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

Post image for We watch with interest the military position at home,

We watch with interest the military position at home,

October 16, 2013

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

Henry Adams to Charles Francis Adams, Jr.

London, October 16, 1863

My letter of last week informed you of my campaign to St. Leonards. . . . The family are charmingly situated down there, with the ocean rolling under their windows; and the more I look at it, the more I feel how far the ocean is superior in grandeur to every other object in nature. To have it always under one’s eyes is certainly the most easy way of obtaining the grandest amusement in the way of spectacle that the world affords. The climate on that coast is mild and the atmosphere clear and free from smoke. . . .

As for me, I am getting to be of Dr. Johnson’s opinion that nothing is equal to Fleet Street. Not that I take so much pleasure in looking at it as I do at the magnificent changes of the ocean at St. Leonards; but the fact is I feel the want of London more when I leave it than I appreciate it when here. Still, I am very contented to be here alone, although I am still allowed little freedom of hours. . . . I am ruining my constitution by studying far into the small hours, and yet I think the profit balances the wear and tear. Silvyer and gold have I none, nor do I ever expect to realise my labors in that shape, but oh, my friend and mentor! I have learned that there are objects of ambition which may be held separate from the opinions of men or the applause of listening Senates.

The ancient Sir Henry Holland summoned me to breakfast the other morning to tell me that he had seen you three weeks ago and that you were well and prosperous. He seemed to have less acquaintance with your situation than I should have supposed he would have tried to get on our account. He did however declare himself pleased with your appearance, and Ted Lyman had apparently been sounding your praises largely. It is well to have friends at head-quarters. . . .

Public matters are very quiet and I trust will remain so for some time. We watch with interest the military position at home, and I am on sharp pins to know what will be the next act of the play in Tennessee. If the rebs can drive us out of there, they will save themselves for the time, but I feel confident that they would have to pay a price for it, of which Chickamauga is a first and limited instalment. . . .

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