Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
November 1861

Richmond Daily Dispatch

November 7, 1861

From Camp Bartow.

The "On to Staunton" programme : the Hatteras Affair : paying off the soldiers : high Price of articles : movements of the enemy, &c.

[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]

Camp Bartow, Greenbrier River Oct.30, 1861.

The last week or two having developed no new feature in the Yankee programme of "on to Staunton," where they have so confidently asserted they would go into winter quarters, I cannot of course communicate things that I would wish to or refer at random to current and local items in camp : though I am assured by military men here that an attack now, or in time to come, is perfectly foreign to the intention of our enemy. He is satisfied with our prowess, and except the stealthy murder of a picket occasionally, will not venture within sight of gleaming Arkansas "tooth-picks," where also stalwart Virginians and Georgians : faithful sentinels --are posted to resist the advance of mongrel Hessians of the North. They have not recovered from their inglorious advance on the 3d, at which time their loss was, as stated, from 300 to 500 killed, and probably twice the number wounded.

Underground messengers via Huttonsville, and a stray bit of intelligence, (contraband of course) fully confirms the estimate of their loss by Col. Ramsey and others, who had an excellent of opportunity of arriving at something like a certainty. Yet a Richmond paper, I am sorry to observe, referred editorially to this engagement as unimportant, evidently believing the base, contemptible Yankee version. That reference was ungenerous, shameful, truckling, and unworthy a public journalist in the capital of the new nation. Because our mortality, owing to the excellent disposition of our troops, and the unerring aim of such men as Deshler, Shoemaker, and Massey, with our little six-pounders, was no greater, be seems to think that "something is rotten in Denmark," or that other men would have achieved a brighter success. He seems to forget that we had only 1,600 men reported for duty, and that the enemy's strength, as admitted by themselves, was 6,000; that they had eight cannon, some twelve-pounders, including one rifled piece, that becoming choked, was fire but once. He has forgotten these facts, or willfully intended an injury to Gen. H. R. Jackson, some individual, or particular corps under his command. Let his intension, however, be what it may, of this the world is satisfied. We repulsed, drove back an enemy of six to one, and killed at least twenty to one. We performed our duty nobly before God and man, and in submitting our report to brave men and patriotic women do most positively object to a snivelling criticism by a man unknown to the hard-ships of a campaign, and whose merger soul cannot weigh the heavy burdens of a soldier's life among mountains, where great coats and double blankets are prayed for in the month of August.

Our men are being rapidly paid off, a thing quite unnecessary if we are required to remain long in this locality : for nothing in the provision line is "come at able" for either love or money. A pound of butter (worth more than a pound of Yankee flesh,) will readily bring 50 cents. A quart of whiskey : oftener heard of than seen or tasted : is sold about as often as the moon changes, by some county sutler : for from $2 to $10. I am not a lover of the "ardent" by any means, but if whiskey could be furnished to our men who are exposed to chilling frosts, drenching rains, and frequently are wet through for 24 hours, without fir, it would certainly be highly conducive to their health. Let prattling Sons of Temperance preach of morality, and its counter effects, debauchery, &c, in times of peace, when 13-inch brick walls and smoth ring beds of feathers protect them from winter blasts; now it is different, whiskey is necessary, a stimulating contra actor to these cutting mountain breezes.

Our scouts have just reported that our enemy is blockading the road between our camp and theirs. If so, it is inexplicable, unless their surplus force has been ordered to reinforce McClellan, and this precaution is taken to prevent an attack from us.

It is possible that they are retiring from a much annoyed position for winter quarters or to go to Kentucky. We will soon ascertain the cause. Yours, Orderly.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: November 1861

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