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28   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

was only twenty-nine] are invited to the President's to-night, and I have determined to go for a short time, at least. There will be the largest collection of notables there ever gathered in this country, and it would probably be a sight worth remembering.


Under date of Washington, February 14, he writes again:

"I have so many acquaintances here now that I could easily find a temporary companion. Hay [John Hay] is going with me to Seward's to-night, and I am hoping to procure the pass for your mother. [My grandmother was most anxious to get back to her own people in the South]. In Baltimore I saw, or fancied I saw, on the faces of our class of the inhabitants, their feelings in consequence of the news just received of the taking of Roanoke Island. They looked very blue. The sutlers here are serious obstacles in getting allotments. As soon as we see a Regiment and persuade the men to make allotments, they send around an agent to dissuade them from signing their names, convincing them that it is a swindle because they want the money to be spent in Camp and go into their pockets instead of being sent home to the poor families of the men, who are in such want.

"I enclose you a flower from the bouquet on the table of the Executive Mansion. Also a piece of silk from an old-fashioned piano cover in Arlington House."

As I opened the letter, the flower fell to dust in my hands, but the little piece of green silk, faded and worn, had evidently been treasured by my mother as being a relic of Arlington House.

On February 27, 1862, his stay in Washington was drawing to a close, and my father regretted, as so many have done, that he had not kept a diary of his interesting experiences. He writes on September 27:

"All those whom I have seen here in Washington in social intercourse day by day will be characters in history, and it would be pleasant to look over a diary hereafter of my own impressions of them, and recall their utterly different views upon the policy

The Nursery and Its Deities   29

which should be pursued by the Government. I have rarely been able to leave my room in the evening, for it has been so filled with visitors, but I have not felt the loss of liberty from the fact that those who were my guests I would have taken a great deal of trouble to see, and never could have seen so informally and pleasantly anywhere except in my own room.

"It has, of course, been more my duty to entertain those whose hospitality I was daily receiving, in the camps, by invitations to drop in during the evening; all of these are striving to make their marks as statesmen, and some, I am sure, we will hear from hereafter."

On March 1, 1862, he says:

We have all been in a state of excitement for some days past, caused by movements in the Army foreshadowing a general battle. The snow which is now falling fast, has cast a damper over all our spirits. . . . Several of the Generals have stated to me their belief that the war, as far as there was any necessity for so large an army, would be closed by some time in May,-probably the first of May. If so, my work will be all over when I return to New York, and I can once more feel that I have a wife and children, and enjoy them.

It is Sunday afternoon, and I have a peculiar longing to see you all again, the quiet snow falling outside, my own feelings being very sad and that of those around being in the same condition makes me turn to my own quiet fireside for comfort. I wish we sympathized together on this question of so vital moment to our country, but I know you cannot understand my feelings, and of course I do not expect it.



One can well imagine the note of sadness in the strong young man who had relinquished his urgent desire to bear arms because of the peculiar situation in which he found himself, but who

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