Army of the Potomac.
[from our own correspondent.
Manassas, Sept. 12th.
The village of Manassas
, or Tudor Hall, as the Post-Office is called, is very much smaller than is generally imagined.
In the village proper there are not above three or four houses and within a circuit of three or four miles perhaps not more than five or six hundred inhabitants.
The station is situated on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, some quarter of a mile from its junction with the Manassas Gap Road
There is no regular depot, but a rudely constructed building answers the purpose at present.
One plain two-story house, with a porch in front to which you mount by half a dozen steps, was formerly the hotel, while the only remaining roofs the place can boast, is a small white cottage, now used as a hospital, and a small rough office occupied by Adams
& Co.'s Express.--The telegraph is in two horse-cars, like those used on the city railroads, in one of which the battery is placed, and in the other is the operating room, receiving-room, baggage-room, dining-room by day, and lodging-room by night of the busy operators.
These cars are placed at right angles with each other, closely connected, and over them, among the numerous wires which radiate from this common centre, floats a large and very handsome ‘"rebel"’ flag.
From early morning until far into the night the steady click of the instrument is heard, and the busy operators are seen intently engaged upon their work, unmindful of the din and noise without — the beating of drums, the shrill scream of the steam whistle, or the passage of trains — or of the many curious men who continually crowd around the windows.
Close beside the cars stands the field telegraph, with its large coil of wire wound upon the cylinder, ready at a moment's notice to be laid from headquarters to any point.
The chief operator
here is Mr. Barnes
, who has two assistants, and, as can be easily supposed, the three are kept as busy as bees.
Just beyond the telegraph office is that of the Express Company, which at this time has quite the appearance of a curiosity shop.
The building itself is filled up with all kinds of curious boxes and parcels, addressed principally to men in the army, and which have remained here some time uncalled for. Outside a large rectangular shed has been built, beneath which the larger boxes and barrels, some three or four hundred in number, are retained until called for by the owners.
Notwithstanding the seeming confusion of the place, the greatest order prevails.
Every parcel is properly labelled and recorded, and a single glance at the office-book tells the story of each in a few words.
All the vacant space is now filled, and a new board house, of peculiar architecture — something on the hibernian order — is being built for winter quarters.
The Express messenger leaves here but once a day, and then in the train at 7 o'clock A. M.
I said there was no regular depot building, but I am mistaken.
There is one--a low, dingy looking house, extremely dirty, one end of which is used as the Tudor Hall
Post-Office and the other as a variety store, where, by the way, a soldier can spend a great deal of money with as little satisfaction as in any place this side of Kansas
The trade here is principally in matches, pipes, tobacco, shoe strings, thread and buttons, and is divided between this store and three sutler shops or tents in the immediate vicinity.
There is a long triangular platform beyond the depot building, upon which is piled a large amount of freight, which is received for the different companies and regiments.
Three or four sentinels are constantly on guard here, but these are not vigilant enough to prevent about one-third of the freight sent here from being stolen.
Many things have been taken during the present week, and I now have a list in my pocket of several barrels and boxes that have been taken without the knowledge of the freight agent or the station master.
It is very necessary that better arrangements for receiving freight be made, and a more vigilant police system adopted.
Soldiers cannot afford to loose the necessaries which their friends at home have so carefully provided and forwarded to them.
Back of the hotel building is a small grove, which is generally filled either with tents or transport wagons.
At the eastern end of this is the Medical Purveyor's office
, while still further on is a small white cottage, occupied by Major Cornelius Boyle
, the Provost Marshal
of the post.
Some distance away, but still within sight, are many farm houses, which, with their out-buildings and barns, form an interesting feature in the scenery.
Although the place is generally called Manassas
, the correct name is Tudor Hall.
This is Manassas Gap, but there is another village of the same name at the other end of the railroad, and it was found that there was often difficulty having mail matter delivered correctly.
Consequently, the citizens petitioned to have the name changed to Tudor Hall, the name of the farm upon which the present village is built.
This was done some five or six years ago, but still the place retains the name of Manassas
or Manassas Junction
It may be unnecessary to say that it is in Prince William county
, five mile from Brentsville
, the county site, and twenty-seven miles from Alexandria
It is five miles from Bull Run
, and about seven from the ‘"Plains of Manassas
,"’ where the battle of the 21st was fought.
It may be that I am ‘"carrying coals to Newcastle
"’ in speaking so minutely of what nearly everybody knows; but perchance there are some to whom the description, as meagre as it is, will be interesting.
At present there are but few troops close by the Junction
, as most of them are scattered in order to get good camping grounds, places where good water can be found and good fields for drill and exercise.
The Eighth Louisiana is close by the depot, and is now engaged in guarding the town and in doing general picket and police duty.
This disagreeable task they bear patiently and without complaint; and, what is more, they do their duty well.
Their excellent band plays night and morning, and we while away many a twilight hour in listening to the sweet songs of home or gems from Mozart
mingled with the soul-stirring music of Strauss
The storm of yesterday has passed away, and pleasant weather has come once more.
The mud has entirely dried up and the roads are again passable, and I shall take the saddle to-morrow for a trip to the advanced lines.