A Loyal Virginian on Gen. Wadsworth

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A Loyal Virginian on Gen. Wadsworth


Gen. Wadworth and Union troops on Upton's Hill


Charles Upton writes a letter in support of Gen. Wadsworth and his occupation of his property on Upton's Hill. Upton praises Wadsworth for his efforts to promote goodwill with the locals and the difficult job that he had in "this debateable land."


The Buffalo Weekly Express


November 4, 1862


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A Loyal Virginian on Gen. Wadsworth.

The Hon. Charles Upton, of Upton's Hill, Va., who sat for some time in the last Congress, and who had excellent opportunities to form a correct estimate of the character of the Rebellion and the value of the Union, has recently addressed to Mr. Dewey of Mount Kisco a letter, of which we are allowed to publish the following extract.

The hearty appreciation of the Union candidate of New York by the loyal citizens of the Old Dominion may serve to counterbalance the malignant abuse with which he is being daily honored in the treasonable speeches of the Secession sympathizers of the Empire State.

We commend the letter of Mr. Upton to deluded men who follow the lead of Horatio Seymour, and accept as gospel the utterances of John Van Buren :

Upton's Hill, Va., Oct 22, 1862.

Dear Sir: You desired me to put in writing the opinions I expressed recently while in your city with regard to Gen. Wadsworth, and I take the first leisure, after my .return home, to comply with your request. My acquaintance with General Wadsworth originated from the accident of his having: had his headquarters, for many months. at the place from which I now dnte this letter - my own dwelling which, in truth, he may be said to have recaptured from the Rebels, since he was the first man to come on to the hill, and into the house when they were driven out. While in command at this post, where he had a most difficult and trying task to perform, he exhibited so much wisdom, and tempered the firmness of his command with so much kindness and forbearance that he won the confidence and respect of the citizens of Fairfax, and I have heard some of them, who were among the bitterest Rebels, express feelings of respect, and even affection, for him, which no subsequent events of this wretched Rebellion are likely to efface. To understand the condition of things in this vicinity at the peii.)d of j nis occupation it must be remembered that we were then, as we have been since, upon debateable land, sometimes in possession of the National forces and sometimes in that of the Rebels, and that by reason of this, the country had been pretty thoroughly gleaned. When the Rebels fell back there went with them a good many men from my neighborhood who were ignorant and deluded as to the cause of the war and the true character of the " Yankees and Lincolnites," but who had never taken up arms: some of these left destitute families behind them, and there were then as, alas ! there will be this coming Winter many cases of sickness and destitution among women and children. These cases General Wadsworth inquired into and relieved so far as possible : to give two instances, out of many which might be related--one man left a wife and ten children the mother was taken sick and the children were starving : General Wadsworth sent flour and provisions from his own stores to this family, and contrived to get word of invitation beyond our lines to the father to return home, which he did in time to soothe the last hours of his dying wife and parent ; this man has been ever since at home, and is good, industrious tanner. Another case was that of a man who had been violent in denouncing all Yankees (but who now speaks in the warmest praise of Gen. W.) who had fled without other cause than a conscious complicity: with, the Rebels, and whose wife was near her confinement, while his aged mother was on her deathbed. Gen. Wadsworth sent for him also in time to assuage the distress of his family. In addition to these kind offices among the suffering and sorrow- stricken, he has been successful in effecting numerous exchanges of political or state prisoners, as they are called, which his close scrutiny into the condition of persons hereabout enabled him to do without prejudice to the Government. Indeed, so thoroughly did he enter into the duties of his position, I verily believe he, is better acquainted at this moment with the personnel of Fairfax County than I, who have lived here nearly thirty years. After Pope's disaster, Gen. Griffin, who was temporarily in command ot this post, inquired of me as to what Union men there were near the Rebel lines with whom he could establish communication; I gave him the best information I could, but advised him to telegraph the inquiry to Gen. Wadsworth.

The President, with a sagacity which has seldom failed him, found that in Gen. Wadsworth he had a man of industry, and administrative capacity, and accordingly transferred him to a field of larger usefulness; but, to this day, when any wrong is done them by the troops, the inhabitants of my neighborhood say: "Ah, this wouldn't be so if we had Gen. Wadsworth here."

That General Wadsworth entertains some opinions with regard to public policy not in accordance with my own views detracts nothing from his merit in my estimation; in one great point we are in perfect accord he is earnest to put down the Rebellion. Loyal people of the Border States, look upon such men as their true friends, and while they are bearing the brunt of the strife they desire, at least, the satisfaction of feeling that their sacrifices and sufferings are not to be finally crowned by a dismembered Republic The choice of civil officers at this period cannot but have a potent influence upon the destiny of the nation; the Rebels felt this in the election of Vance as Governor of North Carolina. I pray God. for the success everywhere of earnest men truthful than such as, at this late hour of the Rebellion, persist in holding up the Constitution cf the United States as the shield and buckler of those who have trampled it under their feet.

Very truly yours, Chas. H. Upton



“A Loyal Virginian on Gen. Wadsworth,” Mapping the Civil War in Arlington, accessed June 15, 2024, https://mtcwia.com/items/show/44.

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