Very Little Going On (January 22, 1865)

After writing this letter, General Meade left for Philadelphia. He reached there on January 28 and left to return to the army two days later. The main purpose for his visit was his oldest son, John Sergeant, who was near death with tuberculosis. Markoe Bache is Meade’s nephew and serves on the general’s staff; we have had of him before.

Markoe Bache, Meade's nephew (Library of Congress).

Markoe Bache, Meade’s nephew (Library of Congress).

Theodore Lyman remains in Boston. On January 18 he had received a letter from Meade, giving him permission to stay there indefinitely. “He is low in spirits, being anxious about his confirmation, and what is worse is eldest son is very low,” Lyman noted. The general also asked his aide to use what influence he had in Massachusetts to move Meade’s promotion forward, so Lyman wrote to Senators Charles Sumner and Henry Wilson and businessman John Murray Forbes and met personally with Governor John A. Andrews. Lyman also noted that Seth Williams, the extremely capable assistant adjutant-general for the Army of the Potomac, had been promoted by Grant to be the army inspector general. You can read all of Lyman’s journal entries in Meade’s Army: The Private Notebooks of Lt. Col. Theodore Lyman, edited by David W. Lowe (Kent State University Press, 2007). Highly recommended!

There is very little going on here. We have had a violent storm of rain. Grant is still away, and I have heard nothing from Markoe Bache, so that I am ignorant of what turn affairs are taking in Washington. I received a letter yesterday from Cram, enclosing me one from a correspondent in Washington, who advises him (Cram) that he has been reliably informed that I am likely to be rejected. Still, this may be a street rumor, circulated by those who want this result.

To-day Bishop Lee, of Delaware, held service in the chapel tent at these headquarters, and gave us a very good sermon. He came here with Bishop Janeway, of the Methodist Church, and a Mr. Jones, a lawyer from Philadelphia, who were a commission asking admission into the rebel lines, to visit our poor prisoners in their hands to relieve their spiritual wants; but I believe the Confederate authorities declined.

The Richmond papers are very severe on Davis, and there is every indication of discord among them. I hope to Heaven this will incline them to peace, and that there may be some truth in the many reports in the papers that something is going on!

(General Meade left head-quarters for Philadelphia where he arrived January 28. He left Philadelphia on the 30th.)

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), pp. 257-8. Available via Google Books.

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