From the Richmond Dispatch, 11/10/1860, p. 1, c. 6
Camp Lee. – The threatening appearance of the clouds yesterday morning was somewhat discouraging to those who had fixed their hopes on a visit to the camp at the Central Fair Grounds. It commenced raining between 9 and 10 o'clock, and the air was chilly and disagreeable. The shower, however, was of short duration. The ladies, determined not to let a small matter interfere with their arrangements, assembled in throngs at the railroad depot, under the protection of their husbands, fathers, or beaux, and took passage for the camp. The First Regiment, commanded by Col. Moore, formed on Capitol Square at half-past 10 o'clock, with the band and drum corps, and took up the line of march in the same direction. Carriages and omnibuses in great numbers went up loaded with passengers, and many persons, who couldn't "wait for the wagon," went on foot.
On arriving at the Camp at an early hour, we were surprised to find a large number of spectators assembled. Each train contributed to swell the throng, and by half-past 11 it had augmented far beyond the general expectation. The seats overlooking the parade ground were crowded, and presented an array of bright colors that only wanted sunshine to make the picture more striking. A large number of ladies also occupied the verandah of the Exhibition Hall. The troops were manoevering on the area below, officers shouting the words of command, sabres clashing and plumes waving, while here and there a trooper, desirous of showing his skill in horsemanship, scampered of to some distant point as if he were entered for a four mile race. Everything wore a martial appearance, and everybody seemed to enjoy the spectacle.
When the drums of the First Regiment announced the approach of that fine body of soldiers, there was a general commotion on the grounds. The regiment entered the Broad street gate, was met by a squadron of cavalry, and marched to the place of parade. We observed the following companies: Howitzer Co. H, Capt. Randolph; grays, Co. A, Lieut. Bossieux; Co. B, Lieut. Mitchell; Co.. F, Capt. Cary; Montgomery Guard, Co. C, Capt. Dooley; Blues, Lieut. Scott; Co. I, Captain Morris; Co. G, Capt. Gordon; Co. E, Rifles, Capt. Miller. The Public Guard, Lieut. Gay commanding, was also in the line. We can say unhesitatingly, that while we have seen the regiment parade in greater force, we never saw it look better than on this occasion. The men marched well, and exhibited in their general movements a proficiency showing their careful attention to the instructions of the drill-room. We heard many expressions of admiration from the visitors.
When the line was drawn up, extending across the trotting ground from north to south, its appearance was really formidable. – We never saw anything equal to it here, and we have no doubt that such a body of troops, composed as it is of good material, would do excellent service if called into action.
The review commenced about 12 o'clock. – Gov. Letcher, attended by Col. Munford, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Gen. August and a portion of his staff, Col. Hardee, and other officers, rode through the lines, and then the entire body of troops marched around the field. It was truly a grand spectacle. The enjoyment of it, however, was interrupted by the rain. A sudden hoisting of umbrellas, to protect the vast array of millinery productions on the seats, withdrew the attention of everybody from the array of military attraction on the field. – Many persons hurried away to take the train for Richmond, and others sought shelter from the wind and rain. Notwithstanding this unpleasant interference, the review went on, and the trumpet blasts were heard loud and clear, over the blasts of old Boreass.
The troops were dismissed after the review, and the 1st Regiment returned to the city. - Had the weather been favorable, the attendance of spectators at the Camp would have been much larger; but even with such weather as we had, the military fulfilled their intentions, and we hear a general expression of gratification from the public.
We have no definite information regarding the close of the encampment. It is stated that the Governor desires that it shall be prolonged for a few days, as the instructions in drill are of the first importance to the troops. The cavalry exercises will be resumed at the Camp this morning.