Saturday, November 23, 2013

Brigadier General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Meade, February 25, 1862

CAMP PIERPONT, VA., February 25, 1862.

I take it for granted from the tone of the public press and from the position McClellan is in, that he will move now as soon as he possibly can. His enemies, with skillful ingenuity, are trying to sow discord between him and Halleck, Grant and Buell, proclaiming that he claims all the credit of their victories. I am sorry to say I hear people talk this way who ought to know better, and from all I can learn McClellan's star is rapidly setting, and nothing but a victory will save him from ruin. It is well known his victories in Western Virginia last summer precipitated and caused Bull Run. Now the victories in Tennessee are forcing a movement here, with, I trust and believe, a better result than was attained last summer. I have but little doubt of our success, and I think if we can overthrow the army they have in our front, that they will give it up, as I do not believe they can reorganize another large army. It is reported Cobb came to Fortress Monroe, the other day, ostensibly as a commissioner, with the returned prisoners; but as this is the first time they have thought it necessary to send a commissioner with the prisoners, and as Wool immediately despatched his aide, Colonel Tom Cram, to Washington, it is surmised that Cobb was bearer of some terms of compromise. I do not think, however, they are yet willing to accept the only terms we can grant — unconditional surrender and return to the status quo ante helium. They have too large an army yet unconquered to justify their giving up without another cast of the die, which may be in their favor. I think, though, success on our part here will bring them to their senses, and I think we have every reason to believe, from our numbers, discipline and the morale produced by the recent victories, that we will be victorious. God grant that it may be so, and that I may survive to enjoy with you and my dear children the blessings of peace!

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 248-9

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