Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/229

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I The First North Carolina Volunteers. 223

[n one word, let them always " trust in God and keep their powder dry," and our soil will soon be delivered from the boastful brag- garts who have dared to pollute it.

FROM YORKTOWN. [Special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]

YORKTOWN, June n, 1861.

An engagement, lasting four hours, took place yesterday (Mon- day) between five regiments of the troops from Old Point and eleven hundred Confederate troops, consisting of Virginians and North Carolinians under General Magruder, at Bethel Church, York county. Before telling you of the battle I will give you some cir- cumstances preceding it. About two weeks ago a party of three hundred Yankees came up from Hampton and occupied Bethel Church, which position they held a day or two and then retired, leaving written on the walls of the church several inscriptions, such as " Death to the Traitors!" "Down with the Rebels!" &c. To nearly all of these the names of the writers were defiantly signed, and all of the pensmen signed themselves as from New York except one, who was from "Boston, Mass., U. S." To these excursions into the interior, of which this was the boldest, General Magruder determined to put a stop, and accordingly filled the place after the Yankees left with a few companies of his own troops. In addition to this, he determined to carry the war into the enemy's country, and on Wednesday last Standard's battery, of the Howitzer battal- ion, was ordered down to the church, where it was soon joined by a portion of Brown's battery of the same corps. The North Caro- lina regiment, under Colonel Hill, was also there, making in all about eleven hundred men and seven howitzer guns.

On Saturday last the first excursion of considerable importance was made. A detachment of two hundred infantry and a howitzer gun under Major Randolph, and one of seventy infantry and another howitzer under Major Lane, of the North Carolina regi- ment, started, different routes, to cut off a party which had left Hamp- ton. The party was seen and fired at by Major Randolph's detach- ment, but made such fast time that they escaped. The troops under Major Lane passed within sight of Hampton, and as they turned up