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More Snapping

Here is the 6th installment of excerpts from the original Meade letters at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania that were cut out of the 2 vol. Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade. All of these are from letters Meade wrote to his wife.

24 June 1864 – …I think from several remarks you have recently made, that you are under a misapprehension as to my position with officers & men of this army. I have no doubt my course at Williamsport and Mine Run so severely criticized at the time, now receive, as it did then the full approbation of the soldiers. But soldiers are like other beings. Success covers a multitude of sins. Let us succeed in taking Richmond or defeating Lee & Grant will be a demi-god. If we fail then he will be pronounced a stupendous humbug.. . .Presdt. A. Lincoln visited the army day before yesterday. I simply saw him & no more. His time was spent with Gen. Grant. Today two French officers arrived at my headquarters & are now my guests, one of whom married a relative of Mr. Biddle & the Hopkinsons. He gave me a letter, which I understand was from Mr. Hopkinson, which I seized with delight & hastily opened…

25 June 1864 ….I told Cortlandt to send Cropsey’s letter to you after he had read it a propos of this affair. I enclose you a letter recd. from Grant illustrating very clearly a defect in Grant’s character. Now tho’ I have no doubt Mr. Clark is some inquisitive Yankee, who has seized on this report to get up a correspondence with Grant & secure his autograph. Yet he had either one of two things to do—either ignore the letter altogether, or if he thought as he says he does, that justice to me requires a public denial, he ought to have sent one to Mr. Clark & requested him to publish it. Instead of that he sends it to me, throwing upon the onus of sending it to M. C & having it published. I turned it over to Lyman, who has sent Clark a copy of Grant’s endorsement & authorized its publication. Lyman will also find out who this man Clark is. Hancock’s wound discharged a big piece of bone the other day…Gibbon, whom I suppose you know I have finally succeeded in getting promoted, has had a bilious attack but was about today. G. seems discontented & I am afraid will never get over his enthusiastic admiration for a certain Genl. By the by a recent oration at West Point has made a great rumpus, & I understand the principal officers engaged in getting it up are to be relieved from duty. The oration was good enough in itself but the time, place & man were all unsuited, and the whole affair a mistake. Geo continues well….

7 July 1864 – …I have had a row with W. Baldy Smith. We are now avowed antagonists. A much more comfortable position for me, than our attempt at friendly relations…

9 July 1864 – …seem to think much of Early’s invasion of Maryland but they are evidently a good deal disturbed about it in Washington for they have taken away the whole of the 6th Corps. The next think I expect to hear is after this corps gets well up into Maryland, Early will give them the slip, rush down here & play the part of Jackson to McClellan, that is Lee will throw the whole of his force on our reduced numbers to try to overwhelm us. We are, however, expecting a corps from Louisiana (confidential) which will reach here before Early can get back & thus block the game up then…The entente cordial between Grant & myself is being slightly disturbed. He is not treating me as I deserve, but I am trying to bear up as well as I can. I feel at times as if I ought to resist & have made one or two efforts to do so. These result as I might expect, not in any change of treatment, but in producing more unpleasant relations. I am somewhat restrained by a sense of delicacy due to his position, for I do not like to have trouble with a man whose illusive pretensions are being dissipated. He has had Butler ordered to Fortress Monroe & put Baldy Smith in command of his troops. This will make this gentleman more arrogant & offensive than ever…

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