From the Richmond Whig, 1/16/1865, p. 1, c. 6
THE HEGIRA. – As Mahomet and his followers fled from Mecca before the persecutions of the Arab idolaters, the sons of Ham are flying from this city to avoid an imaginary impending conscription. The opinion obtains among them that they are to be put into the Confederate ranks with muskets in their hands, and not liking the prospect they are running off nightly in gangs. The military authorities have shut up the principal highways leading to the Yankee lines, but the negroes escape for the most part through the woods. A few of the most idiotic follow the roads and are captured. Mr. Jos. Mettert, of Geary’s cavalry, on Saturday night, arrested on the Mechanicsville pike, about a mile from the city, James and Charles, slaves of Mrs. Jane Timberlake, of Hanover, who had in their respective market carts two negroes who were evidently prepared for a trip to Yankeeland. These negroes were John Hames, slave of Peter Webster, and John, slave of Dr. Edward Eppes. Mr. Mettert brought the four back to the first station house, when, on search, the two last mentioned were found to have $150 a piece in Confederate notes in their stockings, and each of them was wearing four or five shirts and three or four pairs of pants.
On the same night detectives Jones and Turner arrested in Screamersville, at the house of a Mrs. Winants, John Munn, on the charge of being about to run a parcel of negroes and white men through the lines. Munn was already under bail to answer before Judge Lyons’ Court for aiding a negro to escape from his master to the enemy.
John, slave of Ro. Oliver, was arrest on the same night on the suspicion of being about to run off to the Yankees. This makes five negroes captured Saturday night. We have no doubt that fifty got safely through the lines.