“small hoops.” I have too much respect for you to allow the shadow of such an idea. As Frank Palfrey sensibly observed: “I think I should consider some time before I brought my wife to a mud-hill.” . . . The whole country, besides the mud, is now ornamented with stumps, dead horses and mules, deserted camps, and thousands upon thousands of crows. The deserted camps (than which nothing more desolate) come from the fact that several divisions have lately changed position. General Meade has been seriously ill at home; but we have a telegraph that he is much better, and I have forwarded him, for his edification, a variety of letters, opened by me at General Williams's request.
Headquarters Army of Potomac January 29, 1864If you saw the style of officers' wives that come here, I am sure you would wish to stay away. Quelle experience had I yesterday! I was nearly bored to death, and was two hours and a half late for my dinner. Oh, list to my harrowing tale. I was in my tent, with my coat off, neatly mending my maps with a little paste, when Captain Cavada poked in his head (he was gorgeous in a new frockcoat). “Colonel,” said he, “General Humphreys desires that you will come and help entertain some ladies!” I held up my pasty hands in horror, and said, “What!” “Ladies!” quoth Cavada with a grin; “a surprise party on horseback, thirteen ladies and about thirty officers.” There was no moyen; I washed my hands, put on the double-breaster, added a cravat, and proceeded, with a sweet smile, to the tent, whence came a sound of revelry and champagne corks. Such a set of feminine humans I have not seen often; it was Lowell factories broken loose and gone mad. They were all gotten up in some sort of long thing, to ride