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Letter From Charley Brooke

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Office Ordnance Dfpartmf.nt, ) Thtrt División Cavalky Corps, Stkvensubko, April lüth, 1864.) FllIEND PoND I It is i-oMio time sinoe I wrote to tbe "Argus;" but the laok of anything worthy of note (military) must be my excuse, and from the meager accounts of the doings of the ''Army of the Potomac," you receivH from Washington, your readers can iiot expect mueli from me. - But, sir, the time of inactivity is passed, and everything bears evidonces of an early movement on a stupendous scale Everything is being got in readiness to be brought to bear iu the coming conflict, which will, I am certain, not be delayed many days, and proruises to be ihegreatest of the rebellion, and I think, decide the fate of seceaeiou. From the manner General Grant has taken hold of the army every one is hi;h in expoctation. He has commenced issuing " orders." butlers are to leave the army by the 16th, (to-day). They have been the bañe of mnny a poor fellow who has not stamina to deal with them moderately, but on pay day fiuds out ho has swallowed up all his )y. - But, as much as I have heard against these " unfortunate speculators," I think they ought to be classed as "necessary evils," for I am sure they will be much missed. There are many littlo things the soldiers aetually need, and can get only through the Suller. For instance, what will the soldiers do for tobáceo ? I know many men who have become so habituated to ita use that they would soouer go without a meal than be deprived of the accustomed chew or smoke. But, I suppoe Gen. Grant thinks it best, or he would not forbid a Sutler ao companying each división. There is one thing he has done that will do more to better the condition of the army than aught else, - his prohibition of liquor. Already its salutaory effects are visible. The enhsted men can no longer gt whisky at the Commissary's on the order of an officer, forged if not to be had otherwise. Therefore, temperance becomes with the piirate, a virtue, through a necessity. The officers begin, to have a realizing sense that a reform ia ueed-ed, and must necessarily coufurm to '-orders." for it is the same with them ns the private, only that one got his in a canteen of the Commissary, aid the other, more aristocratie, by the bottle of the Sutler. It makos gloomy faces, but he who recollects the many reverses of the Army of the Potomac, and that the cause was traced to intoxioation, will s;iy '■ thank God." General Ghant has made a goou beginning. A not her order of the General, is that all officers absent trom their commands are ordered to report at once. I think there was great need of it, for many of the compauy cnmiimide devolvo on Serreants, all the offiutrs being absent on leave, or off duty oü sotne trivial excuse ol sickiiess, often-times the eft'ects of a late debauch. It is a sfeamo to read the hotel lists in the VV ashington papers, and the mimes of the officers of every runk there recorded. Many thiuk they aro there on business connected with the army. No, sir, not one in fifty. I can teil you it is the s-tudj' of many how to concoct sjme plan by which they can get into the city. so that they can for a time revel in scènes of licentiousness and dissipatiou. liut l should be doing an 'mjustice Jid I not state t.hitt sueh is nut the case with all, for we have some splendid officerf, and I am pleased to say many from " Old Washtenaw," whooe ñames will never be tarnished by such corrupt associations.' The days of sport and plea?ure to the Army of the Potcmuc, for 1864, have passed. Our Theatre, where many pleasaut evenings have been spent, is all ' torn to pieces and turned into a guará house. Many a hearty laugh have our Generáis, as well as privates, enjoyed at the cortical contortious and awkward postures of " our bones " in tfce late Minstrel Troupe. Such times will live in the memory, and serve for recital uf in evening, by the fireside oí' the ' Üld Veteran," to the good wife and eager listening children, the onoe ngain happy family circle. They seem lothj however, to giye jp the pleasures of the race course, for yesturday there was great excitement, owing to the news that " Jack Eucker " was to run the 2nd corps mare for $1,000. Tho contest carne off in the afternoon, tbo mare was the favorite, and odds were öffared and taksn frcxly. " Grase beíká" were plenty. It was deoided the mare was beat. Tho Cavalry are loud in rovengeful expressions, claiming it to b a jocky race, tbey beiüg the losers. I the Infantry carried off over $20, 000. I thiiik that race will wind up the sporting scason. The weatLer for the past week bas been beautiful. The suii'a warm rays were fast dryiug up the mud, which was awful after the inoeesant rains of the two weeks prior. Tho grouod would have been in good condition for moving, but for a rain storm of 15 houra, commencmg last evening. it is novr beautiful weaiher BgUD, but how long it will continue, I enn't say, the weather in Virginia is not to be relied on. Everytbing is looking spring like, the trees are fast budding, the sraall busbes are in leaf, and a arge variety of wild flowerg make the dells and river sida fragrant. The air resounds with the melodious notes of the lark, robin, and othor birds foreign to Michigan. I often wonder andpay to rnyself wheu will this cursed trife end, so that we poor fellows eau go home to theheartsof our families. It does not geem reality that we are hero, faoiug a deadly enemy, and living as we are in seeming seeurity. But, so it ie, for by going to the top of Pony Mouutaiu their campa are plainly to be seen, and are not more than 2 1-2 miles off. Yesterday, the 4th New York heavy artillery patsed hero to take possessioii of the large siege guns we have mounted on the fortificitioiis at Culpepper. I think Gkant means to make this his "base." A few days will reveal his plans, and uutil then all is speculation. I hope ïhey will leave him alone at Washington, and then I think all will go rigbt. The Boys from Ann Arbor are all well, in feat the health of the whole Anuy of the Potomao is first rato. I will write you a better l.'tter as soon as we get on the move, and I have something to write about. Vours, in liaste, CHAR: ES BR00KE, Q. M. Serot. Ord. Dep., 3rrl Div. Cav. Corps. ïtterly useless, we doubt wliet her operations üq tbo water have not been as inurious to tho enemy as to ourselves. A 7ew confedérate cruisers - tho Alabama, tho Florida and tho Ragpahaonoek - iave frightened fiom 'ho waters tlie flap; that once contested the supremacy of the 8eas with the mistress of ihe oceaa. The battered iron clads !n Charleston harbor are there " for the war," unies- some rebel torpedo sliould se;,d thetn in fragments to ihe botton). The policy of starvation bas not cffected tho ends of the enemy. At ouo time apprehriision was grcat'ly feit for the aupply of salt, but now there ia believed to be moro salt in the confederaoy than ever before at any oue time. The loss of the Missifsippi was aid to have cut off the supply of beef cattle, and that of.Tennessee to have deprived us of bauon and pork ; but though the quantity of these important anieles of food bas been greatly dituiaished, yet neither the army nor the peo ple.are disposed, or likcly, to starve. - Tbe raids of the enemy have destroyed mueh property-; but when their wasted and runed cavalry i-i brought in contact with Stuart, or Forrest, or Morgim, they may well considiT whioh party bas been most tij u red by the raids. Numbers have not reduced the rebellious eonfederates to loyahy ; the bloekade bas not eurbed their dfiant " treason ; " starvation has not humbled their proud spirit; and the fourth year of the wur opens upon their artniea numerous as those of the foe, as well drillcd, and in better mótale and ready to test, the virlue of the olicy of coneentration. Gen. Washington was made lieutenant general after bis succescsful oommand of the army in the Revolutionary war; Gen. Scott won the saine honor afUr the triumphant terminatioö of tho Mexiean war ; but General Grant has bien houorcd in advance of the trinuaphs ihat usually bring suuh high rewards. The fiokle people, that worsbip only at the shrine of suo ces?, stripped General Seott of the lieut enant genaralahip as soon as Tí auregard defeated MrDowell on the plains of Manassas Tliose fatal plains, that wit nessed the humiliation of Scott and MoDowcll, and aiitin the defeat of Pope, with bis " headquarters in bis saddle," are immediately in the rear of the new lieutenant general, with his " headciuar ters in the field." It wouid be indeed a singular conoutenatiou of cireniustances if those plains of Manassas, the scène of tho opening conflict, a field fatal to the strategy of Seott, the tactics of MoDowell, the '-headquarters" of Fopt, should beeome a Wiiterloo to Washing. ton City and a Zama to this Yankee Hannibal.


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