Letter From Capt. Lemley.
ST. LOUIS, Mo., Aug. 31.
Editor Gazette: Thinking perhaps some of your readers are desirous of obtaining some information in regard to the progress of the "Preston Blues," and having had numerous solicitations to furnish such information, I have decided upon this method, and would be pleased to have this receive an insertion in your paper.
After taking leave of our friends on the morning of the 15th inst., we marched aboard the steamer Louisiana, which bore us gallantly away, amind the cheers and blessings of many friends who had assembled to witness our departure; and as we passed the Grand Tower and many other points along the route, we were kindly saluted by numerous white handkerchiefs floating from the delicate hands of many fair ones whose kind sympathies we have reason to believe are elicited in favor of this company.
We found the officers of the boat kind and gentlemanly, ready at all times to make sacrifices to advance the comfort of the company. After a pleasant run of fourteen hours we arrived at the levee at St. Louis. On the following morning we were marched into the Arsenal, provided with provisions, good quarters, and the comforts of the company otherwise cared for through the prompt action of our energetic Orderly Sergeant, Thos. J. Rhodes, who is an excellent officer, and stands high in the estimation of the company. On the Friday following (23d), we responded to the oath of allegiance, and were mustered into the service of the United States as Company A, Third Regiment Missouri Rifles, commanded by Lieut. Col. St. James, who, by the way, is a "whole team," and enjoys the respect and confidence of the entire regiment. There is a general expression of ease and satisfaction on the part of the boys, and their contentment and good spirits are unmistakably manifest in the cheerful countenances and merry shouts bursting from every tent in the camp. Not a murmur has been heard; but on the contrary, every one seems anxious to acquit himself in such a manner as to reflect credit upon himself and honor upon old Union county, which is nobly doing her part in this great struggle for the preservation of the Constitution. Up to this time there has been no sickness to speak of among the boys all are able to take their rations. Our regiment will be full in a few days, when we shall be stationed at Camp Benton, on the St. Louis Fair Grounds, for the purpose of drilling and preparing for actual service. We have been furnished with blankets and shoes, and our guns, together with tents, camp equipments, etc., are forthcoming.
Before closing, allow me, in behalf of the company, to express our sincere thanks to the citizens of Preston for the hospitalities extended to us during our organization, and especially to Messrs. Baxter, Mackinder, Nobles, Dishon, Rhodes and Walston. They will long be remembered, and receive the grateful blessings of all concerned. — Our officers remain the same as when we left, except the addition of one sergeant, which is supplied in the person of Berry S. Province. Rank and file we number eighty-four. Yours, &c.,
GEO. H. LEMLEY.