State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Smuggling Along the Pamunkey- 1863

When the train from Richmond on the York River railroad neared the site of the White House, on the Pamunkey, yesterday morning, it was fired into by small body of Yankee cavalry, perhaps seventy-five or a hundred in number, who had visited that point as an escort of a gunboat. The train was at once backed off and returned to this city.
The only damage known to have been done by the marauders was the destruction by the gunboat of two oyster pungies, which were lying at the White House wharf. On of these pungies was the property of Mr. WILLIAM BROWN, a fishmonger of this city.

-The Richmond Examiner, January 9, 1863

THE CONTRABAND TRADE- AN INCIDENT.- The visit of the Yankees to the White House last Wednesday night, and their destruction of the oyster craft then lying in the Pamunkey River have already been mentioned. But no notice has been made of the most important capture effected by them on that occasion.
On the morning of Thursday, January 8th, Mr. _____, of Baltimore, a well known blockade runner, having with him four wagons loaded with assorted merchandise, was in the county of King William, making his way to the White House, from which point he designed to ship his goods to Richmond by the York River railroad. When within three miles of the White House, being chilled by the night air, Mr.____ got out of the wagon in which he had been riding and walked ahead of the train. He had walked but a short distance when he was met by a horseman, who, reining his horse to the side of the road, halted to survey the wagons. Mr.____, not liking the appearance of this apparition and presuming him to be a soldier, enquired of the man to what regiment he belonged. Without making any reply the unknown wheeled his horse round and rode quickly off in the direction from which he had come. This conduct excited the worst apprehensions in Mr.____, and he at once began to revolve in his mind what it was best for him to do, but before he could come to any conclusion his fears were realized by hearing someone in the road twenty yards in front of him, say in a voice of command, "Bring these wagons in front of the troops." The word troops satisfied him that he had fallen into the hands of the Yankees, as one which they invariably use in speaking of their voices great or small: Thinking the he might possibly save himself if not his property, Mr.____, without a moment's hesitation, crept over a fence by the road side, and throwing himself into a ditch drew a blanket carefully over his head. In this position, fearing every moment to be pounced upon he heard his wagons driven off, and a few moments after the road scoured by Yankee horsemen, who he felt certain were in search of himself. In the course of an hour everything having become quiet, he ventured to peep forth from his hiding place. It was then broad daylight and at first there seemed to be no enemy in the neighborhood; but on approaching the road carefully and looking up and down, he discovered a villainous blue coated cavalryman half concealed in the skirt of wood not fifty yards distant. Dropping back on his hands and knees he crawled to a neighboring thicket and started for Richmond. After a terrible tramp through swamp and woods he reached the York River railroad just as the train was retreating from the White House.
Mr.____ estimates his loss by this adventure at forty thousand dollars. He had many goods which are needed by the government, beside others which were bought on private orders. This is the third time since he embarked in smuggling that this gentleman has lost his goods and himself barely escaped capture. The profits of the business are so great, however, that there is no reason to believe that the dangers attending it will ever lead to an abandonment of the business.

-The Richmond Examiner, January 12, 1863


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