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have referred, were still fresh in the public mind, the enemy in another department of the war, was displaying the same fiendish temper, stung by defeat and emboldened with the prospect of revenging his fortunes on the women and children of the South. The Yankee incursions and raids in North Carolina in the month of December are companion pieces to the sack of Fredericksburg.

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"On entering Williamstown, North Carolina," says an eyewitness, "the Yankees respected not a single house-it mattered not whether the owner was in or absent. Doors were broken open and houses entered by the soldiers, who took every thing they saw, and what they were unable to carry away they broke and destroyed. Furniture of every description was committed to the flames, and the citizens who dared to remonstrate with them were threatened, cursed, and buffeted about. The enemy stopped for the night at Mr. Ward's mill. Mr. Ward was completely stripped of every thing, they not even leaving him enough for breakfast. While on a sick-bed, his wife was, in his presence, searched and robbed of five hundred dollars. The Yankees went about fifteen miles above Hamilton, when, for some cause, they suddenly turned and marched back, taking, with some slight deviations in quest of plunder, the same route they had come. The town of Hamilton was set on fire and as many as fifteen houses laid in ashes. During the time the Yankees encamped at Williamstown every thing which they left unharmed when last there was demolished. Every house in town was occupied and defaced. Several fine residences were actually used as horse-stables. Iron safes were broken open, and in the presence of their owners rifled of their contents. Several citizens were seized and robbed of the money on their persons. On Sunday morning Williamstown was fired, and no effort made to arrest the flames until several houses were burnt. No attempt was made by the Yankee officers, from Gen. Foster down, to prevent the destruction of property. On the contrary, they connived at it, and some of the privates did not hesitate to say that they were instructed to do as they had done. Two ladies at Williamstown went to Gen. Foster to be seech protection from his soldiers, and were rudely and arrogantly ordered from his presence."

Referring to the same scenes, a correspondent writes: "Families who fled in dismay at the approach of the invader, returned and found, as well as the few who remained at home, clothes, beds, bedding, spoons, and books abstracted; costly furniture, crockery, doors, harness, and vehicles demolished; locks, windows, and mirrors broken; fences burned; corn, potatoes, and peas gathered from the barns and fields consumed; iron safes dug to pieces and thrown out of doors, and their contents stolen."

The object of the enemy's movements in North Carolina, long a subject of anxious speculation, was at last developed, in time for a severe check to be given it. At the time that the enemy assaulted our lines in front of Fredericksburg, following his favorite policy of simultaneous attack in different departments, he had planned a movement upon the Wilmington and Weldon railroad; and on the same day that the battle of Fredericksburg was fought, occurred an important passage of arms in North Carolina.

On the 13th of December, Brigadier-gen. Evans encountered, with two thousand men, the advancing enemy, and with this small force held him in check at Southwest creek, beyond Kinston. The Yankee force, commanded by Foster, consisted of fifteen thousand men and nine gunboats. Having delayed their advance for some time, Gen. Evans succeeded in withdrawing his force, with small loss, to the left bank of the Neuse river at Kinston. He held the Yankees at bay until the 16th, when they advanced on the opposite side of the river, and made an attack at Whitehall bridge, about eighteen miles below Goldsboro'; in which they were driven back by Gen. Robertson, with severe loss.

The important object on our side was to protect the railroad bridge over the Neuse, and the county bridge about half a mile above; and to effect this, reinforcements having reached us, a rapid disposition of our forces was made. During the 17th, the enemy appeared in force before Gen. Clingman's three regiments, and he withdrew, across the county bridge, to this side of the river. The artillery of the enemy was playing upon the railroad bridge; and Evans' brigade had at last to move forward by the county road, and cross, if at all, the bridge a half mile above the railroad. About two o'clock in the after

noon one bold and daring incendiary succeeded in reaching the bridge, and covered by the wing wall of the abutment, lighted a flame which soon destroyed the superstructure, leaving the masonry, abutments, and pier intact.

It was very important for us now to save the county bridge, the only means remaining of crossing the river in the vicinity. Evans' and Clingman's brigades were ordered to cross, supported by Pettigrew's brigade; and the Mississippi brigade, just coming in, was ordered to move forward at once. The enemy were driven back from their position on the line of the railroad, but on account of the lateness of the hour, the nature of the ground, and the fact that our artillery, cavalry, and a large portion of the reinforcements had not yet arrived, it was not deemed advisable to attack their strong second position that evening. During the night the enemy made a hurried retreat to their fortifications and gunboats, moving with such celerity that it was useless to attempt pursuit with any other arms than cavalry, of which, at that time, unfortunately, we had none.

Our loss in these engagements was inconsiderable-seventyone killed and two hundred and sixty-eight wounded. The enemy's occupation of Kinston, and the bridge there, prevented a body of our men, about five hundred in number, from escaping. The greater part were taken prisoners and paroled, and some few succeeded in escaping higher up on the river.

The substantial achievements of the grand army of invasion were, that they burned the superstructure of two bridges, which cost originally less than ten thousand dollars. They had utterly failed to attempt to take advantage of the temporary and partial interruption of our railroad line, for the purpose of striking a decisive blow at any important point before we could thoroughly re-establish our communication without it.

In other quarters of the war less important than Virginia or North Carolina, the early months of the winter were distinguished by some combats of various importance. The feeble campaign in the country west of the Mississippi was marked by one engagement, the dimensions of which were large for that campaign, but the situation of which was too distant to affect the general condition of the Confederacy.

On the 27th of November, Gen. Hindman came up with the enemy at Prairie Grove, near Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a

force of about nine thousand men. The enemy, under the command of Gen. Blount, was already largely superior in numbers; and it was the object of Hindman to cut off reinforcements of seven or eight thousand, which were on the march. In this he failed; but, nothing daunted, brought on the attack at daylight, capturing, in the first charge of Gen. Marmaduke's cavalry, a whole regiment, and twenty-three wagons heavily laden with quartermaster and medical stores. Soon after sunrise the fight commenced in good earnest, and with no cessation the artillery continued until nightfall. Our whole line of infantry were in close conflict nearly the whole day with the enemy, who were attempting, with their force of eighteen thousand men, to drive us from our position. In every instance they were repulsed, and finally driven back from the field; Gen. Hindman driving them to within eight miles of Fayetteville, when our forces fell back to their supply depot, between Cane Hill and Van Buren. We captured three hundred prisoners and vast quantities of stores. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was about one thousand; the Confeder ate loss, in killed, wounded, and missing, about three hundred. In one of the charges of the engagement, Gen. Stein, of the Missouri State Guard, was killed, a ball passing directly through his brain.

The close of the year 1862 leaves little to record of events of importance sufficient to affect the fortunes of the war, beyond what has been related in these pages with more or less particularity of detail. In that large expanse of country between the Mississippi and the tributaries of the Atlantic, events, since our last reference to these theatres of the war, were of little apparent importance, although they were preparing for a grand tragedy of arms upon which we shall find that the first page of the new year opens. There were daring forays, brilliant skirmishes and enterprises of our cavalry, to which a brief reference is only possible in these pages. Such were the exploits of Generals Forrest and Morgan, our distinguished cavalry commanders in West Tennessee, in which they annoyed the enemy, destroyed railroad bridges and Federal property, and captured several towns in successful raids. On the 7th of December a single expedition, sent out under Morgan from Gen. Bragg's lines, attacked an outpost of the enemy at Harts

ville, on the Cumberland, killed and wounded two hundred, captured eighteen hundred prisoners, two pieces of artillery, and two thousand small-arms, and all other stores at the po sition. Nor in our slight record of indecisive but gallant incidents of the war, must we neglect to mention the brave. enterprise of Col. Clarkson, another choice spirit of Southern chivalry, who, with a detachment of the Virginia State line, penetrated into Kentucky, captured the town of Piketon on the 8th of December, secured a large amount of stores, and nipped an important enterprise of the enemy in the bud.

In the mean time some important new assignments of mili tary command had been made in preparation for the winter campaign, and happily inspired the country with renewed confidence in the fortunes of the war. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith, whose patriotism was as enthusiastic as his military genius was admirable (for he had broken ties as well as restraints in escaping from the North to join the standard of his native South), had taken command in North Carolina. Gen. Beauregard had been assigned to the important care of the defences of Charleston and Savannah, threatened by the most formidable armadas that the warlike ingenuity and lavish expenditure of the enemy had yet produced. Gen. Pemberton had relieved Van Dorn of the army of the Southwest at Holly. Springs, which had been taken by surprise on the 20th of December, and was now in our possession; and that latter officer, illstarred by fortune, but whose gallantry and enterprise were freely acknowledged, was appropriately appointed to take command of the cavalry forces in the West. The command of all the forces between the Alleghany and the Mississippi was intrusted to Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, whose matchless strategy had more than once enlightened the records of the war, and whose appointment to this large and important command was hailed with an outburst of joy and enthusiastic confidence in all parts of the South.

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