CAMP AT HUNTER'S MILLS, VA., March 13, 1862.
I think a great deal about you1, and all the other dear children. I often picture to myself as I last saw you — yourself, Sarah and Willie lying in bed, crying, because I had to go way, and while I was scolding you for crying, I felt like crying myself. It is very hard to be kept away from you, because there is no man on earth that loves his children more dearly than I do, or whose happiness is more dependent on being with his family. Duty, however, requires me to be here, to do the little I can to defend our old flag, and whatever duty requires us to do, we should all, old and young, do cheerfully, however disagreeable it may be.
We came here, expecting to have a big fight with the Seceshers, but they have all cleared out, and I don't know what we shall do — whether we will go after them from here, or go back to Washington and take some other road.
I shall be very glad to hear from you again whenever you have time to write me another such nice letter.
1 Henrietta Meade, daughter of General Meade.
SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 251-2