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[63] and formalities which they might have escaped if they had been civilians and private citizens and gone direct from Constantinople to Sebastopol, as so many idlers and amateurs had done; but, having presented themselves in an official capacity, they could do no less than bear its burdens and encumbrances; and so they went on to St. Petersburg, where they arrived June 19. A few extracts from a letter written by Captain McClellan to his younger brother — now Captain Arthur McClellan--the day after his arrival in the Russian capital, give some of his first impressions of the country and people:--

We left Warsaw at six P. M. on the evening of the 13th, and reached here at about the same hour last evening, having travelled constantly day and night, merely stopping a few minutes for meals.

In Poland the country is either flat or slightly rolling, the soil improving as you approach the Niemen, but in many places very poor. There are no towns of any consequence on the road, which, you will observe, passes near the Prussian frontier, but many villages, which are generally of wood and presenting a dirty, squalid appearance. The villages are mostly inhabited by Jews,--as dirty and wretched a race as you ever saw,--worse than any you ever saw. The appearance of the Poles is any thing but favorable; they look like a stupid, degraded race,--are dirty and ugly. It is difficult to imagine how they ever fought as they have done in the past. Ostrolinha was the site of a great battle in the revolution of 1831. It is a small wooden town on the Narew (Nareff), which is here a rapid stream some fifty yards wide. A large monument commemorates the victory gained by the Russians. Kouno is a town of good size, mostly built of plastered brick. A portion of it is very old, while the new suburbs

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