2 December 1863: “They burned and sacked houses, tanyards & blacksmith shops, broke open smoke houses, carried off Mr. Horace Lacy’s library and committed havoc generally.”

Item description: Entry, dated 2 December 1863, from the Civil War diary of Peter W. Hairston.

18631202_01

Item citation: From the Peter Wilson Hairston Papers #299, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Dec. 2. This morning to our surprise we found the enemy had left, altho it had been reported that they were missing in front of Gen’l Hampton’s scouts. An Alabama negro who had been in the employ of a Yankee Major was the first to give us notice, having left the enemy and come over to us. We immediately followed them to Germana Ford and picked up several hundred stragglers. Gen’l Lee said the rascals had come down here, burned the houses and property of these poor people and then escaped without his being able to inflict any injury upon them. He was rather mortified by the result. Gen’l's Early, Stuart & Hampton all met at Germana. It being doubtful whether the enemy were making their way down the river or back to Culpeper, he waited some time and sent out scouts to ascertain. It was finally ascertained that they had returned to Culpeper. The prisoners captured stated they had no rations in two days. Letters were found from some of Meade’s officers stating they could not carry on works on Mine Run without massing their troops in large numbers upon some particular point, and this they could not do without being observed as our sharpshooters were too near them. They burned and sacked houses, tanyards & blacksmith shops, broke open smoke houses, carried off Mr. Horace Lacy’s library and committed havoc generally.

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