describing such a scene?[1] Many suffered along with us, though none so severely. Indeed, the Yankees cursed loudly at those who did not leave anything worth stealing. They cannot complain of us, on that score. All our handsome Brussels carpets, together with Lydia’s fur, were taken, too. What did they not take? In the garret, in its darkest corner, a whole gilt-edged china set of Lydia’s had been overlooked; so I set to work and packed it up, while Charlie packed her furniture in a wagon, to send to her father.

It was now three o’clock; and with my light linen dress thrown off, I was standing over a barrel putting in cups and saucers as fast as I could wrap them in the rags that covered the floor, when Mr. Larguier sent me a nice little dinner. I had been so many hours without eating — nineteen, I think, during three of which I had slept — that I had lost all appetite; but nevertheless I ate it, to show my appreciation. If I should hereafter think that the quantity of rags was exaggerated, let me here state that, after I had packed the barrel and china with them, it made no perceptible diminution of the pile.

As soon as I had finished my task, Charlie was ready to leave again; so I left town without seeing, or hearing, any one, or any thing, except what lay in my path. As we drove out of the gate, I begged Charlie to let me get my bird, as I heard Charles Barker had him. A man was dispatched, and in a few minutes returned with my Jimmy. I have since heard that Tick deserted him the day of the battle, as I so much feared she would; and that Charles found him late in the evening and took charge of him. With my pet once more with me, we drove off again. I cast many a longing look at the graveyard; but knowing Charlie did not want to stop, I said nothing, though I had been there but once in three months, and that once, six weeks ago. I could see where the fence had been thrown down by our soldiers as they charged the Federals, but it was now replaced, though many a picket was gone. Once more I stopped at Mrs. Brown’s, while Charlie went on to Clinton, leaving me to drive mother here in the morning. Early yesterday, after seeing Miriam’s piano and the mattresses packed up and on the road, we started off in the buggy, and after a tedious ride through a melting sun, arrived here about three o’clock, having again missed my dinner, which I kept a profound secret until supper-time.

By next Ash Wednesday, I will have learned how to fast without getting sick! Though very tired, I sat sewing until after sunset, dictating a page and a half to Anna, who was writing to Howell.


[1] In her book, From Flag to Flag, Mrs. Eliza McHatton Ripley gives a vivid description of Judge Morgan’s house as she herself saw it after the sacking. — W. D.

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28th.—The news of the morning confirm the rumors of yesterday in reference to our disgrace at Manassas. The enemy caught the garrison there asleep, took eight guns, and captured or routed our force there almost without a fight. The Jersey Brigade, which left here yesterday morning, having no knowledge of the taking of the place, went up and were captured. Pope’s communication with Washington is entirely cut off. If I am not mistaken in the character of Gen. Pope and his army, Jackson and Longstreet will have a lively dance before they succeed in capturing him. McClellan, they say, is in high glee. Significant!

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Position of troops at sunset August 28th, 1862. [Second Manassas battle]

–  Scale 1:126,720 (“half an inch to the mile”).-  LC Civil War Maps (2nd ed.), 573.7-  From U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, in two volumes. Supplemental to Senate report no. 142, 38th Congress, 2d session (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1866). v. 2, fol. p. 190.-  Accompanies “Report of Major General John Pope to the hon. Committee on the Conduct of the War.” 217 p.-  “No. 4” is in the upper right margin.-  Map indicates roads, railroads, place names, drainage, and troop positions.Library of Congress map

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To Mrs. Lyon.

Iuka, Gen. Hospital, Friday, Aug. 28, 1862.—Here I am, flat on my back with remittent or intermittent fever, I do not know which. I am slowly recovering, the fever growing less and less every day and the doctor says it will entirely disappear in a few days more. I have had typhoid fever, the doctor now tells me. I suffer no pain now, but for the first few days I suffered a great deal. I was taken down Saturday evening, the 9th inst., very suddenly and severely. Our regiment has gone to Tuscumbia, thirty miles east of here. If I should get worse I will try to go to Columbus and send for you, as no woman is allowed to travel this side of Columbus without a special permit from General Grant.

Dr. Thornhill, our surgeon, is in charge here, and is very attentive to me. Dr. Murta took most excellent care of me until he had to leave with the regiment. I am taking large quantities of quinine. Have had no appetite.

I received my commission about the time I was taken sick. An order has been made by General Rosecrans relieving me from duty here and directing me to report to General Grant for further orders. My intention is, as soon as it is proper for me to leave here, to go to the regiment and close up some company business there; then report to General Grant and if possible get permission to go home to purchase horse, equipments, etc. If I succeed and get there by the 1st of October I shall do well.

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Thursday, 28th. In the morning came the detail for the 2nd Kansas Battery. Heretofore officers had said that such a detail should not be made. But the order came to the Colonel for 150 men and the Colonel gave orders to Batt. commanders for the detail and they to their companies. The detail was made but not a man would go. Three or four companies marched to guard house. Finally after several Orderly calls and speeches by Majors to Battalions, the detail submitted. The wrangle about the to-be colonel of the regiment continues. Papers went on signed by ten in favor of Doubleday and nine against. Miner, Burnett and Ratliff rascals— selfish. Major P. sent in his resignation.

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Written from the Sea islands of South Carolina.

[Diary] August 28.

The chaplain at St. Augustine’s has written to General Saxton that the soldiers there sympathize more with “Secesh” than with the North.

The President is out with a colonization scheme. They say McClellan is to be relieved.

Ellen and I drove Jimsebub to Oaklands and we crossed to Palawana, being bogged — that is, sitting in the boat and being pushed over the soft, slippery mud by a man behind the “dug-out.”

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August 28.—A fight took place at Readyville, Tenn., between the Twenty-third Kentucky infantry under the command of Col. Mundy, and a large force of rebel cavalry under Gen. Forrest, resulting in a rout of the latter with heavy loss. —Cincinnati Times.

—General Schofield at St. Louis, Mo., issued an order assessing five hundred thousand dollars upon secessionists and Southern sympathizers in St Louis County — the money to be collected without delay, and used in clothing, arming and subsisting the enrolled militia while in active service, and in providing for the support of such families of militiamen as might be left destitute.

—A severe fight took place at a point six miles west of Centreville, Va., between the National forces under Generals Sigel and McDowell, and the rebels under the command of Gen. Jackson, who was driven back at all points, with a loss of a large number of prisoners.—(Docs. 104 and 199.)

— City Point, on the James River, Va., was completely destroyed by the National gunboats under Commodore Wilkes. For some time the rebels had been firing into the transports passing up and down the river, and Commodore Wilkes sent them word that if it was not discontinued, he would destroy their rendezvous. To-day the rebels brought down to City Point eight cannon and about two hundred riflemen, and attacked the Federal flotilla, which at the time was abreast of the place, whereupon the gunboats opened fire upon them, demolished every building in the town, and dispersed the rebel force.

—Twenty men of the Second (Union) Virginia cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant Montgomery, attacked seventy-five rebel cavalry at Shady Springs, ten miles from Raleigh Court-House, Va., and completely routed them, taking five prisoners.—The Union troops occupied Hernando, Miss.

—The Secretary of the Treasury issued an order establishing regulations concerning internal and coastwise commercial intercourse, with the purpose of preventing the conveyance of arms, munitions of war, and other supplies to the insurrectionary districts, and the Secretaries of War and the Navy issued orders directing all officers of the army and navy to render such aid as might be necessary in carrying out said regulations.

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August 28, 1862, Natchez Daily Courier

Colonel Johnson, of General Price’s staff, has issued the following call:

To the People of Mississippi.

Quitman, Miss., Aug. 6. I am in your midst for the purpose of procuring shoes and yarn socks for General Price’s army. Some of his veterans—men who have been in six or eight pitched battles and twenty skirmishes—are to-day destitute of these two articles, necessary even in camp, but indispensable when the army takes the field. … Gen. Price desires that the patriotic men of this State should furnish the shoes, and her glorious women the yarn socks. If possible, he would like every white woman in the State to knit at least one pair of socks for his army. While I make this appeal, I think it is proper to add, that I do ask a donation but am prepared to pay a liberal price for both shoes and yarn socks. I shall be pleased to contract with tanners and shoe manufacturers for shoes now on hand, or to be made hereafter; and will be obliged to any person who will let me know where I can make contacts.

For socks, all yarn, white or colored, of good size and length in the leg and foot, I will pay seventy-five cents per pair. They may be sent to me or to Dr. France at this place, where they will be paid for, or may be left with the station agent of the nearest depot of any of the three railroads now in our possession, and sometime soon I will call or send an agent to get them and pay for them.

Thomas C. Johnson.

Aide to Gen. Price.

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August 28, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

Colonel THWEATT, Comptroller General, reports that one hundred and fourteen counties of Georgia return this year 3,500,000 acres planted in corn; 1,200,000 in other grain; and 224,000 acres planted in cotton. The Comptroller supposes that the actual amount of land in corn the present time is from four to five millions acres, and the product from fifty to sixty millions of bushels. In 1849 the corn crop of Georgia was thirty millions of bushels. The amount of land in cotton is estimated at 260,000 acres, and the product will probably be about sixty thousand bales. Ordinarily it is about seven hundred thousand.

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August 28, 1862, Nashville Dispatch (Tennessee)

Nashville whisky appears to have a very bad effect upon the soldiers in our midst; almost every day more or less fighting or quarreling takes place among them, and yesterday in addition to the unfortunate affair mentioned in another paragraph, a serious affray too, place on Summer street, during which one of the parties nearly lost a finger, and the other received some severe bruises. On College street a drunken soldier was arrested by Deputy Marshals Tucker and Steele, and in their endeavors to get him to safe quarters, Tucker lost his coat and vest, and Steele was severely handled. After getting him into a hack, an army officer ordered his arrest by the Provost Guard.

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August 28, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

It is sincerely to be hoped that the Government and People of the Confederate States have reached two important conclusions touching the situation and prospects of the South. One is, that the United States Government is in a fair way to put in the field by the middle of November, for the invasion of the South, three hundred thousand fresh troops, assisted by fleets of iron-clad gunboats, in addition to their present forces said to be four hundred thousand. The other is, that little expectation exists of foreign intervention to raise the blockade of our ports and give us even the moral support of a recognition of our independence. As things stand, therefore, it is reasonable to expect that gigantic efforts will be put forth by our enemies during the coming winter to effect our reduction, and that, in resisting these efforts, the Confederate States will derive little assistance, direct or indirect, from any foreign powers, and must rely upon the sagacity of our authorities and the conduct of our people, to bear us through the storm of war.

But our circumstances may be altered. We have two large armies now in the field, and two months and a half in which they may operate. Much may be done in that time. With activity on the part of our Generals, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri may be redeemed, and Philadelphia and Cincinnati may compensate us for the loss of New Orleans, Norfolk, Pensacola, Key West, Fort Pulaski, Fort Morgan, &c. The whole face of our situation and prospects may be changed. We say may, because it is not certain, even with our valiant troops and able commanders.

The United States has large forces of thoroughly drilled troops, and Generals of skill and energy to wield them. It, therefore, becomes us not to throw upon these, our brave armies, more than they can do, or to leave them inadequately supported in case they succeed, or to have the South in a condition of feeble preparation in case they fail during the fall campaign.

From the tone of the President’s Message, we judge he is confident that before winter our [click to continue…]

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August 28, 1862, Daily Times (Leavenworth, Kansas)

Mr. Mitchell has commenced assessments upon sympathizers within his district for the support of Union refugees. We extract from general orders No. 1:
“In accordance with permission this day obtained from Head Quarters Army of the Miss., it is hereby ordered:
I. That all persons at this post, or in this vicinity, engaged in, or sympathizing with the present rebellion, will be immediately taxed to an amount sufficient to support the refugees from Mississippi or Alabama at this post, who may have been driven from their homes on account of their adherence to the Union.
Said tax will be in proportion to the amount of real and personal property of the persons levied upon; and in case of refusal to pay any part of such tax when levied, the property of the person so refusing shall be seized to an amount not less than one third more of the tax assessed, which property shall be applied for the payment of such tax.
II. The money raised by such tax shall be expended for the benefit of all refugees from Mississippi and Alabama arriving at this post, who may have been driven from their homes by secessionists—excepting those of such refugees as are able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 45.
By order of
Brig. Gen. R. B. Mitchell, Com. Div.
Jno. Pratt, Lt. & A. A. A. G.

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August 28, 1862, Daily Times (Leavenworth, Kansas)

The military band on the Majors played several delightful airs while the boat lay at the landing yesterday.
We learn that the regimental band of the First has arrived from Tennessee, having been mustered out of the service in obedience to recent orders from the War Department.

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August 28, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

RICHMOND, August 27. Major General STUART, with a force of cavalry, on Friday last surprised and routed about 5,000 Yankees near Catlett’s Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. His command destroyed an immense amount of stores and captured 367 prisoners, including a colonel, three captains, and fifteen other commissioned officers; also Gen. POPE’S two horses, saddle, uniform coat, and servant. They also took $60,000 in specie and Treasury notes, and an official letter of the highest importance from General POPE. The command returned the next day with the loss of only two killed and five wounded. The enemy is in full retreat towards Alexandria.

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August 28, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

We have been requested to call the attention of certain of our authorities to the fact that apprehension exists in the community concerning the security of instruments to be used for our defence. It is thought that greater precautions should be used to prevent mischance. The amplest possible provision and care will not be misapplied or thrown away.

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August 28, 1862, The Charleston Mercury

We have been favored with the following extract from a private letter, dated ‘White Bridge, near Georgetown, South Carolina, August 26:’

‘You may remember that about ten days since some of my mother’s negros were enticed aboard, and carried off by a Yankee gunboat the same boat that had an exchange of shots with our mounted riflemen near Mrs. SPARKMAN’S plantation on Black river. Well, two of those negros got back here yesterday, having already discovered that they could make nothing by operation. They say and their personal appearance confirm the tale they have been worked hard, and had hardly any thing to eat eight quarts of rice a day for twelve men protest they’s cured of running away in that direction. They also say that in the fight at MRS. SPARKMAN’S a number of the Yanks were killed and wounded, and that the killed were thrown overboard. This is about the substance of their talk. Of course there are other circumstances detailed by them, which might be credited rather their imaginations than to their memories, as SHERIDAN said; yet, on the whole, it is thought in these parts that the above two refugees, having had such satisfactory experiences of Mayflower people, will finish their course by becoming shining examples of the class-leader in plantation dispensation at least.’

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