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18296  Head-Quarters, Army of the Potomac   Letter dated March 24, 1862.  “My Dear
Mother, I attended church yesterday at Alexandria in one of the most noted churches
in this country, the one worshipped in by General Washington.  Everything in the
church has a most valuable appearance, and is religiously kept just as it was in his time,
the same church furniture and books, and his pew has the same furniture in it that he
used.  There is a beautiful evergreen in the church yard said to have been planted by
his own hand.  I send you a sprig of myrtle from Mount Vernon that was given me
yesterday.  We embark this afternoon but may probably remain on shipboard for
several days before we start for our destination. There are a great many points of
interest about this part of the country and the elegant old mansions scattered about the
banks of the Potomac, that are now used as the Head Quarters of our different
Generals, once contained a former generation who fought and bled for our Union.  
Their descendants are now arrayed in arms against it.  Old family portraits dressed in
the style of old times are hanging on the walls of a number of these houses, and the
elegant grounds and shrubberies are now laid waste.  Virginia is a perfect desert now
not a fence or hardly a blade of grass is to be seen.  Most of the woods and elegant
shade trees are cut down and it will take a number of years to make the state what it
once was.  The old dominion is now but a name.  A Northern population will probably
settle Virginia that is now nearly worn out as to soil.  I shall write to you by every
opportunity.  We are just commencing to pack up and I must close.  Good bye and God
bless you.  Son”   $60