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

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What a "buster" that man is!

September 23, 2013

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

Charles Francis Adams, Jr., to Henry Adams

H.Q. 5th Mass. Cav’y
Point Lookout, Md., September 23, 1864

Today’s steamer will carry out to you the details of Sheridan’s great victory, a victory, to my mind, likely in its consequences to be second to none in importance, and I like to think of you all as you receive such news. How jubilant you will feel! How all the clouds will roll away! Those are the times when I wish I were with you; the moments when, after long days of doubt, anxiety and almost despair, among a foreign and unsympathetic people, you at last suddenly see the smoke of the battle lifted and the country you loved and feared for so much lifting itself up again as strong, as firm and as confident as in the first days of the war. At these times yours is a luxury greater than any we enjoy, and I luxuriate in it, even as reflected back to me in your letters.

What do you think of Sherman’s letter to Hood! What a “buster” that man is! No wonder they said in the early days of the war that he was either a drunkard or a crazy man. How he does finish up poor Hood! He really seems to be the most earnest and straightforward man of the whole war. In him and in him alone we seem to get glimpses of real genius. To be sure old Farragut now and then has a smack of the same sort. At any rate, here, at last, is the most scathing exposition of rebel nonsense of old standing, which has yet enlightened the world. . . .

Here everything is quiet all day long, and every day I live surrounded by my “nigs” and very busy, for everything is to be done and be done by me. I no longer am surrounded by skilled white labor and am forced to study subjects which I don’t know anything about. For instance, with 700 horses here I did n’t have one tolerable blacksmith. Before a horse could be shod I had to go to work and show the smiths what a good horseshoe is. So it is with almost everything. Owing to Colonel Russell’s long absence and my delay in reporting, the Regiment has fallen sadly into arrears, and the officers have never been under one able commander long enough to become homogeneous. The result is that I am pulling things to pieces and building up with all my might. If left alone, I should see no reason to doubt my ultimate success; but, as Colonel Russell will soon be here, he may go to work anew in his way, perhaps better than mine, but still another and unfortunate change. . . .

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