Diascund Bridge, February 19, 1863-8 p. m.
Brigadier General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding:
GENERAL: Lieutenant Harman [Company B, Fifty-ninth Virginia Infantry] has just returned from his expedition to Burwell's Bay, in Isle of Wight County. Dense fogs prevented his seeing across the river to Newport News, but having obtained what he regards as entirely satisfactory and reliable information he did not wait for the weather to clear, but returned at once to communicate it. From Captain Drummond, of Norfolk, and from Captain Nelson, if Isle of Wight, he learned that the enemy have landed a considerable force at Newport News under the command of General Burnside. The Galena, the Minnesota, two monitor boats, and ten gunboats are lying off Newport News. The troops were landed from large side-wheel bay steamers, each with a slop in tow. Up to the time that the fog prevented further observation of their movements ten of these steamers came up daily, commencing on the 125th instant. As soon as the troops disembarked the steamers returned the Potomac. No re-enforcements have been sent to Norfolk or Suffolk. It is generally understood that the expedition consists of Franklin's corps and is destined for Charleston. Lieutenant Harman returns to-morrow and will report my further movements.
W. B. TABB,
YADKINVILLE, N. C., February 19, 1863.
DEAR SIR: We have had a starting occurrence in this county, of which you have doubtless heard before this time, which has greatly exasperated every intelligent and good citizen of the county. I mean the murder of two of our best citizens, magistrates of the county, by a land of deserters and fugitive conscripts. The circumstances are these: There has been a strong feeling against the conscript law among the uninformed part of the citizens here ever since its passage. Many of that class swore that they would die at home before they would be forced off, and when the time came for them to go perhaps nearly 100 in this county took to the woods, lying out day and night to avoid arrest; and although the militia officers exerted themselves with great zeal, yet these skulkers have always had many more active friends than they had and could always get timely information of every movement to arrest them and so avoid it. The militia officers have been able to arrest very few of them. This state of affairs has encouraged the dissatisfied in the army from this county to desert and come home, until, emboldened by their numbers and the bad success of the militia officers in arresting them, they have armed themselves, procured ammunition, and openly defied the law. They have even sent menacing messenger to the militia officers, threatening death to the most obnoxious of them and all who assist them. Last Thursday 12 of the militia officers came on 16 of these desperadoes in a school-house about 4 miles from this town, armed, fortified, and ready for the fight. The firing immediately commenced; which side first fired is not positively certain, but from the best information I can get I believe it was those in the school-house. They finally fled, leaving 2 of their number dead and carrying off 2 wounded, after killing 2 of the officers. In the school-house were found cartridges of the most