CAMP PIERPONT, VA., November 17, 1861.
I went into town yesterday to attend to my Lake Survey accounts at the Treasury, which I believe are now all explained satisfactorily, so that should anything happen to me, you will remember that my public accounts are all settled, and that my vouchers, etc., are in a tin box in Major Woodruff's office, Topographical Bureau.
People who think the war is about to close, because we have achieved one signal success, are very short-sighted. I agree with you in thinking it has only just begun. Think of Percy Drayton1 firing into a fort commanded by his own brother!2 Is not this enough to make one heartsick? We hear the news of the capture of Messrs. Mason and Slidell.3 I hope their being taken out of a British mail packet will not bring us into trouble with John Bull. If it is true that he is disposed to quarrel with us, this gives him a very pretty chance to begin.
November 17—9 P. M.
The foregoing part of my letter was written this A. M. General Brooks dined with us, we having a nice green goose for dinner. General McCall paid me a visit during the afternoon, but had no news to communicate. Every one is speculating, but no one knows what is going to be done; all we can do is to wait patiently.
I am very much pleased with Hamilton Kuhn. He is a gentleman and intelligent, and it is quite refreshing to have him for an associate.
1 Percival Drayton commanded the Pocahontas in the Port Royal, S. C., expedition November 7, 1861.
2 Thomas F. Drayton, brigadier-general C. S. A. Led the Confederate troops in the Port Royal expedition.
3 Commissioners from the Confederate States Government sent to Great Britain and France, and captured by the United States Government on the British steamer Trent, November 8, 1862.
SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 228