Sunday, December 22.
We have nothing new since the Dranesville affair, of which the papers will give you a full account. It is said McClellan is very much pleased, and McCall now expects to be reinstated in favor. I suppose, if I applied, I might get a forty-eight-hours’ leave and spend a day with you; but what would be our feelings if during that time anything were to occur and my brigade be in action without me? The uncertainty of affairs, and the impossibility of foreseeing what is going to take place even twenty-four hours ahead, prevent me from making any application.
I wrote to you some days ago to distribute * * * among the children, which I hope they will receive in time to make their Christmas purchases. It is my wish that they should have everything done for them to promote healthy enjoyment, and that the season of childhood, the brightest of our existence, should be to them as happy as we can make it, knowing that sorrows, cares and anxieties will do their work in time. Give them my blessing and my love. Perhaps it may be God's will I shall never see them again.
There is a tremendous pressure being brought to bear on McClellan, and there is no telling how long he can or will stand it. No one can predict the future for twenty-four hours, and all we can do is to endeavor to be ready for all contingencies. Good-by! God bless you all and give you a happy and as far as possible a merry Christmas!
SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 238-9