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22   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

was their duty to allot a certain portion of their pay to their destitute families.

He writes on January 1, 1862:

I have stood on the damp ground talking to the troop and taking their names for six hours at a time. One of the regiments that I visited last, which is wretchedly officered and composed of the scum of our city, seemed for the first time even to recall their families. We had an order from the General of Division, and the Colonel sent his adjutant to carry out our desires. He came, dirty and so drunk that he could not speak straight, and of course got the orders wrong. All the officers seem to be in with the sutler while the private said he was an unmitigated thief. The delays were so great that I stood out with one of these companies after seven o'clock at night, with one soldier holding a candle while I took down the names of those who desired to send money home. The men looked as hard as I have often seen such men look in our Mission neighborhood, but after a little talking and explaining my object and reminding them of those they had left behind them, one after another put down his name, and from this company alone, they allotted, while I was there, $6oo.oo. This would be increased afterwards by the officers, if they were decent ones, and other men absent on guard and through other reasons. I could not help thinking what a subject for a painting it would make as I stood out there in the dark night, surrounded by the men with one candle just showing glimpses of their faces,-tents all around us in the woods. One man, after putting down five dollars a month, said suddenly: "My old woman has always been good to me, and if you please, change it to ten." In a moment, half a dozen others followed his example and doubled their allotments.

I enclose a letter for Teedie [Theodore]. Do take care of yourself and the dear little children while I am away, and remember to enjoy yourself just as much as you can. [This sentence is so like my father. Duty was always paramount,

The Nursery and Its Deities   23

but joy walked hand in hand with duty whenever it legitimately could.]

I do not want you not to miss me, but remember that I would never have felt satisfied with myself after this war is over if I had done nothing, and that I do feel now that I am only doing my duty. I know you will not regret having me do what is right, and I do not believe you will love me any the less for it.

Yours as ever,


This particular letter is very characteristic of the father of President Roosevelt-a man of the qualities which his country has grown to associate with its beloved "Colonel." In my brother's case they were the direct inheritance from the man who stood out knee-deep in mud using his wonderful personality to make those hard-faced drafted men remember their own people at home, and at the same time writes to the lovely mother of his children to try and enjoy herself as much as possible in his absence.

My mother's answers to my father's letters were very loving. Alone, and delicate, she never dwells on loneliness or ill health, but tells him the dear details of the home he loved so well. On January 8, 1862, she writes: "Teedie came down stairs this morning looking rather sad, and said `I feel badly-I have a tooth ache in my stomach.'-later he asked if 'Dod' (God) was a fox? !-this after being shown a picture of a very clever looking fox ! He is the most affectionate and endearing little creature in his ways." One can well imagine how the lonely father, doing his distant and gruelling duty, treasured the dainty letters full of quaint stories of childish sayings. In another and later missive there is a description of a birthday supper-party in which "Teedie" is host to his cousins; it runs as follows: "Teedie, the host, was too busy with his chicken and potatoes to converse much, but as soon as he finished he made the sage remark that he `loved chicken, roast beef and everything that was good

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