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[300] plain republican, mindful of the beauty and of the duty of simplicity. Nothing fancy now, sir, if you please; it's disreputable to spend money when the government is so hard up, and when there are so many poor officers. I hope that you have outgrown all foolish ambitions, and are now content to become a “useful citizen.” . . . . Don't grow rich; if you once begin, you will find it much more difficult to be a useful citizen. Don't seek office, but don't “disremember” that the “useful citizen” always holds his time, his trouble, his money, and his life ready at the hint of his country. The useful citizen is a mighty unpretending hero; but we are not going to have any country very long, unless such heroism is developed. There! what a stale sermon I'm preaching! But being a soldier, it does seem to me that I should like nothing so well as being a useful citizen. Well, trying to be one, I mean. I shall stay in the service, of course, till the war is over, or till I'm disabled; but then I look forward to a pleasanter career. . . . .

I believe I have lost all my ambitions. . . . . I don't think I would turn my hand to be a distinguished chemist or a famous mathematician. All I now care about is to be a useful citizen, with money enough to buy bread and firewood, and to teach my children to ride on horseback, and look strangers in the face, especially Southern strangers.

October 5.

The new moon looked very strangely calm and peaceful and almost reproachful in the west last night, with the whole north and east, far and near, lighted up by burning barns and houses. . . . . I would cheerfully assist in making this whole valley a desert, from Staunton northward; for that would have, I am sure, an important effect on the campaign of the spring; but in partial burnings I see less justice and less propriety. I was sorry enough the other day that my brigade should have had a part in the hanging and shooting of some of Mosby's men.

October 10.

I don't think I now care at all about being a Brigadier-General. I am perfectly satisfied to be a Colonel, if I can always have a brigade to command. That's modest, is n't it?

October 17.
[To J. M. Forbes, Esq.] I am very glad that we have not a “handy” writer among us. The reputation of regiments is made and is known in the army; the comparative merits are well known there. Such a notice as I saw of the—— —— makes a regiment ridiculous, besides giving the public false history.

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