From the Richmond Dispatch, 7/20/1864, p.1, c 5
Daring Robbers. – An attempt was made a few nights since to run off some of the stock from Capt. Mifflin Ladd’s farm, situated about three miles from the corporate limits, on the Brook turnpike. About one o’clock in the morning he was aroused from his slumbers by the barking of the dogs in the direction of his cow yard, and thinking that all was not right, he caught up a trusty rifle which he had in his chamber and hurried to the spot. Arriving at the edge of his wheat field, he observed that the dogs had formed a circle around some object, at which they were lustily barking; but thinking it was one of his own hogs, he hesitated to shoot at it, when all of a sudden a pistol was fired at him, which caused him to realize that he was mistaken in his first impressions, and as soon as he recovered from his surprise he discharged his own weapon at the fellows. In a few seconds another pistol was fired from a different direction, and hardly had the reverberation died away before still another report was heard. By this time some of the servants came to Capt. M’s assistance, which caused the assassins to take to their heels. Chase was given, but owing to the fleet footedness of the thieves, they succeeded in making their escape. Subsequent search showed that they had carefully taken down the bars to his fence and driven off one of the Captain’s cows. She was finally recovered, however. In their flight the robbers left behind an axe and a large knife, all besmeared with blood, thus indicating that they had previously been engaged in slaughter and robbery.