Sunday, December 29, 2013

Brigadier General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Meade, June 11, 1862


Day before yesterday, General McCall received orders for his division to join General McClellan, to go by water down the Rappahannock and up the York River to the White House. Soon after the arrival of the transports at a point on the river some six miles below Fredericksburg was announced to him, and he immediately sent Reynolds and myself, with our commands, down here to embark. Reynolds has gone with all his command, and nearly all of mine has gone. I should myself have been off, but just as I was preparing to leave, General McCall made his appearance with his staff, and took up all the room that was left, and compelled me to remain here with my staff, separated from my command, to await either additional transportation or the return of those that had gone. I cannot tell now when I shall get away. All the vessels that were sent at first are gone; if others are being sent, I shall be off on the first that comes. But if it is not intended to send any more, and I have to await the return of those gone, it will be several days, perhaps a week, before I can rejoin my command. In the meantime, McClellan's pressure for troops may require him to send my brigade to the front, under the command of the next in rank. It is impossible for me to tell you how much I have been worried by this. Perhaps a vessel may come up some time to-day, and matters turn out better than I expect.

I think now it will not be long before our division will be in the presence of the enemy; being fresh troops, we will of course be sent to the front to relieve those who have been so long exposed. I understand very large reinforcements have been ordered to McClellan at last, in response to his urgent and repeated calls for them. It is rumored that the whole of McDowell's corps, except Shields (who remains with Banks), has been ordered, and some of the captains of the steamers recently here said that our twenty thousand men had reached him before they left, showing the Administration have at last come to their senses, brought thereto, doubtless, by a fear that a large part of Beauregard's army is coming from Corinth to Richmond.

I suppose you have noted in the papers that Colonel Kane has been made a prisoner, also Captain Taylor, of the same regiment, who is a very clever gentleman. I expected Kane, who has been thirsting for fame, would get himself in some such scrape, and therefore am not greatly surprised at its occurrence.

P. S. — June 11, 5 P. M.

I am glad to say several fine transports have arrived, and I expect to be off early to-morrow morning. As this has relieved me greatly, I have opened my letter to announce it.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 272-3

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