Kent County(sic) Courthouse, Va., May 12th 1862
My dear Ellen,
I am now sitting in the courthouse on the Judges bench and occupy his chair of honor.
The morning after the West Point battle we went into camp and rested. The next day we were ordered to come out and meet Genl. Stoneman, McClellan’s advance. We done so. Although our order was to return to Franklin’s division, Genl. Stoneman saw the enemy in front and would not consent to our going back. . . . If the enemy knew how small a force we have here, they no doubt would attack us. Success would be in their favour. But by night we will be strong enough for them.
This is a rather pretty country. As is generally the case in Virginia, the buildings are all very poor. Most of the inhabitants have gone, Oh, what a courthouse it is! It is the meanest kind of building. It must have been built in King George’s time. When we approached this place, the Rebel rascals burnt the jail and a large storehouse filled with corn. (the jail was full of corn also.) The Rebels destroy everything as they retreat so that we can’t get the good of it.
- from The Civil War Letters of General Robert McAllister by James I. Robertson