Dissipated by Facts (December 16, 1864)

Edwin Forbes sketched the arrival in a Union cap at Rappahannock Station of newspapers from Washington. Click to enlarge (Library of Congress).

Edwin Forbes sketched the arrival of newspapers from Washington in a Union camp at Rappahannock Station . Click to enlarge (Library of Congress).

George Meade never had any love for the press or Congress. Here he advises his wife about both institutions.

I received this evening your letter of the 14th inst., having received day before yesterday the one dated the 12th. I am sorry the good public should have been disappointed in the result of Warren’s expedition, but the facts are, as I stated them, he accomplished all that he went for, namely, the destruction of some eighteen miles of the Weldon Railroad.

This passion of believing newspaper and club strategy will I suppose never be eradicated from the American public mind, notwithstanding the experience of four years in which they have from day to day seen its plans and hopes and fears dissipated by facts.

I don’t anticipate either Grant or his campaign will be attacked in Congress. In the first place he has too many friends; in the next place, Congress having legislated him into his present position, he can only be removed by their act, and that would be stultifying themselves.

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. 252. Available via Google Books.

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