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On the 4th of August, 1863, an expedition left For. tress Monroe, under the direction of Major-General Foster, accompanied by the turreted iron-clad Sagamon, and gunboats Commodore Barney and Cohasset, and proceeded up James river. When within seven miles of Fort Darling, at a point called Dutch Gap, a torpedo was exploded under the bow of the Commodore Barney, by a lock strongly connected with the shore.

The explosion was terrific. It lifted the gun-boat's bow ten feet out of the water, and threw large quantities of water high into the air, which, falling on deck, washed overboard fifteen of the crew. Among them was Lieutenant Cushing, Commander of the Barney. Two sailors were drowned, and the rest were saved. Major-General Foster was on board when the explosion took place.

The enemy then opened on them from the shore with 12-pound field-pieces. The Barney was penetrated by fifteen shots, besides a great number of musket-balls, but not a man was injured except the Paymaster, who was slightly wounded by splinters.

The gunboat Cohasset received five 12-pound shots, one of which passed through her pilot-house, instantly killing her commander, Acting-Master Cox, striking him in the back. The object of the reconnoisance being effected, the feet returned. The Barney went to Newport News for repairs.



In the fall of 1862, Samuel A. High, a notorious West Virginia guerrilla, who had long been a terror to the loyal people of Hampshire and adjoining counties, for some unknown reason, surrendered himself to the authorities; who, from motives equally inexplicable, knowing him to be a murderer and highway robber, set him at liberty; after which, he engaged in kidnapping Union men.

On Saturday night, late in October, Mr. John N. Spencer, of Mill Creek, was laying in the woods, as all loyal men in that region then had to do. The night being rainy, Mr. Spencer became wet and cold, and went to his house and made a fire, when High, and nine or ten other, who seemed to have been waiting for him, rushed from the woods into the house, and seized Spencer, and started off with him in search of another loyal man, near by on the way.

High and one of his comrades got up a dispute, as to who should shoot Spencer, but coming to a brother-inlaw of High's, High and two others stopped to take care of Spencer, and sent the others on.

They went into the house, High and the guards set their guns down, and all gathered around the fire. Spencer, in the mean time, not feeling quite easy after the dispute above alluded to, under the pretence of being too warm, slipped his chair back until he could reach High's gun, in which he succeeded, and in a moment the notorious High was a corpse before him.

Spencer, taking advantage of the consternation of High's two accomplices, made his escape, taking with him High's gun, a hunting rifle. The guards, meantime, broke and ran after their comrades.

Spencer immediately started for New Creek Station, where he arrived in safety with his prize-the gun. He was greeted as the hero of the times, all rejoicing that High's race was run.




MR. MURPHY, learning that his wife was in deep distress at his imprisonment, determined to effect his escape, and in concert with Lieutenant Raynor, and Captain IIurd, devised a plan.

They observed that the surgeons were permitted to pass in and out without obstructions, they being distinguished by a bit of red ribbon; and as the sentinels were changed every two hours, they could pass by the guard as surgeons, provided they could get the necessary badge.

Tearing a bit of red flannel from one of their shirts, and putting it on his coat, Lieutenant Raynor passed out without difficulty, and by a previous arrangement, he made a purchase of a pocket compass, and a map of Virginia. Mr. Murphy and Captain Hurd passed out on the next relief, by the same means, and met Lieutenant Raynor on the corner of a neighboring street. This was about eight o'clock.

Their plan was to strike a northeast direction from Richmond, and crossing the Rappahannock, to reach the Potomac, where they expected to reach our fleet. This they successfully accomplished, after great priva tion and suffering, extending through several days, of which the following is a brief narrative:

After going half a mile beyond the city limits, they struck the Union turnpike, which they followed out. Owing to the darkness, they successively ran upon a toll-gate, guarded by soldiers, and a breast-work with cannon, from which they retreated, and succeeded in turning, unperceived, through neighboring fields. They met country wagons, all of which they avoided.

After travelling fifteen miles, as daylight dawned they went to sleep in the woods. At nine o'clock in the morning they resumed their march, keeping in the woods, however, as long as daylight lasted. They eat during the day their only food, a sandwich each, which they had brought with them.

The second night they crossed the Chickahominy river on a mill-dam, and continued their march till daylight, when they reached a large plantation, and nearly encountered a number of negroes going to their work. They succeeded in avoiding them, and continued their journey during the day, crossing the Pamunkey river by means of a raft, which they constructed.

They then built a fire in the woods and made a good meal of roasted corn and potatoes, both of which they had secured in fields on their route. During their whole route, the roads frequently took them out of their course; in which case they would abandon them, and guided by their compass would go across the country till they struck another road which suited their destina

tion. Generally, they slept during the day, doing most of their travelling by night, and of course at times suffering terribly from hunger, thirst and insects. On Saturday they succeeded in crossing the bridge over the Mattapony river, without attracting observation. Their map,


course, was of but little use to them as regarded the details of the country through which they were travelling, and they were at a loss to determine where they were. On one of the roads they came to a country store, on which they discovered by moonlight a notice posted, which they tore off and took with them to the woods.

On lighting a piece of candle, they discovered it to be a notice to the creditors of the late General Garnet, who was killed in Western Virginia, to present their claims at Bowling Green, in Carolina county. This saved them the risk of making personal enquiries as to where they were, which they had determined to do the , next morning.

On that night they met a negro in the woods, but they passed by each other without salutation. They were assisted too, by the inspection of a guide-board, and at this point a negro came suddenly upon them unawares, but in a seeming fright ran away. Fearing that he might give the alarm, they ran for a long distance, that they might be beyond the danger of pursuit.

On Wednesday morning, about two o'clock, they reached the Rappahannock where they fortunately found a small boat. Mr. Murphy took off his shoes in passing through a small village near the river, that he might avoid making any noise, and in getting into the boat he accidentally left his shoes on the river bank. This was the occasion of much subsequent suffering, as he

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