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Adams, of South Carolina, being associated as the leading representatives of that idea in the cotton States.
Gen. Gregg was remarkable for his firm and unflinching temper. In the army he had an extraordinary reputation for self-possession and sang froid in battle. He was never disconcerted, and had the happy faculty of inspiring the courage of his troops, not so much by words as by his cool determination and even behavior.
The romance of the story of Fredericksburg is written no less in the quiet heroism of her women than in deeds of arms. The verses of the poet rather than the cold language of a mere chronicle of events are most fitting to describe the beautiful courage and noble sacrifices of those brave daughters of Virginia, who preferred to see their homes reduced to ashes, rather than polluted by the Yankee, and who in the blasts of winter, and in the fiercer storms of blood and fire, went forth undismayed, encouraging our soldiers, and proclaiming their desire to suffer privation, poverty, and death, rather than the shame of a surrender or the misfortune of a defeat. In all the terrible scenes of Fredericksburg, there were no weakness and tears of women. Mothers, exiles from their homes, met their sons in the ranks, embraced them, told them their duty, and with a self-negation most touching to witness, concealed their want, sometimes their hunger, telling their brave boys they were comfortable and happy, that they might not be troubled with domestic anxieties. At Hamilton's crossing, many of the women had the opportunity of meeting their relatives in the army. In the haste of flight, mothers had brought a few garments, or perhaps the last loaf of bread for the soldier boy, and the lesson of duty whispered in the ear gave to the young heart the pure and brave inspiration to sustain it in battle. No more touching and noble evidence could be offered of the heroism of the women of Fredericksburg than the gratitude of our army; for, afterwards, when subscriptions for their relief came to be added up, it was found that thousands of dollars had been contributed by ragged soldiers out of their pittance of pay to the fund of the refugees. There could be no more eloquent tribute than this offered to the women of Fredericksburg-a beautiful and immortal souvenir of their sufferings and virtues.
What was endured in the Yankee sacking of the town, finds scarcely anywhere a parallel in the history of civilized races. It is impossible to detail here the murderous acts of the enemy, the arsons, the robberies, the torture of women, and the innumerable and indescribable villanies committed upon helpless people. The following extract from the New York Tribune, written by one of its army correspondents in a tone of devilish amusement, affords a glimpse of Burnside's brigands in Fredericksburg, and of the accustomed barbarities of the enemy:
"The old mansion of Douglas Gordon-perhaps the wealthiest citizen in the vicinity-is now used as the headquarters of General Howard, but before he occupied it, every room had been torn with shot, and then all the elegant furniture and works of art broken and smashed by the soldiers, who burst into the house after having driven the rebel sharpshooters from behind it. When I entered it early this morning, before its occupation by Gen. Howard, I found the soldiers of his fine division diverting themselves with the rich dresses found in the wardrobes; some had on bonnets of the fashion of last year, and were surveying themselves before mirrors, which, an hour or two afterwards, were pitched out of the window and smashed to pieces upon the pavement; others had elegant scarfs bound round their heads in the form of turbans, and shawls around their waists.
"We destroyed by fire nearly two whole squares of buildings, chiefly used for business purposes, together with the fine residences of O. McDowell, Dr. Smith, J. H. Kelly, A. S. Cott, William Slaughter, and many other smaller dwellings. Every store, I think, without exception, was pillaged of every valuable article. A fine drug-store, which would not have looked badly on Broadway, was literally one mass of broken glass and jars."
The records of the Spanish and Moorish struggles, the wars of the Roses, and the thirty years' war in Germany, may be safely challenged for comparisons with the acts of barbarity of the Yankees. Their worst acts of atrocity were not committed in the mad intoxication of combat, but in cold and cowardly blood on the helpless and defenceless. While the lawless and savage scenes in Fredericksburg, to which we