Sunday, November 17, 2013

Brigadier General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Meade, January 26, 1862

CAMP PIERPONT, VA., January 26, 1862.

To-day being Sunday, I had an invitation from General McCall to dine with him, which I accepted, and had a very pleasant time discussing matters and things in general. McCall thinks France and England will recognize the Southern Confederacy and interfere in their behalf. I am not of this opinion, unless we should fail in the next six months to make any further progress in suppressing the revolution than we have as yet done. I cannot believe that eight millions of people, however great their spirit and individual gallantry may be, can hold at bay twenty millions, unless the latter are dastards and ignoramuses. If our men will fight, as men ought to do who pretend to be soldiers, and our resources are properly managed and directed, we must whip them so badly and distress them so much that they will be compelled to accept terms of peace dictated by us, provided we ask nothing of them but what we have a right to do, viz., to return to their allegiance under the old Constitution, and agree that the will of the majority shall govern. Here, however, is our great danger, and it lies in the effort that the ultras are making to give a character to the war which will forbid any hope of the Southerners ever yielding as long as there is any power of resistance left in them. I still trust, however, in the good sense of the mass of the people to preserve us from a condition from which I fear it would take years to emerge.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 243-4

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