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[443] the expediency of adopting it . . . . I have, indeed, little fear that my government, or its military chief, will seriously consider such a suggestion, none that they will adopt it. But I have great fear that the spirit it implies will enter deeply into the present contest, and from time to time produce the deplorable results which it has so often, may I not say so uniformly, produced in the civil wars that have heretofore cursed the world, and of which the atrocities in the streets of Baltimore and in the hotel of Alexandria are, I fear, only a foretaste.

It was with these feelings that I answered you the other day, when I had the pleasure of meeting you, and if you do not now share them, I am sure you are of a nature too high and noble not to share them hereafter.

Your friend and servant,

G. T.

Mr. Ticknor contributed freely to the regular and the charitable expenditures of the war.1 During the early months of 1861 he carried on an animated correspondence with a distinguished lawyer in Baltimore, a Union man, for interchange of information about the daily movements of opinion, where such vehement feeling was seething and surging. He welcomed officers returning on furlough, or passing through Boston, at his house and table, getting from each whatever of news or indications of popular feeling might come from the front. He went frequently to Braintree to see his old friend General Thayer, whose opinion on military affairs was acknowledged during the war by General Scott, in conversation, to be the highest authority in the United States, and these visits were returned by the old General, most often at breakfast-time, his own breakfast having been taken at five or half after. From General Thayer Mr. Ticknor received exact and keen-sighted explanations of all the movements of the armies on both sides, and was able to form clear judgments of the merits of military men who were often misjudged by the public.

1 He writes in 1866, “From that moment, therefore [of the attack on Fort Sumter], I began to contribute voluntarily in money and in all ways in which a man of above threescore and ten could do it, to carry on the war, giving more in proportion to my fortune, I believe, than did most of the original Abolitionists.”

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