CAMP PIERPONT, VA., October 12, 1861.
I was glad to hear you had enjoyed your trip to West Point. I was sure you would be delighted with the scenery, which is said of its kind to be unequaled. I agree with you that the student at West Point has every advantage in his favor in the regularity of the hours there and the absence of distraction. Still, you must remember, a great deal more is required of them than at any of our colleges, and that without a mathematical turn of mind, which is a decided gift of nature, no advantages such as above mentioned will enable a student to overcome all the difficulties in his path, though, undoubtedly, they render his task easier than it otherwise would be. Day before yesterday we were moved across the Potomac, and are now in position some four miles in advance of where you saw John Markoe,2 being just beyond Langley, where Baldy Smith had his skirmish.
Hamilton Kuhn did get a commission from the Governor of Pennsylvania, but it was not the right kind. He has been again to Harrisburg and procured another, and is now in Washington, qualifying himself, so that I expect him to join me every day. He appears a very gentlemanly fellow, and is so anxious to see service, that I doubt not I shall find him very useful.
SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 222