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[308] reached Harrison's Bar, James River, Va., where he wrote a long and interesting letter to the Governor. It appears that Colonel Ritchie went by way of Washington, where he found General Burnside, who had been summoned from North Carolina to a consultation with General Halleck; ‘and they both left, that same day, for this place, to confer with General McClellan. This move on the part of General Halleck was intended to be kept a great secret, and he left Willard's almost in disguise; but, though no one at Fortress Monroe or this point knew of the visit, it was duly recorded by those admirable spies for the enemy, the New-York papers. Generals Halleck, Burnside, Reno, Parke, Cullom, and Sedgwick have all made most earnest inquiries concerning the success of the recruiting in Massachusetts, and expressed the greatest satisfaction at your determination to fill up the old regiments first. At the same time, I find that the almost universal feeling of the army is against the system of bribing men to do their duty by large bounties, and in favor of an immediate draft.’ General Burnside offered Colonel Ritchie passage to Fortress Monroe in his flag-boat, which offer was accepted; and, finding that our Twenty-first and Twenty-eighth Regiments were at Newport News, he determined to visit them at once. Captain Davis (Seventh Battery) had left Fortress Monroe, that morning, with a force of infantry, to reinforce against an apprehended attack. It was represented to be in splendid condition.

The Colonel then writes,—

It may be useful to remark, that General Dix, in command at Fortress Monroe, exercises a discretionary power, or revising power, at Old Point, as to passes from the Secretary of War; and the vise of the provost-marshal is absolutely necessary to enable any one to get up this river. I will also notice, for the information of any of the staff whom your Excellency may see fit to send out here at any time, that, contrary to General Reed's opinion, I find my uniform an “open sesame,” while a civilian's dress would stop a man at every step.

Colonel Ritchie found, at Newport News, three divisions of Burnside's corps, and General Stevens's division, from Hilton Head. General Burnside expected to have, in a short time, thirty thousand men; but it was a curious fact, that not a regiment

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