(Surprise! Two blog posts today…)
23 July. 1863.
I positively tremble to think of receiving any more news from America since the batch that we received last Sunday. Why can’t we sink the steamers till some more good news comes? It is like an easterly storm after a glorious June day, this returning to the gloomy chronicle of varying successes and disasters, after exulting in the grand excitement of such triumphs as you sent us on the 4th. For once, there was no drawback, unless I except anxiety about you. I wanted to hug the army of the Potomac. I wanted to get the whole of the army of Vicksburg drunk at my own expense. I wanted to fight some small man and lick him. Had I a single friend in London capable of rising to the dignity of the occasion, I don’t know what mightn’t have happened. But mediocrity prevailed and I passed the day in base repose. Continue reading
London. 23 January, 1863.
My dear Charles:
I have but a moment till it grows dark and the [mail] bag closes, but I don’t think I have much to say, so it don’t matter. I’ve had a hard day’s work too, as we generally do on Fridays, and am tired. We are in the dark as to movements at home since the 8th, no steamer being yet in owing I suppose to the awful gales.
We are as usual very quiet, having been dragged to rounds of the Christmas pantomimes and bored to death with them. I wish you or John were here to be funny and amuse people; you know I never could do it, and now I grow stupider and stupider every year as my hair grows thinner. I haven’t even the wit left to talk to girls. I wish I were fifty years old at once, and then I should feel at home. Continue reading
Boston, December 10, 1861
…We have blundered all summer long and now we have capstoned our blunders by blundering into a war with England. So be it. While there’s life, there’s hope; but I go into the army with a bitter feeling against those under whose lead we hae come to this pass, and amid all the shattered idols of my whole life I don’t feel as if I cared much when my turn came. Continue reading
London 30 Nov. 1861
My dear Boy
If I thought the state of things bad last week you may imagine what I think of them now. In fact I consider that we are dished, and that our position is hopeless. If the Administration ordered the capture of those men, I am satisfied that our present authorities are very unsuitable persons to conduct a war like this or to remain in the direction of our affairs. It is our ruin. Do not deceive yourself about the position of England. We might have preserved our dignity in many ways without going to war with her, and our party in the Cabinet was always strong enough to maintain peace here and keep down the anti-blockaders…. Continue reading