Conquer a Peace (December 23, 1864)

"Santa Claus in Camp," an illustration from Harpers, January 3, 1863 (Library of Congress).

“Santa Claus in Camp,” an illustration from Harper’s Weekly, January 3, 1863 (Library of Congress).

After this letter, George Meade will go silent for a time. He will go on leave starting December 30—the day before his birthday (and wedding anniversary) and depart for camp on January 9.

The General Meade Society of Philadelphia will hold its birthday commemoration again this year on December 31 at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. It is always a fun event. I encourage everyone reading this to attend. In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all!

I have received a letter from the Earl of Fife, in Scotland, asking my good offices for a young kinsman of his, who, he understands, has got a commission in my army. I think I told you some time ago I had a letter from a Mr. Duff, just arrived in New York, asking to be taken on my staff, and sending a letter of introduction from Captain Schenley. I replied he would first have to get a commission, and indicated to him how to go about it. Since then I have not heard from him, but presume, from the Earl of Fife’s note, that he has succeeded in getting the commission, but perhaps has changed his mind as to the staff appointment.

Colonel James Biddle has gone on leave. Young Emory has also gone, to get married, and talks of trying to get a commission of colonel in Hancock’s new corps. Mason has got a leave, and Lyman I let go also, so that headquarters are a good deal changed.

I think the Confederacy is beginning to shake, and if we only can get the three hundred thousand men the President has called for, and they prove good fighting men, I believe next summer we will conquer a peace, if not sooner. God grant it may be so!

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. 254-5. Available via Google Books.