8 Aug 1863
Your letters of 28 July & 2 Aug have been recd., & I have waited for a leisure hour to reply, but I fear that will never come. I am extremely obliged to you for your attention given to the wants of this Army * the efforts made to supply them. Our absentees are returning, & I hope the earnest & beautiful appeal made to the country in your proclamation, may stir up the virtue of the whole people & that they may see their duty & perform it. Nothing is wanted but that their fortitude should equal their bravery to ensure the success of our cause.
We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies & to prevent our falling into greater disasters. Our people have only to be true & united, to bear manfully the misfortunes incident to war & all will come right in the end. I know how prone we are to censure, & how ready to blame others for the nonfulfillment of our expectations. This is unbecoming in a generous people & I grieve to see its expression. Continue reading
In 1780, John Adams wrote, “”I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have the liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry, and Porcelaine.”
Ironically, his descendant – Charles F. Adams, Jr. – had to study war and volunteered to fight in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry during the Civil War. Present at Gettysburg and fighting during that campaign, he continued his family’s traditional commitment to upholding the federal government and value of freedom. Continue reading
Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C.
June 16, 1863
My dear General: I send you this by the hand of Captain Dahlgren. Your desptach[sp] of 11:30 A.M. today is received. When you say I have long been aware that you do not enjoy the confidence of the major-general commanding, you state the case much too strongly.
You do not lack his confidence in any degree to do you harm. On seeing him, after telegraphing you this morning, I found him more nearly agreeing with you than I was myself. Surely you do not mean to understand that I am withholding my confidence from you when I happen to express an opinion (certainly never discourteously) differing from one of your own. Continue reading