Letter from “A”, Co. F, from Washington, D.C., dated July 25, 1861

“A”, Curtin Rifles, Co. F, 10th Pa. Reserves.
July 25, 18611

Washington, D.C. –

We are to-day (Thursday) encamped in Capitol Square, in front of the Capitol building, which is full of shade trees. We remain here for some time yet; I know not how long.

Directly across the street from us, in the old Capitol building, are about ninety Secession prisoners captured at the late battle. It is very difficult to keep the Fire Zouaves from attacking them. Almost every hour we hear of a new lot of prisoners arriving. What will be done with them I cannot say.

The Fire Zouaves are constantly coming in with horses which they captured at Manassas, mostly belonging to the Black Horse Cavalry, which you doubtless have heard so much about, as Gov. Wise’s men, and the pride and flower of the South. It is said that when our men were retreating the Black Horse Cavalry, numbering 5oo, charged on them, when the Fire Zouaves wheeled and cut them to pieces, leaving only six out of their number. This was the company which was going to picket their horses in the yard at the President’s house. It is said that at every charge the Zouaves made they would cry, ‘Remember Ellsworth.’

The loss of Federal troops is not so heavy as first reported, as they are still arriving. The battle was clearly ours, until a wagon connected with Sherman’s Battery started to the rear for ammunition, they having run out, and driving at a rapid rate, our men took for a retreat, and all started after it.

The news here was not near so bad as we heard before leaving Harrisburg. The Zouaves and others with whom I have been talking to-day, are all anxious to fight again, declaring they will give quarters the next time. I think the next battle will be altogether different – victory will be ours – as it is so considered here at the present time.

‘“A”, Curtin Rifles, Co. F, 10th Pa. Reserves.

  1. Beaver Weekly Argus: 7-31-1861