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[307] Wardrop.1 As nearly one-half of his regiment is composed of Massachusetts men, I regret he does not hold a Massachusetts commission. Captain Davis's company, to which I have before alluded, is stationed inside of the fortress, and is permanently attached to the garrison.

We remained at Fortress Monroe three days, and then returned direct to Boston. We succeeded in getting from the regiments correct rolls of desertions, discharges, and deaths, since they had left the Commonwealth. These rolls were of great value in correcting the descriptive rolls at the State House, and in preventing frauds in paying the State aid to the families of soldiers. We were absent from the State about three weeks.

It was difficult to realize the change which the war had made in Washington and vicinity. Soldiers were everywhere. From the dome of the Capitol, a splendid view was obtained of the different camps, in which were stationed a hundred thousand armed men,—the nucleus of what afterwards became the Grand Army of the Potomac. The railroad from the Susquehanna was guarded by soldiers, along the entire line, to Washington. Pennsylvania Avenue was patrolled by detachments of infantry and cavalry. New regiments arrived daily, marched up the avenue, crossed the Long Bridge into Virginia, selected their camp-ground under orders of brigade commanders, pitched their tents, lighted their camp-fires, and became a part of the living mass wherein were centred the best hopes of loyal America, and for whom the prayers, from a million family altars, ascended daily to heaven. No one can fully realize the grandeur of the army, and the magnitude of the Rebellion, who never visited Washington in the years when it was being fought.

On or about the 20th of July, the Governor despatched Colonel Ritchie, of his personal staff, to the James River, to make a personal examination into the condition of the Massachusetts regiments in General McClellan's army, which had fallen back from before Richmond to the James River, near Harrison's Landing and Malvern Hill. On the 28th of July, Colonel Ritchie had

1 Colonel Wardrop commanded the Third Regiment of Massachusetts Mili tia, in the three months service.

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