From Fairfax Court-House.
[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Fairfax C. H., Aug. 22, 1861.
The green, beautiful country surrounding this village is dotted by thousands of snow-white tents, and the curling smoke from a many camp-fires.
The stirring strains from the regimental bands, the sunset parade and review, make up a scene of loveliness and grandeur that the word- painting of your correspondent is too poor to draw even an out line of.
is still the topic of conversation with both the officers and men, and many are the daring deeds and hair-breadth escapes with which the visitor it entertained, until "tat- too" sounds the hour for retiring, and the fearless soldier sinks down to see again in his troubled sleep visions of the red field and its fearful carnage.
The great events which we are told "from little causes flow," are sometimes smothered in their womb by the nerest meanest
accident, and a single fortuitous circumstance may enable the escape or capture of an army.
When the tide of battle was turning in our favor, and the eagle vision of Beauregard
behold the inevitable rout and dismay of the enemy, a courier was dispatched to a reserved brigade or heavy numbers, ordering it to advance rapidly to Centreville
, and cut off the retreat of the fugitives.
The horse fell to the ground, disabling or killing his rider.
The message never reached its destination, and the opportunity for cutting off at least ten thousand of the enemy was murdered by the stumbling of a brute.
Officers high in command have assured me that ten thousand prisoners and double the material would have been the additional fruits of our victory, had the order of our Generals
not been thwarted by the misfortune referred to. Vigilant proceedings are being bad for the recovery of the guns which fell into the possession of our army on the 21st, but subsequently into the hands of private individuals, to whom they were entrusted it some instances by our soldiers, as their part of the spoils, for safe keeping, and in others were surreptitiously taken from the field.
Many of our soldiers have exchanged their for Minnie.
and Enfields, of the most improved finish, and nearly all their tents are adorned with some valuable trophy of our great victory.
A large number of new and costly uniforms were captured, packed carefully away in the trunks of the U. States
officers, and labelled "Richmond
," intended, doubtless, for the grand entree into your city, the paraphernalia of which would have been of the gayest character.
Nearly all of these uniforms are now being worn by our officers, and are the subjects of many an amusing joke.
A South Carolina
officer has just informed me that the capture of a well filled trunk enabled him the morning after the battle to throw every article of his old powder blackened clothing and replace them with a gaudy suit; from socks to hat, in which he appeared "the observed of all observers."
The captain of a company which has been detailed for picket duty at Falls Church
, has offered me almost a library of valuable books, which were abandoned in the frightened escape to Alexandria
— the property, doubtless, of some officer who had been bred to the law and had determined, upon his arrival in Richmond
, to resume his more favorite profession — winning his cases, if necessary, at the point of the bayonet.
's headquarters is near Manassas
Very little is heard of him — nothing is known; and the mysteries which envelope his future designs are as dark as the smoke that overhung the recent great battle.
Daily skirmishing occurs between the picket guards near Falls Church
, and on yesterday two of the enemy's scouts were killed by our cavalry.
Our lines extend beyond the church to within four miles of Alexandria
, and shots are exchanged every day between the sentinels of the two armies.
On yesterday information was received from a deserter that five thousand of the Federal
troops had advanced from Alexandria
in the direction of our lines, who may contemplate an attack upon some single regiment of our forces near here, or have in view a thievish foray into the neighborhood.
Their reception has been provided for.
The Regiments immediately around Fairfax
compose the Brigade of Gen. Longstreet
.--Many of them were formerly in the Brigade of Gen. Early
, of Franklin county
, but become dissatisfied with him in consequence of an error into which he led during the battle of the 21st--mistaking the enemy, who had hoisted a Confederate flag, for his friends, and refusing to permit his men to fire.
The 7th Virginia Regiment, commanded by Col. James L. Kemper
--the idol of his men and the pride of the State
--comprised a portion of this Brigade, and were drawn up fronting the enemy in order of battle.
During the formation a fierce volley from the disguised Federals was poured into a portion of it; still the command of Gen. Early
was, "Boys don't fire.
Those men are your friends" Capt. Thomas B. Masaie
, commanding the "Washington Greys," of Rappahannock county
, observing the mistake of the commander, and unable to repress his momentary indignation, exclaimed, "They may be your friends, but I'll be d--! if they are mine," and ordered his men . The enemy was soon afterwards divested of his stolen livery and put to flight.
exhibited great personal bravery, exposing himself fearlessly in the most dangerous places, and his sagacity is alone blamed for the partial success of the miserable stratagem resorted to by the Yankees
The First Regiment of Virginia Volunteers, from Richmond
, is encamped near Fairfax
and of it and its officers I will speak in my next.