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The Civil War in America

The Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1141, p. 409.

April 26, 1862

(From our Special Artist and Correspondent.)
Washington, April 11.

In a few hours after dispatching this letter I shall have shaken the dust from my feet and departed in sorrow from a neighbourhood and army with both of which I have been associated for months. With one exception (my accompanying the Burnside expedition), I have sought my fortune with the soldiers of the Potomac; and, indeed, so thoroughly had I become identified with them that numbers of the officers and—I am not ashamed to say it—men looked upon me as an old friend, and I was proud of the position I had achieved among them. Here is the cause of our separation at a moment when I could most have done my former comrades justice by illustrating their feats of arms in the open field:— A few days before the final departure of the great expedition to Fortress Monroe the Comte de Paris came to me with an invitation from General M'Clellan to accompany his force; and at the same time he charged me with a similar message for Mr. Russell (who has returned to England in disgust at what afterwards occurred). Two days later the Comte de Paris again called on me, bringing with him the following pass, which had been made out at the direction of Major-General M'Clellan:—

Head Quarters Army of the Potomac, March 28, l862.

Pass the bearer, F. Vizetelly, Esq., to any of the camps within the lines of the Army of the Potomac until further orders.

By command, R. B. Marcy, Chief of Staff.

Having made every preparation for what I presumed would be a campaign extending over a couple of months, I thought to embark on one of the numerous transports leaving Alexandria, but found that an order from the War Department issued subsequently to the receipt by me of the above pass prohibiting the presence of unofficial persons on any of the vessels prevented my accompanying the expedition.

Under these circumstances, I leave this evening for the West, and in the course of three or four days hope to reach Corinth. The field will be quite a new one, and, should I not be followed there with the ban of the Secretary of War upon me, I hope to send you much that will be interesting to your readers. The Western men are proving themselves the heroes of the war, and it appears to me that the opening of the Mississippi will tend greatly to decide the vexed question of Secession that at present divides the North from the South.

F. V.

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