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[39] mail, and been obliged to disregard form. I believe I have given you the substance of all that I have learned here.

Your Excellency's most obedient,

Harrison Ritchie, Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
P. S. It is thought that the delay gained by the result of the Virginia election will give time for at least one thousand of the troops from Texas to get here before they are wanted. General Scott thinks he can count upon two thousand of the volunteers of this district. Colonel Keyes says, be prepared; organize your regiments, and drill them; furnish them with the new rifle-musket, knapsacks, canteens, blankets, and proper clothing, one hundred rounds of ammunition per man, and a supply of camp-kettles.

As to other camp equipage, it may be necessary: that he cannot tell at present.

Colonel Ritchie left Washington the next day, and, on arriving at New York, wrote another letter from that city, dated February 8th, in which he discusses again the position of affairs at Washington, and makes certain suggestions in regard to getting troops to Washington, which in time became of great practical service:—

You will have perceived by my first letter that I had already made the acquaintance of Colonel Keyes. In fact we became great friends. When General Scott referred me to his two aides,—Colonels Leigh and Keyes,—I made up my mind after a very short conversation, that Colonel Leigh was a man of “Southern proclivities,” who did not look with any favor upon my mission, though I had a letter of introduction to him from a mutual friend. He was disposed I thought to prevent my interview with General Scott,—and interrupt it after I had obtained it by introducing other people and other matters,—and he showed evident marks of dissatisfaction at my quiet persistence until I had accomplished my object. Of course I did not appear to notice this.1 Keyes, on the other hand, went into the matter with his whole heart. He said he was bored to death with inquiries on these points—but where they were direct and to the point, he would answer them by the hour with pleasure. I had also heard of Mr. Goddard's errand, and conversed with him before receiving your

1 Leigh afterwards deserted to the enemy, taking with him many of General Scott's plans and confidential papers.

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