CAMP NEAR ALEXANDRIA, April 10, 1862.
Instead of going to-day by railroad, as was expected, we have orders now to march early to-morrow morning by the turnpike road to Manassas. This, therefore, is the last letter I shall write you from this camp. The bad storm we have had has ceased, and the weather looks favorable, so that the change from being cooped up in cars to marching is agreeable. I think the plan is for our column, some thirty thousand strong, to threaten Richmond from the north, and if McClellan should be delayed or checked in his approach by way of Yorktown, we will stand a good chance of having something to do. My experience, however, dictates that all calculations in war of this kind are vain. Often those who fancy they are the most remote from battle are the first in, and those who expect to do all the fighting are frequently the spectators of the deeds of others.
SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 258