From camp Pickens.
[special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, June 21, 1861.
My time has been so little my own since I left Richmond
, that I have not been able to keep you informed of events transpiring here, eagerly as I know such intelligence would be read by your many readers.
I am glad to see, however, that my omission has been more than supplied by others in our camp, who have fewer duties and more leisure, to say nothing of their facilities for writing.
That we are on the eve of some great event, movements which have taken place within the past week, and which are continuing daily, too plainly indicate.
Extraordinary vigilance enjoined upon our sentinels, an unusually rigid enforcement of military discipline, and the constant state of readiness in which we are required to hold ourselves, are regarded as preliminary to the hour when the souls of men are tried, when the feelings of the heart struggles with the weakness of the flesh; when life and right are thrown into the scale against might, and the issue left to the God of Battles.
The intelligence coming in every day of the disasters which befall the Federal
forces in their every undertaking is received here with intense gratification, and fills us with a confident belief that a wiser One than even the great Captains
of antiquity is fighting our battles, and will, in His own good time, bring upon our enemies defeat and shame.
There is but one drawback to our exultant happiness when we receive such news, and it is, that we have not yet given or received a blow.
If I am not greatly mistaken, however, the most pugnacious of us will soon have an opportunity of gratifying to the fall the desire for battle.
I hope, if such an event does take place, that I may be in condition to give you particulars as eye-witness and participant.
A rumor was received at headquarters to-day, to the effect that a battle was fought at Romney
, the county seat of Hampshire county
, resulting in the defeat of the Lincolnites and the taking of a number of prisoners, amongst whom were a Colonel and two of his staff.
The report has not been confirmed, but is generally credited.
I have heard of a singular circumstance in connection with the affair at Vienna
on Monday last, in which a prophecy was literally fulfilled.
A gentleman who is in our Army, while on a visit last winter to his brother-in-law, in Ohio
, urged him to leave that hot-bed of Abolitionism, and come to Virginia
The latter replied that he would come, but it would be with gun in hand, to crush the rebels.
‘"If you come on such an errand, I predict you will run away,"’ replied the indignant Southerner
The prediction seems to have been speedily accomplished, for a blanket with the full name of the invader was found near the railroad track, where the enemy fled to the woods.
There is no truth in the reports which I see reached Richmond
, that a fight had taken place at Fairfax Court House.
Such an event, however, need not excite surprise should it take place at an early day. In fact, it has been looked for for some time past.
's regiment, from South Carolina
, have advanced to Fall's Church
, seven miles this side of Alexandria
The Federal troops vacated the position a short while before the South Carolinians reached it.
The weather here for some days past has been excessively warm.
This is bad for us in more respects than one.
The ground is parched, the dust all abroad, and, worse still, the springs are drying up. In the camp adjoining our own--Col. Garland
's — I learn that the men can afford the luxury of washing their faces and hands only once a week.
Of course this is only a temporary discomfort, but one which is felt, perhaps, more than any other while it lasts.
The companies now in this camp — C, H and I — feel no small degree of mortified pride at the fragmentary condition of the 1st Regiment of Virginia Volunteers.
Were all the Regiment together, it would be the finest in the State
, both in material and appearance.--As it is--one portion in Richmond
, another in Norfolk
, another in Lewisburg
, another at Fairfax Court-House, and the remainder in camp here (performing the duties of all the rest)--we can scarcely be considered a regiment at all. In the event of a pitched battle, should our Colonel
be ordered, with the 1st, to a certain part of the field, where would the regiment be?
Surely it is not intended to back us on, company by company, to other commands, where, should every man of us prove a hero, the members of the 1st Regiment Virginia Volunteers would never be heard of.
By the blessing of God, we have escaped all disease excepting dysentery, of which there have been a few mild cases, consequent upon a change of water, etc. Via.