[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
January 3, 1862
[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Mouth of Indian, Monroe County, Va., December 29, 1861.
Having received very late advices from the Kanawha border, and knowing them to be the most reliable to be obtained, I desire to place the public and the Government in possession of them. A refugee from the vicinity of Fayetteville has just arrived here, having suffered the lose of his entire property by the infernal vandals, who are now 2,000 strong at that place. They have fortified themselves, and have four pieces of ordinance--two on each side of the town. All of the loyal citizens have fled, some of them without their families or property. The demoralizing and corrupting oath of allegiance is inexorably administered to those who remain, and absentee are notified by every means in the power of the Federals to return within a certain space of time, or be considered enemies. Passes are furnished in these instances, the penalty being embodied, and each absentee being individually addressed.
The families of refugees remaining are now kept by the unclean spoilers on half rations, I must add that women are included in this brutal treatment. The best citizens have fled, among whom Col. Dickinson, Mr. Mansen, Jno. McCoy. L. Jones, Jno. marrs, John B. Jones, Clerk of the Courts, Judge Baley, and others. Negroes are spirited away continually, wholesale and wanton destruction stalks among the afflicted families of Fayette and Raleigh, and to those favored at first by Heaven, with true loyalty and self sacrificing devotion to our beautiful and much covered South, have come the curses and vengeance of that unclean and vile portion of mankind — the Yankee. I saw Col. Dickinson, a few days since, an exile from his home — his family, all that is dear, except his smitten, yet triumphant South. He was formerly a citizen of Nelson county, Va., but has for many years lived in Fayetteville, where he has been by that people entrusted with high official stations.
His daughters, with whom I have been well acquainted in previous years, have imbibed the spirit of their father. One of them whose bitter lot it was to see her loyal and beloved husband carried forcibly away and started a prisoner to Columbus, was a few weeks ago confronted by Gen. Rosecrans in person, who informed her that it was by his orders her husband had been arrested, and if she would make certain acknowledgements and make certain pledges, he would have him released and restored to her. The storm of woman's indignation was stirred in her smitten bosom — she replied that her husband "had done nothing to request an stone for, and sooner than purchase even his pardon in that way, she would live on bread and water the remainder of her days."
The people here, in Monroe county, are loyal, and wish to remain so. Their sons, brothers, and husbands, are in the Confederate service, and they are true; yes, true as the load-stone. I refer to the great mass of the population; but the Administration seems about to put their patriotism on the rack. The Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment, the only protection to this country, is withdrawn. If it be true that the forces from Meadow Bluff are to be ordered away, I assure you one of the finest sections of Virginia is gone. For, when a people are overrun, chained, stripped of their property, and demoralized by familiarity with their captors, they are gone from their former allegiance.
The writer once lived here a number of years, and is much acquainted with this Kanawha Valley; and there must be something done for this people. Let the enemy once cross Pock's ferry, only 12 miles West of here, in the absence of a force here on our part, and I warn you it will cost us blood and tears as a Government. A suicidal Legislature may appropriate the paltry sum of 830,000 to clean out New river for batteaux, but let the Government strip this section of all protection, and allow scouting parties of the enemy to come and search their homes, as they did for Gen. Beckley the other day, and follow up such recognizances with armed occupation, and then they will improve the sluice navigation of New river. The army of the Peninsula could not more than remove them from here then. Mock not, deceive not yourselves, ye men of Richmond, ye deaf men of tide-water Virginia, ye officers of our associated. Government, with the delusive dream that Floyd's retreat means Rosecrans in winter quarters. The wet weather is gone. The mud that locked the wheels of our cannon on Cotton Hill and threw it into the hands of the enemy, has dried, and the road from Cotton Hill to Dublin Depot, was never finer. The gilded coaches of your Main street can go almost untarnished over its entire length. There are passes in this section that the enemy can hold, with a moderate force, against the heavy forces you will send here next spring, and they will seize them soon. One or two regiments at Peterstown will do more service now than another trip of the gallant and sagacious. Floyd to Cotton Hill next year, with forces drawn from his flank and rear. You may hear from me again. Dixie.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: December 1861