After the battle of Fredericksburg he wrote:—
You at home must suffer more from anxiety than we do from cold, exposure, and battle. It was hard for you to know that so fierce a fight was raging, and that we three were in the hottest of it. You ask me how I felt. There is intense excitement as the tide of battle ebbs and flows. If one's own party are advancing, there is a glow of exultation; if retreating, a passion to turn the enemy back. 'T was so the other day when Meade's Pennsylvania Reserves, to which we were support, advanced in a long, magnificent line of battle, as if on parade. All was quiet when they started, but in an instant the roar of cannon and the rattle of musketry were deafening. Twenty minutes it lasted. Then from the woods directly in front of us came out a shattered mass of troops in perfect disorder. It seems to me that I could have died a hundred deaths to turn the scale. . . . . One of our colonels well describes our position that day, “ The Rebels were in the boxes and we in the pit.” It was a Roman amphitheatre, and we were the poor beasts exposed on the arena.