24th.—The great size and draft of our ocean steamer made it necessary for us to lie by last night, and we are this morning running into Aquia Creek.
When we arrived we found no orders awaiting us. Immediately dispatched the steamer Montreal to Washington for instructions. Whilst waiting for dispatches from Washington, we have listened to a good sermon on deck, from our Chaplain. At half-past 12 o’clock the dispatch boat returned from Washington with orders to proceed immediately to Alexandria, and disembark.
Five months ago yesterday, we embarked at the very dock at which we now lie, to take Richmond. Now, at the end of the five months, we have arrived at the same spot, with nearly a hundred thousand less men than we took away, having expended $70,000,000, and accomplished nothing else which we undertook. It is vain to deny that our campaign has been a monstrous failure, that the men have lost confidence in their leaders, and that they are feeling, in a great measure, indifferent to the result. At 8 p. m., we are again ashore at Alexandria, and the scream of the locomotive, the rattling of the cars, the voices of women and children, with other signs of civil life, break so strangely on our ears. I feel deeply anxious as to the result of General Pope’s fight yesterday. The enemy have got between him and Washington. We can hear nothing from him and all is uncertainty in regard to his little army. God help him!