Bygones of Monroe:
Washington Correspondence, Washington, July 20, 1861
Editor Commercial: On the 14th inst. about 9 o’clock a.m., our 4th Mich. Regiment broke camp and marched down to the foot of 7th Street, where they embarked for Alexandria, where it was supposed they would remain until better armed and equipped, as their guns were of an inferior quality and 600 of them were un-provided with cartridges boxes. Being in camp on Saturday evening (13th inst.) I learned from the boys that Co. A. in fact the entire Regiment with a few exceptions were well, and well pleased with commissary arrangements.
Nelson and Stewart thought they would rather be soldiers than farmers, and that sentiment, so far as my observation reached, seemed to prevail through the Regiment.
The boys were all anxious to set their feet upon the “sacred soil of Virginia,” and take a part in putting the rebels to flight. They want to see the F.F.V’s,--“fleet footed Virginians,”—moving southward at a double quick.
Thinking of visiting the 4th Regiment on the 16th inst., I made inquiry of its whereabouts and was told, it, with all the Regiments on the other side of the river, was moving on towards Manassas Junction.
Since Sabbath morning 13,000 men have marched over into Virginia and yet they are going! Many who saw the first great movement against the rebels from this point on Thursday last, say they never saw so grand and imposing a sight, as an army of 45,000 men, armed in defense of constitutional and Republican liberty, marching against traitors who are armed in an unjust, unholy and humanity degrading cause.
There is an awful retribution in store for the instigators of the present troubles, who have for the gratification of disappointed, fiendish personal ambition, sought to destroy the wisest, and best government on earth; a government which has not laid a straws weight upon its subject for its support.
The House is not in session today, and many of the members have to gone to Manassas Junction to see the progress and result of a battle being fought there today or tomorrow. Late reports say Manassas is a strong position and strongly fortified and no doubt it will cost the lives of many brave men to take it. The above named place and Richmond furnish the last retreats for the rebel army, and they will be defended with desperation. I learned a moment ago that our army extends for 8 miles in a southeasterly direction from Centerville, not yet having crossed Bull Run. Seven al siege guns (56 pounders) have been sent over today. The object is to drive the traitors from masked batteries so skillfully planted and hid as to be unnoticed by our scouts.
There was a great movement of troops last night, but everything is quiet today.
Yours in haste, S.C.H