From the Army of the Potomac.
Warrenton, Va., Nov. 10
We have advanced into Virginia as far as this place-too slow, doubtless, as it appears to the country, but faster than supplies could be transported without railroad facilities.
London county, through which we have passed, is much favored in its scenery, and is better cultivated than most of northern Virginia, and what is remarkable for this recreant, wretched State, some of its inhabitants are genuine Union men who generally are either of German descent of Quakers. I-witnessed the almost sacred scene of the return of one of these to his family after an absence of some weeks in Maryland, where so many fled from the conscription while the rebels held possession of this district. what glad tears were shed, and what a tender kiss pressed the face of the little sleeper, all unconscious in its cradle of the tramp of successive armies, and the blasting sorrows of horrid war.
To-day, General McClellan has taken leave of the army, receiving their farewell cheers as he rode before them. during the Mexican war, when Gen. Scott was called home to appear before a curt of inquiry, he would not permit the like. "No demonstrations; it will set you against the government." but the chief who could conquer the enemy, was not able wholly to repress in his men the manifestation enthusiastic devotion to their injured leader.
One cannot help asking, what is gained by removing McClellan and putting in his place his well trusted counselor and friend-his other self. That such have been their personal relations, will not be questioned. I think by any person who has seen them together, and observed their manner towards each other. The familiar "Mac." with which the senior in years addressed his first in command, could hardly mean less than this.
But it is to be borne in mind that it is a diversity of traits that cements our friendships. it may be that McClellan and Burnside agree so well precisely because they are not entirely alike. there is much evidence that Burnside is free from McClellan's fatal fault-inaction. It is said that while the latter would not move of himself, and could hardly be pushed forward by the Federal Executive, except by his favorite Peninsular route, the former says, "we must strike now or never."- And you read the same in that large muscular form so evidently charged with energy throughout. To look at him, one would think that he would need to slay some Goliath before breakfast for exercise.
We have not been able to transport the immense supplies which the army requires fast enough, and have been for several days almost without bread. The soldiers have supplied themselves somewhat from the stores of the inhabitants which in this vicinity were quite reduced by the rebel army before us. such a necessity is to be regretted as destroying the discipline of the army, and also bearing hard on persons comparatively innocent and inoffensive.
I am acquainted with the case of a poor man, more than eighty years old who served in the war of 1812, and had received a pension until the rebellion, and had never voted for secession, whose small corn field, and garden, and hen roost were pillage, leaving nothing for himself and daughter to subsist on during the winter.
I will give another instance somewhat different from this. A strong Union man in Burkesville, Md., who is a small mechanic, and is quite advanced in years, had cleared a few acres on the mountain near, where, as he expressed it he might "scratch a living," when his eyes should fail. Gen Franklin's men encamped on his land and appropriated his wheat corn and clover. they used, as is customary, his fence for fuel, and as they were without tents, cut his chestnut trees to more shelter for themselves. this man is obliged to sell one of his hogs to enable him to bury corn to fatten the rest. His fences are gone and he has no timber with which to replace them. He is without seed for another year, or protection for crops. Gen. Franklin's corps left before he made application for a receipt for damages, and it was not in the power of the officers of any other corps to make compensation.
It is an easy matter to talk flippantly or bitterly about guarding rebel property, but the subject has many aspects, and is embarrassed by many difficulties. We would gladly have the monotony of the soldier's fare varied by some luxuries form the table of the well-to -do secessionist, but any army would abuse the license to help themselves " in a manner which would occasion unnecessary suffering to the poor, and be fatal to military discipline. All such supplies should , as far as possible, be secured through the agency of the quartermaster. Our supplies failing to reach us here, the Quartermasters in out brigade took possession of a mill and of some corn and set the miller at work allowing him one bushel in eight for grinding his own grain. If he proves his loyalty, of which there is small probability he will be paid by the Government.
From the 6th Regiment
Editors Republic:- Your readers are aware that the army of the Potomac had been moving down into Virginia again. Gen. Doubleday's division crossed the Potomac on the 80th of October at Berlin, and took up the line on march toward Warrenton where we arrived on the evening of the 6th inst.
Wherever we go in Virginia we find that the hand of the spoiler has preceded us; a country which was once beautiful and productive, sadly exhibits war's blighting sting. fields once luxuriant and fertile, are covered with weeds and grass, stripped of the last vestige of a fence and reduced to a wild and gloomy heath.
The more the army marched over this unfortunate rebel state; the more heartless it becomes and the less sympathy it has for the disloyal and deceitful inhabitants. the soldiers have no genuine respect for the property of people who have repeatedly shown a most inveterate hostility toward the government and its supporters. A rebel pig or sheep is almost certain to feel a Yankee's knife-all orders to the contrary notwithstanding, and property of every description which can be of benefit to the soldiers is converted to his use without much hesitation. Such is the punishment to a disloyal people and such is the unmistakable evidence of our increasing enmity as the war continues. the intensity of their hatred on the other hand leads the mind to almost doubt sometimes shrink from the idea of ever being united to them in the future.
But here we are down near the Rappahannock once more where we are well acquainted. We were through here last August pursuing what is know as Pope's line of retreat. but Pope was defeated partly through his own imbecility, and partly perhaps through the jealousy of some military contemporary. this is no time however to review past grievances; the question with the soldier is what next is to be done. It is getting late and he asks to be used speedily for some purpose. Autumn is upon us--the falling leaves and moaning winds declare his reign, and the keen atmosphere and biting frost speak his severity.
"He comes! he comes! in every breeze the power
Summer has departed! Williamsburg, Malvern hill, Bull-run, south Mountain and Antietam are buried in the past, and are matters of history only. Our early victories have been scattered to the winds and are already on the dark verge of oblivion. Our army today is in a shattered state of mind. After fighting a year without signal success, they still find themselves with out a commander who has proven himself capable of leading them to the achievement of results. It cannot be expected that Gen. Burnside can grasp suddenly that confidence of the army which a commander ought to possess, but I believe that the army as a general thing, knowing him to be a good general and brave man, are ready and willing to try him, and pray earnestly that something may be done and that quickly. the idea of remaining in service another winter, is to say the least unpleasant and receives no favor with the soldiers.
A stormy day comes, and he has but a shelter tent for protection. then it is that you can read in his dejected countenance the melancholy reflection. The farmer longs once more to feed his herds of sheep and cattle-talks of his smug cottage home and cheerful fireside while the student expresses his eagerness to ply his mind again to his favorite studies. these are brave men who fight for their country, and it will be a happy day to them when peace spreads her genial wings over the distracted land.
H. J. H.
Clinton, Nov. 24th, 1862
The deaths in the company up to this time, as far as I know are as
None except those marked "slightly" had returned to the regiment up to
Nov.1st; but as far as I could learn were all doing well.
Those who have deserted are Geo. w. Bly, in October, 1861; James Confier,
in August, 1862, and Arthur Moffatt and william a. fuller, in September,
John N. Bingham, taken prisoner at Catlett's Station, Aug. 22d returned
from Richmond the latter part of September.
In this enumeration, I have not included four that are on service
detached from the Company but not from the regiment, and two that have been
published as deserters, but have been apprehended and will probably be
returned to duty.
The above was the condition of the company the 1st inst., as far as I
could learn from seeing the muster roll. Any other information concerning
the boys that I can impart is at the service of their friends.