CAMP OPPOSITE FREDERICKSBURG, May 14, 1862.
Last Sunday the enemy, who have some force in our front on the other side of the river, advanced to our picket line, I suppose to see what we were doing. They were well received by a portion of General Patrick's brigade, stationed on the other side, and driven back, with the loss of one officer and twelve men. One of the generals in front of us is named Field, whom perhaps you may remember as being stationed at West Point. He was a large man and distinguished for sporting an immense shirt collar, a la Byron. He was married to quite a pretty little woman, whose sister, Miss Mason, was staying with them. This Miss Mason afterwards married Lieutenant Collins, of the Topogs. (your relative). Their mother, Mrs. Mason, is now at Fredericksburg, but her daughters are with their husbands, Field, a general in our front, and Collins, an Engineer, who has gone to Brazil. General Ricketts has joined, having been assigned to one of the brigades of the new division we are to have. He has a staff of Philadelphians — one of Julia Fisher's sons, John Williams, young Richards (son of Benj. W.) and I believe others. Colonel Lyles's1 regiment is in his brigade, and I believe he has other Pennsylvania troops.
I hear the reaction in favor of McClellan since he has had some men killed is very great, and that even Greeley2 has begun to praise him. Poor Mac, if he is in this strait, he is in a pretty bad way! Greeley's enmity he might stand, but his friendship will kill him. I am afraid Richmond will be taken before we get there.
I have not seen the death of Huger3 positively announced in the papers; all I have seen was that he was badly wounded. But he does not seem to have been made prisoner.
1 Peter Lyles, colonel 90th Regt., Pa. Vols.
2 Horace Greeley, editor New York Tribune.
3 Thomas B. Huger, brother-in-law of General Meade, in the Confederate army.
SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 266