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[296] supposing us to be Secessionists. They were glad to do us any service.

About eleven o'clock we approached the lines of our own pickets, though we could not tell exactly when we should meet their outpost. We were within four miles of Rowlesburg and two of Buffalo Creek, where seven companies of the Ohio Fifteenth were encamped. From some experience among pickets, I felt apprehensive that they would fire upon us, but Major Gordon felt sure they would halt us before firing, especially as we bore the flag of truce. We were jogging along pleasantly, Mr. Ricketts riding before, picking out the way, when pop, pop, pop, went several guns, within thirty paces, the bullets whistling unpleasantly close to our ears.

We hallooed to them to stop firing, that we were friends without the countersign, bearing a flag of truce and important despatches. But they would not stop to listen. Under the impression that the enemy was coming on them in force, they ran to the camp with a frightful story. Presently we heard the long roll beaten, and the crash of trees, which were cut down to obstruct our passage. We held a council of war, picketed our horses, unhitched the mules, stuck our flag of truce up in the wagon, and took to the chapparel and hid behind logs. We very well knew that men so alarmed would do any thing desperate. Notwithstanding the novelty and peril of our position, some of us fell asleep, overcome with fatigue. I was awakened about three hours after by something crawling along the dead bark of the log, and it was exceedingly like the crawl of a snake, that doubtless intended to have a warm bedfellow.

The woods abounded in rattlesnakes and copperheads, and I was not long in changing quarters. Shortly after a picket, under charge of an officer, came softly venturing out along the pike and walked up to our wagon. When they saw that it was' not cannon, and that a flag of truce waved over it, one faintly cried out, “Who's there?” --“Friends without the countersign,” replied the Major. “Come forward,” was the response, and he obeyed orders. After a long parley and explanation, the guard standing with muskets cocked, we were allowed to come forward, and were conducted to quarters. Soldiers were detailed to cut away the timber and bring in our horses and team, and in the light of new day we arrived at Rowlesburg, chartered a special train, and found ourselves at Grafton by ten o'clock.

Thus ends the first campaign in Western Virginia, and my correspondence. The army of Gen. Morris was to return, via St. George, to Laurel Hill, and go into camp. The three months men will soon return home for reorganization. The grand army of the rebels, over 10,000 strong, in Northwestern Virginia, has melted away like mist in the morning. Utterly routed and scattered, the men are so demoralized that they never will stand fire if they should escape and join the army in the Shenandoah Valley or beyond the Blue Ridge. The probabilities are that they never will succeed in getting back. Hundreds will perish of hunger and exhaustion in the mountain wildernesses, and hundreds will desert and return to their homes or deliver themselves up as prisoners of war. It is the proper place at which to terminate a six weeks campaign. Hail and farewell.

Cincinnati Commercial.

McClellan's movements.

We can say most cordially, with a contemporary, that, in perusing the narrative of Gen. McClellan's triumphant career in Western Virginia, the uppermost impression left in the mind is that it is a thing completely done. It is a finished piece of work. It stands before us perfect and entire, wanting nothing; like a statue or picture just leaving the creative hand of the artist, and embodying his whole idea. McClellan set out to accomplish a certain definite object. With that precise object in view he gathers his forces and plans his campaign. Onward he moves, and neither wood, mountain, nor stream checks his march. He presses forward from skirmish to skirmish, but nothing decoys or diverts or forces him from the trail of the enemy. Outpost after outpost, camp after camp, gives way; the main body falls back, and is at last put to an ignominious and disgraceful retreat. He remains master of the field, and reports that he has accomplished his mission. There is something extremely satisfactory in contemplating what might be called a piece of finished military workmanship by a master hand. It is one thing done. It is, besides, a poetic retribution, for it commemorates the quarter day after the bombardment of Sumter.

Thus shall we go on from one step to another. Eastern Virginia will next be McClellanized in the same finished style. The triumphant Columns of the Grand Army of the United States will soon begin to move Southward from North, East, and West, headed by the old victor-chief, now coming as the conquering liberator of his native State. Then will the pseudo-Government at Richmond either repeat the flight at Harper's Ferry, Phillippa, Martinsburg, and Beverly, or, if it stands its ground, fall as surely before the concentrating hosts of the Republic as if it were meshed and crushed in the folds of some entangling and overwhelming fate.--Louisville Journal, July 20.

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