From the Richmond Dispatch, 11/9/1860, p. 1, c. 5
Scenes at Camp Lee. – At the hour of sunrise yesterday morning the troops were astir, and Camp Lee presented a reality of those scenes peculiar to a soldier’s life. The companies who quartered at the camp, after the first night’s experience in "roughing it," were ready to participate in the duties which caller them thither, responded with alacrity to the revilee, and admitted that exercise, on a bracing November morning, was an excellent sharpener of the appetite. When we arrived upon the ground, we found the troops on parade, and their appearance was really more imposing than we had anticipated. We improved the opportunity to make an inspection of the men and horses, which we did on our own responsibility, without a military commission. The conclusion arrived at was this: that we had never seen a finer looking set of men assembled together on one occasion. They generally look healthy and athletic, and capable of doing good service, either in the field or at any other station. Their countenances bespeak intelligence, and their manners towards each other are such as might be expected from well bred Virginians. With scarcely a single exception, they are excellent horsemen, and we think few of them would hesitate at a five-barred gate or falter at a four-foot ditch. – With regard to the horses, we think the public will agree with us that there are many well worth looking at. Our city readers are familiar with those used in the Governor’s Guard, and we allude more especially to the horses ridden by the troopers from neighboring counties. They are well trained and spirited, and many of them are really graceful and elegant in their movements. A trip to the Camp is amply compensated or in the view of this large collection of fine animals.
The Chesterfield Company and the Powhatan Troop, attended by Col. Davis, were dispatched to the city as an escort to Col. Hardee, of the U. S. army, who was waited upon at the Governor’s mansion. He soon afterward arrived at the Camp, where he was received by Col. McRae, and conducted to the parade ground. The troops were drawn up in line, and gave the visitor the usual military salute. About 12 o’clock, Col. Hardee, attended by Lieut. Col. Fielding W. Taylor, as aid-de-camp, took a position on the western side of the ground, and the troops passed before him in review. This was a magnificent spectacle. – We regretted that so few of our citizens were present to witness it. The Colonel expressed his admiration, not only with that, but with the dismounting and mounting, which was finely done. Soon afterward, the troops were dismissed for dinner.
Some of the companies are quartered in tents, where they have every necessary comfort, while others occupy the large hall in the new building. It is to be regretted that more ample provision had not been made for the horses. It was found, on Wednesday night, that the stalls were not sufficiently numerous, and two or three companies had to return to the city for quarters. This was totally unexpected, and it was natural that they should have felt some indignation. We suppose suitable arrangements have since been made.
The Armory Band was on the field and furnished excellent music.
In the afternoon the troops were exercised in squad drill, which was witnessed by Gov. Letcher, Adjutant General Richardson, Col. Wm. H. Richardson, and others who are interested in military matters.
The following is a list of the officers and companies who have reported at the Camp:
ROSTER OF FIELD, STAFF AND OFFICER OF THE LINE.
Col. Sherwin McRae,
Hanover Troop - Capt. Wms. C. Wickham, Lieut. Wm. B. Newton, Lieut. B. H. Bowles.
Henrico Troop - Col. J. L. Davis, Lieut. Comm’g, B. W. Green, Jr., Lieut. John E. Friend.
Governor’s Guard, Richmond City - Capt. J. G. Cabell, Lieut. O. A. Crenshaw, Lieut. R. B. Kennon.
Chesterfield Troop A - Capt. Henry W. Cox, Lieut. Jos. T. Mason, Lieut. Geo. C. Gregory.
Chesterfield Troop B - Capt. Wm. B. Ball, Lieut. Wm. B. Wooldridge, Lieut. Charles B. Rhodes.
Charles City Troop - Capt. Robert Douthat, Lieut. Thos. W. Willcox, Lieut. Archibald Taylor, Lieut. Benj. H. Harrison.
Caroline Troop - Capt. George.
Amelia Troop - Capt. S. S. Weisiger, Lieut. Chas. R. Irving, Lieut. J. M. Gills.
New Kent Troop - Capt. Melville Vaiden, Lieut. Geo. T. Brumley, Lieut. Telemachus Taylor.
Goochland Troop - Capt. Julian Harrison, Lieut. T. P. Hobson, Lieut. Geo. F. Harrison.
Powhatan Troop - Lieut. Com’g John F. Lay, Lieut. Chas. Old, Lieut. T. P. Skipwith.
King William Troop - Capt. Beverly B. Douglass, Lieut. Wm. Gregory, Lieut. W. V. Croxton, Lieut. Thos. Gregory.
Surry Troop - Capt. T. W. Taylor, Lieut. Wm. Allen. (We regret to learn that Lieut. A. was disabled by a kick from a horse on the way to Richmond.)
A few members of the Essex Troop are here. The officers are - Capt. R. S. Cauthorn, Lieut. Aubrey H. Jones, Lieut. Wm. Oliver.
To-day the scene at Camp Lee will be magnificent. The 1st Regiment Virginia Volunteers will be present, with their splendid band and drum corps, and we urge the ladies and gentlemen o Richmond to go and see the grand spectacle. The cavalry companies average about 40 men each, and the aggregate of troops will be greater than has ever assembled here. Governor Letcher will review the troops. The Richmond and Fredericksburg railroad cars will carry passengers to and from the camp.
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