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[69] him as he approached. Just then two nags thrust their heads toward the door and were repulsed by the woman, who then beckoned to the boy to approach, which he did, expecting to receive a rating. To his agreeable surprise, the good woman unfolded a clean towel, displayed a nice loaf of fresh bread, and handed it to him, asking if he had been to dinner, and remarking that he might share it with some of his comrades. We, who later enjoyed the loaf with him, could relate many an incident of woman's kindness in the District and in Secessia, to those soldiers who were civil and respectful to her as was her due.

We have seen a woman bestow a handkerchief upon some poor fellow who was wiping the perspiration from face and eyes with his blouse; and we have heard another cordially invite two soldiers to her board, scantily furnished as it was, and was likely to be for many a day, since her man was in Dixie. We suspect our friend the cook had been too officious, and mayhap too loquacious, while he was a tenant-at — will in the galley.

On the morning of the 30th we were lying beside the Mt. Vernon road, just outside of Alexandria, and not far from the bridge over Hunting Creek, having spent the night there after debarking from the transports. The death of Brother Knowles, which happened during the night, was reported to us. Our sorrow for him was mingled with heart-felt sympathy for his wife and daughter, whom we saw bide him farewell last October at Camp Cameron.

Just what was the status of Gen. McClellan at this moment, we knew not; a portion of his army, Porter's corps, which had preceded us from Fortress Monroe, had been sent to reinforce Gen. Pope, who had been for several days menaced by the larger part of the Confederate army of northern Virginia. Heintzelman's corps, weary and footsore, now numbering but 10,000, had also joined the forces of Pope, but their artillery, horses, and wagons could not yet have arrived. Where were the commands of Sumner and Keyes?

The Sixth Corps is here at Alexandria. To what army does it belong? Why was it not landed a week ago at Aquia Creek, and despatched to the plains of Manassas? Pope's army, at best, can number no more than half that of his adversary. Why do we not hasten to his aid? We cannot say.

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