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Doc. 195.-the March into Virginia.

Friday, May 24.
Thursday night was a stirring one. Through the day and evening the reports of contemplated military movements kept the people on the qui vive, to which excitement fresh fuel was added on its being whispered that various regiments had been ordered to prepare for immediate service; the words dropped also by Gen. Thomas at the Seventh Regiment camp, to the effect that the storm was about to burst, indicated that a decisive move was to be taken. The general idea among the troops was that an advance was to be made into Virginia, but nobody seemed to be advised as to the exact purposes entertained at Headquarters.

At 11 o'clock we pushed off for the Long Bridge to see what was developing thereabouts. We found the vigilant sentries of the Washington Light Infantry (company A) posted some distance up Maryland avenue, and a portion of the same company somewhat lower down. A squad of the Infantry had also been detailed to a point near the monument, to keep an eye on any boats going out of the canal. Near the bridge and on the bridge were the Infantry, a company of Rhode Islanders, a Massachusetts company, a United States cavalry company, a company of United States artillery, (two pieces,) the Putnam Rifles, the Turner Rifles, National Rifles, Metropolitan Rifles, and company F, Union Volunteers; while company E, Washington Light Infantry, (Capt. Powell's Zouaves,) and the Constitutional Guards, occupied the Virginia end of the bridge.

A full moon looked peacefully down, and perfect quiet reigned on all the neighboring shores. But this was to give place very speedily to more stirring movements. Somewhat after midnight Capt. Smead's company, the National Rifles, and Capt. Powell's company were advanced across the bridge to the neighborhood of Roach's Spring. Scouts were sent out in all directions, who managed to get past the line of the Virginia pickets. Somewhat later the Virginia pickets, getting the alarm, set spurs to their horses and made off down the road towards Alexandria in hot haste.

The Constitutional Guards, Capt. Digges, about eighty strong, were on duty over the bridge. Col. Stone, of the District of Columbia volunteers, asked them if they had any objections to go beyond the District, as they were very close to Alexandria. The men answered unanimously in favor of going anywhere; and they were accordingly advanced along the road and through the country down as far as theFour-mile Run. The Virginia picket guard stationed near Roach's Spring ran, and about an hour after the alarm bells were rung in Alexandria.

This (Friday) morning, at two o'clock, in pursuance of orders previously given, a large [275] body of United States troops crossed the Potomac from Washington and its neighborhood into Virginia. Ellsworth's Zouaves, in two steamers, with the steamer James Guy as accompanying tender, left their camp on the Eastern Branch and made directly for Alexandria by water. The Michigan Regiment, under Col. Wilcox, accompanied by a detachment of United States cavalry, and two pieces of Sherman's battery, under command of Lieut. Ransom, proceeded by way of the Long Bridge directly for Alexandria.

The Seventh New York Regiment halted under orders at Hughes' tavern, at the Virginia end of the Long Bridge; the Second New Jersey Regiment is at Roach's Spring, half a mile from the end of the bridge; the New York Twenty-fifth, and one cavalry company, and the New York Twelfth, and the Third and Fourth New Jersey Regiments proceeded to the right, after crossing the bridge, for the occupation of the Heights of Arlington. They were joined by other troops which crossed at the Georgetown Aqueduct.

At four o'clock, A. M., at about the same moment, the Zouaves landed at Alexandria from the steamers, and the troops before named, who proceeded by the bridge, reached that town. As the steamers drew up near the wharf, armed boats left the Pawnee, whose crews leaped upon the wharves just before the Zouaves reached the shore. The crews of the Pawnee's boats were fired upon by the few Virginia sentries as the boats left the steamship, by way of giving the alarm, when these sentries instantly fled into the town. Their fire was answered by impromptu shots from some of the Zouaves on the decks of the steamers bearing them. Immediately on landing Col. Ellsworth marched the Zouaves up into the centre of the town, no resistance whatever to their progress being offered.

Thus quiet possession was taken of that part of Alexandria in the name of the United States, by the portion of the troops immediately commanded by Col. Ellsworth.

Those commanded by Col. Wilcox, at about the same moment, as explained above, marched into the town by the extension of the Washington turnpike, the cavalry and artillery marching in two or three streets below. The destination of both these detachments was the depot of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, which they instantly seized. They also found near by a disunion company of cavalry, commanded by Capt. Ball, (thirty-five men and as many horses,) who were made prisoners, not having heard the alarm made by the firing of the sentries below.

Every thing found in the depot, in the way of rolling stock, etc., is, of course, in the hands of the Government troops holding it.

A number of secession officers were captured in the Marshall House. They are held as prisoners.

At four o'clock in the morning, a number of Government wagons went across the Long Bridge loaded with picks, shovels, and all manner of tools of that description, and accompanied by a full corps of carpenters and workmen. The United States forces are now busily engaged in throwing up fortifications on the heights of the Virginia bank of the Potomac.

The whole of Sherman's battery (six pieces) crossed the Long Bridge in the advance during the night, two pieces going to Alexandria, and four pieces turning off to the right, Arlington way. At noon to-day Rickett's Light Artillery (six pieces) also went over the river from here.

Col. Wilcox, of the Michigan Regiment, is now in command at Alexandria.

The citizens of Alexandria appeared terrified. Many of the Union men shouted for joy at the success of the military demonstration, declaring that free speech and free institutions were again established there.

--Washington Star, May 24.

The movement upon Virginia.

The Government, at last, has moved in force upon Virginia. On the night of Thursday, ten thousand men crossed the Potomac at Washington, captured Alexandria without resistance, while a detachment pushed forward to seize the point of junction of the Manasses Gap, with the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, to cut off all communication between Richmond and the Northern portion of the State. This movement, if successful, completely breaks the lines of the rebels, isolates Harper's Ferry from the base of their operations, and involves either the dispersion or capture of the forces at that point. We also learn that a body of Ohio troops is moving from Wheeling by way of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad upon the same point. We had no intelligence yesterday from Fort Monroe, but it is probable that the troops concentrated at that fortress under Gen. Butler, have moved in the direction of Richmond, so that every important point on the enemy's lines will, at the same instant, be either threatened or attacked.

We could not wish for a more favorable opening of the campaign. We desire to see all the secession forces upon the soil of Virginia. The rebellion is brought within reach of the most effective blows we can deal. We can move our forces into that State in one-fourth of the time, and at one-fourth of the expense at which the secessionists can place their own there. We could not well follow them to Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi. The inhospitable climates of those States would prove more fatal than the arms of the rebels. But in Virginia we have an acceptable and healthy battle-field, where we can concentrate and put forth our whole power.

There is another reason why Virginia should be the battle-field of all the seceding States. She has been the greatest offender. She, more than any other State, is responsible for the great rebellion. Her spirit is the most vindictive [276] and intolerant of all. A just retribution is already upon her. In a few days more than a hundred thousand fighting men will be on her soil which will be devastated by the terrible storm of war, her people driven from their homes, their fields blasted, their property destroyed, and their great institution at the mercy of their foes. Virginia should never have been a slave State. For the first time in her history, it is in our power to make it a free one.

In support of the advance upon the State, there must now be nearly 40,000 troops in or near Washington. Of these 30,000 could be made available for offensive operations. The number is daily and rapidly augmented by the constant arrival of regiments from every portion of the Northern States. This is a very formidable force, much larger we believe than can be opposed to it, should Harper's Ferry and Norfolk be attacked or threatened by competent forces at the same time. We possess great advantages, not only in the superiority of numbers, but in our means of concentration against any menaced points. In a very few days our active forces could be accumulated either at Washington or Fort Monroe. It would take as many weeks for the rebels to make a similar movement. Our position controls the entire field, with unlimited means for transportation, while the enemy must move upon its exterior, which, for a portion of the distance, is without either railroad or water-line. Such an advantage ought to be conclusive of the issue — as it fulfils the grand condition of success in military affairs — superior forces at point of contact.

We trust the present movement is the signal for efficient offensive operations. If the positions already taken are held, an important advantage has been gained. Our capital has been freed from the possibility of an attack. Up to yesterday the enemy, from Arlington Heights, might have shelled every part of the city. Northern Virginia has been completely cut off from the Southern portion of it. Such advantages should be instantly followed up. We need, if we can achieve it, an early success. The rebellion takes its character from the future fortune it meets. If successful, it is elevated to the dignity of a national contest. If unsuccessful it is only a conspiracy of a faction. We must expect foreign Governments to shape their policy by the same tests. If England sees us masters of the occasion, she will either maintain neutrality or side with us. If we are defeated, we must expect her hostility. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that we make an early and decided demonstration. We cannot in the end fail to triumph, and we should instantly put forth every effort to such a result. The rebels will never give in so long as there is the shadow of hope of foreign interference in their favor. By destroying this hope, we put an end to the contest.--N. Y. Times.

The Southern press on the occupation of Alexandria.

The Rubicon has been passed. Yesterday a column of five thousand Federal troops crossed the Potomac, and took formal military possession of the unprotected town of Alexandria.

This is the first response of the Lincoln despotism to the shouts for freedom and independence which went up on Thursday from every portion of Virginia.

Alexandria has been declared by the Washington tyrants a portion of the District of Columbia, and as she gave, in the very face of the Federal army, an overwhelming majority for Secession, Lincoln has sent his troops there to develop and protect a Union sentiment.

Do these besotted fanatics flatter themselves that Alexandria is to be kept in chains like those which bind poor Baltimore to the car of the Federal despotism?

We congratulate the people of Virginia that the last flimsy pretext of the Rump Government at Washington, of regard for constitutional laws, has been thrown aside. The sovreign State of Virginia has been invaded by the Federal hirelings, without authority of Congress, which alone has the war-making power. Heretofore, the pretence that it was the duty of the Federal Government to repossess itself of the forts and arsenals in the seceded States, has been put forward to justify the aggressive movements of Federal troops. But in the present case there is no such pretence; no forts, or arsenals, or other Federal property have been seized at Alexandria. The “bloody and brutal” purposes of the Abolitionists, to subjugate and exterminate the Southern people, stands confessed by this flagrant outrage upon Virginia soil.

Virginians, arise in your strength and welcome the invader with “bloody hands to hospitable graves.” The sacred soil of Virginia, in which repose the ashes of so many of the illustrious patriots who gave independence to their country, has been desecrated by the hostile tread of an armed enemy, who proclaims his malignant hatred of Virginia because she will not bow her proud neck to the humiliating yoke of Yankee rule. Meet the invader at the threshold. Welcome him with bayonet and bullet. Swear eternal hatred of a treacherous foe, whose only hope of safety is in your defeat and subjection.

It is not in the occupation of Alexandria that any cause for mortification exists — that has been for some time expected by those who were careful observers of events. It is in the continuance of the enemy upon our soil that we shall have cause for mortification. It is the fault of the enemy that he has invaded Virginia; it will be our fault if he does not pay the penalty of his rashness. An army full of strength and power went from France to Moscow; a broken remnant of starving and miserable men returned to France to tell the [277] sad tale of disaster and defeat. Virginia will be the Moscow of the Abolitionists — our armies are gathering to the prey, and so surely as the patriot freemen of the Southern army come in with the mercenary hordes of the North, so surely will they give the world another example of the invincibility of a free people fighting on their own soil for all that is dear to man.--Richmond Enquirer.

Virginia is invaded. That horde of thieves, robbers, and assassins in the pay of Abraham Lincoln, commonly known as the army of the United States, have rushed into the peaceful streets of a quiet city of the State, and stained the hearth of Virginia homes with the blood of her sons. Alexandria had been captured without resistance, for none had been prepared.

The city was left (perhaps with strategic reason) without a picket guard, and no attempt has ever been made to blow up or batter down the bridge across the Potomac River, over which the troops of Lincoln marched to it.

One trait of true heroism has signalized this unhappy affair. A citizen of Alexandria, named Jackson, lacked the prudence to haul down the flag of his country, which streamed over his dwelling. That band of execrable cut-throats and jail-birds, known as the “Zouaves of New York,” under the chief of all scoundrels, called Col. Ellsworth, surrounded the house of this Virginian, and broke open the door to tear down the flag of the South. The courageous owner of that house neither fled nor submitted. He met the favorite hero of every Yankee there in his hall, he alone, against thousands, and shot him through the heart! As a matter of course, the magnanimous soldiery surrounded him, and hacked him to pieces with sword bayonets, on the spot, in his own violated home. But he died a death which Emperors might envy, and his memory will live in history, and in the hearts of his countrymen, through endless generations. Here, indeed was courage! He stood by his flag, he fell alone in defence of his hearth, and taught the invader what soil he trod on.

Apart from the sufferings of our devoted countrymen in Alexandria, the capture of the city in itself is not important.--Richmond Examiner

The intelligence of yesterday, that the myrmidons of Federal power had advanced upon the soil of Virginia, produced an electrifying effect in our community, and among the soldiery. Every eye brightened, and every heart beat with stern delight that the hour of vengeance is at hand. If Virginia can be overrun by a host of Northern militiamen, if one man in defence of his fireside is not equal to two invaders, then this onward movement of our detestable enemy is founded in wisdom. But when that day comes, it will be a new day in the history of nations, and one which will prove that we deserved to be conquered. It has been given out repeatedly of late by the Lincoln press, that Gen. Scott desired to delay an advance till cool weather, and till his army was fully organized. But they could not brook the whole delay recommended by the only General in their ranks that deserves the name, and the Republican, papers at Washington pronounced Scott behind the times. They will discover before long that it would have been well for them to take his counsel. They disregarded his advice once before in their attempt to reinforce Fort Sumter, and they will find a worse result from their present contempt of his military experience and judgment. This ferocious and vile attempt to subjugate Virginia will be crushed at very point where it is made, and there is not a man in the Commonwealth who does not rejoice that it is made now, when the season a other advantages which it is unnecessary to mention will unite to consign it to a speedy disaster and annihilation.--Richmond Dispatch.

Assassination of Ellsworth.

The special correspondent of the N. Y. Tribune, writing from Washington, gives the following account of this occurrence:--

I have already given by telegraph a brief account of the successful movement of to-day, and of our sorrowful calamity, and I hasten to send such details as my own observation enables me to supply. The part of the expedition with which I moved was that under command of the late Col. Ellsworth. His regiment of Zouaves was certainly the most actively employed, and was the earliest upon the hostile ground; and with him were associated the most startling events of the day. Of the general forces which are now assembled in Alexandria, others can speak better than I for their operations were wholly distinct, until the time of the junction, when they were combined under one command. The exact nature of the inroad, as well as the means by which it was to be effected, were of course withheld from the public up to thee latest hour, and the only sure method of gaining accurate knowledge of the result was by joining what seemed likely to be the leading body in the movement.

It was generally understood in Washington, on Thursday evening, that ina advance of some sort was contemplated, though the rumors fixed no exact time or point of assault. But as the night advanced, the slight fever of excitement which the half-authorized intelligence created, wore away, and the city fell into its usual tranquillity. The contrast between its extreme quiet and the bustle which pervaded some of the expectant camps, was very remarkable. I crossed the Potomac, from Seventh street, in a little boat, and before I had half reached the Zouave camp, unusual indications of busy preparation came echoing over the water. The night was peculiarly still and clear, and the moon so full and lustrous, that the camp was almost visible from the opposite shore. Above the slight murmur caused by the rustle of arms and the marching, a song would occasionally be heard, [278] and once the whole regiment burst out into “Columbia, the Gem of the ocean,” with all the fervor they could bring to it. It was not early when I reached the camp, but the exercise was still progressing under the vigilance of the Colonel, who threw in now and then clear and energetic counsels for the guidance of his men in the morning's work. Before midnight every thing needful had been done, and the troops were scattered to their tents for two hours of rest. The Colonel did not sleep until much later. He sat at his table completing the official arrangements which remained to him, and setting carefully before his subordinates the precise character of the duties they were to be charged with. After this he was alone, and I thought, as I entered his tent a little before he turned to his straw and blankets, that his pen was fulfilling a tenderer task than the rough planning of a dangerous exploit. He was so much a stranger. to fear, this brave little Colonel, that his friends sometimes wondered at him; but it seemed, then, that he was not insensible to the awful hazards of his station. I hope that those who were nearest to him will find a touch of consolation in the assurance that the last moments he passed alone were given to them.

For more than an hour the encampment was silent. Then it began to stir again, and presently was all alive with action. At 2 o'clock, steamboats appeared off the shore, from one of which Capt. Dahlgren, the commander of the Navy Yard, came to announce that all was ready for the transportation. The men marched forward in line, and were drawn up by companies to the beach. At this time, the scene was animated in the highest degree. The vivid costumes of the men — some being wrapt from head to foot in their great red blankets, but most of them clad in their gray jackets and trowsers and embroidered caps; the peaks of the tents, regularly distributed, all glowing like huge lanterns from the fires within them; the glittering rows of rifles and sabres; the woods and hills, and the placid river, which here meet in exquisite proportion, enfolding all — and all these suffused with the broad moonlight, were blended in such novel picturesqueness that no man among the throng could fail to be moved by it. The embarkation was rapidly conducted, and, although the spot chosen was not apparently the most advantageous, was completed in less than two hours. The entire regiment, excepting the small guard necessarily left behind, nearly one thousand men, were safely bestowed and on their way down the river by 4 o'clock, just as the dawn began to shine over the hills and through the trees.

The night had passed without any noteworthy incident. It had been thought possible that the rebels, who could by some means undoubtedly have gained premonition of the movement, might fire the bridge by which other regiments were to advance upon them, and thus diminish the attacking force for a time. Nothing of this kind, however, had been attempted, and as we steamed down the river, (very slowly, for the boats were heavily laden,) there was no sign that we were expected, or that any inroad was provided against. This seemed at first suspicious, especially as on nearing Alexandria we found it sharing the same appearance of repose. It could hardly be credited that at least a rumor of warning should not have reached them. But if it had, it would appear that their enormous self-confidence was not to be even thus disturbed, for it afterward was found that no preparations either for resistance or for evacuation had been made until early in the morning, when, if I am rightly informed, the sloop-of-war Pawnee had sent ashore a summons to surrender the town, which I believe the garrison were considering, or had partially assented to, when we arrived. It was not until our boats were about to draw up to the wharf that our approach was noticed in any way; but at the latest minute a few sentinels, whom we had long before discerned, fired their muskets in the air as a warning, and, running rapidly into the town, disappeared. Two or three of the Zouaves, fancying that the shots were directed toward them, (which they certainly were not,) discharged their rifles after the retreating forms, but no injury to any body followed. The town was thus put on its guard, but yet so early was the hour, and so apparently unlooked — for our arrival, that when we landed, about half-past 5 o'clock, the streets were as deserted as if it had been midnight.

Before our troops disembarked, a boat, filled with armed marines, and carrying a flag of truce, put off from the Pawnee, and landed ahead of us. From the officer in charge we learned that the Pawnee had already proposed terms of submission to the town, and that the Rebels had consented to vacate within a specified time. This seemed to settle the question of a contest in the negative; but in the confusion of mustering and forming the men, the intelligence was not well understood, and received but little attention. Indeed, I am quite sure that the Pawnee's officer did not seek Col. Ellsworth, to communicate with him, and that the Colonel only obtained a meagre share of information by seeking it directly from the bearer of the flag of truce himself. No doubt this omission arose from the confused condition in which affairs then stood. But it would have caused no difference in the Colonel's military plans. No attack was meditated, except in case of a forcible resistance to his progress. On the other hand, the idea of the place being under a truce seemed to banish every suspicion of a resistance either from multitudes or individuals. It was just possibly this consideration that led Col. Ellsworth to forego the requisite personal precautions, which, if taken, would have prevented his unhappy death. But I am sure none of us at that time estimated the probability of the danger which afterward menaced us. Perhaps the thought of actual bloodshed and death in war was too foreign to our experiences to be [279] rightly weighed. But it certainly did not enter our minds then, as poor Ellsworth's fate has since taught us it should have done, that a town half waked, half terrified, and under truce, could harbor any peril for us. So the Colonel gave some rapid directions for the interruption of the railway course, by displacing a few rails near the depot, and then turned toward the centre of the town, to destroy the means of communication southward by the telegraph; a measure which he appeared to regard as very seriously important. He was accompanied by Mr. II. J. Winser, Military Secretary to the Regiment, the Chaplain, the Rev. E. W. Dodge, and myself. At first he summoned no guard to follow him, but he afterward turned and called forward a single squad, with a sergeant from the first company. We passed quickly through the streets, meeting a few bewildered travellers issuing from the principal hotel, which seemed to be slowly coming to its daily senses, and were about to turn toward the telegraph office, when the Colonel, first of all, caught sight of the secession flag, which has so long swung insolently in full view of the President's House. He immediately sent back the sergeant, with an order for the advance of the entire first company, and, leaving the matter of the telegraph office for a while, pushed on to the hotel, which proved to be the Marshall House, a second-class inn. On entering the open door the Colonel met a man in his shirt and trowsers, of whom he demanded what sort of flag it was that hung above the roof. The stranger, who seemed greatly alarmed, declared he knew nothing of it, and that he was only a boarder there. Without questioning him further the Colonel sprang up stairs, and we all followed to the topmost story, whence, by means of a ladder, he clambered to the roof, cut down the flag with Winser's knife, and brought it from its staff. There were two men in bed in the garret whom we had not observed at all when we entered, their position being somewhat concealed, but who now rose in great apparent amazement, although I observed that they were more than half dressed. We at once turned to descend, Private Brownell leading the way, and Colonel Ellsworth immediately following him with the flag. As Brownell reached the first landing-place, or entry, after a descent of some dozen steps, a man jumped from a dark passage, and hardly noticing the private, levelled a double-barrelled gun square at the Colonel's breast. Brownell made a quick pass to turn the weapon aside, but the fellow's hand was firm, and he discharged one barrel straight to its aim, the slugs or buckshot with which it was loaded entering the Colonel's heart, and killing him at the instant. I think my arm was resting on poor Ellsworth's shoulder at the moment. At any rate, he seemed to fall almost from my own grasp. He was on the second or third step from the landing, and he dropped forward with that heavy, horrible, headlong weight which always comes of sudden death inflicted in this manner. His assailant had turned like a flash to give the contents of the other barrel to Brownell, but either he could not command his aim or the Zouave was too quick with him, for the slugs went over his head, and passed through the panels and wainscot of a door which sheltered some sleeping lodgers. Simultaneously with this second shot, and sounding like the echo of the first, Brownell's rifle was heard and the assassin staggered backward. He was hit exactly in the middle of the face, and the wound, as I afterward saw it, was the most frightful I ever witnessed. Of course Brownell did not know how fatal his shot had been, and so before the man dropped, he thrust his sabre bayonet through and through the body, the force of the blow sending the dead man violently down the upper section of the second flight of stairs, at the foot of which he lay with his face to the floor. Winser ran from above crying, “Who is hit?” but as he glanced downward by our feet, he needed no answer.

Bewildered for an instant by the suddenness of this attack, and not knowing what more might be in store, we forbore to proceed, and gathered together defensively. There were but seven of us altogether, and one was without a weapon of any kind. Brownell instantly reloaded, and while doing so perceived the door through which the assailant's shot had passed, beginning to open. He brought his rifle to the shoulder, and menaced the occupants, two travellers, with immediate death if they stirred. The three other privates guarded the passages, of which there were quite a number converging to the point where we stood, while the Chaplain and Winser looked to the staircase by which we had descended, and the adjoining chambers. I ran down stairs to see if any thing was threatened from the story below, but it soon appeared there was no danger from that quarter. However, we were not at all disposed to move from our position. From the opening doors, and through the passages, we discerned a sufficient number of forms to assure us that we were dreadfully in the minority. I think now that there was no danger, and that the single assailant acted without concert with anybody; but it is impossible to know accurately, and it was certainly a doubtful question then. The first thing to be done was to look to our dead friend and leader. He had fallen on. his face, and the streams of blood that flowed from his wound had literally flooded the way. The Chaplain turned him gently over, and I stooped and called his name aloud, at which I thought then he murmured inarticulately. I presume I was mistaken, and I am not sure that he spoke a word after being struck, although in my despatch I repeated a single exclamation which I had believed lie uttered. It might have been Brownell, or the Chaplain, who was close behind me. Winser and I lifted the body with all the care we could apply, and laid it upon a bed in a room near [280] by. The rebel flag, stained with his blood, and purified by this contact from the baseness of its former meaning, we laid about his feet. It was at first difficult to discover the precise locality of his wound, for all parts of his coat were equally saturated with blood. By cautiously loosening his belt and unbuttoning his coat we found where the shot had penetrated. None of us had any medical knowledge, but we saw that all hope must be resigned. Nevertheless, it seemed proper to summon the surgeon as speedily as possible. This could not easily be done; for, secluded as we were in that part of the town, and uncertain whether an ambush might not be awaiting us also, no man could volunteer to venture forth alone; and to go together, and leave the Colonel's body behind, was out of the question. We wondered at the long delay of the first company, for the advance of which the Colonel had sent back before approaching the hotel; but we subsequently learned that they had mistaken a street, and gone a little out of their way. Before they arrived we had removed some of the unsightly stains from the Colonel's features, and composed his limbs. His expression in death was beautifully natural. The Colonel was a singularly handsome man, and, excepting the pallor, there was nothing different in his countenance now from what all his friends had so lately been accustomed to gladly recognize. The detachment was heard approaching at last, a reenforcement was easily called up, and the surgeon was sent for. His arrival, not long after, of course sealed our own unhappy belief. A sufficient guard was presently distributed over the house, but meanwhile I had remembered the Colonel's earnestness about the telegraph seizure, and obtained permission to guide a squad of Zouaves to the office, which was found to be entirely open, with all the doors ajar, yet apparently deserted. It looked like another chance of a surprise. The men remained in charge. I presume it was not wholly in order for me, a civilian, to start upon this mission; but I was the only person who knew the whereabouts of the office, and the Colonel had been very positive about the matter. When I returned to the hotel, there was a terrible scene enacting. A woman had run from a lower room to the stairway where the body of the defender of the secession flag lay, and recognizing it, cried aloud with an agony so heart-rending that no person could witness it without emotion. She flung her arms in the air, struck her brow madly, and seemed in every way utterly abandoned to desolation and frenzy. She offered no reproaches — appeared indeed almost regardless of our presence, and yielded only to her own frantic despair. It was her husband that had been shot. He was the proprietor of the hotel. His name was James T. Jackson. Winser was confident it was the same man who met us at the door when we entered, and told us he was a boarder. His wife, as I said, was wild almost to insanity. Yet she listened when spoken to, and although no consolation could be offered her by us for what she had lost, she seemed sensible to the assurance that the safety of her children, for whom she expressed fears, could not possibly be endangered.

It is not from any wish to fasten obloquy upon the slayer of Col. Ellsworth, but simply because it struck me as a frightful fact, that I say the face of the dead man wore the most revolting expression of rage and hatred that I ever saw. Perhaps the nature of his wound added to this effect, and the wound was something so appalling that I shall not attempt to describe it, as it impressed me. It is probable that such a result from a bullet-wound could not ensue once in a thousand times. Either of Brownell's onslaughts would have been instantaneously fatal. The saber-wound was not less effective than that of the ball. The gun which Jackson had fired lay beneath him, clasped in his arms, and as we did not at first all know that both barrels had been discharged, it was thought necessary to remove it, lest it should be suddenly seized and made use of from below. In doing this, his countenance was revealed.

As the morning advanced, the townspeople began to gather in the vicinity, and a guard was fixed, preventing ingress and egress. This was done to keep all parties from knowing what had occurred, for the Zouaves were so devoted to their Colonel that it was feared if they all were made acquainted with the real fact, they would sack the house. On the other hand, it was not thought wise to let the Alexandrians know thus early the fate of their townsman. The Zouaves were the only regiment that had arrived, and their head and soul was gone. Besides, the duties which the Colonel had hurriedly assigned before leaving them had scattered some companies in various quarters of the town. Several persons sought admission to the Marshall House, among them a sister of the dead man, who had heard the rumor, but who was not allowed to know the true state of the case. It Was painful to hear her remark, as she went away, that “of course they wouldn't shoot a man dead in his own house about a bit of old bunting.” Many of the lodgers were anxious to go forth, but they were detained until after I had left. All sorts of arguments and persuasions were employed, but the Zouave guards were inexorable.

At about 7 o'clock, a mounted officer rode up, and informed us that the Michigan 1st had arrived, and had captured a troop of rebels, who had at first demanded time for reflection, but who afterward concluded to yield at discretion. Not long after this, the surgeon made arrangements for the conveyance of Col. Ellsworth's body to Washington. It was properly veiled from sight, and, with great tenderness, taken by a detachment of the Zouaves and the 71st New York Regiment (a small number of whom, I neglected to state, embarked in the morning at the Navy Yard, and came down with us) to the steamboat, by which it was [281] brought to the Navy Yard. It now remains in the care of Capt. Dahlgren.

Washington is greatly excited over the strange news, and there seems to be much doubt among the citizens as to what has really been accomplished. I am as yet ignorant of the movements of other troops sent to occupy the place, but there can be no question but that an ample force, for all the purposes we need to carry out, is now there. I only attempt to furnish a record of that part of the expedition which I witnessed, and to supply the particulars, which would surely be sought after, of the bereavement which has caused our grievous sorrow. I am sure that no young officer in our Northern land could be more sincerely and universally mourned than Col. Ellsworth will be. Perhaps none so much so, for his name was a familiar token for all that was brave, and loyal, and true. There is not a town that did not know him, and could not speak of him to his honor. His friends, while lamenting his early fall, may assure themselves that he perished in performing a daring and courageous action — in resenting a shameful and long-unredressed insult to his Government and the Chief Magistrate of his country. It may be said that his deed was rash, but I should not like to hear this reproach too hardly urged against him. He was young, and ardent, and full of ambition, and perhaps knew not that sense of caution which a colder nature would possess. But it would be well for many of us if we were as free from faults, and as rich in manly virtues, as was this gallant, noble, and devoted soldier.

I find that I have been free in speaking of my own very slight connection with the events of this morning. It certainly was not from any anxiety on my part to do so; but because I could not, in making a rapid and yet particular narration of a matter in which so few persons acted, avoid alluding to each incident precisely as it occurred, without pausing to consider at this time the question of personality.

--N. Y. Tribune, May 26.

Col. Ellsworth to his parents.

Headquarters First Zouaves, Camp Lincoln, Washington, May 23, 1861.
my dear Father and mother:--The regiment is ordered to move across the river to-night. We have no means of knowing what reception we are to meet with. I am inclined to the opinion that our entrance to the city of Alexandria will be hotly contested, as I am just informed that a large force have arrived there to-day. Should this happen, my dear parents, it may be my lot to be injured in some manner. Whatever may happen, cherish the consolation that I was engaged in the performance of a sacred duty, and to-night, thinking over the probabilities of the morrow and the occurrences of the past, I am perfectly content to accept whatever my fortune may be, confident that He who noteth even the fall of a sparrow will have some purpose even in the fate of one like me. My darling and ever-loved parents, good-bye. God bless, protect, and care for you.


--National Intelligencer, May 29.

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