Pursuit Ends (August 3, 1863)

I send a few lines by Sergeant, who returns to-day. We see by the Herald that two of General Meade’s sons are drafted, and the inference is that Sergeant’s name has been drawn, and he ought therefore to be at home to attend to it. He has had a very nice time, of which he will give you the particulars. There was a handsome little fight that Buford’s cavalry had day before yesterday, that he might have seen, but the weather was very warm and the scene of operations quite distant from my headquarters, so I did not say anything to him about it. He will give you all the news and tell you all my troubles.

The Government, for some reason best known to itself, has ordered me to cease the pursuit of Lee, though I strongly recommended an advance. This is confidential, though the newspapers for some days have been announcing that I would have to assume the defensive. Halleck in one despatch said it was because a considerable part of my army would be required to enforce the draft, but afterwards said he would only require sixteen hundred men, which I have sent. I don’t know what this all means, but I suppose in time it will all come right.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p.141. Available via Google Books.

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