|The Local News, October 15, 1861. Courtesy, Library of Congress, Choosing America.
Alexandria during the Civil War: First Person Accounts
The Local News was
The Local News
published from the office of the Alexandria Gazette
during the suppression of that paper by Union forces. Selected articles from the first month of publication provide insight into how life was changing for City residents.
Most of the issues below can be read online, courtesy of the Library of Congress, “Chronicling America.” The October 12 and October 16 issues are courtesy of the Alexandria Library, Special Collections.
- The Local News (Alexandria, Virginia) October 7, 1861-February 10, 1862
From The Local News
- October 12, 1861
- November 4, 1861
- November 5, 1861
- November 6, 1861
- November 7, 1861
The Local News, October 12, 1861
Alexandria - There has been, we expect, few places more affected by the present war than Alexandria. Not six months ago, a thrifty growing city - with an energetic, prosperous, and happy population - unusually free from the crime and misery of cities generally, Alexandria occupied an enviable position, and in a social point of view, stood pre-eminently high. But a change - aye! - a sad change has come over the good old town. A large number of the oldest and most respected families are no longer ‘of us,’ having left their homes at the beginning of the war- their houses are closed or occupied by others, and their wonted life and cheerfulness has departed. The many pleasing promenades and places of familiar resort in the neighborhood are deserted, and the streets on which principally are residences of the citizens present a most desolate appearance. The wharves, too, where once were all was bustle and activity, are now, save when a transport or pungy arrives, almost bare, and on our broad majestic river no ships appear, save those used in the service of the Federal Government. But very few warehouses on the wharves are open or occupied, and Union Street, next to King, the principal business street of the city, is now, except as a burthen train passes, as quiet as on Sundays. Prince, Duke, Cameron, and Queen Streets have lost their vitality, and King alone resembles what it was wont to be. The numerous carts and drays that traversed the thoroughfares, and preformed the carrying of the city trade, have given way to the ponderous army wagon and somber ambulance and military costumes almost exclusively occupy the sidewalks. No loner in communication with the back country by three of the leading railroads in the State, the travel by rail is restricted to a jaunt from ‘Ichthyopolis’ to ‘Necropolis.’ The city government is no longer administered upon its chartered basis, the Mayor and police, night and day, having been deposed; and the sound of the watchman’s horn heard in the town at ten o’clock at night - ‘since time where of the memory of man runneth not to the contrary,’ is now silenced, the bugle’s signal and drum’s tattoo have taken their time- honored place. ‘Tempora mutantur’ - but how sad the change!
The Local News, October 15, 1861
Our absent citizens would hardly know the environs of this town if they could be suddenly transported to them. The once wooded heights all around, are now destitute of trees, and the landscape, dotted with frowning fortifications, earthworks, and entrenchments, has that hard, cold, stern look, which is any thing but pleasant either in nature or design.
MILITARY SPIRIT. – Since the beginning of the war, and the constant appearance of soldiery, the military spirit has possessed and diffused itself widely and rapidly among our juvenile population; and there is scarcely a boy now who is not thoroughly acquainted with the manual and drill of heavy and light infantry. As for drummers, there will never again be a scarcity. There is a constant drumming kept up from morning till night. Every other boy has two sticks, and practices upon all the cellar doors, fences, and steps by which he passes, to the infinite annoyance of all within hearing. A nervous gentleman the other day was heard to wish “all the drums in h—l,” and trusted that after the war “a law would be passed, especially prohibiting the beating of the infernal machines.”
THE SLAUGHTER HOUSES. – Among the places of interest to the curious, in and around the city, are the Slaughter Houses, where daily large numbers of beeves, hogs, sheep, &c., are killed for the use of the Federal army. At the one at the upper end of King street, upwards of one hundred oxen are daily butchered in the most approved style. A number of butchers are kept constantly employed. Vast herds of cattle may be seen in the fields on the outskirts of the city, in fine condition for the use of the soldiers.
THE RAILROAD DEPOTS, formerly places of such bustle and activity, are now idle and deserted. The engine houses and work-shops are however still in use – the engines in the employ of the Federal Government, and the workshops kept in operation for repairing. We learn that the Government is fitting up the Depot of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.
IMPAIRED. – The upper end of Duke street that used to be a favorite drive on account of its smoothness, has been recently much “cut up” and rendered very uneven by the constant passage of heavy wagons, artillery, &c., and will require much repairing to place it in its former good condition.
It is said that since September estates and property valued at $800,000 have been confiscated in Virginia, and agents appointed to take care of the estates, until the present difficulties are settled.
The Local News, October 16, 1861
Shuter’s Hill has been shorn of many of it attractions - a greater portion of the beautiful trees have been felled, the fences destroyed, roads made in every direction, and the hill is fortified at various points. Mr. Ashby’s residence, on the hill, has fared badly, having been despoiled of every moveable item it contained.
Aspen Grove, formerly one of the most beautiful residences in the city, has likewise suffered, being very much defaced. Nearly all the trees in front of the Mansion have been killed, the bark being rubbed or cut off, and the main building and outbuildings completely gutted, and so mutilated that [it] will require a large outlay to repair the damage done.
The Virginia House is in a shocking condition, being much defaced and very dirty.
Most of the vacant stores at the upper end of King Street, are now occupied mostly by blacks, who have opened eating houses, and a good business in this line is being done.
The office of the Provost Marshal, at the corner of King and Columbus Streets, looks rather the worse for use, and a little soap and water within, and some paint without would materially improve its appearance and conduce to comfort.
At the Court House, the Provost Judge holds his court, and dispenses justice in military style.
The jail contains a number of military prisoners, but Millan’s slave jail is the place of confinement generally for offending soldiers. It is said to be in a very filthy condition.”
The traffic carried on by the colored population with the soldiers, in pies, cakes, small beer, is considerable, the average profits of each seller being about five dollars per day- many make four or five times that much. Horses and wagons are in great requisition for the transport of edibles to the camps; and any morning long trains of these wagons may be seen wending their way out to the different roads, to the camps of the Federal Soldiers.
Notwithstanding the orders prohibiting the sale of liquor to the soldiers, many persons are engaged in the sale of this forbidden article, and large quantities of bad liquors are disposed of daily to the troops, and its effects are often visible in the streets.
Duke Street is not the principal thoroughfare for travel and transportation; the exceedingly rough condition of King Street rendering it difficult of passage.
The Orange and Alexandria Depot is being fitted up with gas, and is to be used by the Federal Government for their purposes. Trains are kept constantly running on the road for some distance up.
The residences of many of our citizens are closed but some are being opened and reoccupied. Those of our population who spend the summer and fall months in the surrounding country, are returning to their city homes.
The bell of the Friendship Engine House has been tolled for several nights for the purpose of attracting a sufficient number of the members to hold a meeting, but a quorum, we believe, cannot be obtained. The president of the company and a number of its members are absent from the city.
The lot of the Virginia House is now used as a cattle yard, where the cattle for the use of the Federal army are kept at night. Most of the cattle are very fine, and it is a sight to see them gathered in this yard at nights.
The Local News, October 17, 1861
FURTHER HELP FOR THE POOR. – It has been suggested, and the suggestion is a most excellent one, that the ladies of the city should co-operate with the “Relief Association,” in adding to the comforts of the necessitous, and deserving among our townspeople during the coming winter. There is doubtless in the garrets and clothes’ rooms of the city, numbers of thread-bare, patched or other off-cast garments, which under the skilful fingers of the ladies could be made to do good service in clothing poor children, that otherwise might suffer for the want of such articles. We know that the benevolence of the ladies of Alexandria needs only the suggestion, to secure their assistance in this excellent work. The Volunteer Relief Assoication will rejoice to have their cooperation.
I. LOUIS KINZER, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Alexandria, Va. Will attend to the prosecution of Claims for damages sustained by citizens of Alexandria and vicinity, by the use and occupation or destruction of their property by the U. S. Troops.
DOWNTOWN ITEMS. – At the upper Coal Wharves where a considerable amount of Coal has accumulated, there is some activity. Vessels are loading, and there are generally two or three arrivals and departures daily. But few Canal Boats are coming down; the majority of them being stopped at Georgetown. Unloading the boats, and loading the vessels, gives employment to a number of hands. The wharf of the American Coal Company, the Fish Wharf, the Steamship, and adjoining wharves, are used by the Government. Large sheds will, it is understood, be erected on the American Coal Company’s Wharf, for storing provisions, &c., and a switch from the Railroad on Union street is to extend out on the wharf to facilitate the transportation of articles to the camps of the Federal soldiers beyond the western limits of the city. Along the lower wharves everything is exceedingly dull and quiet. There are scarcely any vessels in the docks, and save occasionally some lone fisherman striving patiently to secure his daily food, these once busy localities are entirely deserted.
The Pioneer Mills are no longer in operation – the Caulker’s hammer and Carpenter’s adze, are no longer heard at Hunter’s Ship Yard, and the Plaster Mill is still.
Craven’s Saw Mill is in active operation, furnishing our citizens with sawed and split wood; and at the lower Ship Yard, (Goodhand’s) there is work sufficient to keep several hands constantly employed.
Union Street – the Howard street of Alexandria, is now, from Cameron street down, as quiet as Gibbon or Pendleton, and as little business transacted.
The Quartermaster’s Department and Federal Storehouses at the Steamship Depot and Warehouses adjoining, are places of bustle and excitement.
On the lot adjoining Jamieson’s Bakery on the South, stabling for five or six hundred horses has been erected, and the principal stand for the army wagons is here established.
The Old Custom House has been converted into a Bakery, and thousands of loaves of bread are daily turned out from the apartments of the Appraiser and Surveyor – while the Collector’s room, whitened by the flour, is used by the Chief Baker and his assistants as a counting room – “To what base uses, &c.”
Green’s extensive Cabinet Manufactory is no longer in operation, and the familiar sound of the bell is no longer heard at 7, 12, and 6 o’clock, as formerly.
The old Gazette, for the second time (once during the war of 1812,) since its foundation, has suspended publication, and is no longer the welcome visitor at the houses of so many of our citizens. From the office of that old familiar and popular journal is now issued the humble sheet, indicating ist aim and object in its name – THE LOCAL NEWS.
The Relief Engine House is now occupied by the military, the apparatus having been removed, and a few houses in the vicinity are occupied by the officers of some of the regiments stationed in and around the city.
The Headquarters of the General in command of the Federal troops here, is at the corner of Prince and St. Asaph streets, formerly occupied by Mrs. Page, as a boarding house. The General’s family and suite occupy the residence of Mr. Charles Baldwin, nearly opposite the Headquarters.
TUNNEL TOWN. – This noted locality exhibits, probably, in a less degree than any other part of our city the effects of horrida bella. Generally quiet, except in times of high political excitement, its quietude is now seldom disturbed, except perhaps when a drunken soldier entering its precincts, commits some act unworthy a man of war then woe to the offender – for very jealous of their rights, and sensitive in a high degree, no offence is allowed to go unpunished – and he is a t once taken in hand by those in authority among the “Boys,” and due punishment inflicted; consequently we have heard of fewer outrages or depredations in Tunnel Town than in other parts of the city. Still Tunnel Town is not what is was ante bellum. Many of the “Boys have gone off to the war, and their presence and voices are missed in the assemblies convened daily at either mouth of the Tunnel. The great poll, too, around which so often all Tunnel Town has gathered, is cut down and gone, and a few stones alone mark the place where it once so proudly stood. The lack of political excitement has also tended to cast into the shade this quarter of our city, but it is hoped that the day is not distant when Tunnel Town may assume its wonted importance, and its people be as cheerful and happy as in days gone by.
The Local News, October 19, 1861
MILITARY COURT TODAY….
The only civil case before the Court, was that of Mr. R. R. Snyder, of this city, charged with an assault with intent to kill Thomas Dwyer.
… Mr. Dwyer entered the store of Mr. Snyder, and having completed some purchases, conversation turned on the war, in which Mr. Snyder grew quite violent, wished all the Yankees hung, reproached Dwyer with being a traitor to Virginia, arid turning against the people who bad supported him, &c, whereupon somewhat of an altercation occurred, in which Snyder struck Dwyer in the face, whereupon Dwyer declared that he would appeal to the authorities. Snyder said he would have him assassinated if he did so and, seizing Dwyer by the collar, forced him
into his (Snyder's) office-room, and there, holding a large knife at Dwyer's throat, compelled him to promise not to complain to the authorities, which Dwyer promised, and then Snyder let him go.
Mr. Dwyer hoped the Court; would treat Mr. Snyder as leniently as possible…. Mr. Snyder was then sentenced to pay a fine of $500; to give bonds to keep the peace in the sum of $5,000, and to stand committed to jail until the fine was paid.
The Local News, October 21, 1861
We would again suggest that our resident citizens save their copies of the Local News – as, they will furnish a useful record here-after of town matters, marriages, deaths, and local incidents – besides containing a brief history of the operations of the war and the events of the times.
AN INJURED VESSEL. – The Schooner “Lady Ann,” of Jersey City, was yesterday the centre of attraction on the city wharves, in consequence of the injuries sustained by her in passing the Confederate batteries upon the Potomac river. A portion of the cabin carried off, a breach in her rail, damages to a mast and shrouds constituted the injuries she received – an account of the firing by the batteries will be found in another column.
The schooner was moored to Shinn’s wharf, and during yesterday, it is not an exaggeration to say, she was visited by thousands – including a number of ladies. All day long a crowd remained on the wharf, and kept the vessel’s captain and men busy narrating the particulars of the disaster.
The rumors mentioned and theories made by the crowd would fill a “triple sheet,” but as twilight came down, the crowd began to diminish until the vessel and her injuries wer left “alone in their glory.”
The Local News, October 25, 1861
FIRE DEPARTMENT. – The engines and hose carriages of the Relief Fire Company were on yesterday morning returned to their engine house, on Prince street, from the carriage factory of Mr. Prettyman. The U. S. military forces now retain possession of but one engine and house – that of the Star Fire Company.
The Local News, October 26, 1861
A LARGE SHED. – Workmen are busily engaged at the American Coal Company’s Wharf, foot of Oronoco street, in erecting a commodious shed, covering about half an acre. The wharf is now used by the U. S. Government, and the shed is intended for the storage of provisions, &c.
CHANGE IN RAILROAD. – Workmen in the employ of the United States are now at work changing the grade of the switch connecting the Orange and Alexandria Railroad on Union street, with the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad on Water street.
DRESS PARADE. – There was a dress parade of a portion of the U. S. troops, in this place, and its vicinity, on Thursday afternoon.
CAMP FIRES. – From any eminence, or tall building, in town, every night, the camp fires of the U. S. forces occupying all the heights in the neighborhood of this place, both in Maryland and Virginia, can be seen burning brightly.
FLAG RAISING. – The United States flag, the presentation of which to the Union Club, we noticed yesterday, was raised on the pole at the Market Square, this morning, at 10 o’clock.
After the Star Spangled Banner by the Band of the Cameron Light Guard, S. F. Beach addressed the assemblage in a short speech, the flag was then hoisted, and the Band having played Hail Columbia and Yankee Doodle, the assemblage separated.
THE RIVERSIDE OF ALEXANDRIA. – Silence reigns undisturbed at the wharves of the city south of King street – a few coasting vessels, and a number of pungies, are laying up “in ordinary” until the Potomac is opened. An occasional a vessel drops alongside a wharf – having been permitted to pass the works of the Confederates on the river – but this occurs seldom, and generally the only signs of life in the vicinity is a passing stroller – a few “sedentary fishermen,” and the U. S. Brig Perry lying quietly in the distance.
At King street, the hourly arrival of steamers from Washington – makes that point a busy scene compared with the wharves on either side.
North of King street, the U. S. storehouses and the soldiers and employees about them, prevent the somber appearance of desolation which reigns on the other side from having sway, but even here within the past few days business has been less active.
At the Coal Wharves, there is a small show of briskness – but that too has almost died out since the closing of the Potomac.
The U. S. steamer Pensacola is anchored off the foot of Princess street.
THE MARKETS. – There is, of course, nothing at all doing in a wholesale way in the regular city trade – the entire business of the town, except occasionally army and sutler’s supplies being confined to the limited retail business necessary to supply the inhabitants of this city, and its immediate suburbs – a little trade, too, had been, until the closing of the river, maintained with lower Maryland, by means of wood vessels and oyster boats, but that has now ceased.
THE CITY MARKET. – As usual upon Saturday, the City Market this morning was quite brisk, supplies being larger than on any other day during the week. Buyers were quite numerous, and supplies very good considering the times.
THE FUEL MARKET. – The Fuel Market is brisk for retail business, with a limited supply; coal coming down the Canal slowly, and but little Wood passing the Confederate batteries on the lower Potomac.
The Local News, October 28, 1861
AN AUTUMNAL SUNDAY.—Yesterday was the first clearly defined autumnal Sunday of 1861. The fall has been growing upon us, but now the faded leaves, not yet clothed with the rich beauty of Indian summer, the half-bare trees, the cool winds that forerun tho snow, are all upon us, and tell that the last glories of the summer will soon be swept away by the icy breath of winter. Services were held in all the churches now open, and at most of them the attendance at all the services was excellent. Just before noon, solemn music filled the air, and a military cortege passed through the principal streets, paying the last honors to an officer of the U.S. forces, and escorting the remains to the steamer, en route for the North. At other hours of the day, two less imposing funerals that the destroying angel had visited upon city homes. The day was quieter than usual, the chilly atmosphere having the effect of keeping large numbers in doors.
The special correspondent of the New York Times, who communicates to that paper, intelligence from the country around Washington, under date of October 25, says:—"Neither the females nor children of Alexandria will be allowed to insult the Federal troops with impunity in future.— The females will risk confinement in the guard house, and the parents will be made responsible for the good behavior of their offspring."
The Local News, October 30, 1861
A special dispatch to the New York Times, under the head of “arms concealed in Alexandria” says: “Provost Marshal Griffith, of Alexandria, has ascertained that a number of United States muskets have been, since the battle of Bull Run, concealed in houses in Alexandria, where they were placed by the Federal retreating troops. These muskets are being gradually reclaimed."
THE SUBURBS.—Those portions of this town which Mrs. Partington calls the "outsquirts," and which, in the Alexandria vernacular, were known as Bulltown, Lafentown, the village of Fishtown, Nailor's Hill. Hayti, West End, &c, have changed their aspects with the changes of the times. There have of late been none of the daily improvement which, in many of those localities, marked that the town was filling up to the full breadth authorized by its chartered limits. Custis street, which passes on the other side of the canal, is still a myth, and seems likely to remain so for a long time. Dilapidated houses are no longer repaired, nor do comely residences continue to take the places formerly occupied by unsightly huts. The graveyards are not more quiet than many of those localities. We trust, however, that it may not be long ere the stayed march of improvement may be resumed.
FENCES.—-One of the aspects of the time is the almost total absence of fencing in some portions of the region within the city limit Beside the general desolation which ever follows in the path of war, the scarcity of fuel has, no doubt, led considerable depredations on material fit for burning, and, in sum cases, proprietors have caused their fences to be taken down and stored away, rather than risk their almost certain destruction.
IMPROVED SIDEWALK.—The sidewalk on the west side of Washington street, near Wolfe, has received a much needed improvement. The old and rotten plunking, which had become dangerous, has been removed, and a solid compost footway laid. It will prove a great convenience for all traveling in that direction.
The Local News, October 31, 1861
BREAD.—The amount of bread manufactured at the United States Military Bakery (old Custom-House) would astonish those who are not familiar with such matters. — For several hours each morning the drop, in front of the bakery or. Union street, is constantly occupied by loaves of bread passing over it in a constant stream, into the cars, until car after car is loaded.
THE city authorities of Alexandria, Va., by their corporate powers are authorized to assess revenues, impose taxes, fines, licenses, &c, to collect the same, and appropriate them, for the just and necessary expenditures of the Corporation—'in which they are not to be obstructed by military or other persons, unless—otherwise ordered by competent authority. W. R. MONTGOMERY, Brig. Gen and Military Governer of Alex'a., Va.
The Local News, November 1, 1861
SUPPLY STORE.—The Supply Store of the Relief Association was opened to-day at the spacious establishment, lately occupied by James A. English, on Fairfax street, opposite the Market Square. A good supply of Bacon. Salt Pork, Flour, Meal, &c, were on hand, and some two hundred persons bad their needs supplied. We are happy to chronicle the inauguration of this most excellent charity. The Orphan Asylum and the Supply Store are the noblest institutions of the city.
THE MANSION HOUSE.—We learn that the Mansion House Hotel, of this city, will shortly be occupied by the forces of the United States as a Military Hospital. The Hotel is the most commodious, and one of the most splendid, buildings in this city.
The Local News, November 4, 1861
The Court then took up the case of Sergeant Coglan, of the 'Lincoln Cavalry," charged with shooting at Mr. John Kerr. Messrs. Quinsby, John L. Smith, John Kerr, and A. J. Walker were examined as witnesses in the case. It appeared in evidence that the accused was in the Shoe Store of John L. Smith, Saturday night last, somewhat intoxicated; that after ordering a pair of boots, he approached Mr. John Kerr, who was sitting in the store, and asked 'Are there many secessionists in this town ?" to which Kerr replied that "he believed there were a few," when the accused took out his pistol, and further asked 'Are you a secessionist?" to which Kerr replied that "he was an old man and did not take part." The accused then turned to Walker who had just come in, and inquired "What are you?" Walker answered "lam a Shoemaker?" As the accused turned to Walker, Kerr started to pass into the residence of Mr. Smith by a back door. The accused seeing Kerr move, cocked his pistol, and called to him to halt. Kerr did not halt, and as he passed the door, the accused fired his pistol, the ball passing through the partition above Kerr's head. A guard was then called, and the accused arrested.
The accused soldier said he had been drinking, and was unconscious of the action, that he had never been in Alexandria before, but he supposed that while in delirium, produced by drink, he had been thinking of injuries done him whilst a resident of Georgia and of the talk of the soldiers in regard to Alexandria being a secession place, and this led him, unconsciously to commit the deed.
The Court said that no man, soldier or otherwise, had a right to ask anybody their sentiments, and that it intended to protect all peaceable people in carrying on their business, but as it was evident there was no personal malice in this case, he would postpone its further consideration until to-morrow, to
give time for the accused to present witnesses to his character.
The Local News, November 5, 1861
THE WHARF AFTER THE FLOOD —The Potomac subsided considerably on Sunday, but on Monday sunk to within a short distance of its ordinary high water level. The strand along the river, however, exhibited as many evidences of the passing of the waters as the land of Egypt after the Nile's embrace. The embankment of the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad, crossing the low grounds near the “-gut," was somewhat washed by the influx of waters, but may easily be repaired. Fishtown, as usual, has been partly floated away—piles of timber, grass and detritus mark the path of the waters. The bed of the Orange Railroad, from Queen to Prince street, has been damaged, and will, at some points, soon require to be relayed. At the foot of all the streets, there is a deposit of rich mud, varying from five inches to half an inch in thickness. Some of the lower store floors are coated in a like manner. Some of the timbers of the Long Wharf have been torn away, and Hunter's Wharf, near the lower plaster mill, is almost bare of planking. The other wharves have suffered but slightly. This morning, however, the traces of the flood were in most places nearly obliterated.
Small vessels continue occasionally to come up the river, either by hugging the Maryland shore, passing the batteries in the night, or being allowed to sail by unmolested.
The Local News, November 6, 1861
HUNTING CREEK BRIDGE.—This structure which was torn up soon after the U. S. forces
occupied this city, but which has lately been reconstructed by Federal workmen, suffered
somewhat by the recent flood. A portion of the causeway on each side of the wood work
is washed away, and it will require some filling in to place the bridge in as good condition as it was before the storm. This work, will, we presume, be done at once.
FOOT-BALL.—This game seems of late, to have become universally popular in this city. On all the streets, in market, on the wharf—, on the commons, every where—foot-ball— foot-ball. Men play it, boys play it, and just now it seems to be "the thing." Pipes and Foot-Balls are having their day. We suggest, however, that the game be discard in all the business streets—so that passers-by—especially ladies, be cot incommoded by dashing balls and gangs of lads running at full tilt.
The Local News, November 7, 1861
MEETING—A regular meeting of the Union Association of this place, was held at the Lyceum Hall, last night, Stephen Shinn in the Chair, and 0. C. Whittlesey, Secretary. The band of the Cameron Light Guard was in attendance, and opened the meeting by playing "The Red, White and Blue." ….
Lewis McKenzie then addressed the meeting;, complimenting the Band, and insisting that such fine music would certainly put an end to many of the secessionists in the town who now looked so sour that it was painful to behold them. He said that one good effect at least of the present unfortunate war would be to put an end to what he considered the greatest nonsense and humbug of the age, the term "sacred soil" applied to Virginia. He had visited Massachusetts, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, and other States, and examined their soil, and saw no reason why the soil of Virginia was more sacred than in any of the other States.— This war would obliterate the cry of sacred soil—a cry which had had its influence in causing the State to secede. To the preachers and women, especially to the former, he attached much blame for the dissolution of the Union. He next alluded to the flag, and said, he never expected that the time would come when the Stars and Stripes would be looked upon with scorn, as that flag was now by many. He then reverted to the "sacred soil," and repeated that it was the veriest humbug and nonsense. After again complimenting the band, which he pronounced the finest he had ever heard—he concluded' and upon the suggestion of the President, a motion to adjourn was put and carried, and the meeting adjourned.