The Nursery and Its Deities 25
satisfying as the papers threatened once to be down on us, which would lose for us the confidence of the soldiers."
The letters all give vivid accounts of his experiences, differing in interest. He speaks of General Wadsworth, the grandLather of our present United States senator, and says that the general "helped to make my bed when I spent one night with his division."
In an interim of work, on February 7, he writes of his invitation to Mrs. Lincoln's ball, at which he says he had a delightful time.
"Mrs. Lincoln in giving the Ball, stated that she gave it as a piece of economy in war time, and included those diplomats, senators, congressmen and others, that it had been previously the habit to invite at a number of formal dinners. No one lower in the army than the Division General,-not even a Brigadier, had an invitation to the Ball, and of course there was much grumbling and a proportionate amount of envy. Some complained of the supper, but I have rarely seen a better, and often a worse one. Terrapin, birds, ducks, and everything else in great profusion when I was in the dining room, although some complained of the delay in getting into the room, as we went in parties.
"I spent all of yesterday kicking my heels in the ante-room of the Secretary of War, and in making out an order for him which he promised to sign and afterwards refused. [How history repeats itself!] I was with him about two hours, alto
gether, and received any number of the highest kind of com
pliments, but I wanted a more important proof of his good
feeling which I did not get. I still hope that I may get it
through the President."
On February 12, 1862, comes this description of the delight
ful visit to Newport News and he says:
"All the officers received us in such a hospitable spirit and
the weather assisted in making our stay agreeable. I passed
two of the pleasantest days that I have enjoyed when away from