Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.
view of the camp at Manassas.
Manassas Station, June 29th.
Despite the Divine commandments which prohibits "killing," and despite the merciful instincts of our nature that rise up in rebellion against the shedding of human blood, there is still something in a large assemblage of men under arms — in the strict military discipline, and careful preparations to destroy, in which everything is arranged with the etiquette and formality of a court levee — that strikes us rather with a feeling of admiration than awe. The probable bloody results of all this parade and pomp of war are almost forgotten in our amazement at the comprehensive skill, strategy, precision and science with which the every movement of a grand army is conducted.
At au outside stand-point, the uninstructed observer like myself would expect constant chaos and disorder from ‘"the moving multitudes"’ that people the various encampments within hall of each other, where thousands of strangers are brought, for the first time, into jostling contact and under privations that are calculated to disturb the equipoise of thought and temper among men, and yet at this place all is good humor and entire good order.
At the appointed intervals, bustle and confusion cease, as if beneath the quiet movement of some mighty enchanter's wand.
The tattoo and reveille drum beat, and the mystic password of the lonely sentinel seem to control every action within and without the gathered camps; but could we lift the curtained doorways, many a night of toil, deep study and anxious vigilance would stand pictured upon the soiled canvas beyond.
We should there discover that mind and culture and genius were required to fashion the complex machinery, now apparently worked by new and untrained hands.
Not so, however; skill and discipline must be omnipresent at the working of the great army engine, or its very power becomes a terrific source of self-ruin and destruction.
The full, rich music of the piano-forte becomes marred throughout, when the right key is left untouched at the precise moment that its note was required to complete the harmony of sounds.
, that was lately a sequestered way-side station, where breakfast and dinner were served out to those who travel by rail, has suddenly grown into a city of tents — at first clustered in close proximity to that grand centre of all railway stoppages, the village hotel, but now extending for miles in the distance, on green hill-sides or by gurgling brooks, that give to the encampments which they compose a truly picturesque beauty.
The good citizens of Richmond
, who have already done so much for the cause of humanity among the brave defenders of our soil, may still find ample room for their benevolent contributions in this line.
The homes which they have taken the field to defend should be stripped of every luxury that competence affords, rather than one of these gallant patriots should hunger or thirst for a single day.
It seems to me that the appointment of a sutler at this post would contribute materially to the comfort and convenience of the service.
When and where will the battle come off?
your readers are doubtless ready to ask. The interrogatory must remain unanswered by me. Gen. Beauregard
and those in his confidence wisely keep their own counsels.
Here I had the pleasure to meet the Rev. Dr. Mitchell
, of Lynchburg
, an old friend, who was ever accomplished in wielding ‘"the sword of the spirit,"’ and whose patriotism would prompt him, if need be, to strike with another weapon for the defence of his country's honor.
G., of the same regiment, and Capt
. T., of Alexandria
, will please accept a stranger's thanks; and last, not least, a gallant officer from the Palmetto State
, whose mother land came forward, like the inspired one of old, to lead us from a worse than Egyptian