Sunday, March 18, 2012

1862 March 19 Staunton, Va.

[from the diary of Joseph A. Waddell, former owner of the Staunton Spectator]

Wednesday night, March 19, 1862.

Thirty-nine years ago, this day, I was born. The
cars arrived just now. We have had no news to-day, not
even a rumor. About 2 o'clock seventy-odd men
were brought in who were captured by our cavalry
scouts in Pendleton or Hardy, while endeavoring to es-
cape from militia service or the draught. Ten or ele-
ven of them are from this county, and the remainder
from Rockingham. They were endeavoring to make
their way, in small parties, to Ohio. Some, if not all
of them, are simple-hearted, inoffensive people belong-
ing to the Dunkard Church. They will be sent to Rich-
mond to-morrow, and are confined to-night in the
Court house, every door and window being guarded by a
sentinel. It is reported that altogether they had several
thousands of dollars in specie. Thirty-one houses, 28 sad-
dles and 29 bridles belonging to them were turned over to
the Quartermaster here. I will take a descriptive list
and appraisement of the property to-morrow. It was,
of course, necessary to arrest and bring back the desert-
ers, but there is something pittiful in their fleeing in
this manner and being taken like partridges on the moun-
tains. The whole crowd had a pocket pistol between them,
and one soldier arrested twenty of them. I believe that
most of them, and perhaps all, had no hostile in-
tentions towards us. Two of them are Dunkard preachers.

MSS 38-258

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