Temple was detailed week after week as Judge-Advocate of different courts-martial, and had the reputation of being the best judge-advocate in the division. This duty kept him so busily employed that he could rarely join the officers in the amusements of camp life; for to many the camp near Falmouth seemed nothing but a holiday muster. A horse-race, a ball, a dinner-party, or a soldiers' carouse came off every day. This was a deprivation to Temple. Still he found time to be a good correspondent. A few extracts from his letters will show that he retained his former enthusiasm, and hope, and ambition. It may be well to say, that he was at this time endeavoring to obtain the colonelcy of a volunteer regiment.
You ask my opinion about the colonelcy. I would not hesitate a moment in accepting the command of any regiment which may be offered me. I would not, of course, be willing to pass from the field to such a life of inglorious ease as——paints. But such an idea is preposterous. As soon as a regiment is mustered into the service, it is under the President's orders; and as soon as I obtained a command, I would apply for service in the field, which service would undoubtedly be granted. If I can only get hold of a regiment, I have no fear for what may follow. Once in the field, it is an easy task to make the regiment what one pleases. . . . . The volunteers is the only place for a man who wants the rewards as well as the labors of a soldier's life, and I confess that I am one of that sort. Don't wonder, then, that I am anxious for a regiment. It is the only road to glory and the yellow sash. . . . . If the President begins to confer brevet rank for merit, I will have myself to blame if I am not soon a field officer by brevet in the Regular Army. I would give a leg for a brevet, and think I had made a good bargain.He had long before written:—
There ought to be some decoration, like the Legion of Honor, or the English Order of Valor, in our army, to reward conspicuous gallantry. We neglect the sentiment of fighting too much. . . . . I hope that we will have a battle soon. We have been getting lazy this winter, and want something to stir us up. If we do meet the enemy, I will get a brevet, or go under. Our army is in capital condition.On the 26th the army broke camp; it was for the Chancellorsville