June 21, 1861
Interesting from Richmond
Richmond, June 16, 1861
John Anthony Winston has received the appointment of Colonel in the army of the
Confederate States, and has been ordered with his regiment to Yorktown. The Hampton Smith Rifles and the Stephens
Guards, of Mobile, and a company from Selma, belong to his regiment. A report is in circulation here to-day that
Gen. Magruder, the hero of the Bethel Church brush,
and who commands the brigade to which Col. Winston is attached, has determined
to drive the myrmidons of Lincoln out of Hampton Village, and that he has
ordered Col. Winston’s regiment (with two other regiments) to notify Old Abe’s
boys that the time they are to occupy Hampton is out, and that they must
leave. I conversed with an intelligent
gentleman this morning who told me that he left Yorktown day before yesterday,
that the rumor was true, and that three regiments had left Yorktown before he
did, and were advancing upon Hampton Village.
Before this letter reaches you I may have to send you a telegram about a
sure enough fight at Hampton. The Bethel Church affair was certainly, in a
small way, decidedly brilliant. I met a
gentleman yesterday who was in the fight.
His character for truth was frequently the subject of high compliment
among the gentlemen whom I heard speak of him, and he said he counted himself
between seventy and eighty of the enemy dead upon the field, and that they no
doubt had carried away as many more mortally wounded, as the trail of their
retreat was literally crimsoned with blood.
It seems after a hard fight of several hours, they made out to kill one
of our men, wound six, and to discover when a suitable occasion for a retreat
presented itself. Herculean achievement
that—especially the retreat.
Zach. Dean has been appointed aid to Gen. Johnson at Harper’s Ferry, and is now
there. The enemy are attempting to
surround Harper’s Ferry. McClelland is
approaching from Cumberland. He passed
through Romney, advancing on Winchester, last Wednesday. From Romney to Winchester it is forty-two
miles. From Winchester to Harper’s Ferry
it is twenty-eight miles by railroad.
The enemy are also advancing, under the command of McDowell, on Leesburgh from Washington City. If they are not met at Leesburgh
or between Leesburgh and Winchester, and repulsed,
they will in a very short time have Harper’s Ferry literally surrounded. Leesburgh is in
Loudon county, a county in which there is ample provisions to support an army
of 50,000 men for twelve months, independent of the forthcoming crops. Hence the anxiety of old Scott to get
possession of it, and hence the importance of anticipating his attempt to do so
and thwarting it.
writing the above I have heard a thousand and one rumors, and as no two of them
agree I shall not attempt to agree with any one of them. The conclusion, however, to which I have
come, upon a dispassionate review of all of them, is that within the next ten
days there will be fought on the soil of Virginia from three to five bloody
battles, and if they are infantry fights, and the Federal forces do not
outnumber ours more than five to one, it will be as easy to record the general
result before the fight as after it is over, for we will as certainly thrash
them as we meet them.
[Transcribed by: Sharon Strout]