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