From Camp Pickens.
[special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Camp Pickens, June 14, 1861.
Yesterday, appointed by his Excellency President Davis
as a day of fasting and prayer, was respected, as far as possible, throughout the Camp as a time of supplication of the Divine favor, though towards the close of the day, when the Dispatch
brought at the intelligence of our glorious victory at Bethel Church, the prim dia
go y t second war of independence, independence of injure aid gave way to thanksgiving for the mighty assistance vouchaafed us on the 10th of June last, by the Lord God of Sabbath — Surely, in the quaint language of the olden time, it was a "clowning mercy." and has satisfactorily settled one thing which our lenders should hereafter take into consideration when I effecting their plans, and that is, that the proportion of Yankee soldiers we may encounter, with an assurance of victory, is about four to one.
Those of our men, who have not hitherto been fully accoutered, are now being rapidly equipped, and many of the arms have been exchanged for those of newer and better construction.
While on the subject of arms, permit me to any a word, which I hope will be heard wherever your paper may reach.
In your issue of yesterday I noticed a most timely and able article upon the subject, in which you advance the only true doctrine, that it is the men, and not the arms, by which battles are won. The history of the so-called "improved arms" will show that when the balance is fairly struck but little advance has in reality been made on the old Brown Bess
that did such fine things in the Revolution, the Napoleonic wars, at New Orleans and Buena Vista
If any one will consult the reports of the various military commissioners to Europe
, it will be found that the apparent advantages gained by modern improvements are almost invariably counter balanced by the disadvantages always attendant upon a complex system of mechanism.
The Prussian needle gun, the caraoine-a-tige, and the generality of breach loading arms, are extremely liable to blow very badly, and when injured in the field are difficult to repair.
Even the far-famed Minnie will lead
after repeated discharges, and we will find after all, that the best gun for hard service is one of simple construction, easily loaded, strong, portable, and reasonably accurate at long distances.
For accounting, fancy and parade shooting, extreme accuracy may be desirable at almost fabulous ranges, but your true fighting distance is one that gradually diminishes, and the Southern
soldier is going to advance when he sees a Yatile, and not bother his brain with thinking of haueestr factories
and the like, amid the clouds of smoke that cover every battle field.
I trust what I have said may not be irrelevant in a camp letter to be read by some
who suffer themselves to believe that a Yankee, with a Minnie gun, is the equal of a Southern man, armed with a rock.
It is to be hoped that some distinguishing mark may soon be given our soldiers, to serve in place of a common uniform; for we have corps here arrayed in every color of the rainbow, and having nothing uniform
about them but their pluck.
Among the soldiers here are several companies from Washington city
One is commanded by Capt. Schaeffer
, formerly of the far-famed National Rifles.
There are two other companies of Washington volunteers, (the old National Volunteers,) under the command, respectively, of Capt. Sherman
boys are a gay and rattling set of blades, and eager for a slap at Old Abe. One of the companies not having as yet had any provision made for tents and camp equipage, are quartered in a long wooden shed, over the entrances to which they have scrawled, with charred wood, the names of their respective hotels.
--Thus there are the Palmetto Hotel
, Brown's Hotel, Beauregard Hotel, and the Virginia
, Confederate, and Marshall Houses.
At the corner of the street is marked "Pennsylvania Avenue," and along the "Avenue" various signs of "Bar Room," "Good Eating and Drinking, Washing and Ironing." and other burlesque inscriptions are to be deciphered.
The vigilance of our pickets, sentinels, and outposts is making and work with Lincoln
's emissaries, but sufficient seems to have been communicated to his cabal to open their eyes to the magnitude of our preparations.
I cannot speak of General Beauregard
's arrangements hereabouts, but if ever there was a leader, since Bonaparte
, who plumbed the military art, our General is that man.
Rev. Father Bixio
, of Alexandria
, has arrived in camp, and is to celebrate mass on Sunday, and remain with the troops to minister to the spiritual wants of the soldiers of his persuasion.