conference, I am informed, with other officers, he ordered the perpetration of the outrage. Thus an expedition of at least two gun-boats, with a considerable force under a general officer, were specially ordered by a major-general of the enemy commanding a department to proceed less children, the oldest about fourteen, over their heads, and to turn them out at night, in rain and darers, with two of the infant children seriously sick, without shelter or protection, on no other ground of selection than that they were connections or relations of a public functionary of the Government against which they were warring.
To such a deliberate act of baseness, spite, and despicable malignity there is no need to add heightening effects; but it may be stated that the family consisted of an aged mother, near eighty years of age, a widow, with five young children, and a maiden sister, still a young lady. There are none, too, in the land more exemplary and held in more universal or higher esteem than these ladies, and their conduct in that fearful trial, as on not a few previous accessions, so combining loyalty to their State and heroism of soul with all the refinement and dignity of ladies, should have shamed, as before it had done, all but dastards or fiends front heir ignominious purposes. Infamy and execration must follow the perpetrators of such outrages; but it seems to me that signal retribution should likewise indicate our abhorrence of the act, and enforce from the fears of our enemies, since to all higher sentiments they are insensible, abstinence from similar atrocities against the homes of our helpless women and children.
Very truly, yours,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
AUGUST 14, 1864.
General Hampton is to-day on the cars from Richmond to Charlottesville. Send this to Richmond and request them to have it delivered to him on the route if practicable; it is very desirable for General Hampton to get it.
W. H. TAYLOR,
August 14, 1864.
General W. HAMPTON,
Beaver Dam, Va.:
Halt your command and return toward Richmond. Gregg's division is crossing at Deep Bottom. Send back an officer to ascertain position.
R. E. LEE.
This must be sent promptly and be forwarded at once from Richmond.
W. H. T.