March 1 — The raiders have all retreated toward the Rappahannock, and about the only thing that they accomplished for the benefit of the United States is that they burnt our winter quarters, with such a stupendous loss to the sunny South that I think the Southern Confederacy is ruined and that it might as well take down its shingle at once and retire from business.
We came back to our old camp to-day and found nothing but desolation and ashes where our winter quarters stood yesterday morning. Personally I lost nothing but the best Confederate jacket that I have had since I have been in service. The marauders took it out of my knapsack and burnt it; I found the buttons to-day in a little pile of ashes near my lonely house, which is one of the few that escaped the fiery ordeal of yesterday’s conflagration.
I suppose that the devout Yankee who burnt my Sunday jacket thought that he was immolating a precious and costly sacrifice on the altar of his country, and that it would prove to be an acceptable offering to Uncle Sam’s God, which of late years seems to be a demon of destruction.