He obtained leave for sixty days absence at first; and after a short journey to one or two places, he decided to accept the invitation of a classmate and friend, and visit him in Minnesota. For a little while he seemed better, but it did not last long, as these letters show:— exercise. We are having fine, clear, wholesome weather, (almost for the first time,) and I keep out of doors and on my horse all the time. I have no doubt of receiving to-day General McClellan's permission to go off for thirty or sixty days to recruit, and expect to come back well, at least hope to. I am sorry to have to say that the Fourteenth Massachusetts is probably destined to hold these fortifications during the winter. So we must abandon all claim to occupy a prominent place in the attention or interest of the public, —and even of friends at home,—who are mainly interested in the progress of the great drama, and the actors in it. It was a great disappointment to most of the officers in the regiment when we found that this was the meaning of our being set to drilling at siege guns. But the disappointment would have been much more cruel to me, individually, if I had continued well. Now, I care very little about it. The annoyance of it is very trifling compared with that of falling sick.
——, Minnesota, December 12, 1861.My visit to these distant regions is not for pleasure, but for life, as the air of this high plain was suggested to me by the doctors as affording the best chance–a rather slender one--of making me well again. I have had no further hemorrhage since I came here, but am harassed with a cough, which at the East I would expect to finish me in a very few months. I shall be driven to resign my commission in the army, I suppose, during this month. It is, of course, a great disappointment to me; and if I die this way, I shall be greatly chagrined that I had not been favored with a more soldierly death in Virginia, like poor William Putnam, and so many others in the Fifteenth and Twentieth, at Ball's Bluff.
——, Minnesota, January 11, 1862.I find the air dry and bracing, but the cold and high winds make all out-of-doors exercise next to impossible, and I don't find myself bettered at all, in respect of this “cough” ; consequently I leave here, on Tuesday next, for the East. Mean to stop a few days in Detroit, and so come to Boston in about ten days, where I expect to embark in the first clean merchantman, with cheap rates of passage,