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[596] Assistant Adjutant-General, I called upon Colonel Tufts, and arranged with him to send blank muster-rolls for pay to the companies garrisoning the forts in that part of the defences of Washington which I had not time to visit. I had previously arranged with those I had visited to have the rolls of the men who had elected to receive the State pay of twenty dollars a month made up to the 31st of October, and to have them left with Colonel Tufts, so that I could get them on my return from the front.

At three o'clock, I left Washington, on the mail steamer ‘Express,’ for City Point, General Grant's headquarters. The boat was crowded with passengers, among whom were a large number of officers, when we left Washington; but, on reaching Alexandria, we took on board three hundred more. These were soldiers from ‘Camp Distribution,’ belonging to different regiments in the Army of the Potomac. They were made up of convalescents, bounty-jumpers, deserters, and new recruits, white and black. We had three fights on board before we had been from the wharf half an hour. One fellow was also detected in stealing, and was tied up by the wrists for about four hours.

The sail down the Potomac was very pleasant, until night shut off the view when near Acquia Creek. I had a very good view of Mount Vernon, and the outlines of the old Washington estate. There were but four state-rooms on the boat, and no berths; there were a few rough bunks for soldiers. It therefore became a serious question how we were to pass the night. About nine o'clock, the steward spread about a dozen narrow mattresses on the floor of the dining-room, which were soon disposed of at a dollar apiece. I was too late to get one; but a friend on board, who had seen camp-service, had with him a good buffalo robe, which he spread on the floor, and invited me to share it with him, which invitation I gladly accepted. Before retiring, I made a survey of the boat. I was curious to know how the remaining five or six hundred human beings were to rest. A large proportion of the soldiers were already asleep on the decks on coils of rope, on boxes and bales; the colored soldiers and the white lying side by side. Those who had not retired were assembled in groups, some playing cards, and others singing camp-songs. At ten o'clock, I took off my boots and shared my friend's buffalo-robe, and slept soundly till early morning, when the boat stopped to deliver the mail and a few passengers at Point Lookout, a large depot for rebel prisoners, which is commanded at present by Brigadier-General Barnes, formerly colonel of the Massachusetts Eighteenth.

We arrived at Fortress Monroe at eight o'clock on the morning of

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Gardiner Tufts (2)
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