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30   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

gave all his time and thought and physical endurance to the work vitally needed, and which he felt he could have handled better with the sympathy of his young wife, whose anxiety about her mother and brothers was so poignant and distressing. Never, however, in the many letters exchanged between the parents of my brother, Theodore Roosevelt, was there one word which was calculated to make less possible the close family love and the great respect for each other's feelings.

In the last letter quoted above, one feels again that history does indeed repeat itself, when one thinks that it was written in March, 1862, and that those "generals" of whom my father speaks were expecting that no large army would be needed after May i of that year, when in reality the long agony of civil war was to rack our beloved country for nearly three years more. This was proven shortly after to my father, and in the following October he is writing again from Baltimore, and this time in a less wistful mood:

Since I last wrote you I have enjoyed my pleasantest experiences as Allotment Commissioner. The weather was lovely our horses good and Major Dix accompanied us from the Fortress to Yorktown. It was about twenty-five miles of historic ground passing over the same country that General McClellan had taken his army along last spring.

First comes the ruins of the little town of Hampton, then through Big Bethel where Schanck was whipped, to the approaches to Yorktown. There ravines have been cut through miles of roads made, and immense breastworks thrown up by our army.

Suydam was away but the rest of General Keyes' staff received us most hospitably, and after dinner furnished us with fresh horses to visit the regiments, one of their number accompanying us.

I had practise for both my French and German in the Enfans Perdus, Colonel Comfort's regiment and it was quite late

The Nursery and Its Deities   31

before our return. As I had broken my eyeglasses I had to trust entirely to my horse who jumped over the ditches in a most independent manner. We all sat up together until about twelve except Bronson who had seemed used up all day, and had not accompanied me to the regiments. He seemed to feel the shock of the fall when the car ran off the track, and not to recover from it so easily as myself.

Next morning we rode another twenty-five miles to Newport News to see the Irish Brigade. General Corcoran was there, and accompanied us to the regiments first suggesting Irish whiskey to strengthen us. At dinner ale was the beverage and after dinner each Colonel seemed to have his own particular tope. On our return they made an Irish drink called "scal thun" and about one o'clock gave us "devilled bones." The servant was invited in to sing for us and furnished with drinks at odd times by the General, who never indulged, however, himself to excess. We then went the grand rounds with the General at two in the morning, arrested two officers for not being at their posts and returned at half past three, well prepared to rest quietly after a very fatiguing day, and one of the most thoroughly Irish nights that I ever passed.

Next morning (yesterday) we had a delightful ride over to Fortress Monroe, and had lunch at General Dix's before leaving in the boat.

A dozen of the officers were down at the boat, and we felt as we bid goodbye to some of them, like leaving old friends... .

Dearest: a few words more and I must close. Bronson has a very bad cold and decides that he will leave me to-morrow. If well enough he will undoubtedly call on you. Of course this makes me doubly homesick but I must see it through.

Goodbye. Yours as ever,


Again on October 18, having apparently been able to return for a brief visit to his family, he writes from Niagara:

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