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24   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

better than salt water.' This speech occasioned a roar of laughter, and was evidently thought very witty. Teedie, too, seemed to be under the false impression that it was clever. He seemed to be inflated with vanity for some time afterwards ! " How gladly the tired man, after long days in the saddle, and evenings of effort with sullen soldiers, must have turned to just such humorous accounts of the small boy who always said or did something quaint, which lost nothing in the picture drawn by the facile pen of his mother.

Theodore Roosevelt writes his wife again in January, 1862, a letter interesting because of his attitude toward the German regiments. He says:

"We are continually at work now, and to-day saw three regiments, but even at this rate, it will be long before I see you again. They were all Germans to-day-a motley crew, having few friends and frequently no characters. We had been told that we ran the risk of our lives by going to these regiments, and much more nonsense of the same kind, but the only risk we ran has been from starvation. We were out talking to the men until very late, and then found a German dinner which Dodge could eat nothing of but the brown bread. He wanted to be polite, however, and I was much amused with his statement that he would ride five miles to get such bread, which was literally a fact, however, I have no doubt, in his state of starvation.

"The men, as Germans always do, took time to consider, and we left them to describe the allotment idea to other persons. However, after due consideration, a fair number sent money home. These Germans were generally of the lowest characters, and with the exception of one regiment disappointed me, although I have no doubt they will fight well. There are some

12,000 of them.

"This morning I saw that our efforts are noticed in The World and The Tribune. You have seen, I suppose, that we have been mentioned several times in The Times. This is particularly

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

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