over to-night if necessary. A number of hand-cars passed over. General McDowell remained here during the day. Major Brown and Lieutenants Wadsworth and Cutting returned from Washington this afternoon.
May 20.-The day was quite warm, with the appearance of rain, and during the evening had quite a shower. Some more deserters came in to-day from the Letcher battery. General Ricketts and lady paid a visit to General McDowell this evening. The Ninth, Fourteenth, and Twenty-sixth New York regimental bands, and Ninetieth Pennsylvania, came and gave us some very fine music. Reviewed Ord's division; very good. Houston received his majority to-day. Military men went on the cars for the first time to-day.
May 21.-The day was very warm. A mountain howitzer was brought here this morning for the general to inspect. Captain Slosson reported to-day for duty on the staff.
May 22.-The weather still continues warm and sultry. During the afternoon had a slight shower. General Shields' division arrived and went into camp near General King's headquarters. Sergeant Wirth's discharge papers were given him from this office to-day to take to his company and get his accounts. General Shields reported his arrival in person.
May 23.-President Lincoln, Secretary Stanton, M. Mercier, the French minister, with a special official aide, and Commodore Dahlgren arrived about 9 o'clock this morning. All the division and most of the brigade generals were in attendance during the morning. General McDowell and part of his staff escorted the President and suite to Fredericksburg. In the afternoon the different divisions were reviewed, and it was quite dark before they had finished reviewing Shields' division. The President and suite returned to Aquia by rail in the evening. General McDowell accompanied them. Two more companies of the Virginia cavalry arrived to-day. One battalion of the Fourth Pennsylvania and one of the Rhode Island left Catlett's last evening for this place. Captain Merritt reported for duty on the staff. Captain Myers and Captain Breck appointed majors on Fremont's staff; Drouillard, Cutting, and Wadsworth, captains, ditto.
May 24.-It has rained most of the day, clearing away at sunset.
Captain Fairfield staid all night, also Colonel Thompson, assistant quartermaster.
May 25.-As to-day was Sunday did not except a surplus of business. About 9 o'clock orders were given for Shields' division to move back to Catlett's, followed by Ord's, with the exception of the cavalry brigade. Orders were also given for General King to move the balance of his division across the Rappahannock, also Bayard's brigade. They crossed about 4 o'clock this afternoon. A number of deserters came in to-day and gave themselves up and reported the enemy as having retreated and fallen back to within eight miles this side of Richmond. Nearly a whole company with a lieutenant came in and gave themselves up. They say they were left behind to guard the baggage, and after the troops left they started this way and gave themselves up to the pickets. Secretary Chase and Mr. Harrington arrived during the night and remained here most of the day. General McDowell accompanied him on his return to Aquia. General King left the Phillips House and took General Patrick's old headquarters in Fredericksburg. Made a reconnaissance and found that the enemy had retreated. Saw many smokes, supposed to be bridges that they were burning. News from General