Letter to the Tribune.
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Voyage of the North Star�Who were on
Board�Speculations as to the Destina-
tion of the Expedition�Personal Notices.
From Our Special Correspondent.
AT SEA, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 1862.
But a few days ago the very indefinite specification
of locality prefixed to this letter would have had ad-
ditional appropriateness, as describing my mental
condition as to the objects and destination of this ex-
pedition. I know them now (or think I do), albeit I
am obliged to limit my confidences to THE TRIBUNE.
Pending the time when there will be no necessity for
reservation, accept an idle sea-letter, involving
only six days experience of myself and my fellow-
voyagers on board the North Star. The mention of
that vessel, a voyage of that duration, and of Gen.
Banks, inevitably suggests an ultra-Southern des-
tination�of that piece of information the subscribers
to THE TRIBUNE in Dixie are welcome to make the
most: I can afford to admit so much and a little
more. We may be going to Vicksburg, to Mobile,
to Texas, to all and several; for are we not, at this
time of writing, plashing gallantly through the blue
Atlantic on the outer side of the Gulf Stream, some-
where beyond the furthermost Cape of Florida,
and steaming parallel with that long line of perilous
reefs and sandbars which terminate in the dry Tor-
tugas? By to-morrow we hope to enter the Gulf of
Mexico; hence some of the above mentioned locali-
ties must be the right ones. And further the de-
ponent sayeth not, until duly authorized. Let me
speak of the voyage.
The North Star (name of good omen!) is pretty
well known to Yew-Yorkers as one of Cornelius
Vanderbilt�s big ocean steamers, which used to ply
to Aspinwall, and has crossed the Atlantic. She
lay quietly enough at the foot of Eleventh street,
East River, on the evening of Dec. 4, when I first
presented myself on board, finding only eight com-
panies of the Massachusetts 41st there, looming blue
and multitudinous in their military overcoats and the
darkness. Next day was one of bustle, of confu-
sion, and embarkation; and not until 5 � p. m. did
the playing of �Hail to the Chief� by the band in-
form us that Gen. Banks had joined us. What time
we lay off the Battery, having been towed thither
by a tug. It was at least five hours later when we
got clear of Sandy Hook and were fairly off, our
stem pointing southward.
Let the reader suppose the North Star on her first
night out, plowing her way through the solemn
rushing waters on a bleak, raw December night, the
usual amount of incidental discomfort and sea-sick-
ness on board, the soldiers between-decks, the offi-
cers and civilians crowding the numerous cabins,
the cannon and ammunition cumbering the deck,
covered with canvas and tarpaulins to protect them
from the driving spray and the occasional spiteful
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gusts of rain that rendered the night additionally
uncomfortable; and all of us bound on some great,
formidable enterprise, of which perhaps but one
man knew the secret and scope, while I, THE TRIB-
UNE correspondent, avail myself of this early oppor-
tunity to tender the following list of my fellow-
Major-General NATHANIEL P. BANKS, Commander-in-Chief
of the expedition. His Staff, comprising
Lieut.-Col. Richard B. Irwin, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Lieut.-Col. Wm. S. Abert, Assistant Inspector-General.
Major G. Norman Lieber, Judge-Advocate.
Col. John S. Clark, Aid-de-Camp.
Lieut.-Col. Strother, Aid-de-Camp (Porte Crayon.)
Capt. Frederick d�Hauteville, Aid-de-Camp.
Capt. Robert D. Dunham, Aid-de-Camp.
First Lieut. Charles A. Harwell, Aid-de-Camp.
Second Lieut. Samuel M. Whitside, Aid-de-Camp.
Capt. W. Sturgis Hooper, Acting Aid-de-Camp.
First Lieut. Charles S. Sargent, Acting Aid-de-Camp.
Major Harai Robinson, Volunteer Aid-de-Camp.
Col. Samuel B. Holabird, Chief Quartermaster.
Col. Edward G. Beckwith, Chief Commissary.
Surgeon Richard H. Alexander, Medical Director.
Major D. C. Houston, Chief Engineer.
Capt. Henry L. Abbott, Chief of Topographical Engineers.
First Lieut. Richard M. Hill, Chief of Ordnance.
Capt. Richard Arnold, Chief of Artillery.
Capt. Wm. W. Rowley, Chief Signal Officer.
Chief Engineer, Major Houston.
Capt. J. W. McCure, Assistant Quartermaster.
Dr. Richard M. Alexander, Medical Director.
Dr. David L. Rogers, Medical Inspector.
Dr. P. Middleton.
Dr. George M. Sturnburg.
W. C. Spencer, Medical Purveyor.
Maj-Gen. CHRISTOPHER COLON AUGUR, Second in Com-
mand to Gen. Banks.
His Staff, comprising:
Major George B. Halstead, Assistant Adjutant General.
Major John H. Rench, Surgeon.
Capt. J. Hodge, Quartermaster.
Capt. H. O. Woodcuff, Commissary.
Capt. Walter Cutting, Aid-de-Camp.
Capt. James Benkard, Aid-de-Camp.
Capt. George Shaw, Aid-de-Camp.
Capt. M. Ritchie, Aid-de-Camp.
Brig-Gen. CUVIER GROVER.
His Staff, comprising:
Capt. Joseph Hibbert, Assistant Adjutant General.
Maj. T. B. Reed, Surgeon.
Capt. F. W. Perkins, Assistant Quartermaster.
Capt. W. P. Corvie, Commissary.
Lieut. J. B. Brown, Aid-de-Camp.
Brig.-Gen. A. J. HAMILTON, recently appointed Military-
Governor of Texas.
His Staff, comprising:
Mr. Charles P. Shaw, Private Secretary.
Maj. William L. Burt, Commissary.
Capt. J. R. Herbert, Acting Adjutant General.
Judge C. A. Peabody of New-York, with Messrs. Lemont,
Hughes and Inloes.
Capt. Abbott, of the Topographical Engineer Department,
with the following assistants: Messrs. Ogilvie and Brown
(photographers), Ross, Dunbar, Deutsche, Haskell, Robins,
Hawksworth, Homer, Elliot, Lyman, Sturgis, Buckley, Pal-
mer and Davis.
The officers of the Massachusetts 41st, comprising:
Colonel, Thomas E. Chickering.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Ansel D. Wass.
Major, Lorenzo D. Sargent.
Adjutant, Henry S. Adams.
Quartermaster, Charles B. Stoddard.
Surgeon, Albert H. Blanchard.
Assistant Surgeon, Daniel F. Leavitt.
Assistant Surgeon, Daniel S. Allen.
Chaplain, Henry F. Lane.
Sergeant-Major, John M. Rolston.
Quartermaster-Sergeant, George A. Fiske, jr.
Commissary-Sergeant, Charles B. Stone.
Hospital Steward, Harry N. Coburn.
Drum-Major, A. B. Chase.
Armorer, AG. . Crossley.
Color-Sergeant, Alfred W. Bullock.
John F. Vinal, Lyman W. Gould,