In another letter, written to his father-in-law in January, 1862, he says:— continue in harmonious action to put forth its entire strength, to enable me to accept cheerfully the prospect of a war which, if we can keep under honest guidance, can but result in our coming out of it the strongest of all the nations of the earth; but which, if politicians and the traditional clinging to slavery-sympathies on the part of so many of our Northern people tear us asunder, will grind us to powder. If such is to be the result, we must accept it, believing that, though we cannot interpret God's designs or appreciate the tendency of the means he uses, his designs will yet be carried out, and that we, his instruments, are doing his work, whether we judge rightly or wrongly the immediate or proximate issue of our deeds. Leave me the faith I have now that we are engaged in a righteous war, and I shall never allow myself to despair; and as yet I am very far from that point.
There has been much reason for disappointment lately, but I am not disheartened, and let not go one jot or tittle of my faith. This lukewarmness, this dreadful, silly fear of hurting people who would never scruple at placing their feet upon our necks and grinding our heads into dust if they should get the opportunity, is a disease of the national mind. But I believe it is a curable disease and will be cured; and I shall not mourn as one having no hope, though I do chafe and fret that this obscuration of people's intellect does not clear away all at once. I am afraid government does not recognize as yet the truth that slavery must fall, and that by attacking the enemy in every weak point, and by stern measures of confiscation whenever practicable, the success of our cause is assured, which milder means will fail to bring about. I should be glad to have the war last ten years, if it must, so that its end may leave slavery in its death-throes. And I do not propose to abandon the cause while life and strength are spared me; for I believe it to be a holy one, and devised of God, however much unholiness mingles with it, as it mingles with everything involving the joint action of masses of men in this world.
camp near Yorktown, Virginia, April 13, 1862.. . . . For myself, I have no presentiment that I shall fall; and if I do, it will be Heaven's will. If I should lose a leg or an arm, I should not consider that I had made any too great sacrifice to the country's cause; and I hardly feel as if I should regret it. . . . . I am delighted, dear mother, that you do not allow yourself to