Washington, August 11, 1862.
MY DEAR GEORGE:
You will have seen by the papers that Pope has been running his head into a hornet's nest. He fought a desperate battle the other day — or rather Banks did — Pope coming up at the end of it.
He stands now in good position, eager for another fight and confident of licking the enemy.
The Tycoon has given orders that he shan't fight unless there is a first-rate chance of cleaning them out. The Tycoon thinks a defeat there would be a greater nuisance than several victories would abate.
There is no further news. It is horribly hot, all but me who have gone to shaking again. Your infernal south windows always give me the chills. Stone has broken them up, however, and doses me remorselessly to keep them away.
If in the wild woods, you scrouge an Indian damsel, steal her moccasins while she sleeps and bring them to me.
The Tycoon has just received a pair, gorgeously quilled, from an Indian Agent who is accused of stealing. He put them on and grinned. Will he remember them on the day when Caleb proposes another to fill the peculating donor's office? I fear not, my boy! I fear not!
SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 59-60; Michael Burlingame, Editor, At Lincoln’s Side: John Hay’s Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings, p. 24; Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War: in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 43