Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for These Southerners are a terrible enemy and dangerous while there is a single hope left;

These Southerners are a terrible enemy and dangerous while there is a single hope left;

July 18, 2013

Adams Family Civil War letters; US Minister to the UK and his sons.

Charles Francis Adams, Jr., to Henry Adams

Harpers Ferry, Virginia
July 18, 1863

I seize an instant which I have stolen from picket to scrawl you a line enclosing this letter from Major Higginson. He gave it to me weeks and weeks ago, just before this campaign began and it has rested in my valise. A thousand thanks to you all for your letters. You do not know how welcome they are to me in this terrible campaign. Yesterday I got yours of June 18th and 25th — six letters in all. I note what you say of victories. Have you enough? or would you like Charleston and Mobile? They will come soon. I have been cheering myself in darkness, hunger, cold and rain for the last three days by thinking of you all day, for today the news of Gettysburg and Vicksburg should flash in upon you as you sit there scared by the last advices and cowering in apprehension of those to come. I would give much to see you today or tomorrow as the real day dawns upon you. Write to me and tell me where you were, and how you were all feeling, and what each said and did, when at last you were assured that, not only had we gotten in our great southwestern blow, but had magnificently foiled their great eastern one. You must have had a terrible scare, but it’s all right now and we have made another great step. . . .

We hear nothing of the prisoners of Aldie and Ja. J. Higginson is still we presume, in the Libby. The last seen of him, as the rumor runneth, was by one of our men who was taken and escaped, who reports Jim trudging briskly along in front of his own horse, on which a fiery Southron was mounted, who from time to time accelerated Jim’s gait by threats and gestures. Such, alas! is war.

My love to each and all and I promise many letters when once more a day of quiet comes. I am not one of the sanguine now, and I no longer believe in a collapse of the rebellion. These Southerners are a terrible enemy and dangerous while there is a single hope left; but our recent successes and their recent defeats, combined with the loss of Jackson, makes me hope that the crisis is over. We shall have sharp fighting yet and enough of it, but, if all goes well, I do not see why I may not reasonably hope to be with you in England in a year from this time. God grant I may, for I do want to see you all very much, and I am tired and sick of fighting and hardship.

Previous post:

Next post: