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[597] the 26th. Here every thing was bustle and activity. The wharf was crowded with all kinds of commissary, military and naval stores, and hundreds of contrabands were busy at work. In Hampton Roads lay the largest fleet of war-vessels and transport-ships ever concentrated in any harbor in America. It was a beautiful sight, and gave one an enlarged idea of the magnitude of this war, of the enterprise of our people, and of the resources of the nation.

The boat remained at Fortress Monroe two hours, and then proceeded on past Newport News to the mouth of the James, and, following the devious channel of that river for about seventy miles, arrived at five o'clock, P. M., at City Point, which is the base of supplies for the Army of the Potomac, and the headquarters of Lieutenant-General Grant. The trip was made, including stoppages, in twenty-six hours. The fare from Washington to City Point is eight dollars and a half, meals one dollar each, and state-room a dollar and a half. The ‘Express’ was a poor boat, and it has been taken off the line, and another, with good sleeping accommodations, put on in its place. A steamer leaves Washington every afternoon for City Point, stopping at Alexandria, Point Lookout, and Fortress Monroe.

The scenery on the James is monotonous in the extreme. The banks are densely wooded, and there is not a village worthy of the name to be seen from the steamer. We passed the ruins of the ancient city of Jamestown in the afternoon: one or two chimneys, and the remains of brick walls, are all that is left to mark ‘the first settlement of Virginia.’ Thoughts of Captain Smith, Rolfe, Pocahontas, and Powhatan naturally well up in the memory, on gazing at the ruins of this ancient town, near by which, and on its site, is a camp of colored soldiers, which the captain of the boat informed me was commanded by Brigadier-General Wild, of Massachusetts. Their white tents made a pleasant contrast to the dark foliage of the pines, and the ruins of a city which has passed away. As the steamer glides up the stream, other names attract your attention, and excite your interest, associated, as they are, with late events of the war; such as Foster's Landing, White-House Landing, Harrison's Landing, Light-house Point, Fort Powhatan, &c., &c. The river is well guarded with gunboats, and there is no fear of the navigation being interrupted by the enemy.

At City Point, the river is crowded with vessels of all descriptions; the wharves extend for at least half a mile; numerous supplies for the army are here stored. A colored regiment does guard duty, and colored men load and unload the vessels, railroad cars, and army wagons. It is a busy, active place. On ascending the bank, which is seventy-five feet high, the first place to visit is the provost-marshal's


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