Near Summit, 9 P. M., Sept. 8, 1864.
To-day has quite changed the face of things, — the Third Brigade (my brigade) has been broken up: the Second Massachusetts is transferred to the “Reserve Brigade,” and I take command thereof, Colonel Gibbs being transferred to command of Second Brigade: the change looks like making the Second Massachusetts a permanent member of the Army of the Potomac, or that portion of it which is here.1
I am now where, if there is anything to be done for Mr. Linkum2 in the way of fighting, I may have a chance to do it. Good-night, — it's dark and rainy and windy enough to make a move to-morrow certain, — it's just the night to injure forage and rations, and very naturally they have arrived.
1 The reorganization of General Merritt's Division was as follows: First Brigade, Brigadier-General Custer; Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Devin; Reserve Brigade, Colonel Lowell. The Reserve Brigade consisted of the First, Second, and Fifth United States Cavalry and the Second Massachusetts Cavalry; also Battery D (horse artillery) of the Second United States Artillery.
2 The negro “contrabands” called their far-off benefactor “Massa Linkum,” and the Union Army the “Linkum soldiers.”
SOURCE: Edward Waldo Emerson, Life and Letters of Charles Russell Lowell, p. 337, 460-1